Exams that we offer

Our students in grades 4 and up have the opportunity to take various German exams. We assess our students during the year and offer various exams for each level of student. Please refer to our curriculum descriptions in Children and Teen Classes to read about how exam preparation is integrated into our coursework. Understanding exams and the benefits of taking exams can be overwhelming. Let us help you. Please contact us if you have questions or would like more information about the exams we offer and how we prepare our students!

AATG National German Exam

The American Association of Teachers of German (AATG) offers four levels of tests called the National German Examination (NGE). We provide our students in our classes “Youth Grade 5+ Beginner/ Intermediate” (Novato and Santa Rosa), “Youth Grade 6-8 Exam Prep”, and “Youth Grade 9+ Exam Prep” with the opportunity to take NGE Level 1-4. These tests are comprised of multiple-choice questions about reading and listening comprehension, and are scored on a national basis. All students scoring at or above the 70th percentile nationwide are honored at a yearly ceremony at Berkeley or Stanford University, and can potentially win a summer study trip to Germany through the AATG.

The NGE is administered at our school in December/January (Level 2-4) and April (Level 1). Students will learn how they scored within a few weeks. There is no cost to the student to take the NGE.

Internationale Vergleichsarbeit A1, A2
Deutsches Sprachdiplom I , II

Students at our school have the opportunity to take the “Internationale Vergleichsarbeit A1/A2”, and the “Deutsche Sprachdiplom” (DSD), Level I and II. These are exams offered by the German government’s Office of German Schools Abroad (Bundesverwaltungsamt, Zentralstelle für das Auslandsschulwesen) for students who are studying at German schools abroad. All exams test language skills in the areas of reading comprehension, listening comprehension, speaking and text production.

The “Internationale Vergleichsarbeit A1″ is an exam for older elementary school students (age 8-11) that tests basic German language skills (Language skill level A1 of the “Gemeinsamer Europäischer Referenzrahmen für Sprachen”/ Common European Framework of Reference for Languages). Students in “Youth Grade 4/5” (Novato) and “Youth Grade 4-6” (Santa Rosa) have the opportunity to take this exam in spring and are awarded a star certificate (Sternchenzeugnis) at the end of the school year.

The more demanding “Internationale Vergleichsarbeit A2” is geared towards students 12 years and up. Students in “Youth Grade 6-8 Exam Prep” (Novato) have the opportunity to take this exam in spring. It is designed to prepare them for the Deutsche Sprachdiplom for high school students.

The DSD I exam (Language skill level B1) assumes a student has a good command of German. This test, administered in spring, qualifies a student to apply to a Studienkolleg at a German University. It is geared towards students aged 14-16, and includes reading and listening comprehension as well as essay writing. Additionally, students will have to give a short oral presentation about a topic of their choice to a BVA/ZfA approved representative. Questions pertinent to the presentation will have to be answered fluently. The student must also demonstrate cultural competency throughout all parts of the test.

The DSD II (Language skill level B2/C1) is the highest test level and assumes the student has an excellent command of German. It is typically administered to students in the fall of their junior or senior years of high school. According to the Office of the Culture Ministers, it is the certificate and level of German required to apply at a German university.

The DSD II is a challenging exam that requires students to show that they can understand and present difficult and controversial topics as well as demonstrate critical thinking skills in their essay and in their oral presentations.

Students benefit greatly from taking the DSD exams, as successful completion of the DSD is directly applicable to studying abroad in Germany. There is no cost for the DSD exam itself, however students must travel to the location where the exams are given (in the Bay Area). We offer preparation for the DSD I in our class “Youth Grade 9+ Exam Prep (Novato)”. Students wishing to take the DSD II can enroll in an online class with us. Contact us for more information.

AP German Language and Culture Exam

Like all other advanced placement exams, the AP German Language and Culture exam, developed by the Collegeboard (www.collegeboard.org), offers high school students the opportunity to earn college credits while still in high school and improve their chances of admission to a particular college. The AP German exam, if passed with a score of 3 or more, is also generally accepted by US colleges as a proof of foreign language proficiency, and counts as the equivalent of at least 3 years of foreign language study in high school.

The exam, which tests language skills roughly on level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, includes listening and reading comprehension, essay writing and speaking. It is administered in May at a designated high school. Although we are not allowed to administer the AP German exam, we prepare students for it in our class “Youth Grade 9+ Exam Prep” (Novato).

SAT Subject Test German

The SAT Subject Test German, developed by the Collegeboard, is an exam that students can take at their local high school. The test offered in November has the components reading comprehension, grammar, and listening comprehension. The test offered in June only includes reading comprehension and grammar. The SAT subject test has twofold benefits: If passed with a certain score, this test gives a boost to a student’s college application, as many US colleges now like to see a certain number of subject tests. Reaching a certain score is also considered the equivalent of three years of foreign language study in high school. This means, the SAT Subject Test German can help a students satisfy the foreign language requirement necessary for college application even if their local high school does not offer German classes. Although we cannot administer the SAT Subject Test German (students take it at designated test center high schools), we can assist students with preparation for this test in our class “Youth Grade 9+ Exam Prep” (Novato).