Middle school at Realschule, Gymnasium and comprehensive school

The secondary school leaving certificate is the prerequisite for numerous training occupations. But even if your child wants to attend the upper level at a grammar school, it must prove that it has passed the secondary school leaving certificate. Here you can find out everything you need to know about the secondary school leaving certificate.

Intermediate maturity: what is it?

As the name suggests, the Mittlere Reife is an intermediate educational qualification that students can complete in Germany. The following school types offer your child the opportunity to finish school after the tenth grade with the secondary school leaving certificate:

However, there are also some vocational schools that offer their students the opportunity to catch up on their secondary school leaving certificate. The secondary school leaving certificate is an important prerequisite for many apprenticeships and also enables you to attend the upper level at a grammar school or comprehensive school if your child wants to do a higher degree. In some federal states, the terms technical college entrance qualification, lower secondary qualification or middle school certificate are also used instead of the term “middle school”.

Middle school with qualification

In some federal states it is regulated that not every pupil with the middle school certificate can switch to the upper level at the grammar school. Pupils can either do the simple intermediate school leaving certificate or the intermediate certificate with qualification for the upper secondary school level. To qualify, your child must have an average grade of at least 3.0 in the final exam if they want to go to high school afterwards.

Middle school exam

The final exam for the secondary school certificate takes place at the end of the tenth grade at Realschule and comprehensive schools. In some federal states, however, high school students also have to take this exam, for example in North Rhine-Westphalia, Brandenburg and Berlin. With the exception of Rhineland-Palatinate, the examination for the secondary school leaving certificate is set centrally in the individual federal states by the respective Ministry of Education.

Each federal state regulates the exact procedure of the test differently. Usually, however, the students write a thesis in German, math and English or another foreign language. In Bavaria, students are also tested in another optional subject, for example in the field of natural sciences or foreign languages. Sometimes the pupils are also given an oral exam in the middle school examination or they have to do a project.

Didn’t pass the middle school exam?

The students who successfully pass this final exam have obtained the secondary school leaving certificate. Anyone who does not pass the exam but has nevertheless completed the tenth grade leaves the school with an extended secondary school leaving certificate .

Middle school – and now?

When your child has reached secondary school, there are various ways to start their professional life. The secondary school leaving certificate is an important prerequisite both for the upper level at the grammar school and for many professions in the technical, social or commercial areas. Your child has these options after secondary school:

  • vocational training
  • trial internship
  • Voluntary social year
  • High school diploma or vocational diploma
  • Obtain additional qualifications through special further training

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