Want to pass the Goethe-Institut’s German A1 Test to become an Au pair? Check out this post for some German A1 Test tips to pass the exam!
As someone who recently took the German A1 Exam at the Goethe Institut, passing the exam was a lot easier than I thought. As you can see below, I got an overall score of 85% for all four sections of the exam which corresponded to a grade of gut.
The Speaking and Reading were the highest sections of my exam while the Listening was my least. Personally, I wasn’t too surprised by how I did on the Listening section since listening to an audio recording is different from real life. However, out of all of the sections, the Speaking portion surprised me the most since everything was performed in front of two examiners. I was really nervous about it during that portion of the exam but I stayed confident until the end.
So, if you’re a prospective Au pair who’s looking to pass the Goethe Institut’s German A1 Test like me, you’ve come to the right place. This post highlights what you’ll need on the day of the exam and how you can study for it.
Au Pair in Germany Series
P.S. This is a post in my Au Pair in Germany series. Here is the complete series:
Au Pair Origin and History: What is an Au Pair: The Origin and History
Au Pair Tasks: What Does an Au Pair Do: Au Pair Tasks
Au Pair Agencies: The 7 Best Au Pair Agencies for Americans
German Language Learning Apps: The 10 Best Apps for German Learning as an Au Pair
Au Pair Guide: How to Become an Au Pair in Germany
Au Pair Visa: Au Pair Visa Germany: Requirements for Americans
Au Pair vs. Nanny: Au Pair vs. Nanny: What is the Difference?
Au Pair Salary: German Au Pair Salary: What to Expect
Au Pair Rematch: The Top 10 Reasons Why Au Pairs Rematch
Au Pair Driving: The Au Pair Guide to Driving in Germany
German A1 Exam: How To Pass Your German A1 Test To Become An Au Pair
Host Family Interview: Here Are 100 Host Family Interview Questions You Need To Ask
Host Family Red Flags: 10 Host Family Red Flags You Should Watch Out For
Packing List: Au Pair Packing List: Germany Edition
What You’ll Need for the German A1 Test
Here are a few things you’ll need on the day of your German A1 Test!
- Water (In case you get thirsty during the exam)
- Snacks (You’ll need something to eat during the exam break)
- A watch (So that you can keep track of time during the exam)
- 2 Pens (They cannot grade the exam if you do it in pencil)
- An ID (They will ask you to place your ID on your desk as you take the exam)
- Registration Form (You cannot take the exam if it’s not completed)
How to Study for the German A1 Test
Studying for the Goethe Institut’s German A1 Exam is essential for your success. This type of exam isn’t exactly something you can wing either. From my experience, I studied A1 German for 5 months before I felt confident to take the exam.
Now, was memorizing everything easy? Not at all.
But, did it get better with repetition? Yes.
So, to help all you prospective Au pairs out there, I thought I would list out all of the study materials I used to pass the exam. Each and every one of them made me feel more confident in my German which says a lot since this exam is too expensive to fail.
Therefore, if you want to pass the exam like I did for your Au pair visa, I highly recommend checking out these materials I used below:
Babbel is one of my favorite apps I used to learn German as a prospective Au pair! It’s great for people who are serious about learning the German language and it places a heavy focus on grammar and repetition. In fact, as I was learning German through the app, it felt less like work and more like a game. I would practice several German exercises as I was out and about on the street to the point where all the words I had learned reached my long term memory. In fact, what better way to learn German than from an app that’s based in Germany itself. Their headquarters are located right in Berlin, Germany and they’ve been around since 2007.
Babbel also offers its users online German learning through Babbel Live. Babbel Live is another product of Babbel and it offers its users access to online tutoring classes in German with a certified language teacher. From my experience, I really enjoyed using Babbel Live for the month I did because it gave me the opportunity to ask my language teacher questions about German I wouldn’t have been able to do through the exercises. Plus, on the fun side, since most of my language teachers lived in Germany, they also shared some interesting things about the German culture which felt like a 2 for 1!
German A1 Test Word List
The Goethe Institut also has a word list of all of the German words you might come across as you take your exam. I actually read this word list moments before taking the exam and I noticed that it definitely helped me for the Reading portion of it. In addition, to make things easier, you’re also welcome to add the words that you see on the list to flashcards in Quizlet. By doing this, you’ll be able to study the words as you’re on the go so that you don’t get stumped by any of them on the exam. In fact, I would say the word list is key to passing the Reading section so you definitely don’t want to pass it up.
German A1 Test Practice Exams on YouTube
Doing German A1 Practice Exams on YouTube was also another way I studied for the exam. It gave me an idea of what to expect in terms of the exam’s structure and pace which left me feeling prepared on the day I took the exam. In fact, if you’re looking for a YouTuber who specializes in these exams, I highly recommend watching Guru talks videos. He always makes sure to put the answers at the end of each video and he likes to upload new practice exams on a weekly basis. The only thing I would recommend to keep in mind as you’re watching these videos is to do the Listening portion without headphones. This will help you get used to answering questions in the Listening section with external noise which is what you will experience on the day of your exam.
German A1 Test Tips
Here are some additional German A1 Test Tips I followed from a YouTuber called YourGermanTeacher. I followed his tips for each section of the Goethe Institut’s German A1 Exam and they definitely paid off!
- Please circle all the words that are important for each listening question.
- Write down any words that have the same or opposite meaning as the words that are in your answer choices. (This will help you choose the correct answer)
- Pay attention to any negations you might hear as the audio recording is being played (nicht, kein, nein usw.).
- This is also just a personal tip from me as someone who already took the exam but please sit as close to the front of the room as you possibly can. I believe my score on the Listening section would have been higher if I sat much closer to the audio player than in the back.
- As I mentioned in a previous section, please make sure to bring a watch to manage your time during the Reading portion of the exam.
- Please circle any key words that are important for each question in the Reading portion.
- Two minutes is the most you should spend on each question in the Reading portion of the exam.
- Please don’t spend more than 5 minutes on the first 1st part of the Writing section. By doing this, you should have at least 15 minutes remaining for the second part.
- Only use words, grammar, or sentence structure that you’re familiar with for the second part of the Writing portion. For me, I personally liked using modal verbs (können, möchten, usw.) in my sentences since the second verb had to stay in the infinitive.
- Make sure to proofread your email after writing it for the 2nd part of the Writing section. It’s really easy to forget that German nouns need to be capitalized and that some vowels have an umlaut.
- This is also just a personal tip from me as someone who already took the exam but please be sure to read my post on The American Guide to Writing German Emails. It has a list of all of the salutations and closings you can use to write your email for the exam which should give you some extra points.
- Always speak in full sentences during the Speaking portion of the exam.
- Try not to focus on which article, preposition, or case to use as you’re speaking. As long your speech is clear and concise, they shouldn’t take off that many points.
- Please ask the examinee or examiner to repeat the question if you didn’t understand it. I remember this happened to a girl who sat next to me during Part 3 of this portion of the exam and instead of saying “wie bitte?” or “was bedeutet…?” to me she said nothing as everyone sat there in awkward silence.
- This is also just a personal tip from me as someone who already took the exam but please be sure to sit somewhere in the middle of the examinees during the Speaking portion of the exam. This ensures that you’re not the first examinee to speak during all the parts which should give you enough time to formulate your answer.
German A1 Test FAQs
As this post comes to an end, I thought I would answer some frequently asked questions you might have about the German A1 Test!
How many points do I need to pass the German A1 Test?
You need at least 60 points to pass the German A1 Test. This comes out to at least 60% for your overall score and your grade corresponds to the following rubric:
|100-90||sehr gut (very good)|
|59-0||nicht bestanden (failed)|
Where can I take the German A1 Test?
The German A1 Test can be taken at any Goethe Institut in Germany or abroad. If you are based in the U.S., the Goethe Institut has locations in Boston, Washington D.C., Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York.
How early should I arrive for the German A1 Test?
How early you arrive depends on the check-in time at the location for your exam. For me, I had to arrive promptly at 12:15pm for check-in but the exam didn’t start until 12:45pm. But please do note, if you arrive after the exam begins, you won’t be able to take it.
How much does it cost to learn A1 German?
The cost is entirely up to you and what you can afford. My 3-month subscription with Babbel was 23.75 and my subscription to Babbel Live was just $105.18 for 1 month. So, in total, I spent about $130 dollars to learn A1 German.
Overall, I really hope you enjoyed reading this post about how you can pass the German A1 Test at the Goethe Institut. Please let me know in the comments down below which tip resonated with you the most. I would love to hear from you! 🙂
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