Gymnasium (school)

Gymnasium (school)

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A gymnasium is a type of school providing secondary education
Secondary education
Secondary education is the stage of education following primary education. Secondary education includes the final stage of compulsory education and in many countries it is entirely compulsory. The next stage of education is usually college or university...

 in some parts of Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

, comparable to English grammar schools or sixth form college
Sixth form college
A sixth form college is an educational institution in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Belize, Hong Kong or Malta where students aged 16 to 18 typically study for advanced school-level qualifications, such as A-levels, or school-level qualifications such as GCSEs. In Singapore and India, this is...

s and U.S. college preparatory high schools
University-preparatory school
A university-preparatory school or college-preparatory school is a secondary school, usually private, designed to prepare students for a college or university education...

. The word γυμνάσιον (gymnasion) was used in Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the...

, meaning a locality for both physical and intellectual education
Education
Education in its broadest, general sense is the means through which the aims and habits of a group of people lives on from one generation to the next. Generally, it occurs through any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts...

 of young men (see gymnasium (ancient Greece)
Gymnasium (ancient Greece)
The gymnasium in ancient Greece functioned as a training facility for competitors in public games. It was also a place for socializing and engaging in intellectual pursuits. The name comes from the Ancient Greek term gymnós meaning "naked". Athletes competed in the nude, a practice said to...

). The latter meaning of a place of intellectual education persisted in German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

 and other languages, whereas in English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 the meaning of a place for physical education was retained, more familiarly in the shortened form gym
Gym
The word γυμνάσιον was used in Ancient Greece, that mean a locality for both physical and intellectual education of young men...

. The gymnasium prepares pupils to enter a university
University
A university is an institution of higher education and research, which grants academic degrees in a variety of subjects. A university is an organisation that provides both undergraduate education and postgraduate education...

 for advanced academic study.

In the Polish educational system
Education in Poland
Since changes made in 2009 Education in Poland starts at the age of five or six for the 0 class and six or seven years in the 1st class of primary school . It is compulsory that children do one year of formal education before entering 1st class at no later than 7 years of age...

 the gimnazjum is a middle school
Middle school
Middle School and Junior High School are levels of schooling between elementary and high schools. Most school systems use one term or the other, not both. The terms are not interchangeable...

 (junior high school) for pupils aged 13 to 16. The same applies in the Greek educational system
Education in Greece
The Greek educational system is mainly divided into three levels, namely primary, secondary and tertiary, with an additional post-secondary level providing vocational training. Primary education is divided into kindergarten lasting one or two years, and primary school spanning six years...

, with the additional option of Εσπερινό Γυμνάσιο (evening gymnasium) for adults and working students aged 14 upwards.

School structure


The gymnasium is a secondary school which prepares the student for higher education
Higher education
Higher, post-secondary, tertiary, or third level education refers to the stage of learning that occurs at universities, academies, colleges, seminaries, and institutes of technology...

 at a university
University
A university is an institution of higher education and research, which grants academic degrees in a variety of subjects. A university is an organisation that provides both undergraduate education and postgraduate education...

. They are thus meant for the more academically-minded students, who are sifted out at about the age of 10–13. In addition to the usual curriculum, students of a gymnasium often study Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 and Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek is the stage of the Greek language in the periods spanning the times c. 9th–6th centuries BC, , c. 5th–4th centuries BC , and the c. 3rd century BC – 6th century AD of ancient Greece and the ancient world; being predated in the 2nd millennium BC by Mycenaean Greek...

.

Some gymnasiums provide general education, others have a specific focus. (This also differs from country to country.) The four traditional branches are:
  • humanities
    Humanities
    The humanities are academic disciplines that study the human condition, using methods that are primarily analytical, critical, or speculative, as distinguished from the mainly empirical approaches of the natural sciences....

     education (specialising in Classical languages, such as Latin
    Latin
    Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

     and Greek
    Ancient Greek
    Ancient Greek is the stage of the Greek language in the periods spanning the times c. 9th–6th centuries BC, , c. 5th–4th centuries BC , and the c. 3rd century BC – 6th century AD of ancient Greece and the ancient world; being predated in the 2nd millennium BC by Mycenaean Greek...

    )
  • modern languages (students are required to study at least three languages)
  • mathematical-scientific education
  • economical and social-scientific education (students are required to study economics
    Economics
    Economics is the social science that analyzes the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. The term economics comes from the Ancient Greek from + , hence "rules of the house"...

    , social studies
    Social studies
    Social studies is the "integrated study of the social sciences and humanities to promote civic competence," as defined by the American National Council for the Social Studies...

     and business informatics
    Business informatics
    Business informatics or organizational informatics is a discipline combining information technology , informatics and management concepts. The BI discipline was created in Germany, from the concept of "Wirtschaftsinformatik"...

    )


Today, a number of other areas of specialization exist, such as gymnasiums specializing in economics, technology or domestic sciences.

In some countries, there is a notion of progymnasium, which is equivalent to beginning classes of the full gymnasium, with the rights to continue education in a gymnasium. Here, the prefix "pro" means "instead of".

History


In the German-speaking
German-speaking Europe
The German language is spoken in a number of countries and territories in West, Central and Eastern Europe...

, the Central-European, the Nordic
Nordic countries
The Nordic countries make up a region in Northern Europe and the North Atlantic which consists of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden and their associated territories, the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Åland...

, the Benelux
Benelux
The Benelux is an economic union in Western Europe comprising three neighbouring countries, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. These countries are located in northwestern Europe between France and Germany...

 (Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

, Luxembourg
Luxembourg
Luxembourg , officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg , is a landlocked country in western Europe, bordered by Belgium, France, and Germany. It has two principal regions: the Oesling in the North as part of the Ardennes massif, and the Gutland in the south...

) and the Baltic countries
Baltic countries
The term Baltic states refers to the Baltic territories which gained independence from the Russian Empire in the wake of World War I: primarily the contiguous trio of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania ; Finland also fell within the scope of the term after initially gaining independence in the 1920s.The...

, this meaning for "gymnasium", that is a secondary school preparing the student for higher education
Higher education
Higher, post-secondary, tertiary, or third level education refers to the stage of learning that occurs at universities, academies, colleges, seminaries, and institutes of technology...

 at a university
University
A university is an institution of higher education and research, which grants academic degrees in a variety of subjects. A university is an organisation that provides both undergraduate education and postgraduate education...

, has been the same at least since the Protestant reformation
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

 in the 16th century. The term was derived from the classical Greek word “gymnasium
Gymnasium (ancient Greece)
The gymnasium in ancient Greece functioned as a training facility for competitors in public games. It was also a place for socializing and engaging in intellectual pursuits. The name comes from the Ancient Greek term gymnós meaning "naked". Athletes competed in the nude, a practice said to...

,” which was originally applied to an exercising ground in ancient Athens
Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

. Here teachers gathered and gave instruction between the hours devoted to physical exercises and sports, and thus the term became associated with and came to mean an institution of learning.

This use of the term did not prevail among the Romans, but was revived during the Renaissance in Italy
Italian Renaissance
The Italian Renaissance began the opening phase of the Renaissance, a period of great cultural change and achievement in Europe that spanned the period from the end of the 13th century to about 1600, marking the transition between Medieval and Early Modern Europe...

, and from there passed into the Netherlands and Germany during the 15th century. In 1538, Johannes Sturm
Johannes Sturm
Johannes Sturm, Latinized as Ioannes Sturmius was a German educator, influential in the design of the Gymnasium system of secondary education.- Biography :...

 founded at Strassburg the school which became the model of the modern German gymnasium. In 1812, a Prussia
Prussia
Prussia was a German kingdom and historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organized and effective army. Prussia shaped the history...

n regulation ordered that all schools which had the right to send their students to the university should bear the name of gymnasia. By the 20th century, this practice was followed in almost all German states, in Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

 and in Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

.

Austria


In Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

, gymnasium consists of eight years. The usual combination is English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

, French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 and Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

, sometimes French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 can be swapped with another foreign language (like Italian, Spanish, or Russian) or a more technical subject like descriptive geometry
Descriptive geometry
Descriptive geometry is the branch of geometry which allows the representation of three-dimensional objects in two dimensions, by using a specific set of procedures. The resulting techniques are important for engineering, architecture, design and in art...

 or further hours of biology
Biology
Biology is a natural science concerned with the study of life and living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, distribution, and taxonomy. Biology is a vast subject containing many subdivisions, topics, and disciplines...

, physics
Physics
Physics is a natural science that involves the study of matter and its motion through spacetime, along with related concepts such as energy and force. More broadly, it is the general analysis of nature, conducted in order to understand how the universe behaves.Physics is one of the oldest academic...

 or chemistry
Chemistry
Chemistry is the science of matter, especially its chemical reactions, but also its composition, structure and properties. Chemistry is concerned with atoms and their interactions with other atoms, and particularly with the properties of chemical bonds....

.
Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 is a requirement for several studies in Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

. Also Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek is the stage of the Greek language in the periods spanning the times c. 9th–6th centuries BC, , c. 5th–4th centuries BC , and the c. 3rd century BC – 6th century AD of ancient Greece and the ancient world; being predated in the 2nd millennium BC by Mycenaean Greek...

 is obligatory in some Austrian classes.

North European countries


In Denmark
Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

, Estonia
Estonia
Estonia , officially the Republic of Estonia , is a state in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia , and to the east by Lake Peipsi and the Russian Federation . Across the Baltic Sea lies...

, the Faroe Islands
Faroe Islands
The Faroe Islands are an island group situated between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, approximately halfway between Scotland and Iceland. The Faroe Islands are a self-governing territory within the Kingdom of Denmark, along with Denmark proper and Greenland...

, Finland
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

, Latvia
Latvia
Latvia , officially the Republic of Latvia , is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by Estonia , to the south by Lithuania , to the east by the Russian Federation , to the southeast by Belarus and shares maritime borders to the west with Sweden...

, Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

 and Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

 gymnasium consists of three years, usually starting at age 16 after nine or ten years of primary school. In Iceland
Iceland
Iceland , described as the Republic of Iceland, is a Nordic and European island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Iceland also refers to the main island of the country, which contains almost all the population and almost all the land area. The country has a population...

 and Lithuania
Lithuania
Lithuania , officially the Republic of Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the biggest of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, whereby to the west lie Sweden and Denmark...

 the gymnasium usually consists of four years of schooling starting at the age of 16, the last year roughly corresponding to the first year of college
College
A college is an educational institution or a constituent part of an educational institution. Usage varies in English-speaking nations...

.

In all of Scandinavia and the Nordic countries, education is free. This includes not only primary school, but gymnasiums and universities as well, except in Iceland
Iceland
Iceland , described as the Republic of Iceland, is a Nordic and European island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Iceland also refers to the main island of the country, which contains almost all the population and almost all the land area. The country has a population...

, where only primary school is free of charge. Furthermore, to help decrease the heritage of historic social injustice
Social injustice
Social injustice is a concept relating to the claimed unfairness or injustice of a society in its divisions of rewards and burdens and other incidental inequalities...

, all countries except Iceland
Iceland
Iceland , described as the Republic of Iceland, is a Nordic and European island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Iceland also refers to the main island of the country, which contains almost all the population and almost all the land area. The country has a population...

 have generous universal grants
Grant (money)
Grants are funds disbursed by one party , often a Government Department, Corporation, Foundation or Trust, to a recipient, often a nonprofit entity, educational institution, business or an individual. In order to receive a grant, some form of "Grant Writing" often referred to as either a proposal...

 for students. However, entrance is competitive and based on merit.

In Denmark, there are four kinds of gymnasiums: stx
Gymnasium (Denmark)
The Danish Gymnasium offers a 3-year general academically-oriented upper secondary programme which builds on the 9th-10th form of the Folkeskole and leads to the upper secondary school exit examination...

 (Studentereksamen), hhx (Higher Business Examination Programme), htx (Higher Technical Examination Programme) and hf
Higher Preparatory Examination (HF)
The Higher Preparatory Examination is a 2-year general upper secondary programme building on to the 10th form of the Folkeskole and leading to the higher preparatory examination , which qualifies for admission to higher education, subject to the special entrance regulations applying to the...

 (Higher Preparatory Examination Programme). To attend hf, it is a prerequisite that students add a voluntary tenth year to their primary school education. Hf then lasts only two years, instead of the three required for stx, hhx, and htx.

In the Faroe Islands, there are also four kinds of gymnasiums, which are equivalents to the Danish educations: Studentaskúli (equivalent to stx), Handilsskúli (hhx), Tekniski skúli (htx) and HF (hf). Studentaskúli and HF are usually located at the same institutions as can be seen in the name of the institute in Eysturoy
Eysturoy
Eysturoy means East island and is the second-largest of the Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic, both in size and population. It is separated by a narrow sound from the main island of Streymoy. Eysturoy is extremely rugged, with some 66 separate mountain peaks, including Slættaratindur, the...

: Studentaskúlin og HF-skeiðið í Eysturoy.

In Finland, the admissions to gymnasiums are competitive, the accepted people comprising 51 % of the age group. The gymnasiums concludes with the matriculation exam (Abitur
Abitur
Abitur is a designation used in Germany, Finland and Estonia for final exams that pupils take at the end of their secondary education, usually after 12 or 13 years of schooling, see also for Germany Abitur after twelve years.The Zeugnis der Allgemeinen Hochschulreife, often referred to as...

), an exam whose grades are the main criteria for college admissions.

Former Yugoslavia


In Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina , sometimes called Bosnia-Herzegovina or simply Bosnia, is a country in Southern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. Bordered by Croatia to the north, west and south, Serbia to the east, and Montenegro to the southeast, Bosnia and Herzegovina is almost landlocked, except for the...

, Croatia
Croatia
Croatia , officially the Republic of Croatia , is a unitary democratic parliamentary republic in Europe at the crossroads of the Mitteleuropa, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean. Its capital and largest city is Zagreb. The country is divided into 20 counties and the city of Zagreb. Croatia covers ...

, Macedonia
Republic of Macedonia
Macedonia , officially the Republic of Macedonia , is a country located in the central Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. It is one of the successor states of the former Yugoslavia, from which it declared independence in 1991...

, Montenegro
Montenegro
Montenegro Montenegrin: Crna Gora Црна Гора , meaning "Black Mountain") is a country located in Southeastern Europe. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea to the south-west and is bordered by Croatia to the west, Bosnia and Herzegovina to the northwest, Serbia to the northeast and Albania to the...

, Serbia
Serbia
Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

, and Slovenia
Slovenia
Slovenia , officially the Republic of Slovenia , is a country in Central and Southeastern Europe touching the Alps and bordering the Mediterranean. Slovenia borders Italy to the west, Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, and Austria to the north, and also has a small portion of...

, a gymnasium education takes four years following a compulsory eight or nine-year elementary education and ending with a final aptitude test called Matura. In Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro and Macedonia, the final test is standardized at the state level and serves as an entrance qualification for universities.

There are both public (state-run and tuition-free) and private (fee-paying) gymnasium schools in these countries, but the former are the majority.

The subjects taught are mathematics, the native language, one to three foreign languages, history, geography, informatics, the natural sciences (biology, chemistry, physics), history of art, music, philosophy, logic, physical education and the social sciences (sociology, ethics, psychology, politics and economy). Religious studies are optional. In Croatia Latin is also an obligatory subject in all gymnasiums, just as Ancient Greek is in a certain type of gymnasiums called Classical Gymnasiums (klasična gimnazija).

In all these republics the gymnasium (Gimnazija) is generally viewed as a destination for best performing students and as the type of school that serves primarily to prepare the student for attending university courses, while other students go to technical/vocational schools. Therefore, gymnasiums often base their admittance criteria on an entrance exam, elementary school grades or some combination of the two.

Germany


German Gymnasiums are selective schools. They have the self-perception of offering the academically most promising youngsters a quality education that is in most cases free (and in other cases at low cost). Gymnasiums may expel students who academically underperform their classmates or behave in a way that is seen as unacceptable.
Pupils study subjects like German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

, mathematics
Mathematics
Mathematics is the study of quantity, space, structure, and change. Mathematicians seek out patterns and formulate new conjectures. Mathematicians resolve the truth or falsity of conjectures by mathematical proofs, which are arguments sufficient to convince other mathematicians of their validity...

, informatics
Informatics (academic field)
Informatics is the science of information, the practice of information processing, and the engineering of information systems. Informatics studies the structure, algorithms, behavior, and interactions of natural and artificial systems that store, process, access and communicate information...

, physics
Physics
Physics is a natural science that involves the study of matter and its motion through spacetime, along with related concepts such as energy and force. More broadly, it is the general analysis of nature, conducted in order to understand how the universe behaves.Physics is one of the oldest academic...

, chemistry
Chemistry
Chemistry is the science of matter, especially its chemical reactions, but also its composition, structure and properties. Chemistry is concerned with atoms and their interactions with other atoms, and particularly with the properties of chemical bonds....

, geography
Geography
Geography is the science that studies the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of Earth. A literal translation would be "to describe or write about the Earth". The first person to use the word "geography" was Eratosthenes...

, biology
Biology
Biology is a natural science concerned with the study of life and living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, distribution, and taxonomy. Biology is a vast subject containing many subdivisions, topics, and disciplines...

, arts
ARts
aRts, which stands for analog Real time synthesizer, is an audio framework that is no longer under development. It is best known for previously being used in KDE to simulate an analog synthesizer....

, music
Music
Music is an art form whose medium is sound and silence. Its common elements are pitch , rhythm , dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture...

, physical education
Physical education
Physical education or gymnastics is a course taken during primary and secondary education that encourages psychomotor learning in a play or movement exploration setting....

, religion
Religious education
In secular usage, religious education is the teaching of a particular religion and its varied aspects —its beliefs, doctrines, rituals, customs, rites, and personal roles...

, history
History
History is the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented. Scholars who write about history are called historians...

, philosophy
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

, civics
Civics
Civics is the study of rights and duties of citizenship. In other words, it is the study of government with attention to the role of citizens ― as opposed to external factors ― in the operation and oversight of government....

/citizenship, and social sciences. They are also required to study at least two foreign languages. The usual combinations are English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 and French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 or English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 and Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

, although many schools make it possible to combine English or, in some cases, French, with another language, most often Spanish
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

, Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek is the stage of the Greek language in the periods spanning the times c. 9th–6th centuries BC, , c. 5th–4th centuries BC , and the c. 3rd century BC – 6th century AD of ancient Greece and the ancient world; being predated in the 2nd millennium BC by Mycenaean Greek...

, or Russian
Russian language
Russian is a Slavic language used primarily in Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. It is an unofficial but widely spoken language in Ukraine, Moldova, Latvia, Turkmenistan and Estonia and, to a lesser extent, the other countries that were once constituent republics...

. Religious education classes or "ethics" classes are compulsory. Generally the student is, however, allowed to choose which of these classes to take. The only exception to this is the state
States of Germany
Germany is made up of sixteen which are partly sovereign constituent states of the Federal Republic of Germany. Land literally translates as "country", and constitutionally speaking, they are constituent countries...

 of Berlin
Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

 in which only the subject ethics is mandatory for all students and classes in (Christian) religious studies can only be chosen additionally. A similar situation is to be found in Brandenburg
Brandenburg
Brandenburg is one of the sixteen federal-states of Germany. It lies in the east of the country and is one of the new federal states that were re-created in 1990 upon the reunification of the former West Germany and East Germany. The capital is Potsdam...

 where the subject life skills, ethics, and religious education (Lebensgestaltung, Ethik, Religionskunde - LER) is the primary subject but parents or students older than 13 can choose to replace it with (Christian) religious studies or even to take both. The intention behind LER is that students should get an objective insight on questions of personal development and ethics as well as on the major world religions.

For younger students nearly the entire curriculum of a Gymnasium is compulsory; in higher grades more elective subjects are available, but the choice is not as wide as in, for example, a US high school.

Although some specialist Gymnasiums have English or French as the language of instruction, at most Gymnasium lessons (apart from foreign language courses) are conducted in High German
Standard German
Standard German is the standard variety of the German language used as a written language, in formal contexts, and for communication between different dialect areas...

.

The number of years of instruction at a Gymnasium differs between the states. It varies between six to seven years in Berlin
Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

 and Brandenburg
Brandenburg
Brandenburg is one of the sixteen federal-states of Germany. It lies in the east of the country and is one of the new federal states that were re-created in 1990 upon the reunification of the former West Germany and East Germany. The capital is Potsdam...

 (primary school includes six years in both as opposed to four years in the rest of Germany) and eight in Bavaria
Bavaria
Bavaria, formally the Free State of Bavaria is a state of Germany, located in the southeast of Germany. With an area of , it is the largest state by area, forming almost 20% of the total land area of Germany...

, Hessen and Baden-Württemberg
Baden-Württemberg
Baden-Württemberg is one of the 16 states of Germany. Baden-Württemberg is in the southwestern part of the country to the east of the Upper Rhine, and is the third largest in both area and population of Germany's sixteen states, with an area of and 10.7 million inhabitants...

 among others. While in Saxony
Saxony
The Free State of Saxony is a landlocked state of Germany, contingent with Brandenburg, Saxony Anhalt, Thuringia, Bavaria, the Czech Republic and Poland. It is the tenth-largest German state in area, with of Germany's sixteen states....

 and Thuringia
Thuringia
The Free State of Thuringia is a state of Germany, located in the central part of the country.It has an area of and 2.29 million inhabitants, making it the sixth smallest by area and the fifth smallest by population of Germany's sixteen states....

 students have never been taught more than eight years in Gymnasium (by default), nearly all states are now providing the Abitur
Abitur
Abitur is a designation used in Germany, Finland and Estonia for final exams that pupils take at the end of their secondary education, usually after 12 or 13 years of schooling, see also for Germany Abitur after twelve years.The Zeugnis der Allgemeinen Hochschulreife, often referred to as...

 examinations, which complete the Gymnasium education, after 12 years in primary school and Gymnasium. In addition to that some states still or again offer a one year longer Abitur. These final examinations are centrally drafted and controlled (Zentralabitur) in all German states except for Rhineland-Palatinate
Rhineland-Palatinate
Rhineland-Palatinate is one of the 16 states of the Federal Republic of Germany. It has an area of and about four million inhabitants. The capital is Mainz. English speakers also commonly refer to the state by its German name, Rheinland-Pfalz ....

 and provide a qualification to attend any university.

The vast majority of Gymnasiums are public (i.e., state-funded) and do not charge tuition fees. Article 7, Paragraph 4 of the German Constitution forbids segregation of students according to the means of their parents (the so called Sonderungsverbot). Therefore, most private Gymnasiums only have low tuition fees and/or offer scholarships.

Italy


In Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 originally the Ginnasio indicated a typology of five-year junior high school (age 11 to 16) and preparing to the three year Liceo Classico
Liceo classico
Liceo classico is a secondary school type in Italy. The educational curriculum lasts five years, and students are generally about 14 to 19 years of age....

 (age 16 to 19), a high school focusing on classical studies and humanities
Humanities
The humanities are academic disciplines that study the human condition, using methods that are primarily analytical, critical, or speculative, as distinguished from the mainly empirical approaches of the natural sciences....

. After the school reform that unified the junior high school system, the term Ginnasio stayed to indicate the first two year of Liceo Classico, now five years long. Oddly enough, an Italian high school student who enrolls in Liceo Classico follows this study path: Quarta Ginnasio (gymnasium fourth year, age 14), Quinta Ginnasio (gymnasium fifth year, age 15), Prima Liceo (Liceo first year, age 16), Seconda Liceo (Liceo second year, age 17) and Terza Liceo (Liceo third year, age 18). Some believe this still has some sense, since the two-year Ginnasio has a very different set of mind from the Liceo. Ginnasio students spend almost all their time studying Greek and Latin grammar, laying the bases for the "higher" and more complicated set of studies of the Liceo, such as Greek and Latin literature, Philosophy and Art History.

Netherlands


In the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, gymnasium is the highest variant of secondary education. They have the self-perception of offering the academically most promising youngsters a quality education that is in most cases free (and in other cases at low cost). Gymnasiums may expel students who academically underperform their classmates or behave in a way that is seen as unacceptable. It consists of six years, after 8 years (including kindergarten
Kindergarten
A kindergarten is a preschool educational institution for children. The term was created by Friedrich Fröbel for the play and activity institute that he created in 1837 in Bad Blankenburg as a social experience for children for their transition from home to school...

) of primary school, in which pupils study the same subjects as their German counterparts, with the addition of compulsory Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek is the stage of the Greek language in the periods spanning the times c. 9th–6th centuries BC, , c. 5th–4th centuries BC , and the c. 3rd century BC – 6th century AD of ancient Greece and the ancient world; being predated in the 2nd millennium BC by Mycenaean Greek...

, Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 and Klassieke Culturele Vorming, Classical Cultural Education, history of the Ancient Greek and Roman culture and literature. The equivalent without classical languages is called Atheneum
Voorbereidend Wetenschappelijk Onderwijs
Voorbereidend wetenschappelijk onderwijs or pre-university secondary education is the highest variant in the secondary educational system of the Netherlands. After leaving elementary school students are enrolled in different types of secondary schools, according to their academic ability...

, and gives access to the same university studies (although some extra classes are needed when starting a degree in classical languages or theology
Theology
Theology is the systematic and rational study of religion and its influences and of the nature of religious truths, or the learned profession acquired by completing specialized training in religious studies, usually at a university or school of divinity or seminary.-Definition:Augustine of Hippo...

). All are government-funded. See VWO
Voorbereidend Wetenschappelijk Onderwijs
Voorbereidend wetenschappelijk onderwijs or pre-university secondary education is the highest variant in the secondary educational system of the Netherlands. After leaving elementary school students are enrolled in different types of secondary schools, according to their academic ability...

 for the full article on Dutch "preparatory scientific education".

Czech Republic


In the Czech Republic
Czech Republic
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest....

, gymnázium (also spelled gymnasium) is one type of schools that provide secondary education. There are three types of gymnázium distinguished by the length of study: eight-year, six-year and four-year types. It leads to the maturita exam.

Countries with gymnasium schools


  • Albania
    Albania
    Albania , officially known as the Republic of Albania , is a country in Southeastern Europe, in the Balkans region. It is bordered by Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo to the northeast, the Republic of Macedonia to the east and Greece to the south and southeast. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea...

     Gjimnaz 3 Years, after 9 years of primary (4) and "medium" (5) education, ends with Matura Shtetërore
    Matura Shtetërore
    State Matura is a recently created system regarding final exams that young adults take in the end of their secondary education.It was created by the Albanian Ministry of Education and Science in 2006, as a project that would avoid corruption, lack of control and favoritism., that had...

     at the age of 18.
  • Argentina
    Argentina
    Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

    : Colegio Nacional de Buenos Aires
    Colegio Nacional de Buenos Aires
    Colegio Nacional de Buenos Aires is a public high school in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In the tradition of the European gymnasium it provides a free education that includes classical languages such as Latin and Greek. The school is one of the most prestigious in Argentina...

    , 6 years; Rafael Hernández National College
    Rafael Hernández National College
    The Colegio Nacional Rafael Hernández is one of the four public high schools that are part of the National University of La Plata, in the City of La Plata, Argentina. The Colegio Nacional aegis denotes a school belonging to the system of national secondary schools...

     of La Plata
    La Plata
    La Plata is the capital city of the Province of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and of La Plata partido. According to the , the city proper has a population of 574,369 and its metropolitan area has 694,253 inhabitants....

    , 5 years (formerly 6 years), after 7 years of primary school; and Gymnasium Universidad Nacional de Tucumán 61 years.
  • Austria
    Austria
    Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

     8 years, after 4 years of primary school, or 4 years, after primary school and 4 years of Hauptschule
    Hauptschule
    A Hauptschule is a secondary school in Germany and Austria, starting after 4 years of elementary schooling, which offers Lower Secondary Education according to the International Standard Classification of Education...

    , ends with Matura
    Matura
    Matura or a similar term is the common name for the high-school leaving exam or "maturity exam" in various countries, including Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Kosovo, Liechtenstein, Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Serbia,...

     at the age of 18.
  • Belarus
    Belarus
    Belarus , officially the Republic of Belarus, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordered clockwise by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital is Minsk; other major cities include Brest, Grodno , Gomel ,...

  • Brazil
    Brazil
    Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

     Humboldt Schule of São Paulo is a German School in São Paulo. There are more Gymnasiums in the country and some of them receive recurses from German Government.
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
    Bosnia and Herzegovina
    Bosnia and Herzegovina , sometimes called Bosnia-Herzegovina or simply Bosnia, is a country in Southern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. Bordered by Croatia to the north, west and south, Serbia to the east, and Montenegro to the southeast, Bosnia and Herzegovina is almost landlocked, except for the...

     (4 years, starting at age 14/15 after 9 years in elementary school
    Elementary school
    An elementary school or primary school is an institution where children receive the first stage of compulsory education known as elementary or primary education. Elementary school is the preferred term in some countries, particularly those in North America, where the terms grade school and grammar...

    , ends with Matura)
  • Bulgaria
    Bulgaria
    Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

     5 years, after 7 years of primary school. Currently graduation after passing at least two Matriculation Examinations.
  • Canada
    Canada
    Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

  • Colombia
    Colombia
    Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

     Gimnasio Campestre
    Gimnasio Campestre
    The Gimnasio Campestre is an all-male, traditional and conservative Pre-K to 11th grade private school located in Bogotá, Colombia.-Origin:It was founded in 1946 by Alfonso Casas Morales, and its educational legacy has prepared several generations of "gimnasianos", as its alumni are known, offering...

     (all-male, traditional and conservative Pre-K to 11th grade private school located in Bogotá, Colombia).
  • Croatia
    Croatia
    Croatia , officially the Republic of Croatia , is a unitary democratic parliamentary republic in Europe at the crossroads of the Mitteleuropa, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean. Its capital and largest city is Zagreb. The country is divided into 20 counties and the city of Zagreb. Croatia covers ...

     (4 years, starting at age 14/15 after 8 years in elementary school, five different educational tracks: opća gimnazija (general education), klasična gimnazija (focused on Latin and Ancient Greek), jezična gimnazija (focused on modern languages), prirodoslovna gimnazija (biology, chemistry, physics) and prirodoslovno-matematička gimnazija (mathematics, physics and computer science), ends with Matura). Students of all tracks have compulsory classes in Latin and English as well as in at least one additional foreign language (most commonly German, Italian, Spanish and French).
  • Cyprus
    Cyprus
    Cyprus , officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasian island country, member of the European Union, in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.The earliest known human activity on the...

     3 years, starting at age 12 and following 6 years of Elementary School. Compulsory for all students. Followed by the non-mandatory Lyceum
    Lyceum
    The lyceum is a category of educational institution defined within the education system of many countries, mainly in Europe. The definition varies between countries; usually it is a type of secondary school.-History:...

     (ages 15–18) for students with academic aspirations or TEL
    Vocational education
    Vocational education or vocational education and training is an education that prepares trainees for jobs that are based on manual or practical activities, traditionally non-academic, and totally related to a specific trade, occupation, or vocation...

     for students who prefer vocational training.
  • Czech Republic
    Czech Republic
    The Czech Republic is a landlocked country in Central Europe. The country is bordered by Poland to the northeast, Slovakia to the east, Austria to the south, and Germany to the west and northwest....

     (4 years starting at age 15/16; 6 years starting at age 13/14(not usual); 8 years starting at age 11/12; all of them end with a Maturita
    Matura
    Matura or a similar term is the common name for the high-school leaving exam or "maturity exam" in various countries, including Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Kosovo, Liechtenstein, Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Serbia,...

    )
  • Denmark
    Denmark
    Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

     3 years (4 years for athletes who are part of the Team Danmark
    Team Danmark
    Team Danmark is an organization funded by the Danish government through the proceeds from "Danske Spil" with the purpose of promoting elite sports in Denmark....

    elite sports program, or musicians who have chosen MGK ("Musical Elementary Course")), usually starting after 10 or 11 years of primary school
    Danish Folkeskole Education
    The Folkeskole is one type of school in Denmark, covering the entire period of compulsory education. This form of education cannot, as in the case of many other nations' education systems, be divided into primary and secondary education....

    ). This is more like a prep school or the first years of college than high school. Everyone is eligible to go to a US high school, but you have to be deemed competent to get into a gymnasium. (For more information, see Gymnasium (Denmark)
    Gymnasium (Denmark)
    The Danish Gymnasium offers a 3-year general academically-oriented upper secondary programme which builds on the 9th-10th form of the Folkeskole and leads to the upper secondary school exit examination...

    .) Gymnasium is also available in an intensive 2 year program leading to the Højere Forberedelseseksamen ("Higher Preparatory Exam")
    Higher Preparatory Examination (HF)
    The Higher Preparatory Examination is a 2-year general upper secondary programme building on to the 10th form of the Folkeskole and leading to the higher preparatory examination , which qualifies for admission to higher education, subject to the special entrance regulations applying to the...

    .
  • Estonia
    Estonia
    Estonia , officially the Republic of Estonia , is a state in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia , and to the east by Lake Peipsi and the Russian Federation . Across the Baltic Sea lies...

     (3 years, after 9 years of primary school)
  • Faroe Islands
    Faroe Islands
    The Faroe Islands are an island group situated between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, approximately halfway between Scotland and Iceland. The Faroe Islands are a self-governing territory within the Kingdom of Denmark, along with Denmark proper and Greenland...

     3 years, usually starting after 9 or 10 years of primary school. The system is similar to the Danish system. A gymnasium level education is also available in an intensive 2 year programme leading to Hægri fyrireikingarpróvtøka ("Higher Preparatory Exam")
    Higher Preparatory Examination (HF)
    The Higher Preparatory Examination is a 2-year general upper secondary programme building on to the 10th form of the Folkeskole and leading to the higher preparatory examination , which qualifies for admission to higher education, subject to the special entrance regulations applying to the...

    .
  • Finland
    Finland
    Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

    : lukio (educational language is Finnish) or gymnasium (educational language is Swedish) takes 2–5 years (most students spend 3 years), after 9 years of primary school (peruskoulu in Finnish, grundskola in Swedish); lukio starts usually in the autumn of the year when the student turns 16 and ends with abitur
    Abitur
    Abitur is a designation used in Germany, Finland and Estonia for final exams that pupils take at the end of their secondary education, usually after 12 or 13 years of schooling, see also for Germany Abitur after twelve years.The Zeugnis der Allgemeinen Hochschulreife, often referred to as...

     after passing the matriculation examination; lukio is not compulsory and its entrance is competitive.
  • France
  • Germany (formerly 8–9 years depending on the Bundesland
    States of Germany
    Germany is made up of sixteen which are partly sovereign constituent states of the Federal Republic of Germany. Land literally translates as "country", and constitutionally speaking, they are constituent countries...

     - now being changed to 8 years nationwide, starting at 5th (at age 11), Abitur
    Abitur
    Abitur is a designation used in Germany, Finland and Estonia for final exams that pupils take at the end of their secondary education, usually after 12 or 13 years of schooling, see also for Germany Abitur after twelve years.The Zeugnis der Allgemeinen Hochschulreife, often referred to as...

     in 12th or 13th grade); for more information, see Gymnasium (Germany).
  • Greece
    Education in Greece
    The Greek educational system is mainly divided into three levels, namely primary, secondary and tertiary, with an additional post-secondary level providing vocational training. Primary education is divided into kindergarten lasting one or two years, and primary school spanning six years...

     3 years, starting at age 12 after 6 years of Elementary School. Compulsory for all children, it is followed by the non-mandatory Lyceum
    Lyceum
    The lyceum is a category of educational institution defined within the education system of many countries, mainly in Europe. The definition varies between countries; usually it is a type of secondary school.-History:...

     (ages 15–18) for students with academic aspirations, or the Technical Vocational Educational School (TEL) for students who prefer vocational
    Vocational education
    Vocational education or vocational education and training is an education that prepares trainees for jobs that are based on manual or practical activities, traditionally non-academic, and totally related to a specific trade, occupation, or vocation...

     training.
  • Hungary
    Hungary
    Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

     (4/6/8 years, starting after 8/6/4 years of primary school, ends with Matura), see Education in Hungary
    Education in Hungary
    -The social environment of education:The decline of Hungary's population that started in 1981 has also continued in recent years. According to the 2001 census, the population of Hungary was 10,198,000, about half a million less than the figure of twenty years earlier. By 2005 the population dropped...

  • Iceland
    Iceland
    Iceland , described as the Republic of Iceland, is a Nordic and European island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Iceland also refers to the main island of the country, which contains almost all the population and almost all the land area. The country has a population...

     (usually 4 years, starting at age 15/16 after 10 years of elementary school, though 3 years can also be chosen. If chosen, students at Menntaskólinn Hraðbraut
    Menntaskólinn Hraðbraut
    Menntaskólinn Hraðbraut, or, simply, Hraðbraut , is an Icelandic secondary school founded in 1996 and began operating in 2003. The school awards a student degree after two years of study instead of the standard four, giving the school its name...

     finish the school in 2 years.)
  • Israel
    Israel
    The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

    , five schools termed "gymnasium" located in Tel Aviv
    Tel Aviv
    Tel Aviv , officially Tel Aviv-Yafo , is the second most populous city in Israel, with a population of 404,400 on a land area of . The city is located on the Israeli Mediterranean coastline in west-central Israel. It is the largest and most populous city in the metropolitan area of Gush Dan, with...

    , Rishon LeZion, Jerusalem and Haifa
    Haifa
    Haifa is the largest city in northern Israel, and the third-largest city in the country, with a population of over 268,000. Another 300,000 people live in towns directly adjacent to the city including the cities of the Krayot, as well as, Tirat Carmel, Daliyat al-Karmel and Nesher...

    .
  • Italy
    Italy
    Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

    , ginnasio is the name of the two first years of Liceo Classico
    Liceo classico
    Liceo classico is a secondary school type in Italy. The educational curriculum lasts five years, and students are generally about 14 to 19 years of age....

  • Kosovo
    Kosovo
    Kosovo is a region in southeastern Europe. Part of the Ottoman Empire for more than five centuries, later the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija within Serbia...

     (3 years, after 9 years of primary school)
  • Latvia
    Latvia
    Latvia , officially the Republic of Latvia , is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by Estonia , to the south by Lithuania , to the east by the Russian Federation , to the southeast by Belarus and shares maritime borders to the west with Sweden...

     (3 years, after 9 years of primary school)
  • Liechtenstein
    Liechtenstein
    The Principality of Liechtenstein is a doubly landlocked alpine country in Central Europe, bordered by Switzerland to the west and south and by Austria to the east. Its area is just over , and it has an estimated population of 35,000. Its capital is Vaduz. The biggest town is Schaan...

     (ends with Matura)
  • Lithuania
    Lithuania
    Lithuania , officially the Republic of Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the biggest of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, whereby to the west lie Sweden and Denmark...

     (4 years, after 4 years of primary school and 4 years of secondary school)
  • Luxembourg
    Luxembourg
    Luxembourg , officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg , is a landlocked country in western Europe, bordered by Belgium, France, and Germany. It has two principal regions: the Oesling in the North as part of the Ardennes massif, and the Gutland in the south...

     (usually 7 years, starting at age 12-13 after 6 years of primary school)
  • Republic of Macedonia
    Republic of Macedonia
    Macedonia , officially the Republic of Macedonia , is a country located in the central Balkan peninsula in Southeast Europe. It is one of the successor states of the former Yugoslavia, from which it declared independence in 1991...

     (4 years, starting at age 14 after 8 years in elementary school, ends with Matura)
  • Montenegro
    Montenegro
    Montenegro Montenegrin: Crna Gora Црна Гора , meaning "Black Mountain") is a country located in Southeastern Europe. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea to the south-west and is bordered by Croatia to the west, Bosnia and Herzegovina to the northwest, Serbia to the northeast and Albania to the...

     (4 years, starting at age 14/15 after 8 years in elementary school, 3 years for those who went in the elementary for 9 years, ends with Matura)
  • Netherlands
    Education in the Netherlands
    Education in the Netherlands is characterized by division: education is orientated toward the needs and background of the pupil. Education is divided over schools for different age groups, some of which are divided in streams for different educational levels...

     (6 years, starting at age 11-13, after 8 years of primary school. Prepares for admission to University. Gymnasia in the Netherlands have compulsory classes in Ancient Greek and Latin; the same high level secondary school without the classical languages is called "VWO" (Atheneum))
  • Norway
    Norway
    Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

     - the traditional but now discontinued gymnasium led to the completion of examen artium
    Examen artium
    Examen artium was the name of the academic certification conferred in Denmark and Norway, qualifying the student for admission to university studies. Examen artium was originally introduced as the entrance exam of the University of Copenhagen in 1630...

    . This has now been succeeded by a 2, 3, or 4 year program ("videregående skole"), depending on course path taken, starting at the age of 15/16, culminating with an exam that qualifies for university matriculation ("studiekompetanse")
  • Poland
    Poland
    Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

     - gimnazjum is the name of Polish compulsory middle school
    Middle school
    Middle School and Junior High School are levels of schooling between elementary and high schools. Most school systems use one term or the other, not both. The terms are not interchangeable...

     lasting 3 years, starting at the age of 12/13, and following 6 years of primary school. Gimnazjum ends with a standardized test
    Standardized test
    A standardized test is a test that is administered and scored in a consistent, or "standard", manner. Standardized tests are designed in such a way that the questions, conditions for administering, scoring procedures, and interpretations are consistent and are administered and scored in a...

    . Further education is encouraged, but optional and consists of either 3 years liceum, 4 years technikum
    Technikum (Poland)
    A technikum is a vocational high school in the Polish educational system, designed for those who want to start working immediately after finishing their compulsory education or continue educations at universities or colleges...

    , or 2 to 3 years vocational school (which may be followed by a supplementary liceum or technikum).
  • Romania
    Romania
    Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

     - 4 years, starting at age 10 ends with Diploma de Capacitate at the age of 14. Primary education lasts for four years. Secondary education consists in: 1) lower secondary school education organized in Gymnasium for grades 5 to 8 and lower cycle of Highschool or Arts and trades schools (vocational) for grades 9 and 10. 2) upper secondary school education organized in Ciclul superior al liceului for grades 11, 12 and 13 followed, if necessary, by an additional high school year for those who want to move from vocational training (grade 10) to upper secondary school education. High school education (lower cycle of high school and upper secondary school education) offers three different orientations (academic, technological, specialization).
  • Russia
    Russia
    Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

    • Imperial Russia: since 1726, 8 years since 1871. Women gymnasiums since 1862; 7 years + optional 8th for specialisation in pedagogy
      Pedagogy
      Pedagogy is the study of being a teacher or the process of teaching. The term generally refers to strategies of instruction, or a style of instruction....

      . Progymnasiums: equivalent to 4 first years of gymnasium.
    • Russian Federation: 6 or 7 years, after primary school. Nowadays Russian Gymnasiums specialize in a certain subject (or several subjects), especially in the humanities (example)
  • Serbia
    Serbia
    Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

     (4 years, starting at age 14/15 after 8 years in elementary/primary school. There are 3 types of gymnasiums: most commonly 1)general gymnasium (општа гимназија) which offers broad education in either 2) natural (природно-математички смер) or 3) social studies (друштвени смер), available all over Serbia, and a few specialised ones, i.e. science and mathematics (природно-математичка гимназија) -- only one in all of Serbia, in Belgrade; sports (спортска гиманзија) -- just two in Serbia; and language gymnasiums (филолошка гимназија) -- a total of four in Serbia. In the end, everyone has a final exam - Matura. A technical high school (including business/admin. assistant, i.e. економска школа), or a musical high school is a prerequisite for enrolement into a university. English and another foreign language (in addition to the mother tongue, and in case of minorities also Serbian, of course) are compulsory throughout.
  • Slovakia
    Slovakia
    The Slovak Republic is a landlocked state in Central Europe. It has a population of over five million and an area of about . Slovakia is bordered by the Czech Republic and Austria to the west, Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east and Hungary to the south...

     (4 years starting at age 15 after completing 9 years of elementary school (more common); 8 years starting at age 11 after completing 5 years of elementary school; both end with Maturita
    Matura
    Matura or a similar term is the common name for the high-school leaving exam or "maturity exam" in various countries, including Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Kosovo, Liechtenstein, Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Serbia,...

    )
  • Slovenia
    Slovenia
    Slovenia , officially the Republic of Slovenia , is a country in Central and Southeastern Europe touching the Alps and bordering the Mediterranean. Slovenia borders Italy to the west, Croatia to the south and east, Hungary to the northeast, and Austria to the north, and also has a small portion of...

     (4 years, starting at age 14/15, ends with Matura).
  • South Africa
    South Africa
    The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

     (Paul Roos Gymnasium
    Paul Roos Gymnasium
    Paul Roos Gymnasium is a government school for boys in the town of Stellenbosch, Western Cape, South Africa, founded in 1866 as Stellenbosch Gymnasium....

     is a well known Gymnasium for boys in the town called Stellenbosch. The school is a boarding school, based on the classic British boarding schools, however it was more influenced by the Protestant faith, hence the German Gymnasium. Foreign languages such as French,German,Mandarin and Latin are studied, Afrikaans
    Afrikaans
    Afrikaans is a West Germanic language, spoken natively in South Africa and Namibia. It is a daughter language of Dutch, originating in its 17th century dialects, collectively referred to as Cape Dutch .Afrikaans is a daughter language of Dutch; see , , , , , .Afrikaans was historically called Cape...

     and English are compulsory. School in South Africa: 5 years, starting at age 13/14, at a secondary institution, after 7 years of primary school, ends with Matric).
  • Sweden
    Sweden
    Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

     (3 years, starting at age 15/16 (also less commonly 17, 18 or 19) after 9 years of primary school).
  • Switzerland
    Switzerland
    Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

     (usually 3–4 years after 9 years of compulsory schooling (primary and secondary I); in some cantons it is also possible to attend a so-called "Langzeitgymnasium" which lasts 6 years, following a six-year primary schooling; the Gymnasium ends with Matura at the age of 18/19).
  • Ukraine
    Ukraine
    Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

     (8 years, starting after 4 years of primary school).
  • United Kingdom
    United Kingdom
    The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

    : historically, grammar schools have been the English equivalent of the gymnasium, selecting pupils on the basis of academic ability and educating them with the assumption that they would go on to study at a university
    University
    A university is an institution of higher education and research, which grants academic degrees in a variety of subjects. A university is an organisation that provides both undergraduate education and postgraduate education...

    ; such schools were largely phased out under the Wilson
    Harold Wilson
    James Harold Wilson, Baron Wilson of Rievaulx, KG, OBE, FRS, FSS, PC was a British Labour Member of Parliament, Leader of the Labour Party. He was twice Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during the 1960s and 1970s, winning four general elections, including a minority government after the...

     and Heath
    Edward Heath
    Sir Edward Richard George "Ted" Heath, KG, MBE, PC was a British Conservative politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and as Leader of the Conservative Party ....

     governments, with less than 5% of pupils now attending grammar schools, and the UK now has no widespread equivalent of the gymnasium. The exception is Northern Ireland
    Northern Ireland
    Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

     and parts of England including the counties of Buckinghamshire
    Buckinghamshire
    Buckinghamshire is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan home county in South East England. The county town is Aylesbury, the largest town in the ceremonial county is Milton Keynes and largest town in the non-metropolitan county is High Wycombe....

    , Lincolnshire
    Lincolnshire
    Lincolnshire is a county in the east of England. It borders Norfolk to the south east, Cambridgeshire to the south, Rutland to the south west, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire to the west, South Yorkshire to the north west, and the East Riding of Yorkshire to the north. It also borders...

     and Kent
    Kent
    Kent is a county in southeast England, and is one of the home counties. It borders East Sussex, Surrey and Greater London and has a defined boundary with Essex in the middle of the Thames Estuary. The ceremonial county boundaries of Kent include the shire county of Kent and the unitary borough of...

     which retained the system. Many private, fee-paying independent schools, including all those commonly referred to as "public" schools, fulfil a similar role to the state grammar school (and thus to the gymnasium in other countries).
  • United States
    • Public school: As school districts continue to experiment with educational styles, the magnet school
      Magnet school
      In education in the United States, magnet schools are public schools with specialized courses or curricula. "Magnet" refers to how the schools draw students from across the normal boundaries defined by authorities as school zones that feed into certain schools.There are magnet schools at the...

       has become a popular type of high school
      High school
      High school is a term used in parts of the English speaking world to describe institutions which provide all or part of secondary education. The term is often incorporated into the name of such institutions....

      . Boston Latin School
      Boston Latin School
      The Boston Latin School is a public exam school founded on April 23, 1635, in Boston, Massachusetts. It is both the first public school and oldest existing school in the United States....

       and Central High School (Philadelphia)
      Central High School (Philadelphia)
      Central High School is a public secondary school in the Logan section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Central, the second-oldest continuously public high school in the United States , was founded in 1836 and is a four-year university preparatory magnet school...

       are both the oldest public schools in the country, and the oldest magnet schools. As the concept has not become entrenched in the various American educational systems, due partly to the federal
      Federation
      A federation , also known as a federal state, is a type of sovereign state characterized by a union of partially self-governing states or regions united by a central government...

      , rather than unitary style of education in the US, the term may vary among states.
    • Private school
      Private school
      Private schools, also known as independent schools or nonstate schools, are not administered by local, state or national governments; thus, they retain the right to select their students and are funded in whole or in part by charging their students' tuition, rather than relying on mandatory...

      : The equivalent among private schools is the preparatory school
      University-preparatory school
      A university-preparatory school or college-preparatory school is a secondary school, usually private, designed to prepare students for a college or university education...

      .

Final degree


Depending on country, the final degree (if any) is called Abitur
Abitur
Abitur is a designation used in Germany, Finland and Estonia for final exams that pupils take at the end of their secondary education, usually after 12 or 13 years of schooling, see also for Germany Abitur after twelve years.The Zeugnis der Allgemeinen Hochschulreife, often referred to as...

, Artium, Diploma
Diploma
A diploma is a certificate or deed issued by an educational institution, such as a university, that testifies that the recipient has successfully completed a particular course of study or confers an academic degree. In countries such as the United Kingdom and Australia, the word diploma refers to...

, Matura
Matura
Matura or a similar term is the common name for the high-school leaving exam or "maturity exam" in various countries, including Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Kosovo, Liechtenstein, Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Serbia,...

, Maturita or Student
Student (degree)
Student is the qualification given to people who have passed secondary school in some countries.* Studentereksamen, Danish student degree* Studentexamen, Swedish student degree* Stúdentspróf, Icelandic student degree...

 and it usually opens the way to professional schools directly.
However, these degrees are often not fully accredited internationally, and students willing to attend foreign university
University
A university is an institution of higher education and research, which grants academic degrees in a variety of subjects. A university is an organisation that provides both undergraduate education and postgraduate education...

 often have to submit to further exams to be permitted access to them. The final two or three years at a gymnasium can be seen as an equivalent to the first two years at college in the United States.

Relationship with other education facilities


In countries like Canada or Austria, most university faculties only accept students from secondary schools that last four years (rather than three). This includes all Gymnasium students but only a part of vocational high schools, in effect making Gymnasium the preferred choice for all pupils aiming for university diplomas.

In Germany, other types of secondary school are called Realschule
Realschule
The Realschule is a type of secondary school in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein. It has also existed in Croatia , Denmark , Sweden , Hungary and in the Russian Empire .-History:The Realschule was an outgrowth of the rationalism and empiricism of the seventeenth and...

, Hauptschule
Hauptschule
A Hauptschule is a secondary school in Germany and Austria, starting after 4 years of elementary schooling, which offers Lower Secondary Education according to the International Standard Classification of Education...

and Gesamtschule. These are attended by about two-thirds of the students and the first two are practically unknown in other parts of the world. A Gesamtschule largely corresponds to a British or American high school. However, it offers the same school leaving certificates as the other three types of German secondary schools—the Hauptschulabschluss (school leaving certificate of a Hauptschule after 9th Grade or in Berlin
Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

 and North Rhine-Westphalia
North Rhine-Westphalia
North Rhine-Westphalia is the most populous state of Germany, with four of the country's ten largest cities. The state was formed in 1946 as a merger of the northern Rhineland and Westphalia, both formerly part of Prussia. Its capital is Düsseldorf. The state is currently run by a coalition of the...

 after 10th Grade), the Realschulabschluss, also called Mittlere Reife (school leaving certificate of a Realschule after 10th Grade), and Abitur
Abitur
Abitur is a designation used in Germany, Finland and Estonia for final exams that pupils take at the end of their secondary education, usually after 12 or 13 years of schooling, see also for Germany Abitur after twelve years.The Zeugnis der Allgemeinen Hochschulreife, often referred to as...

,
also called Hochschulreife, after 12th Grade. Students who graduate from Hauptschule or Realschule may continue their schooling at a vocational school
Vocational school
A vocational school , providing vocational education, is a school in which students are taught the skills needed to perform a particular job...

 until they have full job qualifications. It is also possible to get an erweiterter Realschulabschluss after 10th grade that allows the students to continue their education at the Oberstufe of a gymnasium and get an Abitur. There are two types of vocational school in Germany. The Berufsschule, a part time vocational school and a part of Germany's dual education system
Dual education system
A dual education system combines apprenticeships in a company and vocational education at a vocational school in one course. This system is practiced in several countries, notably Germany, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Switzerland, but also...

, and the Berufsfachschule, a full time vocational school outside the dual education system. Both types of school are also part of Germany's secondary school system. Students who graduate from a vocational school and students who graduate with a good grade point average
Grade (education)
Grades are standardized measurements of varying levels of comprehension within a subject area. Grades can be assigned in letters , as a range , as a number out of a possible total , as descriptors , in percentages, or, as is common in some post-secondary...

 from a Realschule can continue their schooling at another type of German secondary school, the Fachoberschule, a vocational high school. The school leaving exam of this type of school, the Fachhochschulreife, enables the graduate to start studying at a Fachhochschule
Fachhochschule
A Fachhochschule or University of Applied Sciences is a German type of tertiary education institution, sometimes specialized in certain topical areas . Fachhochschulen were founded in Germany and later adopted by Austria, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Greece...

 (polytechnic), and in Hesse
Hesse
Hesse or Hessia is both a cultural region of Germany and the name of an individual German state.* The cultural region of Hesse includes both the State of Hesse and the area known as Rhenish Hesse in the neighbouring Rhineland-Palatinate state...

 also at a university within the state. Students who have graduated from vocational school and have been working in a job for at least three years can go to Berufsoberschule
Berufsoberschule
Berufsoberschule is an optional part of the German education system, and is an additional way to be allowed at university for students who didn't get an Abitur at a Gymnasium.- Requirements :...

 to get either a "Fachabitur" (meaning they may go to university, but they can only study the subjects belonging to the "branch" (economical, technical, social) they studied in at Berufschule.) after one year, or the normal "Abitur" (after two years), which gives them complete access to universities.

In Sweden, the term gymnasium was traditionally reserved for the theoretical education described above. However, due to the egalitarian strivings of post-war Sweden's social democratic governments, the term is today used for all kinds of secondary education, both theoretical and vocational.

See also


  • Gymnasium (ancient Greece)
    Gymnasium (ancient Greece)
    The gymnasium in ancient Greece functioned as a training facility for competitors in public games. It was also a place for socializing and engaging in intellectual pursuits. The name comes from the Ancient Greek term gymnós meaning "naked". Athletes competed in the nude, a practice said to...

  • Lyceum
    Lyceum
    The lyceum is a category of educational institution defined within the education system of many countries, mainly in Europe. The definition varies between countries; usually it is a type of secondary school.-History:...

  • Lyceum (Classical)
    Lyceum (Classical)
    The Lyceum was a gymnasium and public meeting place in Classical Athens named after the god of the grove that housed the Lyceum, Apollo Lyceus...

  • Realschule
    Realschule
    The Realschule is a type of secondary school in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein. It has also existed in Croatia , Denmark , Sweden , Hungary and in the Russian Empire .-History:The Realschule was an outgrowth of the rationalism and empiricism of the seventeenth and...