Ultimate Guide to Get German Certification in 2022

Table of Contents

When visiting a German-speaking country as a tourist, you can get by with just a few key German words and phrases. If you want to start a new career or life in Germany, Switzerland, or Austria, memorizing a phrasebook will not suffice.

One will need to know enough German to hold long conversations, follow detailed instructions, and express a wide range of needs and concerns. But how will educational institutions, potential employers, or immigration officials know you have the necessary German skills?

A German-language certification can demonstrate that you have sufficient knowledge of the language to succeed as a student, professional, resident alien, or full-fledged citizen in a German-speaking country.

We will look at seven of the most important German-language certifications in detail. These are internationally recognized tests that can help you get closer to your goal of living, working, or studying in a German-speaking country.

First, we will go over how these certifications use a common standard to assess your German proficiency. Then, we will look at what distinguishes each of these certifications. Subsequently, we will discuss the best ways to prepare for these critical exams so you can approach the German certification program with confidence.

Levels of German language proficiency

People worldwide learn German in various settings, including classrooms, apps, private tutoring, and even on the job. This can make confirming that someone has all of the skills required to work, study, or apply for citizenship in a German-speaking country difficult.

The Council of Europe created the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages to establish a standard for language fluency. This six-tiered system, known as the CEFR, describes levels of language ability ranging from “Basic” to “Proficient.” Language learners are assessed in four areas: listening, reading, speaking, and writing.

A1 (Lower Beginner)

You must understand simple German sentences and know the basic words to describe yourself and your surroundings at the A1 level. You can introduce yourself and use familiar greetings. Slow speech allows you to understand basic German vocabulary.

A2 (Upper Beginner)

At the A2 level, you can relate information about your job, family, and basic needs. You can comprehend practical materials such as train schedules. You can also understand brief written and spoken messages.

B1 (Lower Intermediate)

At the B1 level, you can begin to enjoy more German media, gaining an understanding of the main ideas of TV or radio programs with slow and clear narration. Your written and spoken expressions will also improve.

B2 (Upper Intermediate)

You may fully understand German media after reaching the B2 level, albeit you may still struggle with quick speech or idiomatic language. Your use of German is more complex at this level.

The right words, expressions, and grammar come to you much more easily and without doubts than at lower levels.

C1 (Lower Advanced)

Your use and understanding of German become more intuitive at the C1 level. You can read more deeply into the German you see and hear, engage in more complex conversations, and consume more vernacular media.

C2 (Fluent/Upper Advanced)

Your C2 proficiency allows you to produce and comprehend highly complex German. This is very close to native German fluency. Even accents from various parts of the German-speaking world do not confuse you.

German language certifications

The CEFR levels assess your German language skills in these seven German-language certifications. Each of these tests give an official assessment of German proficiency for learners in various situations.

These exams are typically administered at authorized testing centers on specific dates.

  1. Goethe-Zertifikat

There are six types of Goethe-Zertifikat, each of which corresponds to a CEFR level ranging from A1 to C2. The Goethe-Institut, an independent organization dedicated to studying the German language and culture, is in charge of these.

Different versions of the Goethe-Zertifikat examinations for levels A1 (lower beginner) through B2 are available for both younger children and adults (upper-intermediate). Adults, on the other hand, can only take the C1 and C2 levels. Students, visa seekers, and workers can all benefit from a Goethe-Zertifikat.

The Great German Language Diploma  also known as Goethe-Zertifikat C2, – Grosses Deutsches Sprachdiplom, assesses non-native speakers’ near-native mastery of German. Any German learner above sixteen years of age can take the test.

  1. Goethe-Test PRO

If you intend to use German professionally, you can take the Goethe-Test PRO to demonstrate your proficiency with current or prospective employers.

This two-part exam includes various sets of questions focusing on your listening and reading abilities. It automatically adapts to your German knowledge level based on your responses.

The computer-based test can take up to 90 minutes to complete, and your outcomes will be available as soon as you finish.

  1. Goethe-Test PRO Pflege

This is a Goethe-Test PRO variant designed specifically for healthcare professionals such as nurses. It assesses proficiency at the B2 (upper-intermediate) level.

  1. TestDaF

The Test of German as a Foreign Language – Test Deutsch als Fremdsprache was developed primarily for students wishing to study at the university level in Germany.

It is developed to evaluate the proficiency of German language students at the B2 to C1 levels (upper intermediate to lower advanced). It can be taken either on a computer or on paper. Your certification will be valid indefinitely if you pass the TestDaF exam.

  1. telc (The European Language Certificates)

The wide varieties of telc language certification tests provide a practical assessment of your German language skills and are a cost-effective alternative to the various types of Goethe-Zertifikat.

If you wish to continue your further studies at a German university, the certificate from telc Deutsch C1 Hochschule can help you get into a graduate-level lecture hall. You can use the Deutsch-Test für Zuwanderer A2B1 or the Zertifikat Deutsch / telc Deutsch B1 as proof of your German-language skills to obtain German citizenship.

The telc Deutsch B1-B2 Pflege is conducted for nurses, while the telc Deutsch B2C1 Medizin is for doctors who require hospital privileges in Germany.

If you wish to transact business in German, try any of the Beruf (profession) telc Deutsch tests.

Every German-speaking country’s government accepts telc certificates as proof of language proficiency for immigration and permanent resident purposes, such as obtaining a visa or a permanent residency.

  1. DTZ

Germany’s national migration authority is Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge.

They developed the DTZ, which stands for Deutsch-Test für Zuwanderer, to track immigrants’ progress in various government Integrationskurse (integration courses) (German test for immigrants). It discusses housing, health, social interaction, shopping, work, and child-rearing.

  1. DSD

The German Language Certificate of the Education Ministers Conference – Deutsches Sprachdiplom der Kultusministerkonferenz, also known as the DSD, was created for international students who want to learn in German universities.

If you plan to take the DSD I exam and score A2 or B1, you will be eligible to attend a Studienkolleg. This is a public institution that prepares students for university studies in Germany.

The DSD II exam is designed for students who speak German at the B2 or C1 level. If you pass this exam, you can study at a German university without having to take remedial language classes.

German Language levels, exams, eligibility, procedure, fees, centers, and dates

  1. German language certification: Goethe-Zertifikat

Eligibility

  • College and University students (youth & adults)
  • Visa-seekers
  • Employees in fields such as hospitality and infant care
  • Professors and researchers (C2 level)

German language level: A1 – C2

Procedure: The Goethe-Zertifikat exam includes sections on reading, listening, writing, and speaking. The exam’s speaking section is completed in a group setting. The exam is given and graded in the same manner everywhere.

Fees: For external applicants, the fee for A1 and A2 exams is INR 9000/- plus 18% GST, and the fee for B1 is INR 12400/- plus 18% GST.

Centers in India: Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi, Pune

DateExam
04.07.2022Goethe-Zertifikat B1 (Reading, listening, writing)
05.07.2022Goethe-Zertifikat A2
05.07.2022Geothe-Zertifikat B2 (Reading, listening, writing)
06.07.2022Goethe-Zertifikat A1
19.07.2022Goethe-Zertifikat C1
19.07.2022Goethe-Zertifikat B1
26.07.2022Goethe-Zertifikat B1
27.07.2022Goethe-Zertifikat A1
27.07.2022Goethe-Zertifikat B2 (speaking)
28.07.2022Goethe-Zertifikat A1: Fit in Deutsch A1
28.07.2022Goethe-Zertifikat A2: Fit in Deutsch
29.07.2022Goethe-Zertifikat B2
  1. German language certification: Goethe-Test PRO

Eligibility: Experts and business professionals

German language level: A1 – C2

Procedure: The Goethe-Test PRO is a highly customizable online exam. It can be taken at one of our test centers worldwide or your company’s premises. The test is based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages and employs the methods of the renowned Business Language Testing Service (BULATS) (CEFR).

Fees: INR 5200

Centers in India: Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi, Pune

Dates
22.08.2022A1 (paper-based)
25.08.2022A1 (paper-based)
19.08.2022A2 (paper-based)
12.08.2022B1 (DDP)*
11.08.2022B2 – Full (DDP)*
23.08.2022B2 – Modules (DDP)*
24.08.2022C1 (paper-based)
10.08.2022C2 (paper-based)
  1. German language certification: Goethe-Test PRO Pflege

Eligibility: Registered nurse personnel

German language level: B2

Procedure: Time and date can be organized only as a closed group.

Fees: External applicants must pay INR 9000/- plus 18% GST for the A1 and A2 exams and INR 12400/- plus 18% GST for the B1 exam.

Centers in India: Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi, Pune

DatesExam
22.08.2022A1 (paper-based)
25.08.2022A1 (paper-based)
19.08.2022A2 (paper-based)
12.08.2022B1 (DDP)*
11.08.2022B2 – Full (DDP)*
23.08.2022B2 – Modules (DDP)*
24.08.2022C1 (paper-based)
10.08.2022C2 (paper-based)
  1. German language certification: TestDaF

Eligibility: 

  • University and graduate students
  • Researchers

German language level: B2 – C1

Procedure: It is usually up to a 3.5-hour-long test at designated locations and evaluates a person’s aptitude in four areas: reading, listening, writing, and speaking.

Fees: roughly INR 8500

Centers in India: Bangalore, New Delhi, Pune, Coimbatore, and Chennai.

  1. German language certification: telc (various tests)

Eligibility: 

  • Students
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Medical personnel
  • Those looking for resident status, visas, or citizenship

German language level: A1 – C2

Procedure: To take an exam, you must first register for it, which is possible until 1 pm on Thursday, two weeks before the exam. For example, if your exam is on a Friday, the registration deadline is 15 days before the exam; if your exam is on a Saturday, the registration deadline is 16 days before the exam.

Fees: The exam fee is decided by the exam format.

Centers in India: Bangalore

  1. German language certification: DTZ

Eligibility: Immigrants

German language level: A2 – B1

Procedure: Please remember that as an external participant, one must register and pay for the exam at least two weeks before the exams. L.A.N.E.S. handles registration for attendees in the integration courses.

Fees: The exam fee is determined by the exam format.

Centres in India: None. One can take the exam at our L.A.N.E.S. Duisburg and Düsseldorf locations.

  1. German language certification: DSD

Eligibility: University students

German language level: A2/B1 (DSD I) or B2/C1 (DSD II)

Procedure: The major purpose of these exams is to give individuals with official confirmation of linguistic ability who wish to study at a university (either in Germany or the United States) or work in fields where German is necessary.

The students here are not required to choose between DSD and AP; they are encouraged to do both and prepare for university in the United States and Germany.

Fees: NA

Centers in India: None. They collaborate closely with the Bunderverwaltungsamt in Germany for DSD test preparation workshops through their German Schools Abroad delegate Dr. Vera Dindoyal.

Benefits of German certification

  1. Europe’s most widely spoken native language

German (Deutsch) is Europe’s most widely spoken mother tongue.

It is spoken in countries other than Germany. Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Belgium, and Luxembourg all speak it as their official language.

Over 185 million speakers worldwide and 100 million native speakers speak it.

  1. Global job opportunities

A career is one of the most important motivators for learning a foreign language.

It is Europe’s largest economy, the world’s fourth-largest by nominal GDP, and the world’s second-largest exporter, making it an essential language to learn.

Fluency in German has opened up job opportunities in India, medicine, healthcare, education, logistics, automobile, power and utility, mass media, entertainment, tourism, information technology, financial services, outsourcing, and other fields.

  1. Work and study in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

Germany is known for its ideas and innovations.

The country provides a wide range of bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and post-doctoral courses.

Employers all over the world value their qualifications.

  1. Germans working in the hotel, travel, tourism, and hospitality industries

It is no surprise that they are the world’s largest spenders of tourist dollars.

They can be found worldwide, including in Africa, Asia, and the Americas.

  1. The Literature, Music, Film, Art, and Philosophy Worlds

The German-speaking world has produced some of history’s greatest literary, musical, artistic, theatrical, and philosophical minds.

Many important works have been written and continue to be produced in German.

Every year, nearly 80,000 new book titles are published by German speakers. It is ranked fifth in terms of the new books published each year.

As a result, knowing this language allows you to gain insight into the way of life and hopes and dreams of people in German-speaking countries, providing a wider horizon.

Best sites for Online German Language courses with certificates

  1. Curiotory
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Curiotory believes that change begins with curiosity. They offer comprehensive foreign language lessons that prepare children and young adults to pursue alternative professional paths. They are one of India’s fastest-growing online language learning platforms. They are supported by an experienced staff of dedicated and motivated professionals with a track record of success in the online education field.

  1. Lingoda

Lingoda is a famous online language-learning service that combines flexibility, high-quality instruction, and a low price. Its system is adaptable, allowing you to choose between individual classes (lessons scheduled at your leisure) and group classes (lessons scheduled at a set time).

Lingoda also provides a Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) certificate, which is useful for students studying abroad or professionals looking for a job in a German-speaking country requiring a certain proficiency level. You will get your certificate once you have completed 90% of your chosen proficiency level.

Lingoda claims that 92% of its users are satisfied customers on its website. Lingoda provides a seven-day free trial that includes three group classes or one private class.

  1. DeutschAkademie:                                                                                                           

Unlike other popular free applications for learning German, such as Duolingo or Babbel, which may rapidly become impersonal and overwhelming, DeutschAkademie is specifically built for learning German and features an online forum where a native German answers questions.

DeutschAkademie is structured according to the CEFR framework’s six double levels (A1 to C2). It lets users jump back into learning German if one has already begun and guides your steady improvement.

  1. Rocket Languages

Rocket German covers all of the bases, regardless of how you learn. You begin with a fantastic crash course in functional German in the form of a series of podcasts with written transcripts, allowing you to immediately engage with multiple aspects of the language.

Thanks to a smartphone app, you may now attend the 20- to 30-minute sessions while on the road. There are flashcards to help you memorize terminology, podcasts to help you with listening comprehension, quizzes to help you test yourself, and even software to fix your pronunciation when speaking.

  1. GermanPod101

GermanPod101 is a podcast and video library with ample videos and podcasts in German. These are sourced from native German speakers and based on real-life situations, so you’ll have a good idea of what to expect from a genuine conversation with a German speaker. If you prefer auditory learning or want to improve your listening comprehension for more practical conversations, GermanPod101 is for you.

Select one of five language levels when you sign up for a free account: Absolute Beginner, Beginner, Intermediate, Upper-Intermediate, or Advanced.

  1. FluentU 
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FluentU collects real-world German videos for educational purposes, such as news clips, movie trailers, and music videos. It is a mobile app and website,

This technique is crucial because it allows you to begin engaging with the language more naturally, as opposed to memorizing theoretical conversations, as many competing apps do. It includes a quiz and keeps track of your vocabulary words. However, it is more of a tool to engage with the language than a traditionally structured course. This feature makes it ideal for more informal learning.

Knowing German expands your job opportunities with German and foreign companies both at home and abroad. Tourism and hospitality industry: Tourists from German-speaking countries travel widely and spend the most money on vacation.

FAQs

Which certificate is best for learning German?

The Test DSH Certificate (Level II-III) is the most frequently acknowledged certificate as proof of German language ability for entrance to higher education institutions in Germany.

How difficult is the German A1 examination?

The A1 test must not be taken lightly, but it is also not impossible. It’s a very basic test, and it’s not meant to throw any curveballs. If you approach things wisely, you can pass this test and never have to worry about it again.

How long does it take to obtain a certificate in German?

Level A (Basic User)

This is the fundamental level required for most people seeking a residence permit or visa in Germany, particularly those relocating to Germany for family reasons. It is separated into A1 (Beginner) and A2 (Elementary). It usually takes between 60 and 200 hours of guided study (classes and homework) to finish.

Which German exam is the most straightforward?

The former is the easiest of the three levels, DSH-1, DSH-2, and DSH-3.

Is the B1 German certificate valid?

There is no expiration date on Goethe German exam certificates. The B1 level test is “modular” because you do not have to sit (or pass) all four parts at once.

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