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Goethe Exams

Goethe Certification

German Exams by the Goethe Institute

The German exams offered by the Goethe-Institut correspond to the levels of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)  and range from level A1 for beginners to C2 for the most advanced language learners.

The exams of the Goethe-Institut are available to anyone interested, regardless of the exam candidate’s citizenship. They are designed to demonstrate knowledge in German as a second language and/or as a foreign language.

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Exam Success

Preparation is key

The participation for the exam requires neither prior attendance at a specific language school or in a prep course nor the acquisition of a lower level certificate.

The exam as a whole can be re-taken as often as needed.

However, we recommend participation in a prep course at the testing location. There you will learn the necessary linguistic and exam-specific skills that will help you succeed on the exam.

Accessible and interactive sample papers and practice exercises to help you prepare online are available through the respective links below. 

The description of the respective exam level explains what skills you are able to demonstrate after passing the exam. 

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- Ask and reply to simple questions as well as make and respond to requests

- Write about yourself and others using simple expressions and sentences

- Understand conversations and texts about familiar topics.


- Understand and use sentences and common expressions in everyday situations

- Make yourself understood in simple, routine situations requiring an exchange of information on familiar and common topics

- Describe your background and education, immediate surroundings and other matters associated with your immediate needs, in a simple way.


- Understand the main points of information in conversations and texts on familiar matters relating to work, school and leisure time, etc. when clear, standard language is used

- Deal with most situations typically encountered when travelling in German-speaking countries

- Express yourself simply and coherently when talking about familiar topics and areas of personal interest

- Report on experiences and events, describe dreams, hopes and ambitions as well as make short statements and explanations.


- Understand the main contents of complex texts on concrete and abstract topics, as well as technical discussions in your own area of specialization

- Communicate so spontaneously and fluently that a normal conversation with native speakers is readily possible without a great deal of effort on either side

- Express your opinion on current issues in a clear and detailed manner, explain your position on a current issue and state the benefits and drawbacks of various options.


- Understand a wide range of challenging, longer texts as well as grasp implicit meanings

- Express yourself spontaneously and fluently without frequently having to search for words

- Use the language effectively and flexibly in your social and professional life or during training or your studies

- Make clear, structured and detailed statements on complex topics.


- Effortlessly understand virtually everything that you read or hear in German

- Summarize information from various written and spoken sources, logically recounting reasons and explanations

- Express yourself spontaneously with a high level of fluency and precision and make finer nuances of meaning clear when discussing more complex topics.