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 middle and high school students 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 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 9-11) that tests basic German language skills (Language skill level A1 of the “Gemeinsamer Europäischer Referenzrahmen für Sprachen”/ Common European Framework of Reference for Languages). Our older elementary school students 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. Our middle school students 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 very 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. 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. The DSD II certificate fulfils the language requirements necessary 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 and DSD II in our high school classes. See the high school course descriptions for more detailed information, and feel free to contact us.
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 or more 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 high school classes.