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Before your child can move on from "class 6" (ages 11-12) to class 7, there will be a test to determine which kind of school is more appropriate. Secondary modern (middle school) lasts until age 16, is less work-intensive and usually leads to an apprenticeship. Grammar school will continue for another 6-7 years (ages 18-19), and contain the "Abitur" (high school diploma), which is needed to study at any German college. You as a parent can not choose, it is the skill and knowledge of the child that determines the school's recommendation. However, there is an alternative, the "Gesamtschule", which has both school types in the same building. If your child starts at middle school and ecxells at it, it can easily transfer into grammar school.