How to pass the C1 German test

It has been quite a while since my last post on the blog, but I am doing my best to adapt to the so intensive rythm of the German course. I started at the end of September to take German classes, and one course lasts for 3 weeks, Monday to Friday, 4 hours per day. I successfully finished on 16th of October the B2 level according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. Today I want to share with you my experience with the C1 level, that started the last week, and some tips I found myself helpful how to master the German knowledge.

Those who actually consider to study in Germany, Austria or Switzerland must know that the required level of German language for universities is B2 or C1, C1 being the profficient and advanced level. It implies that people are reading texts easy and understand specific texts like economics, science or literature, of course talking C1 German is fluent and spontaneous, as well as good argumentation and for writing – complex sentences and rich vocabulary is a must.

It was difficult for me to realize that the C1 level is so advanced. There are so many words you already need to know, to speak fluently no matter what the topic is, not to mention without mistakes, and also to write newspaper texts and statistic analysis. It was a hard week, with a lot of information, many complicated words, advanced grammar, but it was worth it, because at the end of the day my main goal is to achieve the C1 in German.

I managed to put down some tips on how to take the most from any German course (and by the way it’s valid for other foreign languages as well) you’ll ever attend and how to learn easier or where to focus mostly. Some of the tips I acquired from my teachers or while these were shared during the class.

  1. Read out loud as much as possible – this has to do with the pronounciation. As long as you are reading out loud you can hear yourself, and it also help to understand better the content.
  2. Learn words, more words, is all about words. At this level it is important to have a huge vocabulary and not use the same verb or noun all over again.
  3. Watch movies in German, listen to podcasts and radio in German. Some classical movies my teacher recommended are “3/4 Mond” and “Pilgrim auf Französisch”, “Die weiße Massai”. I, personally, watch some TV series when I have some free time, it helps me to develop my hearing abilities.
  4. If you are doing a German course is perfect, but not always what you learn or write in class remains with you. Therefore, after you come home from the course it is important to take a look at your notes and repeat the words you find meaningful.
  5. Aforementioned at this level it is implied that scientifical texts are written without mistakes. After the teacher checked the grammar it is recommended to rewrite the essay and closely analyse the mistakes, and not to repeat them.
  6. Read German books. And believe me, it sounds harder than it is. It’s not necessary to check the dictionary for every second word, you can understand the word from the context.
  7. And who said that learning a language is always so serious and boring ?…For example, I like German songs a lot, and I have so much fun listening to them. With more times I am listening, better I understand what it says. I can recommend Joris, Sido (oh he is great), Namiko, Wanda, Cro and others, whoever you like, just listen to music.
  8. Someone in the group asked the teacher when we will be prepared to pass the C1 test, and the teacher said “When you will read for 3 weeks the newspapers everyday from the first till the last page, you are ready to pass the test”. Yes, newspapers!!!… There are so many advantages beside just for learning German, and I find it so important as well. It also helps to talk easily on different topics, I mean you read somewhere that and then you can express yourself regarding the topic. And usually for the tests only actual news or information is used.
  9. Tandem learning or talk talk talk and talk, and don’t forget to talk. True, it’s hard sometimes to express yourself without mistakes but we are not perfect and talking as much as possible helps to gain confidence and to excercise.

These are the tips I wanted to share with you and I so hope that they are helpful. I am motivated to go further (still 5 weeks of courses to go) because I want that and nothing will make me happier than to have what I want. I am going to use all these tips for myself and try to pass the exam :).

11 thoughts

  1. When I was learning German, I found that a good introduction to reading German was finding my favourite books from English speaking authors and then reading the translations in German. It helped with understanding the plot and general themes in the books. I did this a few times before branching off into just German novels.

    I find that a lot of the Til Schweiger films to be rather feel-good films and easy to understand.

    Life after C1 is fairly slow, and I find myself picking up a word here a word there. It feels less exciting than when I first started and could see all the progress.

    For people thinking about studying abroad, some universities require you to take their German language test, despite already having a German certificate. So double check before you apply.

    Viel Glück! Falls du Bücher oder Filme Empfehlungen brauchst, sag mir einfach Bescheid.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your time and precious information. I agree about books. I am reading now a book of Gillian Flynn which is my favorite author today. Til Schweiger…I like his movies. I should check to watch some.
      Oh I just dream to have my C1 level and be able to speak freely.
      Thank you for sharing 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The most important thing is to never be discouraged. I thought my German was at a high level, until I started my Masters and found myself floundering whilst trying to discuss complex theories like Freud, Foucault, and Blanchot. Each new level is a new experience and these levels are infinite.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. 🙂 agree. It is hard but the results are encouraging to keep going, as I already see some progress. Thank you for sharing. Good luck with your studies.


    1. Hi. Thank you for reading and for your comments! I actually didn’t pass the german exam, because I promptly moved to Vienna for a job, and I didn’t get some free time to do it. But I will sure do it, as I already planned it. Do you need to pass it? When do you plan to do this? Please share your experience. Many thanks. Best regards, Ana


  2. It’s not so easy to pass such exams, I know from experience since I’m studying for one myself and am feeling quite nervous! But in addition to copious self study of course, hehe, I decided to also take some private lessons to get some concrete advice on my exam in particular, plus to get a little confidence boost. My lessons were at Speakeasy in Berlin, if anyone happens to live there, check them out cause I enjoyed it so much, I’m going to take regular classes there too (they’re at by the way) – good luck and happy language learning everyone!

    Liked by 1 person

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