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> then gymnasium for another 3 years that in theory voluntary but everyone does as it's also necessary for university etc.

Most people don't go to university nor gymnasium in ex Soviet countries. It might have been among your social circles, but not everyone does it.

They do, when you go to trade school gymnasium is in it, just not that high level as one would expect to from a person preparing for uni.

No it is not. Trade schools are if two kinds. One does not even give the degree necessary for college. Plenty of kids go there. Other has such degree, but it is not gymnasium. Plus most absolvents don't go to college, are limited to easy colleges and have trouble to finish.

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