Secondary school in Berlin – Brandenburg

Last Updated on September 24, 2023

What secondary school is it better to choose in Berlin-Brandenburg? In this post about education system in Berlin and Brandenburg federal states

The rules are different in these federal states, but since a significant number of the Brandenburg population is concentrated around Berlin, we will consider them together. Attending a school in another federal state is possible subject to availability (the rules are hier).

For more transparency the states have different color. The brighter the color, the higher the education

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Secondary school in Brandenburg and Berlin – scheme

Secondary school in Brandenburg / Schulsystem in Brandenburg

A scheme of education in Berlin (I made it from official).

Schulsystem in Berlin / Secondary school in Berlin

Types of certificates

Berufsbildungsreife (BBR) – similar to Hauptschulabschluss (lower general education certificate). It’s not entirely clear where you can get with it at all.

erweiterten Berufsbildungsreife (EBR in Brandenburg or EBBR in Berlin) – extended Hauptschulabschluss (after grade 10 in all types of schools). You can go to professional schools (Berufsschule, Berufsfachschule)

Fachoberschulreife (FOR, Brandenburg) – analogue of a certificate of a real school (after grade 10 in all types of schools). With good grades, you can go to Fachoberschule and Berufliches Gymnasium

Mittlerer Schulabschluss (MSA, Berlin) – analogue of a certificate of a real school (after grade 10 in all types of schools). With good grades, you can go to Fachoberschule and Berufliches Gymnasium

Fachhochschulreife – a certificate for admission to institutes (higher education, but not universities or institutes equated to universities). Obtainable from Fachoberschulen or other professional schools with additional courses.

allgemeine Hochschulreife – a certificate for admission to any universities. Received upon successful completion of the Abitur in gymnasiums, upper secondary schools of other schools, Berufliches Gymnasium, Berufsoberschule (with a second language), Fachoberschule in Berlin (3 years of study).

Mandatory school attendance

In Berlin – 10 years.
In Brandenburg – 10 years, plus until the end of the year in which it turns 18 years old

Education system in Berlin and Brandenburg – first stage

Primary school in Brandenburg and Berlin lasts 6 years. Talented children can go to secondary schools in classes for talented children from grade 5.

Secondary scholl in Brandenburg


This school is like a real school. Covers grades 7-10, concentrates not only on learning, but also on vocational guidance.

There are two levels:

– for getting of erweiterten Berufsbildungsreife (EBR) – extended version of Hauptschulabschluss (Hauptschulabschluss is obtained automatically with a transfer to grade 10)

– for getting Fachoberschulreife (FOR) – similar to a real school certificate

It is also possible to obtain a certificate with permission to attend gymnasium classes at the Gesamtschule.

The school can teach children with different abilities together (kooperativ), and can divide them according to their level (integrativ).


This is a general school teaching all children together. Covers grades from 7 to 13 (grades 11-13 for those who have gained access to the Abitur).

You can get:

erweiterten Berufsbildungsreife (EBR) – after 10. grade

Fachoberschulreife (FOR) – after grade 10, similar to the certificate of the real school

allgemeinen Hochschulreife – after grade 13, Abitur

Teaching is conducted both for all children and is divided into two levels – regular and advanced.


In the gymnasium in the 10th grade, final exams are also passed, according to the results of which the same types of certificates are issued as in other schools.

At the same time, the upper stage in the gymnasium is only two years – up to grade 12.

allgemeinen Hochschulreife – after grade 12, Abitur


Secondary school in Berlin

Integrierte Sekundarschule (ISS)

General schools formed from the Hauptschule, real school and general schools (Hauptschule). Full day is compulsory in these schools. Learning takes place according to the level of each student, which is achieved by working in small groups, projects, multi-level tasks or additional courses.

ISS has a Upper Secondary School which can be integrated into the school itself or be part of a school union.

Receive the following certificates:

– Berufsbildungsreife (BBR) – Hauptschulabschluss

Erweiterte Berufsbildungsreife (EBBR) – extended Hauptschulabschluss

Mittlerer Schulabschluss (MSA) – a certificate similar to a real school

allgemeinen Hochschulreife – after grade 13 (upper secondary school – 3 years)


26 pilot schools in Berlin, combining all types of schools from the beginning to the upper grades of the gymnasium. If a school does not have its own beginnings or its own senior classes, then it is associated with another school, where the transfer is carried out automatically.

These general schools strive for individualized learning based on the interests of the child (through compulsory and additional courses, projects, weekly plan, etc.), equality and democracy. Until grade 8, a child may not receive grades.

You can get all types of certificates.


The gymnasium teaches from the 7th to the 12th grade, in some gymnasiums it is possible to study from the 5th grade. After grade 10, they take the Erweiterte Berufsbildungsreife (EBBR) or Mittlerer Schulabschluss (MSA) exam, common with other schools.

– Informatics
– mathematics and natural sciences
– art
– sports
– music
– languages

allgemeinen Hochschulreife – after grade 12

Education system in Brandenburg and Berlin. Second stage and vocational education

The vocational schools are merged in Berlin and Brandenburg in Oberstufenzentren (OSZ).


Berufsschule, Berufsfachschule

Berufsschule – dual schools with the acquisition of a profession. They come here with

You can come here with erweiterten Berufsbildungsreife (EBR after grade 10).

Berufsfachschule – provide a full-time basic vocational education in certain professions.


– social assistant – with erweiterten Berufsbildungsreife (EBR)

– assistant (biological, technical, sports, design, etc.) – take with Fachoberschulreife (FOR)

Some professions offer the opportunity to additionally receive Fachhochschulreife (for example, through additional courses).

In addition, these schools have one-year training for those who did not find a place in vocational schools, but are obliged to continue their education, including those who did not manage to complete the 10th grade.


You can enter both after grade 10 and with completed vocational education.

Graduates of the 10th grade study at this school for 2 years and must have at least a Fachoberschulreife (FOR) and a place for practice on admission.

Profiles of two-year study:

  • technics
  • economics and Management
  • social

Those who have completed professional education can learn one year in the following profiles:

  • technics
  • economics and Management
  • social
  • nutrition
  • agriculture
  • design

You can also study remotely via Telekolleg.

After the Fachoberschule, you receive the Fachhochschulreife – the right to study at institutes (not equated to universities) in Germany and even at some universities in Brandenburg.

Berufliches Gymnasium

In addition to the gymnasium itself and the gymnasium stage at the Gesamtschule, the abitur can be obtained at the Berufliches Gymnasium (grades 11-13).


  • social (pedagogy, psychology are added),
  • equipment (electrical engineering, design, media, mechanical engineering),
  • economics (economics and economic informatics).

Berufliches Gymnasium takes with Fachoberschulreife (FOR, after 10th grade).

In southern Brandenburg there is also a form where the opportunity to receive a partly vocational education is added to the Berufliches Gymnasium.

After successfully passing the exams, you receive the allgemeine Hochschulreife.


Advanced training schools.

Do you have any more questions? Use comments ⇓ or private communication form



Dual vocational education with EBBR, for which you first need to find a workplace.

Those who could not get a place can visit the “Berliner Ausbildungsmodell” (BAM). This is also a dual education. Professions:

  • Bureau management,
  • salesperson,
  • hotel worker,
  • warehouse worker.

An additional opportunity for strong students who have the right to Abitur, to simultaneously receive a profession and allgemeine Hochschulreife in the following specialties:
– Hotelfachmann / -frau (Duales Abitur)
– Anlagenmechaniker / -in für Sanitär, Heizungs- und Klimatechnik (Berufsabitur)


2-3-year education in certain specialties with EBBR.

Additional receipt of Fachhochschulreife is possible.


With a Mittlerer Schulabschluss (MSA), it is possible to enter at the Fachoberschule.


  • economics and management
  • technics
  • health and society
  • food and housekeeping
  • design
  • agriculture

If at the same time you have completed vocational education or work experience,

you can complete it in a year (full-time study) or after two (evening study) with the receipt of a Fachhochschulreife.

If you go after grade 10, then you need a certain level of grades and a guaranteed place of practice. Day training lasts:

two years with Fachhochschulreife

or 3 years with the allgemeinen Hochschulreife.

Berufsoberschule (BOS)

With a Mittlerer Schulabschluss (MSA) and completed vocational education or five years of experience, you can attend Berufsoberschule

After 2 (daytime) or 3 (evening) years, you can get:

Fachhochschulreife – after one year of study based on the results of a voluntary exam

fachgebundene Hochschulreife – without second language

allgemeine Hochschulreife – if you have a second language at school or a B1 language certificate


  • economics and management
  • technics
  • health and society
  • food and housekeeping
  • design
  • agriculture

Berufliches Gymnasium

Pupils who are eligible to attend gymnasium after grade 10 can go to the Berufliches Gymnasium and receive the allgemeine Hochschulreife after three years.


  • nutrition
  • health
  • pedagogy, psychology, society
  • Information technology, medical informatics
  • Technical computer Science
  • chemistry, biology, physics engineering
  • architecture
  • construction technology
  • electrical engineering –
  • renewable energy
  • design
  • media technology
  • fashion
  • technology and management
  • environmental engineering
  • law
  • economy
  • economic informatics

More topics about school – #education in Germany

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