Abitur is a German word regarding the qualification granted by college-preparatory schools in Germany. Other countries such as Estonia and Lithuania also have Abiturs. An Abitur is usually granted to students after they have passed their final examinations at the end of their secondary education (high school). As a matriculation examination, an Abitur can be compared to A-levels, the Matura or the International Baccalaureate Diploma, which are all ranked as level 4 in the European Qualifications Framework.
To complete an Abitur, a minimum of 33 hours of classes is required, while A-levels take 28 hours. This does not imply that A-levels are easier to achieve than an Abitur; the difficulty depends on what courses the student takes. The Abitur requires two subjects called ‘Leistungskurse’ (advanced courses) – depending on the German state this may include a third subject. For achieving your A-levels, there is no limit on the number of advanced courses a student can take. It is possible either to take no advanced courses or as many as desired.