The Goethe-Institut's German language examinations are an internationally recognized standard for accessing and quantifying German language skills, be it for personal or professional reasons. These examinations correspond to the levels of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. The GAI offers a range of levels from A1 to C2 for autonomous language ability.
The Germanic-American Institute offers private tutoring for those seeking extra instruction before taking any of the Goethe-Institut tests listed below.
Goethe exams are scheduled quarterly and registration can be completed online.
Click here to register for the next scheduled group exam on July 21 (Registration closes June 30)
The GAI currently offers the following examinations:
Examinations for Adults (16+ years)
Goethe-Zertifikat A1: Start Deutsch 1
Completion of the first two levels of GAI language instruction recommended (G100-G200).
Passing this exam demonstrates basic language competence, as required by the German government since 2007 for non-citizens moving to Germany. Skills include the ability to introduce yourself, ask for directions, go shopping, etc. For further information, please check out the website of the German government, where brochures in many languages are available.
Citizens of the Unites States are at this point exempt from this regulation. Please check with your nearest consulate or embassy to receive the most current information.
Completion of the first four levels of GAI language instruction recommended (G100-G400).
This exam calls for elementary language skills. To pass this exam, you must be able to do the following: understand the main content of everyday conversations as well as brief radio announcements or phone messages; obtain the most important information from short newspaper articles, everyday advertisements and public notice boards; fill in ordinary forms in shops or at banks or government offices; write messages about your immediate situation; introduce yourself and exchange personal details in a conversation; ask and answer questions in conversations about everyday topics; and agree on something or make arrangements in everyday conversation.
Highly regarded by employers in both the private and public sectors as proof of intermediate knowledge of the German language, the Goethe-Zertifikat B1 is recognized in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland as satisfying the language requirements of a Fachhochschule (technical secondary school) and for the attainment of German citizenship.
Candidates must possess a sound basic knowledge of the language and demonstrate the ability to communicate in both oral and written everyday situations. Examination components consist of reading and listening comprehension, grammatical structures and vocabulary, letter writing, and an oral interview.
Successful completion of the G-series courses (G100-G600) at the GAI prepares students to pass the Goethe-Zertifikat B1.
The Goethe-Zertifikat B2 is recognized in many countries as an initial requirement for studying German, though the requirements at individual universities may vary. This exam requires advanced German language skills.
Candidates must be able to follow the main content of specific and abstract topics and obtain relevant information from them (i.e. radio broadcasts); understand a wide range of texts, both shorter simple texts (such as advertisements) and longer, more complex factual texts, commentaries and reports; clearly express themselves in a structured way in writing and correct mistakes in texts written by other people;
give clearly structured oral comments on general subjects; and argue a point of view.
Successful completion of four consecutive semesters of Advanced Mittelstufe Review (AMR) at the GAI prepares students to pass the Goethe-Zertifikat B2, though additional test preparation is recommended.
The Goethe-Zertifikat C1 is recognized at most German-language universities as a substitute for a language entrance exam. This exam requires very advanced German language skills.
Candidates must be able to follow lengthy audio programs, understand a wide variety of complex tests, express themselves clearly and logically in conversation and in writing, and fluently formulate precise, detailed opinions.
Successful completion of four consecutive semesters of the C1 Oberkurs at the GAI prepares students to pass the Goethe-Zertifikat C1, though additional test preparation is recommended.
Goethe-Zertifikat C2: Großes Deutsches Sprachdiplom
Beginning in 2012, the Goethe-Zertifikat C2: Großes Deutsches Sprachdiplom replaced three high-level exams previously in use: the Goethe-Zertifikat: Zentrale Oberstufenprüng (ZOP), the Kleines Deutsches Sprachdiplom (KDS), and the Großes Deutsches Sprachdiplom (GDS).
Candidates must possess language ability similar to that of a native speaker. This includes being able to effortlessly follow a conversation in German, synthesize and summarize new information, and fluidly express counterarguments and explanations. Arguments must be well-articulated, nuanced, and precise.
The Goethe-Zertifikat C2 allows foreign students to be admitted to colleges and universities in Germany. It is also recognized as official proof of language competence for teachers throughout Germany. Recommended ages: 18+.
Examinations for Young People
Goethe-Zertifikat A1: Fit in Deutsch 1 & Goethe-Zertifikat A2: Fit in Deutsch 2
Passing the Fit in Deutsch examinations proves that you can make yourself understood in simple German. These examinations require a basic knowledge of German and correspond to levels one (A1) and two (A2) on the six-level scale of competence laid down in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. Recommended minimum age: 10 years.
Passing the Goethe-Zertifikat B1 examination proves that you have a sound basic knowledge of everyday German and that you have the language skills required for dealing with all kinds of different situations encountered every day. This exam tests the same skills as the Goethe-Zertifikat B1 for adults but with content appropriate for a younger student. Recommended minimum age: 12 years.
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