Second-chance Education

Lernen in der Volkshochschule

The Berlin education system offers the opportunity to develop personally through lifelong learning and to respond to the changing demands of professional life.

Catch up on a school leaving qualification

Second-chance education offers everyone who wants to continue their education many options to obtain a school leaving qualification or to achieve a higher level qualification.

Vocational qualification and intermediate school leaving qualification

You can obtain the following school leaving qualifications:
  • Certificate of vocational education (BBR),
  • Advanced vocational qualification (EBBR)
  • Intermediate school leaving qualification (MSA).

These offerings are aimed at both employed and non-employed or unemployed young people and adults.

You will improve your professional opportunities with each of these school leaving qualifications. The higher the school leaving qualification, the lower the risk of unemployment. You can achieve a school leaving qualification with the help of courses (evening or day courses). These qualifications always include a written and an oral exam at the end.

Personal consultation hours only with prior appointment by telephone

For the areas of non-student examinations and admission to secondary level II
we currently offer personal consultations on the following topics only after prior appointment by telephone:

  • Non-student exams to acquire lower secondary school (7-10) (BBR, EBBR, MSA) and upper secondary school (11-13) (Abitur) qualifications,
  • Non-students exams to acquire the university of applied sciences qualification as a non-school exam,
  • Supplementary exams to acquire Latin / Ancient Greek / Biblical Hebrew qualification,
  • Admission to the upper secondary school in special cases (both first educational pathway and second-chance education),
  • Recognition of mother tongues / native official languages in upper secondary school (11-13).


Exam requirements

Framework curricula for lower secondary school (7-10) form the basis for all examinations for a second-chance education for acquisition of the

  • Certificate of vocational education (BBR),
  • Advanced vocational qualification (EBBR)
  • Intermediate school leaving qualification (MSA).
  • Subject-related requirements for the exams in the second-chance education


    PDF-Document (112.8 kB)

Evening and day courses

lernende Jugendliche

The non-students exam

The non-students exam allows you to acquire any school leaving qualification, regardless of whether you have attended a course beforehand.

Of course you need to prepare well for the exam. You can do this on your own as an autodidact, but it is advisable to be supported by an independent educational institution. In this case, teachers can convey the content of the exam and assess whether you are adequately prepared for a successful exam.

Instructions and application forms for the non-student exam

Here you will find information, leaflets and admission forms for the exams and the individual school-leaving qualifications (german only).

  • Non-students exam

    to acquire the certificate of vocational education (BBR)

    PDF-Document (607.9 kB) - As of: September 2019

  • Non-students exam

    to acquire the advanced vocational qualification (EBBR)

    PDF-Document (144.6 kB) - As of: September 2019

  • Non-students exam

    to acquire the intermediate school leaving qualification (MSA)

    PDF-Document (575.5 kB) - As of: November 2023

  • Exam for specially skilled workers

    PDF-Document (110.9 kB) - As of: Januar 2017

  • Supplementary examination or Latin, Ancient Greek, Biblical Hebrew qualification

    PDF-Document (49.8 kB) - As of: Januar 2017

  • Non-students exam

    to acquire the university of applied sciences entrance qualification

    PDF-Document (116.1 kB) - As of: August 2020

  • Non-students exam

    to acquire the general higher education entrance qualification

    PDF-Document (2.9 MB) - As of: November 2023

Colleges and evening classes

a course of studies? Then you need the general higher education entrance qualification (Abitur) as access authorisation.

You can catch up on your Abitur at a college in day classes or as an employed person in evening classes. The admission requirement for all colleges and evening classes is that you

  • Are at least 19 years old,
  • Have acquired at least the vocational qualification or an equivalent qualification and
  • Can provide evidence of completed vocational training or at least two years of regular employment.

Completed military service, alternative service, proven unemployment up to 1.5 years and maintaining a household with at least one child or person in need of care can be recognised as employment.

Employment also includes dependent employment within the scope of the Employment Promotion Act amounting to at least 20 hours per week as well as possibly incomplete vocational training up to half of the prescribed training period and internships with a minimum duration of 3 months.

  • Ordinance on the state colleges and evening classes of the State of Berlin (VO-KA)


    DOWNLOAD-Document - As of: 13.03.2015

Paragraphen auf Buch


A good education system needs regulations that define the rights and obligations of students, parents and schools in a binding way. On this page you will find the most important laws, ordinances and regulations of the Berlin education system. More information

Junge Frau drapiert Zeitung an einer Schneiderpuppe

Vocational training

After general school education, many students continue with vocational preparation and vocational training. Here you will find information on vocational training programmes and the opportunities to obtain an entrance qualification for universities of applied science. More information

Gruppendiskussion / Meeting

Lifelong education

Lifelong education is becoming increasingly important in today's working world. A school or vocational qualification once acquired does not guarantee permanent employment. A wide range of continuing education and training opportunities help with new professional challenges. More information

Lehrer im Lehrerzimmer

Recognition of Foreign Degrees and Qualifications

Whether school, academic or vocational qualification: In all recognition procedures, foreign certificates are examined by the state and compared with a German qualification. More information