Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Pupil and Student

Pupil vs Student

A pupil is described as a person or learner who is enrolled in an educational institution or school. It is also used to refer to someone who is under the direct supervision of a teacher because he is either a minor or has special needs.

In most parts of the world, such as England and in Asia, the term “pupil” is used to refer to schoolchildren who are in the primary and elementary grades as well as those in secondary schools.

Children in Nursery and Kindergarten are also referred to as pupils. Young people who are below eighteen years old and who are enrolled in a learning facility or institution are called by the term “pupil.” A pupil may be supervised by a teacher or a private tutor and is given lessons in every subject necessary for his learning and development. Supervision is necessary to make sure that knowledge is imparted to the pupil who needs it because of his young age.

The word pupil comes from the Old French word “pupille” which was derived from the Latin word “pupillus” which means “orphan, minor, or ward.” Its first known use was in the 14th century, and it was first used to refer to a student or disciple in the 1560s.

When a pupil enters college or a university, he is then referred to as a student. This is true in most parts of the world. But in the United States, all who are attending an educational institution are called “students” regardless of age.

A student is defined as a learner or a person who is enrolled and attends classes in an educational institution. The word is also used to refer to someone who is already a knowledgeable person but is undergoing further studies in a specific field or discipline in order to gain mastery of the subject. A student is usually already a mature person and does not need any supervision from a teacher. He is able to study and learn on his own with limited or no guidance at all unlike a pupil who needs to be guided along the way.

The word “student” comes from the Middle English word “student” or “studiant” which are from the Old French word “estudiant” meaning “one who studies.” It, in turn, came from the Latin word “studium” which means “study.”


1.A pupil refers to a young learner, usually those who are in secondary school and below, while a student refers to learners who are enrolled in a college or university.
2.A pupil usually needs supervision and guidance from a teacher because of his young age or special needs while a student does not because he can already learn and study by himself.
3.Pupils are those learners who are below 18 years old while students are those learners who are above 18 years old.

4. The word “pupil” comes from the Latin word “pupillus” which means “minor or ward” while the word “student” comes from the Latin word “stadium” which means study.

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  1. Quite correct definition. Why Australia does not abide by this is puzzling.

  2. In the US we usually say student for all ages; however pupil used to be a common term and is still used in many states’ educational codes. For example, in California law, children are still referred to as pupils

  3. The difference between pupils and students

  4. At the end of the article you accidentally put “stadium” instead of “studium”

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