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A year level , also class level , in Austria and Switzerland school level , denotes the totality of classes or courses that started school in the same year or belong to the same learning section.

Situation in different states


Educational pathways of the German education system

In Germany, there are up to 13 grades in schools , depending on the respective federal state . The first to fourth grades - in Berlin and Brandenburg the first to sixth grades - are called primary school .

This is followed by grades five to ten, which are summarized as secondary level I and can be attended either at a grammar school , a secondary school or a secondary school (only up to grade 9).

This in turn is followed by the upper secondary level , which comprises grades 11-12 or 13 and which can be attended at a grammar school, vocational grammar school , a technical college or occasionally at a comprehensive school .


The division of school classes according to the age of the students established itself in the course of the 17th and 18th centuries, while the level of education of the student was of decisive importance before that. In the 19th century, for example, the nine-year grammar school was introduced in Prussia , which required pre-school ; from 1925, under the Reich Primary School Act , a comparable basic education had to be provided by the elementary school .

From Sextaner to Primaner

The different age groups used to be designated above the four primary school classes with Latin numerals in the nominative singular feminine. The next class was the sixth (= year 5), then the quinta (= year 6), quarta (= year 7), lower tertia (= year 8), upper tertia (= year 9), lower secondary (= year 10), upper secondary (= Year 11), lower prima (= year 12) up to the upper prima (= year 13). The grades of the originally six-stage grammar schools were counted down from the top, starting with the upper prima as the final class. As is the case today after secondary level I, as a one-year- old you could graduate from the lower secondary school (often abbreviated to UII or U2) or with the Abitur after the upper prima (OI or O1).

Current and previous name

In the course of the standardization of the German school system through the so-called Hamburg Agreement in 1964, the Prime Ministers of the federal states decided to abolish the previously customary counting of the classes of a grammar school, starting with the first grade and ending with the ninth grade. The full implementation of the resolution then took until the end of the 1970s. Since then, the counting of the grade level has generally been continued away from primary school.

System of the GDR

The school system of the German Democratic Republic was, like most of the current school system in Germany, divided into twelve grades, whereby a qualification could be obtained either after the tenth or after the twelfth grade. These were grouped under certain general terms, the names of which were changed four times from 1946 to 1971, until this principle was abolished in 1982.

Changes in the division of grades in the GDR 1946–1982
1946-1959 1959-1968 1968-1971 1971-1982 from 1982
Grades 1–4 Lower grade of elementary
or middle school
Lower level of the polytechnic high school Poly-technical high school
Grades 5–10 Upper level of elementary
or middle school (5–8 or 5–10)
Upper level of the polytechnic high school
Upper secondary school (9-10)
Upper level of the extended high school Preparatory classes at the extended secondary school
Grades 11–12 Abitur level of high school Abitur level of the extended high school Advanced high school


The different school types in Austria, systematic structure, colored according to ISCED

The numbering of the school levels in Austria is continuously from one to twelve (general) or thirteen (vocational schools and special forms). The numbering of the vintages and classes, however, is dependent on the visited school and starts over again from one. A pupil goes back to first class when transitioning to the next type of school, for example from fourth grade elementary school to a general secondary school (AHS) , as well as later in their own upper school or technical schools. If there is ambiguity, the school type is added, such as "eighth grade middle school / AHS" (12th grade, year of Matura).

In Austria, the elementary level is the preschool (0th grade, elementary level I ) and grades 1–4.

The lower grades 5–8 of the AHS (1st – 4th grade). This lower secondary level also includes the other middle level schools - Hauptschule and Neue Mittelschule , and some special forms for special educational needs.

As the upper level, the grades 9–12 of the AHS (5th – 8th grade or 1st – 4th grade of an ORG Oberstufenrealgymnasium ). At the vocational schools  (BMHS) one uses the term `` grades '' (i.e. 1st to 5th year).

In addition, in the curriculum of the AHS, the lesson table 1./2. Grade (5th / 6th grade), 3rd / 4th grade Grade (7th / 8th grade), and 5th- 8th grade Class (upper level) differentiated. You have defined educational goals that can be covered with subjects within the framework of school autonomy , and still make it easier to change schools at the age of 12 or 14.

At the normal age of 16 (10th / 11th grade) there is no significant break in the education system in Austria, at 15 (end of 9th grade) only the end of compulsory education , in which the general compulsory schools end with the polytechnic and special schools .

The historical Latin year names of the middle and higher schools ran in the same direction, i.e. opposite to the German or Swiss classification. They started in today's 5th level (around 10 years of age) with the Prima and continued with the Seconda, Tertia, Quarta, Quinta, Sexta, Septima up to the Octava with the Matura There was no subdivision into "Upper ~" and "Under ~".


Educational pathways in Switzerland

In Switzerland there are twelve grades, which are classified into the three superordinate levels of primary level, lower secondary level and upper secondary level II. The primary level comprises grades 1–6, in some cantons 1–4 . Secondary level I can be completed at a Realschule , Secondary School , District School or Progymnasium and includes grades 7–9. Upper secondary level includes grades 10–12 and can be completed at a grammar school , a cantonal school or a vocational school .

There are also designations that were common in individual cantons or are still used today: For example, the designation secondary for the eleventh grade of the grammar school or Oberprima for the former 13th grade in the grammar school.

The historical year names ran like in Germany.

Web links

Wiktionary: Numerical  terms : School levels / grades / class names - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Reichsgrundschulgesetz of April 28, 1920
  2. Theodor Ballauff: Functions of the school: historical-systematic analyzes for scolarization . Beltz, 1982, p. 125
  3. Adolf Zinow (Ed.): 9th program of the grammar school of the city of Pritz, with which the public examination is sincerely inviting , Pyritz 1868, p. 40 ( Google book in Google book search)
  4. These abbreviations can be found e.g. B. on the so-called student cards that were produced and sent at the end, see z. B. Student cards from Konstanz - an interesting mirror of times gone by , accessed on July 14, 2013
  5. ^ Agreement between the federal states of the Federal Republic of Germany for the standardization of the school system (of October 28, 1964 in the version of October 14, 1971). (PDF; 1.21 MB) KMK Erg.-Lfg. No. 18 of February 9, 1973. In: KMK, August 22, 1978, p. 3 , archived from the original on October 15, 2012 ; accessed on February 6, 2015 (§ 8).
  6. Federal Ministry for Education, Art and Culture, Department V / 1 - Education Statistics, Documentation, IT Administration Applications (Ed.): School Form System . Index of key figures for school types in the Austrian school system. ( Link to the current version - 2002 ff.). Link to the current version ( Memento of the original dated November 29, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  7. For example in Der Schüler Gerber . The Reich German Kurt Tucholsky in 1930: “To start with the negative: it is a pity that the outward appearances happen to be Austrian - the Reich Germans have to translate some things first. We associate little fellows with the term “Octavaners” - with them it's our primans. We do not say 'complete'; one of us is doing his Abitur. These are of course only superficial, after all, Torberg couldn't rename it just to do us a favor. I'm just saying it. ”(Kurt Tucholsky: On the bedside table . In: Mary Gerold-Tucholsky, Fritz J. Raddatz (Ed.): Collected works in ten volumes . Volume 8 . Rowohlt Verlag, Reinbek near Hamburg 1975, p. 117 ( pp. 116–123 at [accessed on February 6, 2015] First published under the pseudonym Peter Panter in Die Weltbühne , no. 17 of April 22, 1930, p. 621). )