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Beamtenmatura (Civil Servants´ Matura): popular name for an external form of the Matura exam ( Reifepruefung). This type of exam was introduced after World War II, above all to overcome the shortage of senior civil servants created by denazification and to compensate victims of National Socialist persecution. Civil servants who passed the Mittelschulpruefung (secondary school leaving examination), as it was officially called, were put on the same level as persons who had passed the Matura. The exam was renamed Beamten-Aufstiegspruefung (approx. civil servants advancement exam) in 1979, and standards were raised: The exam can only be taken after eight years of service. It comprises the following subjects: German, History and Social Studies, Geography and Economic Studies (as taught at Realgymnasium secondary schools), and two out of a number of optional subjects (as taught up to the 6th form of Realgymnasium schools), i.e. a first and a second foreign language, mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology and ecology. From among the optional subjects, candidates have to choose either mathematics or a foreign language and one of the other optional subjects.