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Sankt Augustin Menden Realschule, Germany

The Realschule is a type of secondary school in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein. It has also existed in Croatia (realna gimnazija), Denmark (realskole), Sweden (realskola), Hungary (reáliskola) and Russian Empire (Реальное училище).


Realschule in Germany



The Realschule was an outgrowth of the rationalism and empiricism of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. While efforts were made to introduce more science into the classical schools generally, the Realschule offered a more scientific emphasis than the Gymnasium, with its emphasis on classics and humanities. In 1747, Hecker established at Berlin an ökonomisch-mathematische Realschule, which may be regarded as the prototype of the Realschule of the twentieth century. The Realschule was a six-year course. The Oberrealschule had a nine-year course.

Situation of the school

In the German secondary school system, the Realschule is ranked between Hauptschule (lowest) and Gymnasium (highest). After graduating from Realschule, good students are allowed to attend a professional Gymnasium or a general-education Gymnasium. They can also attend a Berufskolleg or do an apprenticeship.

In most states of Germany, pupils start at a Realschule at the age of ten or eleven and typically finish school at the age of 16–17. In some states, Realschulen have recently been replaced by Oberschulen or Sekundarschulen. In 2006 1.32 million German students attended the Realschule.

At a Realschule, one gets an extended education. One learns a minimum of one foreign language, usually English. In the state of Baden-Württemberg one has to choose between technology, domestic economics or French (as the second foreign language) after the 6th grade. The new subject is the fifth main subject, after German, maths, science and English. It is possible to learn other foreign languages in free workshops. Other subjects are geography, social studies, economics, history, religious education and physical education. After 8th grade one has to choose between arts and music.

High school diplomas obtained in Canada or the United States are usually acknowledged as a Realschulabschluss[1] (graduation of Realschule) and generally do not qualify the bearer for attending a German university. However those holding a high school diploma will be able to study at a German university nevertheless, if they did well on the SAT or ACT.[2]

Gymnasia and Realgymnasia are the classical higher or secondary schools of Germany.

Abolishment of the Realschule in Berlin and Hamburg

Starting in 2010/2011 Realschulen were formally abolished in the German States Berlin and Hamburg. They were merged with Hauptschulen and the old Gesamtschulen to form a new type of comprehensive school, called Stadtteilschule in Hamburg and Sekundarschule in Berlin (see: Education in Berlin, Education in Hamburg).

The "Advanced Realschule" and "Realschule Plus"

The "Erweiterte Realschule" (advanced Realschule) is a school that exists in the German State of the Saarland. It is not to be confused with the Realschule. While the Realschule is a selective school, the adavanced Realschule is school that does not select its students on the basis of academic achievement or aptitude. It streams students by ability after 7th grade. The "Realschule Plus" is a non-selective school that exists in the State of Rhineland-Palatinate. It is a "Intermediate School". It offers general education classes (that ressemble normal Realschule classes) as well as remedial classes. The advanced Realschule and the Realschule Plus are not the school of first choice for many students and often are attended by students, who had been turned down or or have been expelled from other schools.


  • F. E. Bolton, Secondary School System of Germany, (New York, 1900)
  • J. E. Russell, German Higher Schools, (New York, 1907)
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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Wikipedia has an article on:





From real + Schule.


  • IPA: /'rea:lʃu:lə/


Realschule f. (genitive Realschule, plural Realschulen)

  1. high school (US), secondary school (UK)

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