The Mittlere Reife (German: [ˈmɪtləʁə ˈʁaɪfə], "Middle Maturity") is a type of school in Germany that is roughly comparable with the British GCSE. It is usually completed after ten years of schooling.
Names vary between states. Other names are Realschulabschluss, Wirtschaftsschulabschluss, Qualifizierter Sekundarabschluss I, Sekundarabschluss I – Realschulabschluss and Mittlerer Schulabschluss. The Mittlere Reife can be awarded to students who attend a number of different schools, including the Hauptschule, the Realschule, the Werkrealschule, the Berufsfachschule, the Wirtschaftschule, and the Gesamtschule.
Students awarded the Mittlere Reife in most cases will not be allowed to progress directly into a German university, but must attend another school that awards the Abitur such as the Aufbaugymnasium or the Abendgymnasium or an equivalent type of school. Once students earn an Abitur, they may go on to college.
Non-German graduation certificates that compare to the Mittlere Reife such as the American high school diploma generally do not qualify the bearer for attending a German university. However those holding a high school diploma will be able to study at a German university nevertheless, if they did well on the SAT or ACT.