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Goethe Zertifikat German A1 Exam

The Goethe German A1 exam (Zertifikat Deutsch A1) is a globally recognized international exam/certificate that you may need to work or obtain a visa to travel to language courses in German-speaking countries. It was developed by the Goethe Institute in cooperation with Telc.

The Goethe Zertifikat A1 exam is intended for adults over 16 years of age such as students, and for family reunification (whose spouse is already in Germany). The other spouse (the one that lives outside Germany) needs to pass the Goethe-Zertifikat A1 exam to move to Germany.

Note: For children and adolescents from 10 to 16 years old, there is a separate Goethe exam – Zertifikat A1: Fit in Deutsch 1.

Goethe German A1 Exam Requirements

The level of knowledge of the German language A1 (Goethe-Zertifikat), allows you to

  • Name and understand numbers, prices, and time
  • Fill out questionnaires with personal data
  • Identify relevant information in written texts
  • Introduce yourself and loved ones
  • Conduct short dialogues in everyday situations
  • Ask and answer simple personal questions
  • Formulate and respond to requests and requirements.

The Goethe German A1 exam confirms basic knowledge of the German language and corresponds to the first level (A1) on the six-level scale of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages ​​(CEFR).

Goethe A1 Passing Criteria

One must score an aggregate of 60% overall to pass the Goethe A1 examination. Here’s the sample Goethe A1 certificate.

Goethe German A1 exam certificate sample

Goethe A1 exam pattern

Goethe German A1 exam consists of 4 sections:

  1. Hören (Listening)
  2. Lesen (Reading)
  3. Schreiben (Writing)
  4. Sprechen (Speaking in a group)

1. Hören (Listening)

  • Duration: 20 minutes
  • Modules (Teile): 3
  • Points: 15

The Hören (listening) part lasts about 20 minutes and during this time you need to complete 15 tasks, divided into 3 parts.

The examiner plays a single audio track for the entire Hören part. The audio track contains pauses for reading tasks. At the end of the audio, you are given a few minutes to mark the answers and a signal sounds to indicate the end of Hören.

Hören Teil 1 – You listen to 6 short dialogues 2 times. These dialogues represent a small scene from everyday life – ordering at a restaurant, shopping in a store, checking into a hotel, describing the way, etc. Each dialogue has a question with a choice of answers a, b or c. The responses look like images with captions in German. Your task is to choose the correct answer.

Hören Teil 2 – You listen to 4 loudspeaker announcements one time. Announcements are most often heard from the train station, airport and store. Each announcement has a statement. Your task is to choose whether this statement matches the information in the audio (richtig) or incorrect (falsch). Most test takers find this part to be the most difficult. To correctly complete the task, you should pay attention to the numbers mentioned in the announcements. Another good way to practice these tasks is to listen to as many of these announcements as possible on the loudspeaker.

Hören Teil 3 – You listen to 5 messages 2 times. Messages are most often recordings of an answering machine or by a family member, friend, or company. Each message has a question with a choice of answers a, b or c..

A maximum of 15 points can be obtained for the entire Listening module in the German A1 exam, one for each correct answer. After calculating the points, the resulting number must be multiplied by a factor of 1.66 to get the final number of secondary points showed on the certificate.


2. Lesen (Reading)

  • Duration: 25 minutes
  • Modules (Teile): 3
  • Points: 15

The Reading module lasts 25 minutes. During this time, you need to complete 15 tasks, divided into 3 parts.

Lesen Teil 1 – 2 small texts, such as an E-Mail or a note. To them – 5 tasks, you need to choose what is right (richtig / falsch).

Lesen Teil 2 – There are 10 advertisements from a newspaper or the Internet and 5 tasks for them. Each task is offered a choice of 2 ads, you need to mark the one that fits.

Lesen Teil 3 – Small texts, announcements, signs, opening hours and tasks for them are given. It should be noted which of the statements are correct (richtig / falsch).

A maximum of 15 points can be obtained for the entire Reading section in the German A1 exam. After calculating the points, the number must be multiplied by a factor of 1.66 to see the total number of secondary points showed on the certificate.

Note: In the reading part, you should use a special approach. It will not be enough just to read the text. Sometimes the question creators specifically add various prepositions, verb forms and synonyms in order to increase the complexity of the questions.


3. Schreiben (Writing)

  • Duration: 20 minutes
  • Modules (Teile): 2
  • Points: 15

The module “Writing” or “Letter” of the Goethe-Institute A1 examination lasts 20 minutes and consists of 2 parts.

  1. Schreiben Teil 1 – In the first part, you need to fill in 5 points of the form, using the information from the text given in the assignment.
  2. Schreiben Teil 2 – You need to write a small letter (about 30 words). It is important to write 1-2 sentences for each item of the assignment.

A maximum of 15 points can be obtained for the entire Writing (letter) section in the German A1 exam. After calculating the points, the number must be multiplied by a factor of 1.66 to see the total number of secondary points showed on the certificate.


4. Sprechen (Speaking)

  • Duration: 15 minutes
  • Modules (Teile) : 3
  • Points: 15

The oral part of German A1 exam is conducted in a group of 3-4 participants and consists of 3 parts.

Sprechen Teil 1 – You must briefly introduce yourself and answer the examiner’s questions. As a rule, he asks to spell something out and asks a question requiring a number (phone number, zip code, etc.). The is the easiest part of the test, as you can prepare a story about yourself in advance. The maximum number of points is 3.

Sprechen Teil 2 – Assesses your communication skills on everyday topics such as food and drink, family, shopping, clothing, etc. There will be multiple cards, and each card has one word written on it, and the topic is indicated at the top. It is important to formulate questions in accordance with the given topic.

Sprechen Teil 3 – The ability to formulate requests or questions on everyday topics and respond to them is tested. It is tested by cards, which depict various objects (for example, a glass of water, a lamp, a telephone, etc.).

A maximum of 15 points can be obtained for the entire Writing (letter) section in the German A1 exam. After calculating the points, the number must be multiplied by a factor of 1.66 to see the total number of secondary points showed on the certificate.


Additional reading:

Languages of Germany

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