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The students fill out a standardized questionnaire prior to the Abitur examination as well. However, the questionnaire is only given to students from four courses within schools: one basic and one advanced course in both English and math. The courses are selected randomly in the schools. The questionnaire deals with assessing different aspects of instruction in that course, such as cognitive activation and the level of support provided in class, subject interest as well as self-concept of ability, the emotional-motivational experience of the Abitur examination, and preparation strategies both within and outside the classroom. The students assess these issues for each of their three written examination subjects.
After the written Abitur examinations, but before the students have been informed of their Abitur grades, a second survey is conducted in April/May by giving questionnaires to teachers. Of particular interest is the question of how the teachers assess the state-wide Abitur examinations, for example, the quality of the questions in the examination and the way the examination was conducted. The respondents are asked to assess the effectiveness of their preparations for the Abitur in enabling students to master the examination tasks.
As with teachers, the students are asked to evaluate the Abitur questions and the strategies used to prepare for the Abitur examination. The students are also asked how they used their strategies to answer the questions in the Abitur examination in each of their three written examination subjects.
To supplement the written surveys, the students complete either a math or English achievement test, depending on the subject. The math test is part of the TIMSS/Sec. II test: achievements in pre-university mathematics classes. The English test comes from the DESI C-Test. It includes the four most difficult tasks from the DESI test. Students are also given a test of general cognitive ability (CAT 4 12+R; figural analogies). These tests are given in Bremen with the surveys before and in Hesse with the surveys after the written Abitur examinations, since the school year in Bremen ends before the written Abitur examination, while in Hesse, it ends after the written Abitur..
In addition to the surveys and the achievement test, the Abitur grades (total number of points, number of points in the written examination subjects) of the students surveyed in the three written examination subjects are also compiled. In Bremen, in contrast to Hesse, grades are available not just for the students in the sample but for all students in the class taking the Abitur examination, and the half-year grades are available for all students in the Abitur qualification phase of the final year of Gymnasium in the three written examination subjects.