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''Abitur'' () is a qualification granted at the end of
secondary education Secondary education covers two phases on the International Standard Classification of Education The International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) is a statistical framework for organizing information on education Educatio ...
in
Germany Germany (german: Deutschland, ), officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in . It is the in Europe after , and the most populous . Germany is situated between the and seas to the north, and the to the south; it covers an area of ...

Germany
,
Lithuania Lithuania (; lt, Lietuva ), officially the Republic of Lithuania ( lt, Lietuvos Respublika, links=no), is a country in the Baltic region The terms Baltic Sea Region, Baltic Rim countries (or simply Baltic Rim), and the Baltic Sea countr ...
, and
Estonia Estonia ( et, Eesti ), officially the Republic of Estonia ( et, Eesti Vabariik, links=no), is a country in northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland across from Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea across from Sweden ...

Estonia
. It is conferred on students who pass their final exams at the end of ISCED 3, usually after twelve or thirteen years of schooling (see also, for Germany, ''Abitur'' after twelve years). In German, the term has roots in the archaic word , which in turn was derived from the
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an appa ...

Latin
(future active participle of , thus "someone who is going to leave"). As a
matriculation examination A matriculation examination or matriculation exam is a university entrance examination Entrance generally refers to the place of entering like a gate or door, or the permission to do so. Entrance may also refer to: * ''Entrance'' (album), a 19 ...
, ''Abitur'' can be compared to
A level#REDIRECT A-Level The A Level (Advanced Level) is a subject-based qualification conferred as part of the General Certificate of Education, as well as a school leaving qualification offered by the educational bodies in the United Kingdom and the ...
s, the ''
Matura ''Matura'' or its translated terms (''Mature'', ''Matur'', ''Maturita'', ''Maturità'', ''Maturität'', ''Maturité'', ''Mатура'', ''Érettségi'') is a Latin name for the secondary school A secondary school describes an institution tha ...

Matura
'' or the
International Baccalaureate Diploma The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) is a two-year educational programme primarily aimed at 16-to-19-year-olds in 140 countries around the world. The programme provides an internationally accepted qualification for entry int ...
, which are all ranked as level 4 in the
European Qualifications Framework The European Qualifications Framework (EQF) acts as a translation device to make national qualifications more readable across Europe, promoting workers' and learners' mobility between countries and facilitating their lifelong learning. The EQF ai ...
.


In Germany


Overview

The ("certificate of general qualification for university entrance"), often referred to as ("''Abitur'' certificate"), issued after candidates have passed their final exams and have had appropriate grades in both the last and second last school year, is the document which contains their grades and formally enables them to attend
university A university () is an educational institution, institution of higher education, higher (or Tertiary education, tertiary) education and research which awards academic degrees in several Discipline (academia), academic disciplines. Universities typ ...

university
. Thus, it encompasses the functions of both a school graduation certificate and a college entrance exam. The official term in Germany for this certificate of education is ; the contraction ''Abi'' is common in colloquial usage. In 2005, a total of 231,465 students passed the ''Abitur'' exam in Germany. The numbers have risen steadily and in 2012, a total of 305,172 students obtained the ''Allgemeine Hochschulreife''. This number, reflecting those who pass the traditional ''Abitur'' at their high school, is, however, lower than the total count. Adding (for 2012) the 51,912 students who obtained the ''Hochschulreife'' at vocational training schools, that total number increases to 357,084. If those who obtain the ''Fachhochschulreife'' (144,399 in 2012) are also added, then the total of those who obtained the right to study at a university or a ''Fachhochschule'' is 501,483 (2012).


History

Until the eighteenth century, every German university had its own entrance examination. In 1788
Prussia Prussia, , Old Prussian Distribution of the Baltic tribes, circa 1200 CE (boundaries are approximate). Old Prussian was a Western Baltic language belonging to the Balto-Slavic branch of the Indo-European languages The Indo-Europ ...

Prussia
introduced the , a law, for the first time within Germany, establishing the ''Abitur'' as an official qualification. It was later also established in the other German states. In 1834, it became the only university entrance exam in Prussia, and it remained so in all
states of Germany The Federal Republic of Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , languages_type = Official language , languages = German language, German , d ...

states of Germany
until 2004. Since then, the German state of
Hesse Hesse (, , ) or Hessia (, ; german: Hessen ), officially the State of Hessen (german: links=no, Land Hessen), is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U. ...
allows students with ''Fachhochschulreife'' (see below) to study at the universities within that state.


Equivalency

The academic level of the ''Abitur'' is comparable to the
International Baccalaureate The International Baccalaureate (IB), formerly known as the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO), is a nonprofit A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit insti ...
, the
GCE Advanced Level#REDIRECT GCE Advanced Level The A Level (Advanced Level) is a subject-based qualification conferred as part of the General Certificate of Education, as well as a school leaving qualificationA school leaving qualification is an academic qualificat ...
and the Advanced Placement tests. Indeed, the study requirements for the International Baccalaureate differ little from the German exam requirements. It is the only school-leaving certificate in all states of Germany that allows the graduate (or ''Abiturient'') to move directly to
university A university () is an educational institution, institution of higher education, higher (or Tertiary education, tertiary) education and research which awards academic degrees in several Discipline (academia), academic disciplines. Universities typ ...

university
. The other school leaving certificates, the ''
Hauptschulabschluss The Hauptschulabschluss (), Berufsreife or Berufsbildungsreife () is a school leaving certificate in Germany. The Hauptschulabschluss may be awarded to students who graduate from a Hauptschule or Abendhauptschule. It may also be awarded to students ...
'' and the ''
Realschulabschluss The Mittlere Reife (, lit. ''"Middle Maturity"'') is a School leaving qualification, school-leaving certificate in Germany that is usually awarded after ten years of schooling. It is roughly comparable with the British GCSE. The official name vari ...
'', do not allow their holders to matriculate at a university. Those granted certificates of ''Hauptschulabschluss'' or ''Realschulabschluss'' can gain a specialized ''Fachhochschulreife'' or an ''Abitur'' if they graduate from a ''Berufsschule'' and then attend ''
Berufsoberschule Berufsoberschule (, "Upper Vocational School") is an optional part of the German education system, and is an additional way to be allowed at university for students who didn't get an Abitur ''Abitur'' () is a qualification granted at the end of ...
'' or graduate from a ''Fachoberschule''. However, the ''Abitur'' is not the only path to university studies, as some universities set up their own entrance examinations. Students who successfully passed a "
Begabtenprüfung The ''Begabtenprüfung'' (, "aptitude examination", literally "examination of the gifted") is a Tertiary education, college admission examination in Germany which provides an alternative to the Abitur or qualifies the student for a "field-specific A ...
" ("test of aptitude") are also eligible. Students from other countries who hold a high school leaving certificate that is not counted as being equivalent to the ''Abitur'' (such as the American high school diploma) and who do well enough on the ACT or
SAT
SAT
test, may also enter German universities. A person who does not hold the ''Abitur'' and did not take an aptitude test may still be admitted to university by completing at least the 10th grade and doing well on an IQ test (see:
Hochbegabtenstudium The Hochbegabtenstudium (, "College for the talented") is a programme in Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , languages_type = Official languag ...
).


Other qualifications called ''Abitur'' in colloquial usage

In German, the
European Baccalaureate The European Baccalaureate (or EB) is a bilingual educational diploma A diploma is a certificate or deed issued by an educational institution, such as college or university, that testifies that the recipient has successfully completed a particul ...
is called ''europäisches Abitur,'' and the
International Baccalaureate The International Baccalaureate (IB), formerly known as the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO), is a nonprofit A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit insti ...
is called ''internationales Abitur,'' both not to be confused with the German ''Abitur''. The term ''Fachabitur'' was used in all of Western Germany for a variation of the ''Abitur'' until the 1990s; the official term for the German qualification is ''fachgebundene Hochschulreife''. This qualification includes only one foreign language (usually, English). The ''Abitur'', in contrast, usually requires two foreign languages. The ''Fachabitur'' also allows the graduate to start studying at a university but is limited to a specified range of majors, depending on the specific subjects covered in his ''Fachabitur'' examinations. But the graduate is allowed to study for all majors at a ''
Fachhochschule A ''Fachhochschule'' (; plural ''Fachhochschulen''), abbreviated FH, or University of Applied Sciences (UAS) is a German tertiary education institution that specializes in a particular applied science or applied art, such as engineering, technol ...

Fachhochschule
'' (University of Applied Sciences, in some ways comparable to
polytechnics
polytechnics
). Today, the school leaving certificate is called ''fachgebundenes Abitur'' ('restricted subject ''Abitur')''. Now the term ''Fachabitur'' is used in most parts of Germany for the ''Fachhochschulreife (FHR)''. It was introduced in
West Germany West Germany is the common English name for the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG; german: Bundesrepublik Deutschland , BRD) between its formation on 23 May 1949 and the German reunification German reunification (german: Deutsche Wieder ...
in the 1970s together with the ''
Fachhochschule A ''Fachhochschule'' (; plural ''Fachhochschulen''), abbreviated FH, or University of Applied Sciences (UAS) is a German tertiary education institution that specializes in a particular applied science or applied art, such as engineering, technol ...

Fachhochschule
n''. It enables the graduate to start studying at a ''Fachhochschule'' and, in Hesse, also at a university within that state. In the
Gymnasium Gymnasium may refer to: *Gymnasium (ancient Greece), educational and sporting institution *Gymnasium (school), type of secondary school that prepares students for higher education **Gymnasium (Denmark) **Gymnasium (Germany) **Gymnasium UNT, high ...
s of some states it is awarded in the year before the ''Abitur'' is reached. However, the normal way to obtain ''Fachhochschulreife'' is graduation from a German ''Fachoberschule'', a vocational high school, also introduced in the 1970s. The term ''Notabitur'' ('emergency ''Abitur) describes a qualification used only during
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
and
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
. It was granted to male German ''Gymnasium'' students who voluntarily enlisted for military service before graduation as well as young women who were evacuated from the major cities before they could complete their ''Gymnasium'' education as planned (approximately three to five million children and teenagers had to be evacuated during the war). The ''Notabitur'' during World War I included an examination, roughly equivalent to the ''Abitur'' exam. The World War II ''Notabitur'', in contrast, was granted without an examination. After the war this was a major disadvantage for the students concerned since, unlike its World War I counterpart, the certificate was generally not recognised in
West Germany West Germany is the common English name for the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG; german: Bundesrepublik Deutschland , BRD) between its formation on 23 May 1949 and the German reunification German reunification (german: Deutsche Wieder ...
and never recognised in
East Germany East Germany, officially the German Democratic Republic (GDR; german: Deutsche Demokratische Republik, , DDR, ), was a state that existed from 1949 to 1990 in eastern Eastern may refer to: Transportation *China Eastern Airlines, a current ...
. Universities requested the ''Abitur'' to consist of written exams including at least two foreign languages (almost always Latin and French, the latter sometimes replaced by English). Students, who received the ''Notabitur'' during World War II were offered to re-enter school to prepare for and take the exam after the war had ended. Those special ''Abitur'' preparation classes were made up of young adults of different age and sex, which was very unusual at the time.


Equivalent high school graduation certificate in other countries

The equivalent graduation certificate in the
Czech Republic The Czech Republic, also known by its short-form name Czechia and formerly known as Bohemia, is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is bordered by Austria to the south, Germany to the west, Poland to the northeast, and Slovakia to ...
,
Austria Austria (, ; german: Österreich ), officially the Republic of Austria (german: Republik Österreich, links=no, ), is a landlocked Eastern Alps, East Alpine country in the southern part of Central Europe. It is composed of nine States o ...

Austria
,
Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Poland, administrative provinces, covering an area of , and has a largely Temperate climate, temperate seasonal cli ...

Poland
and other countries of
continental Europe Continental Europe or mainland Europe is the contiguous continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', lite ...

continental Europe
is the ''
Matura ''Matura'' or its translated terms (''Mature'', ''Matur'', ''Maturita'', ''Maturità'', ''Maturität'', ''Maturité'', ''Mатура'', ''Érettségi'') is a Latin name for the secondary school A secondary school describes an institution tha ...

Matura
''; while in England,
Wales Wales ( cy, Cymru ) is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It is bordered by England to the Wales–England border, east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, and the Bristol Channel to the south. It ...

Wales
,
Northern Ireland Northern Ireland ( ga, Tuaisceart Éireann ; sco, label=Ulster-ScotsUlster Scots, also known as Scotch-Irish, may refer to: * Ulster Scots people The Ulster Scots (Ulster-Scots The Ulster Scots (Ulster Scots dialects, Ulster- ...

Northern Ireland
,
Hong Kong Hong Kong (; , ), officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (HKSAR), is a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Pe ...

Hong Kong
,
Singapore Singapore (), officially the Republic of Singapore, is a sovereign state, sovereign island city-state in maritime Southeast Asia. It lies about one degree of latitude () north of the equator, off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, bor ...

Singapore
, and the
West Indies The West Indies are a subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, in ...
, it is
A-levels#REDIRECT A-Level The A Level (Advanced Level) is a subject-based qualification conferred as part of the General Certificate of Education, as well as a school leaving qualification offered by the educational bodies in the United Kingdom and the ...
; in
Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba Alba (Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig or Scots Gaelic, sometimes referred to simply as Gaelic) is a Goidelic language (in the Celtic languages, Celtic branch of the Indo-European ...

Scotland
it is
Higher Grade In the Scottish secondary education system, the Higher () is one of the national school-leaving certificate exams and university entrance qualifications of the Scottish Qualifications Certificate (SQC) offered by the Scottish Qualifications Au ...
; in the
Republic of Ireland Ireland ( ga, Éire ), also known as the Republic of Ireland ('), is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective id ...

Republic of Ireland
it is the
Leaving CertificateA secondary school leaving qualification is a document signifying that the holder has fulfilled any secondary education requirements of their locality, often including the passage of a final qualification examination. For each leaving certificate ...
; in
Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeastern Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geogr ...

Greece
and
Cyprus Cyprus ; tr, Kıbrıs (), officially called the Republic of Cyprus,, , lit: Republic of Cyprus is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or poli ...

Cyprus
it is the "
apolytirionApolyterio ( el, Απολυτήριο; in Dhimotiki, demotike, 1976–present) or phased out Apolytirion (; in polytonic, katharevousa, up until 1976) is the official senior secondary education school completion Certificate (graduation qualification) ...
" (a kind of high school diploma); in
Malta Malta ( , , ), officially known as the Republic of Malta ( mt, Repubblika ta' Malta ) and formerly Melita, is a Southern European island country consisting of an archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea. It lies south of Italy, east of Tunisi ...

Malta
it is the Matriculation Certificate (MATSEC), in
Hungary Hungary ( hu, Magyarország ) is a in . Spanning of the , it is bordered by to the north, to the northeast, to the east and southeast, to the south, and to the southwest and to the west. Hungary has a population of 10 million, mostl ...

Hungary
it is called "érettségi bizonyítvány" roughly equivalent with the German phrase ''Zeugnis der Allgemeinen Hochschulreife'' as it originates from the Austrian-Hungarian Monarchy. In Australia, the graduation certificate awarded to high school students is the
Senior Secondary Certificate of Education The Senior Secondary Certificate of Education (SSCE) is the graduation certificate awarded to most students in Australian high school A secondary school describes an institution that provides secondary education and also usually includes the buil ...
(SSCE). However, the name of the SSCE varies from state to state. In Victoria, it is called the
Victorian Certificate of Education The Victorian Certificate of Education (often abbreviated VCE) is one credential available to secondary education, secondary school students who successfully complete year 11 and 12 in the Australia, Australian state of Victoria (Australia), Victo ...
(VCE); in New South Wales it is called the Higher Schools Certificate (HSC). In India various states name it differently. Each Indian state has its own examination board, some individual states having their own entrance test system. Passing the specified examination qualifies the student to enter into undergraduate program in a university. For example, in the states of
Andhra Pradesh Andhra Pradesh (English: Telugu: ) is a States and union territories of India, state in the south-eastern Coastal India, coastal region of India. It is the List of states and union territories of India by area, seventh-largest state by area c ...

Andhra Pradesh
and
Telangana Telangana (, , ) is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspape ...

Telangana
this is known as Board of Intermediate Examination (BIE). For professional, specialist programs and well reputed institutions there are entrance tests. For engineering there is a Joint Engineering Entrance
Joint Entrance Examination The Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) is an engineering entrance assessment conducted for admission to various engineering colleges in India India (Hindi: ), officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is ...
conducted at all India level. For medical undergraduate
MBBS Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, or in la, Medicinae Baccalaureus Baccalaureus Chirurgiae (abbreviated in many ways, e.g. MBBS, MB ChB, MB BCh, MB BChir (Cantab), BM BCh (Oxon), BMBS), are the two bachelor degrees in medicine and su ...
programs there is a national eligibility and entrance test known as NEET-UG National Eligibility and Entrance Test conducted at all of India. There is also an all India level examination conducted by Central Board of Secondary education CBSE the certification is known as Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC).


Exams

During the final examinations (''Abiturprüfungen''), students are tested in four or five subjects (at least one of which is oral). Procedures vary by
state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, Un ...

state
. Although some tested subjects are chosen by the student, three areas must be covered: * Language, literature and the arts ** German, Sorbian (in Saxony and Brandenburg), foreign languages (typically English, French, Latin, Ancient Greek, Spanish, Italian or Russian; rarely Dutch, Chinese, Japanese, Ancient Hebrew, Turkish, Modern Greek, Portuguese or Polish). ** Music, visual or performing arts, literature * Social sciences **
Political science Political science is the scientific study of politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions In psychology, decision-making (also spelled decision making and decisionmaking) is regarded as ...
,
history History (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approxima ...

history
,
geography Geography (from Ancient Greek, Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth and Solar System, planets. The first person t ...

geography
,
economics Economics () is a social science that studies the Production (economics), production, distribution (economics), distribution, and Consumption (economics), consumption of goods and services. Economics focuses on the behaviour and interact ...

economics
**
Psychology Psychology is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is an occurrence in the real world. ...

Psychology
,
philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about Metaphysics, existence, reason, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mind, and Philosophy of language, language. Such questio ...

philosophy
,
religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and whether the exchange is voluntary/involuntary. Etymology ...

religion
,
ethics Ethics or moral philosophy is a branch of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about Metaphysics, existence, reason, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, ...

ethics
* Mathematics, natural sciences and technology **
Mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and their changes (cal ...
,
physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its Elementary particle, fundamental constituents, its Motion (physics), motion and behavior through Spacetime, space and time, and the related entities of energy and force. "Physical scie ...

physics
,
chemistry Chemistry is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is an occurrence in the real world. T ...

chemistry
,
biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interactions, Physiology, physiological mechanisms, Development ...

biology
**
Computer science Computer science deals with the theoretical foundations of information, algorithms and the architectures of its computation as well as practical techniques for their application. Computer science is the study of computation, automation, a ...
,
technology Technology ("science of craft", from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. I ...

technology
,
nutritional science Nutritional science (also nutrition science, sometimes short ''nutrition'', dated trophology) is the science that studies the physiological process of nutrition (primarily human nutrition), interpreting the nutrients and other substances in food i ...
* Sports Occasionally, schools (especially '' berufsorientierte Gymnasien'') offer vocational subjects such as
pedagogy Pedagogy (), most commonly understood as the approach to teaching, is the theory and practice of learning Learning is the process of acquiring new , , s, s, , attitudes, and s. The ability to learn is possessed by s, s, and some ; there is ...
,
business informaticsBusiness informatics (BI) is a discipline combining economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with value; in particular, the Production (economics), production, distribution (economics), distribution, and ...
,
biotechnology Biotechnology is a broad area of biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interactions, Phy ...

biotechnology
and
mechanical engineering Mechanical engineering is an engineering Engineering is the use of scientific principles to design and build machines, structures, and other items, including bridges, tunnels, roads, vehicles, and buildings. The discipline of engineerin ...

mechanical engineering
. Final exams are usually taken from March to May or June. Each written basic-level examination takes about three hours; advanced-level examinations take four-and-a-half hours, and written exams are in essay format. Oral examinations last about 20 min. Papers are graded by at least two teachers at the school. In some parts of Germany students may prepare a presentation, research paper or participate in a competition, and may take additional oral exams to pass the ''Abitur'' if the written exam is poor. Before
reunification A political union is a type of state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily new ...
, ''Abitur'' exams were given locally in
West Germany West Germany is the common English name for the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG; german: Bundesrepublik Deutschland , BRD) between its formation on 23 May 1949 and the German reunification German reunification (german: Deutsche Wieder ...
, but Bavaria has conducted centralized exams ('' Zentralabitur'') since 1854. After reunification, most states of the former
East Germany East Germany, officially the German Democratic Republic (GDR; german: Deutsche Demokratische Republik, , DDR, ), was a state that existed from 1949 to 1990 in eastern Eastern may refer to: Transportation *China Eastern Airlines, a current ...
continued centralized exams, and at the beginning of the 21st century, many states adopted centralized exams. In 2013, all other states except
Rheinland-Pfalz Rhineland-Palatinate (german: Rheinland-Pfalz, ) is a western state of Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , languages_type = Official language ...
also introduced centralized written exams at least in the core subjects (German, mathematics and the first foreign language, usually English). The exams are structured as follows: * German: Choose 1 out of 3 tasks. Topics are usually
lyric poetry Modern lyric poetry is a formal type of poetry which expresses personal emotions or feelings, typically spoken in the first person. It is not equivalent to song lyrics, though song lyrics are often in the lyric mode, and it is also ''not'' equi ...
, classic and contemporary literature or linguistics (history and changes to the language). Each task is usually divided into two or three parts. * English: Choose 1 out of 3 tasks. Topics may vary but are usually connected to personal identity and
multiculturalism The term multiculturalism has a range of meanings within the contexts of sociology Sociology is a social science Social science is the branch The branches and leaves of a tree. A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes r ...

multiculturalism
,
science Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is something that is truth, true. The usual test for a statement of ...

science
and
technology Technology ("science of craft", from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. I ...

technology
or environmental change and
globalization Globalization, or globalisation (Commonwealth English The use of the English language English is a of the , originally spoken by the inhabitants of . It is named after the , one of the ancient that migrated from , a peninsu ...

globalization
(politics, economy and culture). Classical literature is rarely taught, and students primarily deal with literature of the last century. Each task consists of three parts: comprehension (summary), analysis and interpretation and commentary and discussion. * Mathematics: Choose three of six tasks, one in each area:
differential and integral calculus Calculus, originally called infinitesimal calculus or "the calculus of infinitesimal In mathematics, infinitesimals or infinitesimal numbers are quantities that are closer to zero than any standard real number, but are not zero. They do not ex ...

differential and integral calculus
,
analytic geometry In classical mathematics, analytic geometry, also known as coordinate geometry or Cartesian geometry, is the study of geometry Geometry (from the grc, γεωμετρία; ' "earth", ' "measurement") is, with , one of the oldest branches ...
and
linear algebra Linear algebra is the branch of mathematics concerning linear equations such as: :a_1x_1+\cdots +a_nx_n=b, linear maps such as: :(x_1, \ldots, x_n) \mapsto a_1x_1+\cdots +a_nx_n, and their representations in vector spaces and through matrix (mat ...
and
probability theory Probability theory is the branch of mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are containe ...
. Each task is usually split into five or six smaller tasks. The ''
Kultusministerkonferenz The ''Kultusministerkonferenz'' (literally ''conference of ministers of education'') is the assembly of ministers of education of the States of Germany, German states. The body is not part of the federal government, and its directives do not immed ...
'' (KMK) of several states expanded the exams to scientific subjects and the social sciences. The physics and chemistry exams include an experiment that must be performed and analyzed.


Scoring

Each semester of a subject studied in the final two years yields up to 15 points for a student, where advanced courses count double. The final examinations each count quadruple. The exact scoring system depends on the Bundesland, in which one takes Abitur. Passing the ''Abitur'' usually requires a composite score of at least 50%. Students with a score below that minimum fail and do not receive an ''Abitur''. There are some other conditions that the student also has to meet in order to receive the ''Abitur'': taking mandatory courses in selected subject areas, and limits to the number of failing grades in core subjects. Finally, students often have the option of omitting some courses from their composite score if they have taken more courses than the minimum required. The best possible grade of 1.0 can be achieved if the score ranges between 823 and 900 points; the fraction of students achieving this score is normally only around 0.2%–3% even among the already selective population of ''Abitur'' candidates. Around 12%–30% of ''Abitur'' candidates achieve grades between 1.0 and 1.9.


Statistics

Historically, very few people received their ''Abitur'' in Germany because many attractive jobs did not require one. The number of persons holding the ''Abitur'' has steadily increased since the 1970s, and younger jobholders are more likely to hold the ''Abitur'' than older ones. The percentage of students qualified for tertiary education is still lower than the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, OECD average. Percentage of students graduating with Abitur or FHR (''Studienberechtigtenquote''): ''Percentage of jobholders holding ''
Hauptschulabschluss The Hauptschulabschluss (), Berufsreife or Berufsbildungsreife () is a school leaving certificate in Germany. The Hauptschulabschluss may be awarded to students who graduate from a Hauptschule or Abendhauptschule. It may also be awarded to students ...
'', ''
Realschulabschluss The Mittlere Reife (, lit. ''"Middle Maturity"'') is a School leaving qualification, school-leaving certificate in Germany that is usually awarded after ten years of schooling. It is roughly comparable with the British GCSE. The official name vari ...
'' or ''Abitur'' in Germany:''


The International Abitur

The International Abitur is offered at schools outside Germany that are accredited by the German government. The five Abitur exams (three written exams and two oral exams) are in the following subjects: German literature, European history or economics or mathematics or a natural science or a language. In February of senior year (grade 12), all students take the written examinations for the German International Abitur in three subjects including German. In late spring, students have mandatory oral examinations in two subjects, which are overseen by a German educational official. The final GPA includes grades from both junior and senior years, as well as for the five Abitur exams. The final diploma that students receive after successful completion of these exams allows them to qualify for admission to universities in Germany.


See also

* Education in Germany * Abitur after twelve years


References

{{Authority control Education in Germany Standardized tests Secondary school qualifications