This week is the big exit exam for German high schoolers (the Abitur), so on the high schools you can see big posters wishing the test-takers well.
When I lived in Poland, I didn't like the fact that kids are separated in 9th grade into high schools for kids who are going to go to university and those who aren't. That seemed awfully early to me. It's not as early as in Germany, though. Here, starting in 5th grade (that's right - as 10-year-olds), the kids are separated into one of three different types of schools. One goes through 12th grade and is for the university-bound. One goes through 10th grade and is for office workers, basically. The other goes through 9th grade and is for other workers. Germany has a marvellous apprenticeship system for trades, but separating kids at 5th grade seems crazy to me. What about those who don't speak German as their first language? What about those whose parents aren't advocating for them? What about late bloomers?
Germany's education system ranks at the bottom of European countries.