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Tasks not accessible, topics leaked: Despite the numerous mishaps, tens of thousands of students in Germany started their vacation with a high school diploma. As always, the question arises: Which federal state did best in 2023?
A look at the results shows that the students achieved the best grades on average (2.09) not in Bavaria, as is often claimed, but in Thuringia. Lower Saxony is in last place (2.43). However, this is a preliminary ranking: an average is not yet available in several federal states.
However, it is questionable whether one can compare the Abitur grades between the federal states. There has been a nationwide central high school diploma since 2017: for the four subjects math, German, English and French, the federal states draw their tasks from a pool of tasks. Rhineland-Palatinate, however, does not take part. The federal states themselves decide on the remaining tasks.
In many places, this year was the last year that high school graduates had somewhat milder conditions during their exams. For example, they had longer time for the individual tasks or a focus was set. Because the situation at the upper school level was significantly more difficult during the years of the corona pandemic, the Conference of Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs (KMK) had adapted to this . However, each federal state implemented the requirements differently - corrections were made according to the usual standards.
But from 2024 this will be over: the Abitur will then be held again under the same conditions as in the years before the pandemic.
In Baden-Württemberg, the results of the 2023 Abitur examinations are not yet available. A total of 47,500 students took the exams there, of which 31,000 were at general schools and 16,500 at vocational high schools.
In Bavaria, the approximately 35,000 high school graduates achieved a state average of 2.24 . This puts them in the same range as in the years before the pandemic. In the Free State, there were no simplifications in conducting exams this year.
Bavaria's Minister of Culture Michael Piazolo was very pleased with the result. “There were no more simplifications in the sixth form for this year’s Abitur class. And the average is still at the same level as before the pandemic, even slightly better. This shows me that we have absorbed and reduced the effects of the pandemic in recent years,” he said.
The two previous vintages, 2022 (2.15) and 2021 (2.14), were slightly better in Bavaria - the Ministry of Culture attributes this to the slightly milder conditions. Among other things, the topics of the exams were limited because the focus of the learning material was set in advance. The graduates also had 30 minutes more time for the exams.
The average grade for the Berlin Abitur exams this year was 2.3 . The Senate Department for Education announced that just over 720 examinees received a 1.0 or a 1.1. According to the information, around four percent of the more than 14,000 high school graduates did not pass the high school diploma.
Last year the exams were slightly better with an average Abitur grade of 2.2. According to the authority, in the years before the pandemic, the average grade was regularly 2.4.
Education Senator Katharina Günther-Wünsch (CDU) congratulated all of Berlin's high school graduates: "I wish the new high school graduates that their plans for the future work out the way they imagine." The high school diploma also has in view of the effects of the corona pandemic -Class of 2023 demonstrated “in particular” that he can deal with ever new challenges.
In April and May, 9,882 students took their written Abitur exams in Brandenburg. They achieved a national average grade of 2.2 - about the same as in previous years. The proportion of high school graduates and high school graduates with a 1.0 on their high school diploma has fallen slightly. The number of students who passed the Abitur examination has also fallen slightly compared to previous years.
In Brandenburg, too, there were corona-related benefits for the last time this year: for the subject of mathematics, the exam tasks were structured in such a way that the students could choose between different tasks. And: They had 30 minutes more time for all exams. Next year the pressure will be a little greater.
According to the Bremen Senate Department for Education, the state average grade in the state of Bremen this year was 2.33 . This is a very slight deterioration compared to the 2021/2022 school year, when the average grade was 2.32. Around 2,420 students in Bremen passed their Abitur - that corresponds to a rate of 93.2 percent.
88 high school graduates achieved a grade average of 1.0 in the general university entrance qualification or the technical college entrance qualification.
In Hamburg, 8,986 students passed the Abitur in 2023 and achieved a grade average of 2.31 . In the past ten years, the average grade in the Hanseatic city has been between 2.36 and 2.46. In Hamburg there was also relief due to the corona pandemic for the fourth year in a row.
Hamburg Schools Senator Ties Rabe said: “The consequences of the restricted learning conditions during the Corona period were also felt by the examinees in the fourth Corona year. The Abitur data are getting closer to the values from before the Corona period. For the 2024 exam year, Hamburg will return to the exam rules as before Corona in accordance with the KMK decision.”
A total of 9,296 students took the Abitur exams in Hamburg. Passed with 96.7 percent. Unfortunately, 310 students (3.3 percent) did not pass their Abitur exams. The top grade of 1.0 was awarded a total of 264 times - actually just as often as in the 2021/2023 school year.
This year's Hessian high school graduates passed their final exam with an average grade of 2.25 . This corresponds roughly to the level of the previous year (2.23), according to a statement from the Ministry of Culture in Wiesbaden on Monday. A total of almost 22,630 examinees were counted (2022: 19,470), of whom 95.5 percent (96.5) passed the Abitur. 4.8 percent (4.5) were happy about getting an A-level.
“This year’s Abitur class is the last to have to accept school closures across the board in high school,” explained Education Minister Alexander Lorz (CDU). The next Abitur exams in Hesse will take place after the Easter holidays in 2024.
According to the Ministry of Education in Schwerin, around 4,700 students have passed their Abitur in the past few weeks. The grade point average is 2.3.
There was trouble over the mathematics Abitur: many high school graduates did not complete the tasks and would have failed if the Ministry of Education had not decided to increase the results by one grade point. According to the ministry, the national average is in line with previous years despite difficult years caused by the corona pandemic.
Lower Saxony high school graduates performed at a similar level this year as in 2022. The Ministry of Culture in Hanover announced this on Monday. According to preliminary information, the average grade this year was 2.43 - after 2.38 last year.
Despite the difficulties on the way to the Abitur due to the Corona restrictions, the examinees achieved better results than before the pandemic, said Lower Saxony's Minister of Education Julia Willie Hamburg (Greens). The average in 2019 was 2.56. However, because of the pandemic, there were some last improvements in Lower Saxony - for example additional selection options for tasks. The students had 30 minutes more time for the mathematics exam.
5.4 percent of students did not pass the exams this year. In the previous year the rate was around 4.4 percent.
The school ministry in North Rhine-Westphalia did not disclose the state average for the 2023 Abitur until the time this article was published.
In Rhineland-Palatinate, too, a state average for this year's Abitur grades is not yet available.
The Ministry of Education and Culture in Saarland is currently still evaluating the 2023 Abitur grades.
In the 2022/2023 school year, Saxony-Anhalt's high school graduates once again presented a result with a grade average of 2.27 at general schools, which is in the best range compared to the previous state results. Last year the result was only marginally better (2.22).
A total of 5,264 students were admitted to the written exam, 4,931 successfully passed the Abitur, and 393 students did not pass the Abitur exams successfully. This corresponds to a rate of 7.46% of approved examinees.
The number of high school graduates with the best result of 1.0 is 132.
Against this background of the restrictions in the corona pandemic, Saxony-Anhalt has also applied measures such as setting priorities in the exam and increasing working hours by 30 minutes.
The girls and boys at Saxon schools have once again proven themselves to be high performers in the exams. As the Ministry of Culture announced on Wednesday in Dresden, around 96 percent were successful in the final exams. Last year this affected 97 percent of all students. The successes are also the successes of the teaching staff, it was said.
The average grade at the Abitur was 2.16. 96.5 percent of high school students passed the exams, and 356 graduated with a grade of 1.0. 91.4 percent of learners were able to obtain the general university entrance qualification certificate through the vocational high schools. The average grade here was 2.31.
A total of 10,849 high school graduates have received their diplomas in Schlewsig-Holstein in the past few days. This school year, 6,485 students at public high schools and a further 2,124 at community schools with upper levels passed the Abitur exam. The national average of the Abitur grade is 2.39 at high schools and 2.57 at community schools.
The results remain slightly behind those of the previous year, but are still better than before the pandemic (2022: high schools 2.34, community schools 2.52). The top grade of 1.0 was awarded 161 times - 143 times at high schools and 18 times at community schools.
At the vocational high schools, 1,808 students completed their exams with the Abitur. The grade point average is 2.50. The grade 1.0 was awarded twelve times. At the vocational high schools, 432 students were able to look forward to receiving their Abitur. The grade point average there is 2.78. The grade 1.0 was awarded twice.
According to the Ministry of Education in Thuringia, the national average grade of the 6,037 high school graduates is 2.09 . Last year, the students achieved an average grade of 2.04.
Education Minister Helmut Holter said: “As in the previous year, the Abitur grades are at a consistently good level. Slight deviations are in the nature of things. Our Thuringian high school graduates have achieved excellent results.”
258 students finished school with 1.0. A total of 6,269 students took the exams, so 96.9 percent of them passed. In Thuringia, too, the Abi exams took place for the last time under milder conditions.