Oh yes. German is a bit tricky. Here are some tips to crack German B1 based on my personal experience. What helped me crack Akkusativ, Dativ and Genetiv is thinking in my mother tongue and trying to translate the sentences to German. It is difficult to translate directly from English as English does not have cases. So lets see how we can crack the German B1 🙂
1) The basic point is to understand that the grammar you spent so hard learning is not what this exam is about. Sorry, but just those grammar exercises are not going to be sufficient.
2) The structure is divided into 4 sections – Reading, Hearing, Writing and Speaking.
3) Once you have attended classes or trained yourself with a lot of online videos, buy a Model Question bank (varies according to the test you wish to take). I took it with Goethe and my experiences are largely based on the Goethe test. So I got myself a Goethe Question Bank
4) The most important thing is building your vocabulary. Learn more words. I worked with the Model question bank. I wrote down the new words with their article and meaning in a separate note book and learnt them by heart. This helps in the Reading and Hearing sections.
Reading : One of the easiest sections if your vocabulary is a bit good. Mostly straight forward.
Hearing : I personally feel this is the toughest section. I have lived in Germany for around 2 years and I hear Germans speak day in and day out. But this was challenging. If you are not residing in Germany, pay
complete attention to this section and hear many videos with sub-titles.
Writing: The trick is to crack the pattern of the question paper. I found that Goethe tests had the below questions
- A letter to a friend about an experience (trip/club/party etc) – They are looking to test your Past tense
- A generic paragraph about your opinion
- An apology / excuse letter (formal or semi-formal)
I learnt some standard sentences by-heart. It was easy to use these standard sentences and then plug in the lines as per the question paper.
Speaking: For the Goethe test, you must speak on a given topic. This is not very difficult. Again learn some standard sentences and fit in points based on the topic. You need to give a feedback on the Presentation of your partner (he/she gives you a feedback too). Do not make it very complicated.
You and your partner must discuss on a simple topic. The trick is, always shoot questions/make a suggestion and ask if your partner likes it. This means you have the conversation in your control. If you make blank statements, your partner might steer away the conversation and make it difficult for you. There are some standard questions asked which you can answer easily.
I preferred to stick to Goethe as there is a popular belief that it is recognized worldwide. If you have the opportunity to take your exam in a non-German speaking country, it will be a better bid. In Germany, your examiners are natives and they tend to have higher expectations especially in Writing and Speaking. However the Goethe certificate has the same value independent of where you take your test.
I think a preparation of 1 month is sufficient if you are spending 2 hours a day (provided you have learn your basic grammar in prior)
So Good luck 🙂 I hope you all crack the German B1 like a breeze !!
I attended the Intensive German course at Goethe Institut. To know more about it, check here.