Monitoring Educational Standards

In 2003 and 2004, Germany’s Standing Conference of State Ministers of Education and Culture (KMK) issued a set of educational standards for primary and early secondary education applicable to all of the country’s 16 states. In 2012, the KMK set educational standards for Germany’s general matriculation qualification.

The aim of the educational standards is to contribute to quality development and quality control in the German education system. They therefore define the competences that students should have developed by a certain stage in their school career.

Since 2006, the Institute for Educational Progress (IQB) has regularly conducted nationwide comparisons across the federal states to test whether and to what extent these learning goals are being attained. The test questions developed for this purpose are trialed beforehand by way of pilot studies.

In addition, standardization studies are carried out with the aim of determining the level of difficulty of the tasks using representative samples. Based on the results of the standardization studies, competency level models can also be developed that provide a uniform basis for classifying students' performance. 

Along with the development of tasks, the educational trend surveys will gradually switch from paper-based to computer-based surveys, which will also be tested in upstream pilot studies. As part of the IQB trial study 2024 in the primary sector numerous new test items are piloted for the subjects German and mathematics, and the computer-based implementation of the surveys is tested as well. Around 315 schools, including 24 special schools from eight federal states (Bavaria, Bremen, Hamburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saxony, and Schleswig-Holstein) are taking part nationwide.  

Further information about the educational standards is available at KMK and IQB.

Our Partner

Overall responsibility for the monitoring of educational standards lies with the IQB at Humboldt University in Berlin. Since 2015, Prof. Dr. Petra Stanat has been the head of the IQB's scientific division. 

IEA's Contribution

IEA’s contribution to the monitoring of educational standards consists of sampling, field operations, data coding, and data capturing and processing.