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School that prepares students for entrance to a higher school. In Europe, where secondary education has been selective, preparatory schools have been those that catered to pupils wishing to enter the academic secondary schools. In North America, where access to secondary education has been less competitive, the term usually refers to private secondary schools that prepare students for college.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on preparatory school, visit Britannica.com.