How Old Are 4th Graders?

How Old Are 4th Graders

Assuming they start kindergarten at the typical age of 5 years, 4th graders in the United States are typically 9 or 10 years of age. They normally start the 4th grade at the age of 9 and finish at the age of 10.

This is also the case for 4th grade students in the United Kingdom except their equivalent grade to the 4th grade is called Year 5. Unlike the US, kindergarten in the UK is called Year 1 which results in the 4th grade equivalent being called Year 5.

You should note that, even though the majority of 4th graders fall within this age range, it’s not uncommon to find a younger or older student at that level.

We’ll be taking a look at some of the factors that can influence the ages of students at the pre-tertiary level. But first, let’s take a look at the normal age range of pre-tertiary students.

Grade-Age Table (US & UK)

While the age range of students in the US and UK are similar, you can see from the table that the UK’s system starts from Year 1 as opposed to the US which starts from kindergarten. Keep in mind that this doesn’t include preschool levels.

Both systems have 13-grade levels starting from elementary but the naming convention is different. Unfortunately, this sometimes confuses those who are unfamiliar with these naming conventions.

GradeAge RangeCalled In USCalled In UK
Kindergarten5-6KindergartenYear 1
1st grade6-71st gradersYear 2
2nd grade7-82nd gradersYear 3
3rd grade8-93rd gradersYear 4
4th grade9-104th gradersYear 5
5th grade10-115th gradersYear 6
6th grade11-126th gradersYear 7
7th grade12-137th gradersYear 8
8th grade13-148th gradersYear 9
9th grade14-15FreshmanYear 10
10th grade15-16SophomoreYear 11
11th grade16-17JuniorYear 12
12th grade17-18SeniorYear 13

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Factors That Affect The Age Of 7th Graders

Although the majority of pre-tertiary students may fall within the various age ranges corresponding to their grade levels, we all know some students may be younger or older than the typical ages for these grades.

So, let’s take a look at how this can happen.

Early School Entry

Depending on a child’s date of birth and the cut-off in the district, they may start school earlier than a majority of their peers.

So, it’s not uncommon to find kids as young as 4 years old in kindergarten even though the majority of their peers would already be 5. Those kids would be turning 5 in a few months.

If the cut-off date in your state is August and a kid who will be turning 5 in November is accepted, they would end up younger than the majority of their peers, even though they would be turning 5 in a few months.

Late School Entry

This also depends on the child’s date of birth and the cut-off in the district, but some parents prefer to postpone their children’s entry to kindergarten.

This practice is also referred to as redshirting and the reasons behind this act could differ depending on the individual parent.

The most popular reason being; to allow the children extra time for socio-emotional, intellectual, or physical growth.

While redshirting may have its advantages, it also has its disadvantages including behavior issues from such students. But these students are usually older than the majority of their peers in the same class.

Grade Retention

Grade repetition is an obvious factor. Students who repeat a grade would end up older than their peers in the same class.

The reasons for repeating a student may vary though. Unfortunately, poor academic performance is usually the first thing that comes to people’s minds when the topic of grade retention comes up.

The truth is that students may repeat grades due to various other reasons besides academic performance. This includes:

  • Illness
  • Emotional trauma
  • Relocation and more
  • Developmental immaturity


Frequent school transfers may cause students to fall behind. This is more likely to occur when the student’s credits do not meet the requirements for their current grade level.

Maintaining their present grade levels may be challenging for them as they struggle to integrate into their new school and curriculum.

Special Education Services

Students who receive special education services may progress through education at a different pace than their peers. A typical example is a student who receives special education services may take longer to complete the curriculum for their grade.

Additionally, students receiving special education services have an individual education plan (IEP) that is tailored to the student’s strengths.

Language Barriers

Depending on their native language, immigrant students may have a hard time adapting to the country’s education system due to language barriers. This can lead to students repeating a grade to take added lessons in the necessary language of instruction.

Without the necessary language proficiency, students may be unable to understand instructions, assignments, and other assessments. This struggle can lead to underperformance and possibly failing their grade.

Academic Prowess

Some schools may offer advanced classes for academically gifted students. This may cover material typically taught at higher levels than their current grade levels.

Lessons provided at their current levels may be unchallenging for these students especially since they already mastered the necessary skills and concepts other kids may be struggling to get.

It’s not rare to see such kids skipping a grade but there’re cases where such students may skip multiple grade levels. These students are typically always younger than their peers in the same grade levels.

What Subjects Do 4th Graders Cover

The standard courses covered at the 4th-grade level are:

  • Mathematics
  • Writing and Reading
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Arts/Music
  • Technology

Skills Acquired In 4th Grade

By the time students leave the 4th grade, they should have acquired these skills:

Reading And Writing Skills

  • Demonstrate understanding of the themes of a book by writing a book report
  • Become familiar with a wide variety of stories such as fiction, non-fiction, myths, fables, poems, biographies, and more
  • Increasingly use research materials to tackle a variety of subjects including fourth-grade science and history
  • Give a class presentation on a given topic using facts, details, and specific vocabulary
  • Continue to build vocabulary
  • Learn synonyms, antonyms, and homonyms
  • Participate in group discussions and debate
  • Produce clear and coherent writing
  • Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text

Math Skills

  • Solve basic fractions, and do multiplication and division
  • Measure weight and volume
  • Know the times table up to 12
  • Know how to collect data and convert the information into graphs, charts, and tables
  • Solve word problems that require logical-thinking skills and calculations
  • Fluently add and subtract multi-digit whole numbers
  • Convert fractions to decimals

Social Skills

  • Gravitate towards certain friends/Part of a group
  • Work, play, and share with friends
  • Demonstrate competitiveness
  • Identify the 50 states and their capitals
  • Take part in discussions
  • Know significant historical dates
  • Recognize the various weather and seasons.
  • Show a strong sense of responsibility

Science Skills

  • Know about the stars, moon, earth, sun
  • Recognize the difference between solid, gas, and liquid
  • Observe behaviors of sound and light
  • Able to classify animals

Is 4th Grade Elementary Or Middle School

4th grade, or Year 5 in the UK, is the fifth year of elementary education in the US and the fourth year of study following kindergarten.

Middle school starts from grades 6 to 8 in the United States. This is however debated as some schools consider middle school from grades 5 to 8.

The US Education Levels And Ages

Let’s take a look at the ages of students and the typical grade levels that corresponds to these. Keep in mind that this only applies to students who started kindergarten at the typical age of 5 years.


This is also referred to as early childhood education. It’s pre-kindergarten and students are typically between the ages of 3 to 5 years old. That said, it’s not uncommon for a busy parent to send their kid to preschool at the age of 2 years old.

Education LevelAge Range
Preschool3 to 5 years old

Elementary School

This level of education starts from kindergarten to 5th grade. Students typically start this grade at the age of 5 years old. Keep in mind that this level of education is also referred to as primary education.

Assuming they proceed through the grades one by one, they should be 10 years old by the time they enter elementary school and 11 years old by the time they finish their primary education.

Grade LevelAge Range
Kindergarten (K)5 to 6 years old
1st grade6 to 7 years old
2nd grade7 to 8 years old
3rd grade8 to 9 years old
4th grade9 to 10 years old
5th grade10 to 11 years old

Middle School

Middle school is also referred to as junior high school. It starts from grades 6 to 8 and students typically range from 11 years to 14.

They typically start the 6th grade at 11 and complete by 14. Keep in mind that the age range of students at this level of education may vary as it’s not rare to find students who are either younger or older than the typical age range of most students at the middle school level.

GradeAge RangeStudents Called
6th grade11-126th graders
7th grade12-137th graders
8th grade13-148th graders

High School

High school starts from grades 9 to 12 and the ages of students at this level range from 14 to 18 years. Students typically enter high school at the age of 14 and complete it by the time they are 18.

It’s also not rare to find students who may be younger or older than the typical ages of their peers at the same level.

High school levels also have unique names and students at these levels are referred to by these names.

GradeAge RangeStudents Called
9th grade14-15Freshmen
10th grade15-16Sophomores
11th grade16-17Juniors
12th grade17-18Seniors

Akshay Vikhe

I am an aspiring Data Scientist with a huge interest in technology. I like to review courses that are genuine and add real value to student’s careers. Read my story

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