source: Bayerisches Kultusministerium
The three secondary schools are called 'Mittelschule', 'Realschule' and 'Gymnasium'. The student's course through schooling must not end how it started, as many parents erroneously think. Students with a high academic grade can e.g. switch from 'Realschule' to 'Gymnasium',according to their results, or people with a lower degree the converse.
After successfully completing 'Mittelschule' or 'Realschule' you have got the opportunity to continue education for your A level certificate (Abitur) or to start an occupation.
If you receive your A-level certificate there are many possibilities to continue e.g. by studying a special subject like law or start working in a job.
In many German states there are 'Gesamtschulen' (comprehensive schools), too. In this type of school the system does not separate students after Year 4 or 6 into three different types of schools.
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