Any of my German landsmänner get in by convincing admissions a Nachprüfung = resit? Watch

Tiger87
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(This question probably will only make sense to you if you're German.)

Hey,
To clarify my situation, my written exam was uncharacteristically low--but I met my offer of 13 points in the oral Nachprüfung.

I'm currently trying to convince Admissions to accept that a mündliche
Nachprüfung is the closest thing to a re-sit in Germany, as you can't retake a successful Abi ("bestanden heißt bestanden").

Anybody have experience doing this?

Did your college consider your weighted average in a particular class (i.e. 4 semesters of French LK worth two units, plus the exam worth 3 units)?
Or were you accepted solely by virtue of your exam score?

On another note, I understand having your A-level exams remarked is not so uncommon in GB. Has anybody had a written Abitur exam remarked? Is the remarked score final, or are the two scores averaged?

Thanks!
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hobnob
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(Original post by Tiger87)
On another note, I understand having your A-level exams remarked is not so uncommon in GB. Has anybody had a written Abitur exam remarked? Is the remarked score final, or are the two scores averaged?
As far as I know, it's impossible to get Abitur exams remarked. Once you've got your grade it's final.
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JohannaMarie
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I was accepted just under the condition of getting 1.3 overall. What exactly does it say on your letter of acceptance? Is it really just the exam or does it say "and at least 13 points in Maths/English (or whatever subject they want)"? That was the case with my offer at York. I took that to mean that the average of all my semesters and the exam has to be 13. I mean it's so vague and it showed that they knew so little about the system that you can take it to mean anything. What were your grades in the written exam and the Nachpruefung? Theoretically, if you take the Nachpruefung, your exam grade in that subject is 2/3 written exam and 1/3 oral.

Even if it says exam grade in your offer, and if you didn't make it, it would be ridiculous if they didn't let you in. That one exam is 3.6% of your Abitur qualification (based on the system in Ba-Wue) and doesn't even closely compare to the importance of the grades of the semesters before. I mean what Abi grade did you get? If it's 1.3 or better that means so much (more than 3 As at A-level)! Just explain them that... apparently lots of people get in if they miss their offer by a narrow margin and call them to convince them to still take them. Maybe you should get a teacher (your referee?) to do the same... I guess you've got nothing to lose...
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Tiger87
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My offer was for a 1.5 overall and "a score of 13 in English".

I attained and exceeded the 1.5 (got 1.4). In English, my semesters were a constant 13 points. My written exam was a phenomenal 7 pts--I honestly do not understand this, as I've never written worse than 12 pts in exams, and I don't remember the exam as having been bad. So obviously I took the Nachprüfung on which I got, go figure, 13 points.

Nevertheless, with the German weighted system--2 units for each semester, 3 for the exam(s)--that one grade pulls me down to 12 points...

However, it strikes me as highly unfortunate that, if I had been raised in GB, not only would I have benefited from a state-empowered, objective exam (counter to Berlin law, my test was graded entirely within my school and was not the Berlin centralized Abitur exam), but I would also be more likely to get the remarking I probably deserve. And I would have the possibility of re-sitting in the same educational system I grew up in. Arrr (I'm an angry pirate).

No but in all seriousness, I am quite disappointed about all this and about the inflexibility with which this situation has been treated. I have had my school's principal write a letter, just as you advise, unfortunately to little avail. They essentially told me to have the exam remarked or else. Naturally, I understand the difficult decisions admissions offices face...

Anyhow, thanks for your thoughts on this!
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hobnob
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(Original post by Tiger87)
No but in all seriousness, I am quite disappointed about all this and about the inflexibility with which this situation has been treated. I have had my school's principal write a letter, just as you advise, unfortunately to little avail. They essentially told me to have the exam remarked or else. Naturally, I understand the difficult decisions admissions offices face...
So sorry to hear that... Obviously those stubborn admissions people don't realise that the German exam system simply doesn't allow for having Abitur exams remarked. I actually checked the examination rules in order to make sure, but to me it doesn't sound as though there's any chance of having an exam remarked once a grade has been agreed on. Sorry.

Did your teachers at least tell you why they gave you such a low grade on your exam (possibly even knowing this might prevent you from making your offer)?
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Tiger87
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(Original post by hobnob)
So sorry to hear that... Obviously those stubborn admissions people don't realise that the German exam system simply doesn't allow for having Abitur exams remarked. I actually checked the examination rules in order to make sure, but to me it doesn't sound as though there's any chance of having an exam remarked once a grade has been agreed on. Sorry.
Wow thanks for going through all this trouble. I agree it doesn't seem to say much in favor of a remark, and that's essentially what my Managing Principal, Schulrat, etc. have said. § 41 (4) and thereabouts seems to offer the possibility, but it seems to me that would have to be initiated by someone who marked the exam or the principal.

(Original post by hobnob)
Did your teachers at least tell you why they gave you such a low grade on your exam (possibly even knowing this might prevent you from making your offer)?
I talked with my teacher, whose explanation seeemed really elusive. I have reason to believe there was some sort of fundamental difference of opinion for which I was being punished. I was told "you can't prove a negative" -- I'm well aware of what that means, but I swear it does not apply to my thesis. And it's not very convincing when a teacher begins by saying, "I've been trying to figure out why I didn't like your exam."
As for knowing about the offer, he had apparently been (wrongly) told there would be no major impact by the counselor.

Has anybody got any dirt on the language faculties at King's College London? Comparative Lit at KCL was my security choice, as I knew about this score by the time I had to make decisions.
Thanks!
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hobnob
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(Original post by Tiger87)
Wow thanks for going through all this trouble. I agree it doesn't seem to say much in favor of a remark, and that's essentially what my Managing Principal, Schulrat, etc. have said. § 41 (4) and thereabouts seems to offer the possibility, but it seems to me that would have to be initiated by someone who marked the exam or the principal.
... which they probably won't, because they're all colleagues and will stick up for each other.:rolleyes:

I talked with my teacher, whose explanation seeemed really elusive. I have reason to believe there was some sort of fundamental difference of opinion for which I was being punished. I was told "you can't prove a negative" -- I'm well aware of what that means, but I swear it does not apply to my thesis. And it's not very convincing when a teacher begins by saying, "I've been trying to figure out why I didn't like your exam."

As for knowing about the offer, he had apparently been (wrongly) told there would be no major impact by the counselor.
Sounds rather dodgy to me, to be honest, but I doubt you'll be able to do anything about it, because you haven't got the right to view the exam script to check what exactly went wrong. Your teacher probably could, but it doesn't sound as though he'd be too keen to become your ally in this...
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Tiger87
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Thanks for all your advice.
What I've done is have a deputy of the Senator for education sign a letter describing the complicated nature of this situation and explaining the Nachprüfung thing.
And I'm about to send it and call them, so cross your fingers.
Thanks for the examination rules again btw, I quoted them.
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hobnob
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(Original post by Tiger87)
Thanks for all your advice.
What I've done is have a deputy of the Senator for education sign a letter describing the complicated nature of this situation and explaining the Nachprüfung thing.
And I'm about to send it and call them, so cross your fingers.
Thanks for the examination rules again btw, I quoted them.
Good luck!
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Tiger87
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Hi all.
In short the summary of the last few days.
I was granted access to my test files. The evaluation procedure was more documentably incompetent and illiterate than I had expected it to be. It was horrendous.
I wrote a 9 pg document on the irresponsibility of this evaluation and demanded an official remark. Unfortunately, given the time constraints, we were limited to chosing a teacher from within the school to reevaluate the work. He in turn chickened out last minute, making it impossible to find an alternate. Deadline for remarked exams is next Wednesday.
I have had the head of the Engl. dep. of another respectable int'l school in Berlin look at the work and write an unofficial response, in which my work is rated as a 14/15 paper, as opposed to a 7/15 as previously evaluated (notice this is TWICE the score). The teacher also ranked me as a 6/7 in IB standards and said it is a "fine piece of writing" and declared that one "honestly do[es] not know how the examiner assessed [me] and according to which criteria"; all the applicable criteria the teacher has applied.
I'm now waiting for the Admissions Staff to return to their offices after this marathon weekend and compare the evaluations and consider the exam paper. If this does not do it, nothing else will!
On Monday I will also officially threaten the school with legal action and try to obtain an official remarking of the paper.
Thanks for all of you who've been offering advice. I hope this works. I haven't pulled this many all nighters consecutively ever before. I'll keep you guys posted on the results!
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Cirsium
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Good for you!! Best of luck
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hobnob
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(Original post by Bekaboo)
Good for you!! Best of luck
:ditto:
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Tiger87
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Oxford didn't give in, despite ANOTHER remark of 15/15 points or 7/7 on IB level (!) by an English Dept. Head teacher at a British School, who happens to be a Trinity College Oxford graduate.
They need the grade to be made official by the state and cannot grant me any extra time to deal with German bureaucracy. I've only been granted the right to look at my work for one and a half weeks, and to get 3 very positive, impartial assessments in that short amount of time is really hard since there's no official remark system here. It doesn't make it any easier that I have had to rely on the support of another school because my own doesn't stand up for its students.
However, I would not paint this whole experience as one of loss. Whilst I never wished it upon myself, I must admit the experience has tapped large reserves of determination and energy I hardly knew I had. I have learnt to write to and talk with bureaucrats, even intimidate and hold my own with German ones (Hey! That's big!), and I've developed a very zen way of looking at things. Also, I've truly learnt the lesson of "you don't know a friend until you need one". But most importantly, I'm not losing anything---if things go right, Oxford might just pull through for next year!
My college said they would consider giving my an unconditional offer once the grade is officially changed. So, for now, it's London, baby (King's)!
Thanks all you guys for your suggestions and interest... and maybe see you in England sometime!
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hobnob
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(Original post by Tiger87)
However, I would not paint this whole experience as one of loss. Whilst I never wished it upon myself, I must admit the experience has tapped large reserves of determination and energy I hardly knew I had. I have learnt to write to and talk with bureaucrats, even intimidate and hold my own with German ones (Hey! That's big!), and I've developed a very zen way of looking at things. Also, I've truly learnt the lesson of "you don't know a friend until you need one". But most importantly, I'm not losing anything---if things go right, Oxford might just pull through for next year!
My college said they would consider giving my an unconditional offer once the grade is officially changed. So, for now, it's London, baby (King's)!
Thanks all you guys for your suggestions and interest... and maybe see you in England sometime!
Sorry to hear it didn't work out because you ran out of time, but nevertheless those are invaluable skills to have - regardless of whether Catz offer you a place next year or not. So well done on battling the bureaucrats and good luck getting that grade officially changed.
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hermajesty
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Aaaw, I'm sorry to hear you can't come this year. I hope it all works out for you and you get the unconditional offer. Let us know!
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