What many international students believe is that American students spend more time on sports rather than their studies. This is a huge misconception in the minds of many.
Views of International peers
Overseas students say that valuing sports over academics is unmistakably American. They believe that American students give more value to athletic success than students in their home country. Very few believe that American students place more value on success in academics than overseas students. Many overseas students also believe that American students tend to spend less time on homework than what they spend on sports.
Foreign students also view US curriculum as far less challenging than those abroad. A survey conducted by Brookings in 2001 revealed that majority of overseas students find their US classes to be less difficult than what is being taught in their home country.
Truth to these misconceptions
The impressions that overseas students hold regarding American students don't necessarily correspond to reality. Many reports and findings show that American spent an average of 6 hours per week on their homework (2012 report from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development). This average places them ahead of the global average.
The question remains that are these misconceptions any true? Do US schools really lack behind in rigor and knowledge than their competitor countries. There might be some truth to these misconceptions.
The recent assessments conducted by the program for International Students Assessment (PISA) and the Trends in International Math and Science Study (TIMSS) showed that US was lagging behind and not a top performer anymore in with test. Developed countries like Europe and Asia were taking led from the US. The results for US were mediocre.
There has been little change in the nation's performance in fields of science and reading. US still hold the lead in these two areas, but math results are falling behind. Areas in which US seem to be excelling, many believe that a rosier picture has been depicted, but these are the facts of the results.
Though the results are falling downwards, US don’t need to worry much about its overall performance, but they need to proceed with caution.