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National Educational Panel Study (NEPS): Additional Study Baden-Wuerttemberg

Research Question

In many Länder of the German Federal Republic, changes concerning the structure and contents of the Gymnasiale Oberstufe (final years in upper secondary education qualifying for higher education) are taking place. For example, the time spent in Gymnasium (secondary school qualifying for higher education) was cut from 9 years (G9) down to 8 years (G8). The reduction from 9 to 8 years combined with a reorientation of the study schedule was also implemented in Baden-Wuerttemberg in 2004. This supplementary study of the NEPS aimed to study particularly those changes and to record its effects. The plan was to examine the impact of the reduced 8 years of Gymnasium time on the students’ performance level and motivation.

The last cohort of students entered the curriculum-oriented (i.e., input-oriented) G9 in fall 2003, whereas one year later, in fall 2004, the first cohort of students entered the outcome-oriented G8, which focuses on reaching educational standards (Bildungstandards). These two age groups took their Abitur exam in 2012 and were taught together on the same course level (during the last two school years). The G8 reform study in Baden-Wuerttemberg consisted of three cross-sections; that means, it was not a panel survey. During the three survey waves, the graduating classes were tested and questioned. As the surveying and data processing has been completed, data on all three waves are now available.

Test Language


Test Period

1st cross-sectional survey: May 2011
2nd cross-sectional survey: April/May 2012
3rd cross-sectional survey: May/June 2013

Test Area

Baden-Wuerttemberg (Germany)

Target Persons

1st cross-sectional survey: Abitur year of 2010/11 in which almost all students attended school for 13 years in Baden-Wuerttemberg

2nd cross-sectional survey: Abitur year of 2012/13 in which G8 as well as G9 students graduated (“Doppeljahrgang”) in Baden-Wuerttemberg

3rd cross-sectional survey: Abitur year of 2012/13, which is the first group of students to take their Abitur examination after 12 years in Baden-Wuerttemberg

Context Persons

All department heads in mathematics, German, and English in the selected schools and the school principals.

Population / Sample

Access to the population of all students attending upper secondary schools (Gymnasium) in Baden-Wuerttemberg who were affected by the G8 reform was gained via size-proportional sampling of 50 upper secondary schools (proportional to the medial number of students in Grades 10 to 12 during the 2010/11 school year). Through the selected upper secondary schools, all four student cohorts that were affected by the reform were contacted: a) Grade 13 students of the school year 2010/11, b) Grade 12 students, and c) Grade 13 students of the school year 2011/12 (“Doppeljahrgang”), as well as d) Grade 12 students of the school year 2012/13. Within each age group a sample size of 40 students per selected school was gained by simple random sampling.

Sample Size

1st field time: n = 1,341
2nd field time: n = 2,427
3rd field time: n = 1,292

Survey Procedure and Instruments

In addition to this survey, the students have also undergone competence tests in English, mathematics, biology, and physics. Tests, specifically developed for NEPS, were used for measuring cognitive abilities. Furthermore, at the end of the school year the schools were asked to provide the grades of the course level as well as the Abitur examination results. Supplementary to surveys and tests for students, the heads of the department of mathematics, German, and English, as well as the administrative staff were interviewed to receive information about learning environment and structural conditions.

Link to the Detailed Description of the Study

Persistent Identifier

DOI: 10.5157/NEPS:BW:3.0.0

DOI: 10.5157/NEPS:BW:2.0.0

Data Accessible via Research Data Centre

To the Study Documentation at the Research Data Center LIfBi:

Information about the user conditions can be found here:


Dr. Daniel Fuß
Operational Manager
Phone: +49 951 / 863 - 35 11
Email: fdz[at]


The aim is to establish a diverse community of data users with different backgrounds, rather than a restricted group of experienced analysts. All researchers interested in working with the data must be accommodated to ensure not only equal research opportunities but also high-quality analyses. The training courses introduce the research design of the NEPS, the structure of data sets, terms and conditions of data usage, issues of privacy and data protection, and so on.
Day 1: obligatory for first time participants (basic program)
Day 2: for interested data users (optional)

More information and the current program is available here:

Related Data

National Educational Panel Study (NEPS): Starting Cohort 1—Early Childhood (SC1)
National Educational Panel Study (NEPS): Starting Cohort 2—Kindergarten (SC2)
National Educational Panel Study (NEPS): Starting Cohort 3—Grade 5 (SC3)
National Educational Panel Study (NEPS): Starting Cohort 4—Grade 9 (SC4)
National Educational Panel Study (NEPS): Starting Cohort 5—First-Year Students (SC5)
National Educational Panel Study (NEPS): Starting Cohort 6—Adults (SC6)

Additional studies:
National Educational Panel Study (NEPS): Organizational Reform Study in Thuringia (TH)

Research Area(s)