Abitur: unsure in the exam – district of Munich

Nevio Zuber is deputy spokesman for the state student council and will be writing his Abitur at Ottobrunn Gymnasium from Wednesday.

(Photo: Claus Schunk)

It is now the third year of high school graduation who have to take their exams during the pandemic. And this vintage probably suffers the most. Because it was the two preparatory years for the school leaving certificate in which the high school graduates experienced the entire range of pandemic-related school cancellations and teaching models. Now, on Wednesday, the Abitur exam phase in Bavaria is to begin with the written exam in German, and the mood in the final year is ambivalent.

“There are mixed feelings. But above all joy, because it is a long-awaited moment that is ahead of us,” says Nevio Zuber, a high school graduate at Ottobrunn Gymnasium and deputy spokesman for the state student council. When preparing for the exam, he finds that the effects of the pandemic are hardly noticeable. It is “almost like a normal high school year”, apart from the deletion of some content. At his school, they had already completed the math two weeks before the start of graduation, reports Zuber. Almost record time. But that doesn’t go so smoothly everywhere, the feedback from other schools was different.

State student spokeswoman Marlena Thiel from the Ernst-Mach-Gymnasium in Haar praises the accommodation in the form of 30 minutes longer examination time and topic deletions. “Nevertheless, many have the feeling of being unprepared because some topics were simply neglected due to the lack of time,” she says. Although this school year has largely taken place again in attendance, many students have repeatedly had to be absent due to quarantine, which must be taken into account. Thiel also criticizes that there are still no explicit and uniform specifications regarding corona security measures. Even now, a few days before the exam, many students do not know whether there is anything to consider. “It didn’t necessarily go well,” she says.

The mask is not mandatory, but is sometimes recommended

The obligation to wear masks in Bavarian schools has officially been lifted and the obligation to carry out tests is also to be abolished on May 1st, despite the increased risk of infection from the Omicron variant. Under these conditions, says Thiel, it is at least questionable to gather the students in a large room for an examination lasting several hours. Instead, she would appreciate going back to last year’s methods and dividing the examinees into smaller groups in separate classrooms, despite the additional logistical effort. “Otherwise I could imagine that one or the other student would have reservations about taking the exam,” she says. Thiel is convinced that schools should not decide on such measures individually, uniform regulations are needed.

Abitur exams without safety precautions, as in the pre-Corona times, are said to be at the Ottobrunn high school. There will be no obligation to test on the day of the exam and wearing a mask is no longer necessary, says Zuber. The only uncertainty he mentions relates to the 30-minute “mask open time”https://www.sueddeutsche.de/muenchen/landkreismuenchen/.” Because the mask requirement is no longer applicable, at my school it is uncertain whether the additional time should remain,” he explains.

There is no mask requirement in the Grünwald grammar school either, but the strong recommendation to the students to continue to wear the face mask. Headmistress Birgit Korda says it is a low-threshold means of getting through the Abitur healthily. And the students always want to get through the Abitur period healthy. Korda was able to observe the same motivation in her high school graduates at the start of the exam as Zuber describes. “They want to get started and write. They don’t want to wait any longer and have been preparing for it for two years now,” she says. Despite the two-year pandemic at their school, the students are very well prepared, says Korda with conviction. As additional support, there were remedial courses and exercises for the high school graduates in Grünwald in addition to the usual school lessons. The course instructors made a special effort and kept an eye on the students individually, says Korda: “Now we’re excited about the result.” Otherwise, the headmistress only wants a “quiet, routine and civilized examination process”.

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