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German School System

Among all the available education systems across the globe, the German education system has marked its uniqueness in various terms. The German education system is available to the children of bona fide expatriates and it further produces high-performing students. The number of German students is comparatively higher than many other education systems and countries. Looking into the broader term, when the classes, of course, are available in German, it becomes quite convenient for beginners. But when they move ahead in their life, it starts creating trouble for them. The problems are originated from the differences from state to state that can be managed through generalization.  

Kindergarten is available for children who belong to the age group of three to six years. After kindergarten education, school becomes compulsory for nine or ten years. Children from grades 1 to 4 attend elementary school. In these grades, the subjects are approximately the same. Moving ahead from the 4th grade, the subjects become different and so as their classes too. The required classification is performed according to their guardians’ preference and students’ academic ability. 

The three classifications of schools are listed –

  1. Hauptschule
  2. Realschule
  3. Gymnasium
Teachers may recommend a suitable school for the student on the basis of their academic capability. Many other factors are also important when it comes to the selection of schools like self-confidence, and comprehensions, etc. The ultimate right is reserved to the parents for the final approval of class when their children have passed the fourth grade.

Each class is briefly explained here –


Though the three classifications of classes, Hauptschule Realschule and Gymnasium, teach the same subjects, Hauptschule teach them at a slower pace and with some vocational-oriented courses. Hauptschule class includes grades from 5 to 9 and it also offers part-time enrollments to students. Students can join apprenticeship training until the age of 18 along with the vocational school on a part-time basis.  


The Realschule includes the grades from 5 to 10 in many states. The students can be a part of part-time vocational schools and higher vocational schools. Additionally, if a student has high academic achievement at the Realschule, he or she is allowed to a Gymnasium on graduation. 


The curriculum of Gymnasium may differ from school to school. It includes not only German but also, physics, chemistry, biology, geography, history, mathematics, computer science, philosophy, civics, social studies, art, craft, and design. The school leads to ‘Abitur’, which is a diploma course. Many states have adopted the curriculum to offer their students with ‘Abi’ at the end of the 12th grade. Many other states are making the transition but they still seek the 13th grade. The Gymnasium prepares the students for dual academic and vocational credentials along with their university studies.