German Educational System

Since many people ask me how the school system in Germany works, I want to summarize the most important facts of the German educational system from elementary school up to college and university.
German schools do not have electives. You are given a plan for your whole year in each grade. You are also with the same people every day in class. When you finish elementary school you have two paths from which to choose. You can either go to high school or to secondary school. For the high school route, you have to go to high school up to grade 12, while for the secondary school path you only attend school up to grade 10. You are not allowed to go to college or university with a secondary school diploma unless you decide to go to school for another three years to finish your high school diploma.
When you have finished secondary school you can learn how to do a specific job. When you learn a job, you get money as a trainee until you finish your job training which also takes about three years depending on what job you want to learn. Also, you can obviously not learn jobs which require a college or university diploma, unless you have obtained your degree.
When you finish high school on the other hand you can go do high school and can then choose which program you want to sign up for\; and depending on your average grades on your final high school transcript, you are authorized or not authorized for that program.
The most important fact about college and university is that it is cheap, since education is free in Germany. You mostly have to pay for living and books. Which can bring you anywhere between 50-500 euros a semester depending on which university or college you choose.