Worlds Apart

Worlds Apart

According to a study from 2015, Germany’s education system is one of the top 15 in the whole world, while the U.S. school system isn’t even in the top 30. There are definite benefits of Germany’s educational system compared to America’s, but just like with everything, there are disadvantages as well.

The two major differences between German and American schools are that, in Germany, grades 5-12 are combined, and you are split into three different levels of education based on grades and intelligence. The “highest” ranking school is Gymnasium, the “average” ranking school is Realschule, and the “lowest” ranking or “remedial” school is Hauptschule.

The highest level often stands for a bright future, while the other two schools often symbolize a more “normal” kind of life. After fourth grade, the German students are divided into the three different schools dependent on the grades they received thus far. At first, this seems like a successful system, but when you explore Germany’s education system more in depth, there are some very obvious disadvantages to it. Completely based off of your school career and academic skills up to the age of nine, this completely determines whether you’ll have a successful career as an adult or not.

In the highest level of schooling, you go through grades 1-12, and the lowest, you go for grades 1-9. The highest level In Germany is significantly more difficult than high schools here in America, with ten to sixteen different classes, including at least three languages – German, English, Latin or French, and if you want to, Spanish – and most of the time, multiple science classes. In eleventh and twelfth grade, you get to choose which classes you take, and the grades from such classes feed into your overall grade which therefore will affect whether or not a college accepts you or not.

When you do not graduate at the highest level, you will not be able to go to college or university. Also you do not have to pay for any college or university education, but in order to be able to go to college, it’s required that you attain better than the other students, because only about 40% of all high school graduates can go to college. In the middle level, you go to school for 10 years. After you are finished, you cannot go to university except when you decide to go through two more years of high school. In the lowest level, you go to school for 9 years and you can not go to university no matter what. The problem with this school system is that students are incredibly stressed out about whether they’ll be accepted into university or not, leaving little free-time for non-academic extracurricular activities. So even though the German school systems are academically “better” than American school systems, it still definitely has its disadvantages.