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Guidelines for Writing your essay on the HS exam

What the examiners take account of ("Bewertungskriterien")


Acccording to the examination regulations, the following are to be assessed:

Please look at each of these carefully, because they are all important for the final mark.

More generally, there are certain formal requirements:

  • Length: Your essay must be between 250 and 350 words. An essay which is shorter or longer will receive a lower grade. If the essay is significantly shorter, it will receive a grade of '5'.
  • Paragraphs : The essay must contain contain clearly divided paragraphs. This is particularly important for structure: if the reader cannot see the paragraphs it is much harder to follow the logic and argument. Paragraphs must be indicated by indentation ("Einzug") or a full clear line space (an "empty line"). For more detail on paragraphs, see Content.
  • Sentences: Only use complete sentences - this is usual in academic writing:
    -->  A complete sentence needs a verb: E.g."All of them" is incomplete.
    -->  A complete sentence needs a main clause ("Hauptsatz"):"Because this was not allowed" is incomplete because the main clause  is missing. "He never smoke in the classroom because this was not allowed." is complete.

For more details on the general requirements for the exam, you should read the Examination Regulations (Prüfungsordnung)