Schooling system in Germany

Schooling system in Germany

There is a good reason why the Schooling system in Germany has such a good reputation. Whether elementary, secondary, or vocational, public schools in Germany usually do not charge students tuition fees. People from all around the world can take advantage of the high-quality studies and excellent schooling system in Germany.

The system is well-organized and intended for easy use to ensure that all students can complete their undergraduate degrees regardless of their family’s financial situation. If you’re a student seeking to enroll yourself in one of the many top institutions in Germany, we’ve got you covered with everything you need to know about Schooling system in Germany. Let’s dive deep into the detailed application procedures and the schooling system in Germany for international students.

An Overview On The Schooling System in Germany

In Germany, the laws and restrictions of compulsory schooling are derived from the country’s founding document, the Grundgesetz (the German fundamental national law). Preschool, primary, secondary, and tertiary education are the four tiers that make up the German education system.

At the primary and secondary levels, all children between six and 15 must attend full-time education. However, German education typically ends at the age of 18 years old. Every stage of the educational process includes rigorous testing and evaluation of the students. If a student fails to earn the minimum grade in two or more classes, they must repeat the entire year.

Since home-schooling is against the law in Germany, this is not an option available to anybody interested in it. Keep reading if you want to learn more about Germany’s different types of schools.

Preschool Schooling System in Germany(kinderkrippe)

Preschool is not considered a part of the formal education system; nonetheless, most parents still believe it to be essential. In contrast to the rest of the educational system, Preschools are primarily run by religious or non-profit organizations. As a result, they frequently impose fees.

Many prominent preschools have large waiting lists due to a lack of available space. The earlier you enroll your child in preschool, the better, especially if you intend to send them there before they must attend public school. Children ages three to six can participate in kindergarten courses.

Even if enrolling your children in kindergarten is entirely voluntary, doing so continues to be a common choice. They offer a fantastic opportunity for children living abroad to interact with German peers, both socially and educationally, and gain exposure to the German language and culture.

Primary education Schooling System in Germany(Grundschule)

The German education system mandates that all children be in school by turning six years old. When a kid turns six, they are eligible to start Grundschule in the fall of the same year. Teachers in the fourth grade will recommend which educational track the kid should follow in the fifth grade and beyond.

Although the instructor is allowed to provide suggestions, it is ultimately up to the parents to decide what should happen. Children are not assigned to certain public schools by the district in which they live. This indicates that parents can choose from a variety of educational options.

Secondary education in Germany

When they attend secondary school, usually between the ages of 10 and 12, children are placed into one of three distinct streams. These provide a variety of courses and qualifications leading to higher education, be it academic or vocational. Because it is easy to switch between tracks, it is conceivable for every student to graduate with any qualification. The three distinct classifications of streams are as follows:


The least academically challenging of the three programs, Hauptschule, is for students who will pursue trades and industrial jobs. Many students in this program complete their final years by working part-time as apprentices.

Students typically graduate from the Hauptschule in the ninth or tenth grade, and some may continue their education after the tenth year to complete a Realschulabschluss. This involves studying at the Realschule, which allows students to attend a Berufsschule for a technical or advanced apprenticeship.


This is a more theoretical education than a Realschule, where students must acquire two foreign languages and advanced science and mathematics. After completing a series of written and oral examinations, students are eligible to receive an Abitur at the end of either grade 12 or grade 13.

Students will be able to apply for different college courses based on how well they did on their Abitur.


This is Germany’s academic common way, although it offers a high-level education equivalent to many English-speaking high schools. Approximately 35 percent of German students attend the Realschule, where they must study a single language for at least five years. In the tenth grade, students take a test known as the Mittlere Reife to demonstrate that they have met the requirements necessary to graduate from the Realschule. After graduating, students may be able to study for another three years to acquire a university degree

How to apply?

The enrollment process for primary schools in Germany begins relatively early. They typically start anywhere from six to eleven months before the beginning of the academic year. Generally speaking, the state school that serves your neighborhood will send you an invitation to register for classes.

The year before your child is scheduled to start, many schools offer open houses in the late fall, allowing you to look around before committing to a place. Overall, a kid can begin kindergarten in the fall of the same year they turn six; however, many German states have earlier cut-off dates. This means that if your child was born late in the year, they might have to wait until the next year or take a test (Einschulungsuntersuchung) before starting school.

Depending on how your state handles the process, you will likely receive an application form from the local school, which you must fill out and submit back to the school or mail in.

Necessary documents for admission to schools

In most cases, you will be required to submit your child’s:

  • Passport
  • Birth certificate
  • Proof of residency

To ensure that your child is physically and cognitively capable of attending school, they will undergo a medical exam. You must apply for a spot at a new school if you wish to transfer your child there, and you will typically be required to show that you have a solid connection to the surrounding community.

Changing schools usually necessitates first registering at the current school and then completing an application form. You can submit this application to the municipal government that serves your area.

Bottom Line

The primary distinction between the numerous kinds of educational institutions found in Germany is the focus of their teaching. For example, students can choose to study in various fields at the university, whereas schools and specialized institutes focus on a single area of expertise. Students at schools not only learn theory but also get hands-on experience in the field they are studying.

If you are thinking about where you can acquire a good education, you should pay close attention to the education system in Germany.

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  1. Hello Everyone !!
    Due to offical reason i am shifting to Berlin city ,near Kleinmachnow area with my family.
    please suggest any good school near above Kleinmachnow area for my 5 year old daughter .