Class work

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Students write a class test.

A class test is a written record of performance that students have to provide under supervision with a time limit. The term class work is not used uniformly in German-speaking countries; in Bavaria it is referred to as a school assignment and in Austria as school work. In some cases, class work is also understood as a special form of group work . There are also different interpretations between the different types of schools. In elementary school, for example, class work is only required from the third grade. Class tests are performance assessments that are subject to performance evaluation and lead to a differentiation through the grading. A demanding class test should not only be aimed at testing pure factual knowledge, but it should also be required that certain facts are to be processed in an application and problem-oriented manner. The main aim of such tasks is to check and assess the problem-solving behavior of the students in addition to the knowledge and skills. In class work, larger learning units are queried that contain the material from previous school hours. The resulting grades are usually more weighty than other grades (e.g. from learning objective controls or oral grades).

Situation in Germany

Example of a class work of a 10th grade (high school) in mathematics from 1954 (the copies were made with carbon paper on thin carbon paper )
Class work for mathematics in upper secondary school in the 1980s (the copies for the students were made using hectography )

In Germany, at lower secondary level, a class test (or in Bavaria a school assignment) is referred to as work that usually takes a school lesson in younger cohorts, in higher cohorts and in some subjects such as German, in which the processing of the tasks takes more time takes, but also takes 2 hours (45 or 90 minutes). The dates for the class work are often set by the respective subject teacher at the beginning of the semester. However, they must be made known to the pupils within a certain period of time (e.g. in Rhineland-Palatinate: one week in advance, in Lower Saxony usually a few days before they are made). Class tests are written in the main subjects in the lower secondary level two to three times per semester, from which the overall grade results in the written subjects, taking into account the other participation and the smaller assignments. In the upper school level, the class work is called exams. A distinction can be made with regard to the scope of the class work:

  • The major class work is always written performance reviews. In contrast to tests, the number per school year (or whether there is any school work in a subject at all) and usually also the duration (usually at least 1 school hour or 45 minutes, up to 4 School hours) of school work / tasks prescribed in the curriculum. In Germany, as in Austria, the classic school work (tasks) subjects are German, mathematics and foreign languages, with classwork being written in almost all subjects. Exceptions to this are the subjects of sport and art, in which practical proof of performance is often required.
  • The smaller certificates of achievement that do not take up an entire school lesson or that are carried out without notice and are also named differently from region to region. Smaller assignments often contain only a few tasks that ask about the subject matter of the immediately preceding lesson or that are carried out spontaneously at the teacher's discretion. In East Germany they are called uniformly performance assessment (LK). Western federal states of Germany name small assignments as a learning goal check or homework check (HÜ). In colloquial language, the term test is also used here .

In Bavaria, small, announced jobs are called “short-time work”. At Bavarian grammar schools , schoolwork can be replaced by two short-term work under certain circumstances. The working hours of short-time work are half of what is usual for a school assignment. In some federal states in Germany, short-time work is also written in grade 11 of the grammar school, namely in subjects in which no schoolwork is written. At Realschulen, on the other hand, short-time work (and not class work) counts twice, but a different weighting can be determined by the teacher at the beginning of the school year and the students must be informed in advance. Unannounced, smaller knowledge tests in Bavaria (which, coll. The) Extemporale or impromptu task , colloquially referred to by students as "Ex".

Situation in the GDR

In the uniform linguistic usage of the GDR, a class test was a large work over one or two school hours that always concluded a topic and could therefore encompass all facets of the topic. Class work had the highest grade and was generally announced in advance. As a special form there was the so-called control work , which was to be assessed as class work to determine the end of the year censorship. The term exam was used in the GDR in traditional German language, so that no exam was written, but the class work, examination, etc. was done under exam .

Medium-term work lasting 30 to 45 minutes was called performance assessment (LK) . Larger sub-chapters were queried, but never a subject area as a whole. In contrast to class work, a performance assessment did not have to be announced ( unannounced LK ). As a variant of the performance assessment, there was also the oral performance assessment , usually only for one or two (randomly selected) students, but generally to be taken in front of the whole class, for example a detailed query of the material, an annotated calculation, an improvised presentation or a colloquium with the teacher. The regular reading tests for all students in a class (reading aloud long, often difficult text passages for censorship, assessed for word errors, accentuation errors, phonetic errors) were usually classified as performance tests. Dictations were also used as performance controls.

Small jobs were generally called short checks and usually lasted between 15 and a maximum of 30 minutes. Brief controls were usually not announced. The material of the last few hours or general considerations on a topic were in the foreground. In the lower level of the polytechnic high school, a special form of the short control called daily exercises (TÜ) . Daily exercises took place at the beginning of each lesson and started immediately in the first week after the start of school. In mathematics it was e.g. B. 10–20 arithmetic tasks, or 5–10 letter lines in handwriting, three of these strictly assessed daily exercises were then combined to form a censorship. The quick check was also given as an oral quick check . In the GDR, all homework could be collected and graded without restriction, as well as the students' notes (assessment of form, order, completeness, etc.). The brief assessment was often chosen as a classification, but also the performance assessment in the case of a larger scope. Spongy oral participation grades were not given because participation was one of the four head marks. For this reason, the so-called annual oral performance in a subject always consisted of dictations, table arithmetic, reading tests, short tests, performance tests, presentations or the like, i.e. H. from well censable, selective oral assessments.

Situation in Austria

In Austria, this means written work that normally extends over a school hour in the lower level of the Gymnasium or in the New Middle School and takes place in subjects such as German, mathematics and English. In the upper level of Austrian grammar schools, these subjects are supplemented by other languages ​​such as Italian, Latin and French. Pupils in secondary schools usually also write schoolwork in subjects such as physics and biology in higher grades; at BHS there are numerous other schoolwork subjects , such as B. Accounting and business administration at commercial academies .

From the 5th grade (9th grade) onwards, work that lasts longer than one lesson (i.e. 50 minutes) is common. The dates for the class work are often set by the respective subject teacher at the beginning of the semester and announced to the students in the first days after the start of the semester. Class work also includes tests, but these must not be unannounced; the dates are to be announced two days in advance (performance assessment regulation § 8, paragraph 2). After three days off in a row, it is not permitted to request class work or oral exams; it is also inadmissible to have several jobs take place in one day.

If more than half of the students get the grade Not sufficient (5) in a school work, the school work must be repeated. The better result then applies (Section 7, Paragraph 11 of the Performance Appraisal Ordinance).

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: Class work  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Section 4 AbSSchrARdErl Written work in general education schools ( Memento from January 24, 2015 in the web archive ) (Lower Saxony state law)
  2. Consolidated federal law: Entire legal provision for the Performance Appraisal Ordinance , version dated June 4, 2019, at, accessed on June 4, 2019
  3. Consolidated Federal Law: Performance Assessment Ordinance Section 7 , updated daily , at, accessed on June 4, 2019