DIA - Exam Overview

Grade 10 | Introduction Phase

  • Grade 10 is the last year of the first part of secondary school (grades 5-10) which culminates in the SEK-1-Exam.The SEK-1-Exams are standardized exams in English, German, and Mathematics. Successfully completing the school year these exams qualifies students to begin the Qualification Phase in grade 11.
  • Grade 10 is also the first year of the German “Oberstufe”, in which students begin their preparation to fulfill the requirements for grades 11 and 12 (two-year DIA qualification phase).

Grade 11-12 | Qualification Phase

  • The curriculum in Grades 11-12 spans 10 to 12 subjects across all fields of study and eventually culminates in bilingual exams (3 written and  2 oral) covering these areas:
    1. Languages and Arts
    2. Social Sciences
    3. Math-IT-Natural Sciences
      (Fields of study and required subjects vary among German Schools Abroad.)
  • Throughout grades 11 and 12, students participate in a series of exams where they must demonstrate their subject matter expertise as well as their ability to think independently, critically, and logically.
  • After the fourth term in Grade 12, students qualify to take the written and oral DIA Exams.
  • Those students who successfully complete the Qualification Phase are awarded the DIA diploma.
  • In addition, at the end of Grade 12 students receive the local high school diploma from the municipality in which their school resides. High school diplomas are based on different local criteria. Each German School Abroad is aware of these criteria and ensures that the school covers all local requirements, so that its students will be eligible to receive a high school diploma.


‘Oberstufe’ = Introduction Phase (Grade 10) + Qualification Phase (Grades 11 & 12)

Grade 10

DIA Introduction Phase

SEK 1 Exams

Grade 11 - 12

DIA Qualification Phase

Grade 11

1st Term
1-2 exams per subject

2nd Term
1-2 exams per subject

Grade 12

3rd Term
1-2 exams per subject

4th Term
1 exams per subject

DIA Exams
3 written, 2 oral