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The Matura or Maturität ( Latin maturitas , the maturity ') is the final examination after a higher school education. At the same time, it describes the school-leaving qualification acquired .

The designation Matura is used in Austria , Matura or Maturität in Liechtenstein , in Switzerland (there usually and officially Maturität or Matura examination , more rarely Matura or Matura; in the other languages ​​with the same root word analog) and South Tyrol (there also maturity examination , state final examination ). There are equivalents in other languages ​​in Italy (maturità) , Bulgaria , Hungary , the Czech Republic (maturita) , Slovakia (maturita) , Slovenia , Croatia , Serbia , North Macedonia , Bosnia and Herzegovina , Albania, Kosovo and Poland . In Germany one speaks of the Abitur (in the sense of: leaving school with the school leaving certificate).

With the Matura certificate (or Matura certificate ), the Maturant (in Austria) or Maturand (as it is the usual term in German-speaking Switzerland) has the higher education entrance qualification and thus the entitlement to study at a university or other college .

With the vocational baccalaureate in Switzerland and Liechtenstein (also: Berufsmatura, Berufsreifeprüfung ), access is restricted to a subject-related study at a university of applied sciences. In Austria, the Berufsreifeprüfung enables full university access within Austria as well as the corresponding pay grade in the public service.

Reife- und Diplomprüfung is the Austrian expression of the combined higher education entrance qualification with vocational qualification ( diploma examination , BHS), central Matura for the Matura as a whole, as the degrees of all school sections are standardized.

The matriculation examination (Matura) in Austria

In the Austrian educational system, the Matura is taken in the 12th or 13th grade, depending on the school type. General secondary schools  (AHS) complete in the 12th school year; Higher vocational schools (BHS) in the 13th school year.

“Matura” is the colloquial term and “maturity examination” is the official term.

The Matura is generally taken at the school that a Matura student last attended. For people who have not attended secondary school, there is the option of an external Matura or vocational matriculation examination . The examination is not carried out with the same tasks for all students in a grade . Until the introduction of the Central Matura, the tasks for the exams were only standardized for one school class; those for the oral exams differed from examinee to examinee. Each teacher could ask the questions about the focus of his teaching. The Matura was thus in contrast to a central Abitur in some German countries or the French Baccalauréat .

Although the examination questions had to be submitted to the state school board , in Vienna to the city school board , or to the specialist inspector , the Matura could have a different level from school to school and from class to class within a school. However, the grading of the written examination must be confirmed by the state school board. The oral examination takes place in front of a commission in which teachers from other schools are also involved.

Since the 2014/15 school year, the AHS Matura has been taken as a partially centralized school leaving examination. Since 2015/16, the BHS Matura exams have also been partially centralized.

In the 2019/20 school year, due to the Covid 19 pandemic , the school leaving examination had to be carried out in a shortened form - as the " Corona Matura ".

AHS Matura

Since the introduction of the standardized competency-oriented maturity examination (“Zentralmatura”), the maturity examination in general secondary schools consists of three parts (“pillars”) that are independent of each other. In addition, knowledge should no longer only be queried. The understanding and the ability to use it must also become apparent. Therefore, the tasks usually consist of a reproduction, transfer and reflection part.

First pillar: pre-scientific work

The first pillar is the " pre-scientific work " (VWA) on a topic that can be freely chosen by the students and does not have to be assigned to a subject. The submission and approval of the topic (by the supervisor or the school management) takes place at the beginning of the second semester of the penultimate school year; The thesis is written at the end of this semester and at the beginning of the first semester of the last school year. The pupil is looked after by a teacher from the school. Even before the start of the other parts of the Matura, this work is briefly presented to the Matura commission (consisting of the director, class board, supervisor and an extracurricular commission leader) and defended in an examination interview (also called "discussion"). The entire presentation takes around ten to 15 minutes per candidate.

Second pillar: written exams

The second pillar of the Matura consists of the largely central written exams. The subjects German, mathematics and a living foreign language must be chosen by all candidates. Another subject can be chosen. The subjects that come into question are those in which the pupils wrote schoolwork in the course of the upper level. The subjects Latin, Italian, Spanish and French are examined in the written test (as well as the subjects German, mathematics and English) in the form of a centrally created written test. The subjects biology and environmental studies, physics, descriptive geometry, computer science, Russian, sports studies and music studies are examined in the form of a written test prepared by the teacher. The written exams in German and the living foreign languages ​​last 5 full hours; the math exam lasts 4.5 hours; Exams in all other subjects last 4 full hours. Negative grades in the written examination can be corrected as part of an oral (in the case of a central written examination, also centrally created) compensation test, which takes place between the written and the oral Matura, without this being visible later in the school-leaving certificate. In addition, in certain secondary schools with an artistic focus, you can also graduate in writing in the subjects 'performing games', 'dance' and 'art education'. These exams last 7 hours and consist of a practical and a theoretical part.

Third pillar: oral exams

The third pillar of the Matura consists of the oral exams. The examinees choose 2 oral (with 4 exams) or 3 oral (with 3 exams) subjects from all subjects attended in the upper level that also took place in the 7th (11th grade) or 8th (12th grade) grade and have covered at least 4 hours per week during the upper level. The total number of hours of all selected subjects must be 10 hours per week for two oral exams and 15 hours per week for three oral exams.

In the oral exam, the students pull two subject areas of the respective subject from a "pool" and choose one of them. The teacher then chooses one of the questions prepared in advance by the review board. The students then spend around 30 minutes preparing to answer this question. The actual exam takes 10 to 15 minutes. The number of topics that are in a subject in the "pool" is based on the total number of hours per week in the subject in the upper level: For the calculation, the number of hours per week is multiplied by three; the maximum number of topics is limited to 24 and there are exceptions e.g. B. for subjects with a high practical component.

Matura committee

The Matura committee for the written Matura consists of the Matura chairman, the director, the class board and the subject teacher, whereby the Matura chairman has no voting rights. The high school graduation committee for the oral examinations comprises the chairman, the director, the class board, the examiner and an expert assessor. The chairman has no voting rights here either. The examiner and the assessor have one vote together. In the oral examination, every position on the committee must be filled. This means: if the class head accepts an examination (i.e. becomes an examiner), he has to be replaced by another teacher in his role as class head.

BHS Matura

More than 60% of Austrian high school graduates take their final exams ( matriculation and diploma examination ) at one of the numerous vocational high schools  (BHS) which, in 5 school years after compulsory school, also provide vocational training with a state qualification in addition to the high school diploma. Different guidelines apply depending on the type of school (subject area). After a few years of practical professional work, the graduates of the technical and agricultural college may - upon application to the responsible ministry - use the professional title of engineer . The BHS is a secondary school and not a university. Your diploma or the BHS diploma (comparable to “state-certified technician” in other countries) will be recognized throughout Europe as proof of vocational training in the sense of EU Directive 92/51 EEC, Appendix D. Graduates can start studying at a university ; they receive the general university entrance qualification.

In the 2015/16 school year, the standardized maturity and diploma examination was also introduced at the BHS.

Vocational matriculation examination in Austria

The Berufsreifeprüfung  (BRP), introduced in 1997, is an in -service educational path leading to a full university entrance qualification . It is intended to give graduates of a vocational middle school , an apprenticeship or polytechnic who are already working, access to higher educational qualifications.

From 2016, the central school-leaving certificate in German and mathematics will also be used at the BRP.

The school leaving certificate

White Flag 2020 at the BG Carneri in Graz

The Matura certificate contains the grades of the written examinations, the oral exams and the diploma thesis (BHS) or the pre-academic work (AHS). The grading is based on grades from 1 (very good) to 5 (insufficient). It also contains a summary of the services:

  • Passed with excellent success : With a grade average of a maximum of 1.5 and only “Very good” to “Satisfactory” (3) as partial grades.
  • Passed with good success: With an average grade of maximum 2.0 and only “Very good” to “Satisfactory” (3) as partial grades
  • Passed
  • Failed: In one or more partial examinations graded “insufficient”.

Schoolchildren who have not passed the Matura the first time have the opportunity to repeat the school-leaving examination at the secondary dates in September / October and January / February or in the coming school year.

It has become common practice that if all candidates in a school have successfully passed the school leaving examination, the white flag is hoisted in front of or at the building, sometimes symbolically by the high school graduates if it only affects one class.


The so-called B-Matura or official Matura is not a school leaving examination in the strict sense . The passed civil service promotion test in the public service is referred to as such. It allows public servants positions in the upper service, with a higher salary and hierarchy level, even without reaching the otherwise usual Matura. It corresponds roughly to a subject-related technical college entrance qualification and entitles to a relevant technical college degree, such as B. the bachelor studies “Public Management” at the University of Applied Sciences FH Campus Wien, “Military Leadership” at the Theresian Military Academy (TherMilAk) and “Police Leadership” at the University of Applied Sciences in Wiener Neustadt. Compulsory subjects are (in the full scope of the curriculum of a Realgymnasium) German, history and social studies, geography and economics, electives two of the following subjects in the scope of the curriculum of a Realgymnasium up to and including the 6th grade (10th grade): foreign language, another foreign language, Mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology and environmental studies; a foreign language or mathematics must be chosen in any case.

Due to the vocational matriculation examination that has now been introduced, the B-Matura can no longer be taken since 2009, with the exception of 2013 for people who have completed at least one compulsory subject of the B-Matura by 2008, B-Matura students can still achieve Matura positions as promoters in the public service.


In the former Habsburg multi-ethnic state Austria-Hungary and in some German states the school leaving certificate at all higher schools (grammar schools) was referred to as the Matura (matriculation examination) . At the turn of the last century, those in Bosnia and Herzegovina had a reputation for being the most difficult grammar schools in the entire Danube Monarchy . As early as 1866 the k. k. Polytechnic , today's Vienna University of Technology , the Matura as a prerequisite for studying.

At first, the Matura was solely a matter for the male school attendants. Girls were only allowed to take the Matura from 1872 as external students at a boys' grammar school. However, the young women were only allowed to study at the Philosophical Faculty from 1897 and at the Medical Faculty of the University of Vienna from 1901 . The first lyceum (girls' high school) was founded in Vienna in 1892. The school-leaving exams (Matura) were far from being allowed to be carried out by the girls' schools themselves.

Graduation ball

In connection with, but already months before, the exam in the traditional ball season from November to Shrove Tuesday, almost every graduation course organizes a graduation ball . This extracurricular ball event, which usually takes place outside in rented halls, was mainly used to finance the school-leaving certificate trip in the summer after the school-leaving examination. The respective school supports the ball logistically and organisationally, but usually not financially. The management and the teaching staff are invited as guests of honor. In the course of the last few years, these events have developed from high school graduation wreaths financed by donations to elaborate ball events for which tickets are sold. Instead of the "begging letters" to relatives and politicians that were common in the past, people now work with sponsorship and advertising on the ball and in high school newspapers. Further income is generated through the sale of cakes, ticket sales or competitions. This effort can only be met if all the Matura classes of a school, sometimes several schools, join together. For this purpose, a ball committee will be formed for planning and preparation. Hall rent , music, AKM fees, dance school fees for the polonaise and security service now cost so much that it is hardly possible to make a profit and the parents of the high school graduates even have to pay a subsidy. Halls in demand have to be reserved years in advance, and parents often have to deposit money into a ball account for several years during high school . In the event of success, the deposit will be paid back and the profit shared among the students. This division is often based on a key that depends on the preparatory work performed individually. Due to the increasingly difficult situation, there are now contact points for high school graduates such as B. the association for the support of Austrian high school graduates . The high school graduates are supported by the association in the complete organization of the high school ball. Those schoolchildren whose high school graduation balls 2020 had to be canceled without replacement due to the corona pandemic were hit badly.

The Matura in Switzerland

In the Swiss education system , the school leaving examination is also referred to as the Matura or Matura . The current structure of this examination in Switzerland was introduced in 1995. In Switzerland, the Matura only counts as entitlement to transfer to a cantonal or federal university - with the exception of subjects such as medicine with numerus clausus ; As a rule, it does not entitle the holder to study at a university of applied sciences; the latter often requires an additional internship. The usual way to the university of applied sciences leads through an apprenticeship and the vocational diploma .

Every Matura from a Swiss secondary school basically allows transfer to any university subject. The choice of the Matura type does not represent a fundamental restriction with regard to the later possible courses of study. Depending on the Matura type completed and the chosen course of study, however, entry into the course is difficult or additional lessons have to be taken at the university in order to be able to follow the lectures.

The public schools in Switzerland that offer a Matura course are run by the cantons and are therefore called canton schools in most cantons . The term grammar school is often used synonymously, but mainly for schools that offer courses with Latin lessons. Most of the cantons also have private grammar schools, although not all of them are authorized to take the Matura exam.

Matura before 1995

The old Matura Recognition Ordinance (MAV) from the 1960s issued the following five types of Matura certificates, depending on the profile:

  • Type A: old-language grammar school with Greek and Latin
  • Type B: Gymnasium with Latin and English or the third national language of Switzerland
  • Type C: mathematical and natural science high school
  • Type D: modern language grammar school
  • Type E: Business high school
  • Type M: musical high school

In addition to this type-specific canon of subjects, the following subjects were the basis for all Matura certificates: German, second national language (in German-speaking Switzerland: French), history, geography, mathematics, biology, physics, chemistry, music or art. In addition, sport was entered as a non-counting subject in the Matura certificate. Some cantons also had other special subjects, such as philosophy. Depending on the type, different subjects (so-called "core subjects") were counted twice in the Matura certificate.

Seminars also issued teaching certificates, which also entitle them to admission to the university level without an examination. The teachers' seminars were replaced by the pedagogical universities .

Matura from 1995

Until 1995 a distinction was made between different maturity profiles, the pupil now puts together a teaching program according to certain rules by choosing maturity subjects (new Matura recognition regulations MAR of February 15, 1995, revision June 27, 2007).

The examination takes place in at least five subjects, which are examined in writing and orally (in some cantons there is no oral examination for non-linguistic subjects, in other cantons this only applies to mathematics):

  • First language
  • second national language
  • mathematics
  • Major subject
  • another subject; The conditions for choosing this subject are determined by the cantons, and in some cases even by the individual schools.

50% of the results of these examinations are included in the final grade of the subject, the grade for the previous year also counts 50%. In the subjects without the Matura examination, only the grade of the previous year counts. It is generally rounded in the direction of the examination grade or mathematically. In some cantons only half marks are given (6, 5.5, 5, 4.5 etc.).

The Matura examination is considered passed if the double sum of all grade deviations from 4 downwards is not greater than the single sum of all grade deviations from 4 upwards and no more than four grades below 4 have been awarded.

The result of the federal Matura is made up of the performance of the nine Matura subjects. A cantonal Matura, which is federally recognized, is awarded at cantonal grammar schools; This also includes different other grades ( Matura thesis , philosophy, etc.) depending on the canton .

The Matura examination can be tried twice, i.e. repeated once.

Swiss Matura examination

While the conventional exams differ from school to school and mostly even from teacher to teacher, there is the possibility of taking the Matura exam at national level (Swiss Matura exam).

Anyone who does not attend a high school course, e.g. B. Adults, can take the Matura outside of a Matura school with the Swiss Matura Commission. The preparation for these exams takes place in self-study or in a one-year course at state or private schools. The Matura exam is then taken externally in front of external experts. In Switzerland, around 400 people pass the Swiss Matura with success every year.


In Switzerland, grade 6 is the best, 1 is the worst, all grades from 4 upwards are sufficient. The formula ( linear function ) is often used to determine the grades :

The ordinances on grading differ slightly from canton to canton. However, in each subject in which the Matura exams are carried out, the intersection of the suggested grade / experience grade and the exam grade, rounded to the nearest half grade, counts. How each individual subject is tested can be seen in the following table (in parts of Switzerland that are spoken in other languages, the first / second national language is logically different):

subject Orally Written
First national language Yes Yes
Second national language ( fra / ita ) Yes Yes
Second foreign language ( eng / gri / lat / esp ) Yes No Yes No
mathematics Yes Yes
Major subject Yes Yes
Supplementary subject Yes No Yes No

In addition to these examination subjects, subjects already completed in 1st, 2nd or 3rd grade such as artistic design or music with an instrument also count.


In Italy, colloquial and historical, the term "esame di maturità" (literally: school leaving examination) is used. Today the Matura is officially called esame di stato ( state final examination ).

North Macedonia

North Macedonian students who want to study after high school have to take the Matura.

The degree is called Staatsgarde матура ("State Matura") or simply матура ("Matura").

Students must take four exams at the Matura:

  • Mother tongue (Macedonian, Albanian or Turkish):
    Knowledge of literature and grammar over every 4 years of high school and essay writing.
  • Mathematics / foreign language:
    Students choose whether they will take the exam in mathematics (Basic or Advanced Level) or a foreign language (usually English, German, French or Russian).
  • two topics of the student's choice
  • a project task

See also



  • Juliane Mikoletzky, Ute Georgeacopol-Winischhofer, Margit Pohl: "In keeping with the times ...": On the history of women's studies in Austria using the example of the Vienna University of Technology. Vienna 1997, ISBN 3-85114-258-6 .

Web links

Wiktionary: Matura  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: Maturität  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Matura  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Matura on
  2. Vocational matriculation examination. Federal Ministry of Education, Research and Science, accessed on November 28, 2018 .
  3. AHS maturity examination regulation .
  4. Note: This exam can also be taken in the ethnic group languages ​​Slovenian, Croatian and Hungarian, provided that this was the language of instruction.
  5. Schmied: New vocational maturity examination from 2016. In: Retrieved April 7, 2016 .
  6. Matura 2017: HLW Landeck hoisted the "White Flag" , mein on June 28, 2017
  7. ^ Srećko Matko Džaja : Bosnia-Herzegovina in the Austro-Hungarian Era (1878-1918). The intelligentsia between tradition and education (= Southeast European work. 93). Oldenbourg, Munich 1994, ISBN 3-486-56079-4 , p. 137.
  8. ^ Juliane Mikoletzky: Brief history of the Vienna University of Technology. ( Memento from May 5, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) Status: January 4, 2007; Retrieved November 28, 2009.
  9. ^ Peter Lukasch: Austrian School Books: From the end of the monarchy to the 50s. The development of compulsory education in Austria until 1919 ; Status: December 2, 2006; Retrieved November 25, 2009.
  10. Kleine Zeitung-G7 of September 12, 2010.
  11. ^ Association for the support of Austrian high school graduates. Retrieved September 19, 2018 .
  12. Numerous events have to be canceled , Kronen Zeitung on March 11, 2020
  13. Swiss Service Center for Vocational Training, Vocational, Study and Career Advice SDBB: Gymnasiale Matura on the second educational path ; accessed on May 7, 2013 (also applies to the first educational path)
  14. Swiss Confederation: 413.11 Ordinance of February 15, 1995 on the recognition of high school Matura certificates (Matura Recognition Ordinance, MAV) ; Systematic collection of federal law on
  15. State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation SERI: Swiss Matura examination , maturité fédéral; accessed on August 20, 2018.