In 2004 the standing conference of the German Ministers of Education released educational standards to define learning outcomes for the secondary school subjects of biology, chemistry, and physics. These standards define four areas of competence for all three subjects: use of content knowledge, acquisition of scientific knowledge, scientific communication, and evaluation and judgement. Student achievement of the standards and the standards themselves are evaluated every six years – the first evaluation assessment was in 2012. The 2012 assessment reports students’ performance related to five proficiency levels. The levels were defined using empirical data in which a panel of experts used the bookmark standard-setting method. This presentation details characteristics of the five proficiency levels in chemistry using a subject-related perspective. In addition to Hans Anand Pants keynote lecture “Bridging the worlds of research and policy making” we also attempt to bridge the gap between the worlds of psychometrics and science education.