The southern German states dominated all three disciplines tested (reading, listening and mathematics), followed by a broad equality among most of the other states – except the three city states.
The survey, being presented in Berlin on Friday by the assembly of Germany’s state education ministers (KMK), tested more than 30,000 fourth graders (9-10 year-olds) at over 1,300 schools over the past year. It is the first purely domestic German primary school comparison ever carried out.
Unlike the international school performance studies like PISA and IGLU, the new test was developed according to purely national education standards agreed by the various states. These are meant to determine what each pupil is meant to be able to do at the end of each year.
The results were calculated through a points system in all three disciplines. In reading, Bavaria led the way with 515 points, followed closed by the eastern German states of Saxony (515), Saxony-Anhalt (511), and Thuringia (510). In contrast, Hamburg (478), Berlin (467) and Bremen (463) all scored well below the national average of 500.
In maths, Bavaria also led the way, with 519 points, followed closely by Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Baden-Württemberg.
The study also confirmed earlier reports that while boys are generally better at maths earlier in life, girls score higher in reading and writing. The results found that girls were an average of 32 points ahead of boys in those departments – roughly equivalent of half a year’s learning.