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!

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”, “Youth Grade 5-7”, and “Youth Grade 8+” with the opportunity to take NGE Level I-IV. 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 or January. Students will learn how they scored within a few weeks. There is no cost to the student to take the NGE.

Stufenprüfungen A1 and A2, Deutsches Sprachdiplom (DSD) I and II

Students at our school have the opportunity to take A1, A2, and DSD exams. 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 Stufenprüfung A1 is an exam for older elementary school students 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” and “Youth Grade 5-7” 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 Stufenprüfung A2 is geared towards students 12 years and up. Students in “Youth Grade 8+” 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 similar to an AP exam, however the topics are geared more towards younger audiences. 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 (almost the equivalent of an Abitur Prüfung in German).

DSD II is more challenging than the AP exam. Students are required to do two oral presentations to representatives from Germany (one prepared in advance and one that is not). The requirement is that the student shows a mastery of the German language and culture. Additionally, they need 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 8+”. Students wishing to take the DSD II can enroll in an online class with us. Contact us for more information.

Advanced Placement (AP) German Exam

Like all other advanced placement exams, the AP German 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 high score – is also the only US high school examination acknowledged by a growing number of German universities as proof of German language proficiency.  Passing the AP German exam can help students when applying to a college in the US, but can also pave their way to be admitted to a university in Germany.

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 8+”.

SAT Subject Test German/ German with Listening

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. We assist students with preparation for this test in our class “Youth Grade 8+”.