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MSA exams at high schools in Berlin to be abolished


Berlin is abolishing the written examinations for the intermediate school leaving certificate (Mittlerer Schulabschluss, MSA) at higher secondary schools (Gymnasien) this school year.

The Senate passed a bill to this effect on Tuesday. According to Senator for Education Katharina Günther-Wünsch (CDU), this should relieve teachers so that they can concentrate more on their actual educational tasks. In the end, this would also improve the quality of education. In turn, students in grade 10 can prepare more intensively for the transition to the upper school.

What is the MSA?

The Mittlerer Schulabschluss (MSA), also called Mittlere Reife, is a school-leaving certificate typically awarded to secondary school students in Germany after year 10. The MSA is the prerequisite for attending upper secondary school types such as specialized upper secondary schools, vocational upper secondary schools, vocational colleges or grammar schools. Students awarded the MSA will usually not be allowed to progress directly into a German university, however - they must attend another school that awards the Abitur, such as a Gymnasium.

MSA to be obtained by transfer to 11th grade

In the future, students will earn their MSA by transferring from the tenth to the eleventh grade. Examinations in German, mathematics and the first foreign language will be eliminated, as will the so-called presentation examination. Starting in the 2024/2025 school year, Gymnasium students will then have to perform a presentation service in the form of a "media-supported project work" in grade 9 or 10, according to the report. In this way, they will train for the presentation part of the later Abitur exams.

New regulations to take effect in October

According to the senator, the new regulations will now be quickly discussed and passed in the House of Representatives. The aim is for them to come into force in October. This also applies to another new feature: school committees that are required by law will also be able to meet by video conference in the future. This means that teachers and parents no longer have to attend every meeting in person.

Author: dpa/BerlinOnline/
Publication date: 30 August 2023
Last updated: 30 August 2023

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