The Goethe-Zertifikat A1 Prüfung (Examination) is the first level of proof of language ability in German. It is also a requirement for application of Fiancee or Marriage Visa and for reunification of spouses, as stipulated in the new Immigration Act of July 2007.
For those who are nervous and wondering how to pass the first level, Start Deutsche 1, I have some answers for your questions. What are the contents of the exam? What are the coverage of the exam? How can I pass the exam? What can I expect while taking the exam? Where can I find a sample of examination? Where can I practice taking the exam? And perhaps more.
After about three months of studying A1 at the Goethe Institut in Makati, the final step is to take the examination and pass it. For me, failing is not an option. Why? Because I want to impress the love of my life for one. ). Because this is a step I need to go through before the realization of our dreams to be together. Because learning the language gives me a lot of advantage in the future. And last but not the least, because I do not want all my efforts, resources, time and money get wasted after taking this extensive course.
For those who are currently in my former situation (I studied A1 and took the exam in November, 2011), here arr some practical and informational tips in passing the A1 Start Deutsche exam. Do not fear the exam. Study hard. Each day in Goethe Institut in Makati, Philippines is a day well spent. I thank die Lehrer for their hard work, and for making the learning of the German language fun. (Ms. Pam Bautista and Mr. Will Josue were my instructors in Goethe Institut Makati and they are exceptional). Practice examination drills available online and in school. The back pages of the book Schritte International 1 Deutsch als Fremdsprache has a sample exam. The Goethe Institut website also has materials for Goethe-Zertifikat A1 Prüfung as well. The Goethe Institut Library offers sample materials too.
The address or venue for taking the examination is:
Goethe Institut Manila
121 L.P. Leviste St.
Salcedo Village, Makati City
The Start Deutsche 1 Exam consists of four parts, namely: Hören (Listening), Lesen (Reading), Schreiben (Writing) and Sprechen (Speaking). Below is the equivalent points and percentage of each Teile (parts). Passing mark is 60%.
Interpretation of the Scores:
We took the first three parts (Hören, Lesen, and Schreiben) for about an hour in the morning and Sprechen for about thirty minutes in the afternoon. We were about 15 examinees in one room and in the afternoon, we were grouped into 4 for Sprechen. We only had pen or pencil and eraser on our tables, nothing else. The atmosphere during the examination was very strict.
During the examination, presence of mind is a must. The proctor sets the rule before the examination begins. Follow the instructions carefully, given in German. Write your answers on the answer sheet and NOT on the test questionnaire. Answer each question by putting a CROSS mark on the correct answer, NOT a circle. We are used to circle the correct answer because that is how we Filipinos do it in our school. Remember: X and not O. Cross the right answer NEATLY.
Do not panic or cram, especially at the Lesen and Schreiben part. All parts are timed and must be followed accordingly. The proctor writes on the board the remaining time allotted for the exam.
I. Hören, circa 20 Minuten
This test has 3 parts. Teil 1 has six questions, Teil 2 has ten, and Teil 3 has five questions. It includes situations like short conversations and announcements (die Gespräche und die Ansagen), which are repeated twice. These cover anything and not limited to die Nummern (Zimmernummer, Hausnummer, Telekfonnummer, etc); Uhrzeit; Offnungszeiten; Ort fragen (die Rechts, die Links, an die Ecke, geradeaus, etc) and many more. Listen intently because there are times that all given choices are mentioned in the conversations/announcements.
II. Lesen, circa 20 Minuten
This test has three parts and each have five questions. It could be anything from announcements to letters (die Briefe). Analyze and read carefully what is being asked for in each numbers.
III. Schreiben, circa 30 Minuten
This test has two parts. The first part is filling out ein Formular. Write legibly and provide ONLY the information being asked. zum Biespiel, if the field for Strasse is left blank, Straße:________, write ONLY the name of the street, not 5 Riverstraße or #5 Riverstraße.
The second part of this test is die Briefe schreiben (Writing letters), equivalent to 10 points. It is important to take note of the format in writing the letter. If the situation asks for formality, use formal tone in all parts of the letter. If the situation is a friendly letter, then use casual or informal format. Spell the words in the body of the letter correctly, taking in mind the words with umlaut on its letters. Write proper conjugation of verbs and apply the correct use of haben and sein Verben. Dictionaries are prohibited so keep your letter short and simple. Tip: Practice writing letters both in formal and informal style.
Important content of the Letter Formal Informal
Opening Greetings Sehr geehrter Herr…., Lieber /Liebe
Sehr geehrte Frau…,
Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren,
Body Use “Sie”, polite way for “You” du
Salutations // die Anreden Mit herzlichen Grüßen Liebe Grüße
This section has 3 parts as well. Number 1 Rule in Sprechen is Speak Slowly. Langsam aber sicher. Emphasize the shortness or longness of vowels in pronouncing the words.
Create a list of possible questions normally starting with Wh- questions. Focus on the questions about time, since it is more challenging than the normal, Wo/Was/Wie questions.
Review the flashcards that were used in the classroom, as some of it might appear in the exam (As what I’ve experienced).
In answering the questions asked by your peers, answer in a complete sentence. Do not answer with a single word only, such as “Ja” or “Nein”, but follow it up with two or more words. For example: “Ja, ich esse (ein) Obst” or “Nein, ich esse nich (ein) Obst.” Or “Nein, tut mir leid”.
Teil 1. Sich Vorstellen/ Introducing oneself in German is the first part of Sprechen (Oral) Examination in Deutsche Zertifikat A1. It covers the following information:
ich heiße ____________. //Ich bin ___________.//Meine Name ist _________.
Ich bin ___ Jahre alt.
Ich komme von den Philippinen aus Manila/Cebu/etc.
Ich wohne in ____________.
Ich spreche Englisch und ein bischen Deutsch.
Ich arbeite als __________.//ich habe keine Beruf.//Ich bin Studentin
Meine Hobbys sind Bücher lesen und tanzen// Meine Hobby ist Sport machen.
Teil 2. Each one of you will pick a card. The first person who picks the card will formulate a question using the word written on the card. The type of question to be asked should be based on the “Thema” as indicated on the card.
The next person will answer the question and in turn, she/will choose another card and follow the same format, until everyone had a chance to ask and answer.
Teil 3. This part deals with the application of modalverben in different signages, for example, Dürfen. Also, the examinees are required to formulate a sentence using Bitte.
There, so I hope you learned something from me and I wish you pass your Goethe-Zertifikat A1 Prüfung too. Ich drücke dir die Daumen!