B2 German certificate - bother preparing? How?

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I'm going to get the B2 German language certificate next month for the citizenship application.

 

I picked it because the functionary told me to, in order to reduce the required residency period down to 6 years, that's how it works, right?

 

I speak fluently, studied A-Level German in the UK and took university courses in German so I pretty well get it.

 

The only thing is I've worked mainly in English these last few years so my German practice comes from more mundane stuff and if anything my active German is slipping down to the level of native German speakers ;-) (that symbol is a winking smiley emoji, it signifies irony).

 

Should I bother practicing for the B2 or would I need that more for C2?

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I mentioned on the other thread there are example papers, and also books.  Take a look at those perhaps, as an indicator of what you can do.

 

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I picked it because the functionary told me to, in order to reduce the required residency period down to 6 years, that's how it works, right?

 

I don't think that is a rule, as such.  If it's a possibility, grab it, obviously.   (I was past the standard eight years when I applied, so not relevant, but I'd not heard "B2 knocks two years off" and I am one who long since got that cert).

 

If you found the citizenship test very easy then you probably would be at B2 at least, on reading.

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I took the Goethe-Institut C1 test a couple of years ago -- I had classes only up to B1 level at that point, but then put in considerable effort at having some kind of German social life, and I felt it was cheating myself to do anything less than C1.  I think the B2 test follows a similar format, just easier.  However, when it came time to take the C1 test, this is what I did:

 

* The Goethe web site has two complete exams with audio material. In addition to those, I bought an exam book from Amazon.de which had three more simulated exams with solutions and a CD containing MP3s of the oral parts.  I did all the Reading, Writing, and Listening parts of all five exams, although not necessarily in order -- since the exam itself is broken up into sections with breaks, it's not necessary to do this marathon style. I did this over about a month.

 

* I had a friend who was a teacher look at a couple of the essays I wrote for the Writing section.  This help may not be available to everyone, but if you have a friend who can correct simple German writing, it is really helpful.

 

* For the Speaking part, I listened to the simulated conversations for a couple of the exams, and then had a native-speaker friend simulate a couple more with me (in C1, there is a theme-dialogue section of the Speaking part). 

 

I passed C1 just falling short of "sehr gut". 

 

Some observations:

 

* The simulated practice exams seem, at least subjectively, to be harder than the "live" C1 exam.  So if you don't do as well as you thought on the practice exams, don't worry.

 

* The exam has only peripherally to do with how good you are at German.  I left the whole process with the feeling that a native speaker who had never seen the format or written a practice exam could well do poorly at it -- the comprehension tasks especially are deeply unnatural.

 

* Contrary to my expectations, my weak points (what caused me to fall short of sehr gut) were the Reading and Writing parts, I did superbly at the Listening and Speaking parts.  Again, this was exactly the opposite of what I expected.  Speaking is evaluated extremely generously (they seem to care more that you can cooperate with a dialogue partner than your perfect expression), and the Listening part is repeated several times so that you don't miss anything, and many of the questions are practically answerable by using logic rather than listening.  The Reading part involves very subtle and IMO unnatural distinctions and on the practice exams I felt that the "correct" answers were very arguable.

 

Good luck, I'm sure you'll do fine.

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I think it helps to be prepared for any test, not matter how good you are in the subject.

 

As well as what @Eupathic Impulse says I would suggest to purchase a book on the specific test.

 

It will explain the format.  Explain what sections are in the test, what to expect, how to answer, how not to answer, and for verbal and written areas what things the examiners are looking for. E.g.  You could write a perfect German letter, but if you only use simple sentences then they would mark it down!  A good book will also have other test exams included (mine had 4) and other exercises to work on.  It also gave advise on how to identify your weak points and how to best work on them.

 

It also explain the timing for each section and gives a guideline on how much time you should spend for sub-section.

 

I found this really useful so that I knew exactly the format and structure to expect and was not surprised.  Others in my exam were asking question about this

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46 minutes ago, dj_jay_smith said:

 

I found this really useful so that I knew exactly the format and structure to expect and was not surprised.  Others in my exam were asking question about this

 

If you have any degree of German functional adequacy, in my opinion, knowing the format and structure is more important than anything else.  The tasks are very unnatural, if you don't understand the format you won't do as well.

 

That is why I too proposed buying a sample exam book with practice examples and explanations.

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So which book/brand for the sample tests did you buy then? There are so many to chose from, it's just confusing.

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2 minutes ago, niland said:

So which book/brand for the sample tests did you buy then? There are so many to chose from, it's just confusing.

 

First you need to decide which test you will take, TELC or Goethe. 

This might be decided by what you can get in your area so I suggest that you start researching this and decide.

For example:  At my local VHS you can take TELC up to and including B2, but C1 + C2 are only available with Goethe, some other locations might only offer only one type of test.

 

You then need to decide exactly which test you will take, for example you have some which are +Beruf or some special ones for special professions.

So you can then search for the exact test you will take.  Be careful if you use Amazon, it throws up a lot of results but doesn't always show you the latest edition first or books on the same level!

 

I was recommended by a tutor to purchase a book from the publisher " Cornelsen Verlag".  The book was a few years old but still relevant, although there was a couple of minor mistakes and problems (the CD were incorrectly labelled!) I was very happy with the book.

 

 

 

 

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If you choose Goethe:

 

I bought this one:

https://www.amazon.de/Mit-Erfolg-zum-Goethe-Zertifikat-Audio-CDs/dp/3126758355/

 

That's the sample exam book for C1 that I bought.  There's the corresponding text and practice book in the recommendations (I didn't buy it).  The sample exams worked well enough for me but YMMV -- possibly I might have done better as in (sehr gut rather than gut) on the Reading and Writing sections if I had added another month of practice and worked with the textbook exercises as well as the sample exams.

 

There's a B2 version:

 

https://www.amazon.de/Mit-Erfolg-zum-Goethe-Zertifikat-B2/dp/3126758312/

 

As @dj_jay_smith mentions, there's also the TELC test, you can probably find similar material for it.

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49 minutes ago, dj_jay_smith said:

For example:  At my local VHS you can take TELC up to and including B2, but C1 + C2 are only available with Goethe, some other locations might only offer only one type of 

 

Right. Testing is more in demand / visible nowadays, and to the higher levels, but my language school (which also then only went to telc B2) had to ask those institutes where I could do C1 soonest, and the answer then was Wiesbaden VHS.   Even then, I was actually the only candidate, while lots of people did the lower ones :lol:.    This also meant I did goethe, having only done telc lower (which seems more the norm for those of us vaguely in the integration route or using providers that focus on that).   (Some language schools are accredited test centres, of course, not only VHS, and you don't need to have studied there to do the exam).

 

On practice, when I did the intensive integration course, which is a course most people have to pass B1 at the end of, one of the five daily teaching hours was always "test preparation".  Right through all six month blocks.   It's not like we just iteratively worked though examples all the time - we also worked on relevant skills building like listening comprehension -  but we did do a lot and it was considered necessary.

 

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So which book/brand for the sample tests did you buy then? There are so many to chose from, it's just confusing.

 

This is why you go the the library, then you can do all of them.  Otherwise yes, one for the specific test first and I expect any one will do.   Ask your language teacher, or bookstore etc too.

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Hello everyone,

 

I want to take the Goethe C2 exam this year.

I took the B2 a couple of years ago without taking any course, just studying by myself, but I don't think I can do that for the C2. Even though I have been working mostly in german for the past years and I feel I have gotten better since I took the B2 exam,  I need some help on this one.

I have done the Einstufungstest at the VHS and at UNS and they both place me in the middle of the C1 level. Unfortunately, my Schedule is pretty intense the first half of the week, which makes it impossible to take part in any course, be it morning or evening. So, I'm looking for a tutor. Any suggestions on where to find someone reliable and experienced in preparing students for this exam? I'm based in Hamburg, Other suggestions are also welcome.

 

Thanks

 

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I did a prep course, although have never taken the exam, starting to contemplate doing another one possibly.   I remember it being quite intensive and it was absolutely definitely at the level (that was a VHS one).  It did enforce some rigour about learning and in particular about reading the very dull book that was then part of the syllabus and did a lot to put me off actually taking the exam.   

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Hi everyone, 

 

I just passed the C1 from Goethe yesterday (!!) and am now looking to do the C2. 
 

I did the C1 without taking any courses or preparing for the exam (I can thank my German wife for the daily practice) but I know that won’t fly for the C2. What would be your recommendations for courses in Munich (either super intensive over 2 weeks or on Saturdays as I need to balance this with work) or for prep material online? My weak point is particularly grammar. 
 

And does anyone have experience with Lima Sprachschule in Munich? They seem to be the only ones offering C2 prep classes on Saturdays but I couldn’t find many online reviews or anything TT.

 

Thanks in advance for any potential advice! 

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