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10th Apr 2015

German Schoolboy takes exam prep to the extreme

Who knew you could use the law to your advantage?


This kid will go far in life.

A daring schoolboy in Germany has taken exam prep to the highest possible level by making a freedom of information request to see his final exam papers.

The Guardian reports that seventeen-year-old Simon Schräder used a website to ask his regional education ministry for “the tasks of the centrally-made Abitur examinations in the senior classes of high school in the current school year.”

This rather high-brow language invokes German freedom of information law, making it a legal requirement for officials to respond to him.

He’s brave, but not stupid: Schräder set the ministry the legally allowed one-month deadline – falling on 21st April – to comply, but as this falls a week after his first exam on 16th April, he is continuing to study.

“I did think beforehand that they probably wouldn’t send me the exams,” he admitted. “I’m already revising, and I’m not relying on them to get back to me.

“I thought it was worth a try; I just wanted to see what they would say.”

So far, the ministry has only acknowledged that the request has been received. “The deadline will be kept,” the spokeswoman Sylvia Löhrmann told the German newspaper Die Welt. “The request is being processed.”

Simon, we salute you.