Vietnamese Curriculum

Our schools foster a love of learning, while providing students with an international education that is tailored to their strengths and interests.

At Nord Anglia Education, we have four premium international schools in two of Vietnam’s major cities, where we teach the best elements of the British and Vietnamese curriculum. In this article, we will cover all the information you need to know about the Vietnamese curriculum, including grades, subjects, and examinations. It’s important that parents understand the curriculum taught by schools so they can make the best decision for their child’s future.

Quote: "We chose to send our children here due to a few reasons: the bilingual curriculum, good facilities and professional and friendly staff. It is the best bilingual school we've ever known." Cao Nguyen Minh Thi, parent at the British Vietnamese International School in Ho Chi Minh City

School Grades in Vietnam

Education in Vietnam is a state-run system of public and private education. It is run by the Ministry of Education and Training and classes in school are separated by age group or grades:



Pre-school playgroup




First grade


Second grade


Third grade


Fourth grade


Fifth grade


Sixth grade


Seventh grade


Eighth grade



Ninth grade


Tenth grade


Eleventh grade


Twelfth grade


In Vietnam, school years are divided into two semesters. The first begins in late August and ends in December. Children return to school around late January, and the second semester continues until the end of May. 

Education in Vietnam

School in Vietnam is broken down into four different stages of learning: preschool, primary school, secondary school, and high school. In this section, we will cover each in more detail, looking at subjects, assessment and learning outcomes. 

Pre-primary education

Children as young as 18 months can attend pre-school education in Vietnam through to the age of five. This level of education is not compulsory, and children do not begin to be taught until around the age of four or five, where they will begin learning the alphabet and basic arithmetic. 

Primary school 

Primary education begins for children in Vietnam at the age of six and lasts for five years. Primary school is divided into two phases.

Phase 1 is for students in grades 1, 2 and 3, where they study eight subjects: Vietnamese Language, Mathematics, Morality, Nature and Society, Arts, Physical Education and the recently added Experience Activities and Foreign Language. 

Phase 2 is for children in grades 4 and 5 and covers 11 subjects: Vietnamese Language, Mathematics, Morality, Science, History, Geography, Basic Techniques, Music, Arts, Physical Education and Experience Activities and Foreign Language. At the end of Grade 5, students are required to pass the Elementary Graduation Examination.

Secondary school

Secondary school in Vietnam includes sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth grade. It includes the following subjects and activities: Vietnamese Language, Mathematics, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, History, Geography, Civics, Foreign Language, Physical Education, Technology, Art, Music, Optional Subjects, Class Activities and School Activities and extra-curricular activities. 

Students in Grade 8 also study vocational-oriented activities. At the end of the year, they will participate in a secondary vocational exam which contributes to their mark in the 10th grade examination. Graduating students are required to pass the Intermediate Graduation Examination (IGE).

High school

Before attending high school, the Vietnamese curriculum includes an entry exam that can affect which school a student can attend. The IGE is a pre-requisite examination that tests students on six subjects, three of which are always included: Foreign Language, Mathematics, and Literature.

Subjects included in the Vietnamese curriculum in high school are:
•    Literature
•    Mathematics
•    Physics
•    Chemistry
•    Civics: Economics, Philosophy, Politics, Law and Ethics
•    Foreign Language
•    Technology: Agriculture/Horticulture, Mechanics, Electronics and Design
•    Information Technology
•    Physical Education
•    Security and Defence Education
•    Music and Art

Advanced Classes also included in the Vietnamese curriculum:
•    Natural Sciences
•    Social Sciences

Students at some schools are also given the option of enrolling in specialist classes if they pass the required entrance exam. These tests usually consist of a Mathematics exam, a Literature exam, an English exam, and an exam in the specialist subject they wish to study further. The specialist subject can be any subject included in the high school curriculum except Technology, Physical Education, Civics and Music and Art. Students studying a specialist class will need to manage a larger workload but will have an advantage when it comes to applying for universities and colleges. 

The Vietnamese curriculum includes regular end-of-term examinations and a High School Graduation Examination that students sit at the end of Grade 12. The National High School Graduation Exam is administered by the Ministry of Education and Training and includes five papers: Mathematics, Literature, Foreign Language, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences. Mathematics, Literature and Foreign Language are all mandatory, with Foreign Language being any of the following: English, French, German, Chinese, Japanese, or Russian. 

Alongside the three mandatory papers, students must complete a fourth of their choice, deciding whether they want to take the Natural Sciences (Physics, Chemistry and Biology) test or the Social Sciences (History, Geography, Civic Education) test. Passing these exams earns students a diploma called the High School Graduation Certificate which they will need to continue on to higher education in Vietnam. 

Nord Anglia Education schools in Vietnam offer the best elements of a British international education, while giving students the chance to explore Vietnamese literature, language and culture. If you’re looking for a prestigious education for your child, we have four schools in Vietnam: the British International School Hanoi, the British Vietnamese International School Hanoi, the British International School Ho Chi Minh City, and the British Vietnamese International School Ho Chi Minh City. We provide a premium education focusing on your child's needs, preparing them to thrive anywhere in the world.