Here you can find detailed information on what makes a good exam and how we continuously ensure and demonstrate the quality of our Goethe certificates.
Our German Examinations
Transparent, standardized, internationally recognized
The German exams offered by the Goethe-Institut correspond to the levels of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) and range from level A1 for beginners to C2 for the highest level of this framework.
The German exams can be taken in Germany and worldwide at our Goethe-Institutes and exam partners.
The exams are administered and evaluated according to uniform standards.
Exam Guidelines (PDF, 337 KB)
Detailed information regarding the exam structure, free sample papers, and practice material are available unter exam preparation.
- Goethe-Zertifikat A1: Fit in Deutsch 1 (for children and young people, recommended ages 10 and above)
- Goethe-Zertifikat A1: Start Deutsch 1 (for adults, recommended ages 16 and above)
By passing the A1 exam, candidates prove that they…
- can interact in a simple way and introduce themselves, as well as answer basic questions about personal information and fall back on gestures;
- can use known, mundane and commonly used phrases and simple sentences (e.g., information about themselves and their family, about shopping, work/school, their living situation):
- understand short, basic conversations in everyday situations if the interlocutor/s speaks slowly and clearly.
Terms and conditions for the A1 Fit in Deutsch 1 exam administration (PDF, 281 KB)
Terms and conditions for the A1 Start Deutsch 1 exam administration (PDF, 303 KB)
Manual examinations goals and test description for the A1 Fit in Deutsch (PDF, 1,4 MB)
Manual Examination goals and test description for the A1 Start Deutsch 1 (PDF, 3,3 MB)
- Goethe-Zertifikat A2: Fit in Deutsch (for young people, recommended ages 12 and above)
- Goethe-Zertifikat A2 (for adults, recommended ages 16 and above)
By passing the A2 exam, candidates prove that they…
- can use and understand commonly used expressions and phrases in everyday situations;
- can participate in basic, routine communication if it is about familiar and common topics like their origin and education, the immediate environment and needs;
- can extract the main information from short texts with frequent vocabulary (simple newspaper articles, advertisements or notice boards).
The Goethe-Zertifikat B1 comprises listening, reading, writing and speaking modules, which can be taken individually or combined. The exam offers full flexibility thanks to its modular structure.
By passing the B1 exam, candidates prove that they…
- can understand the main information if clear standard language is spoken and the conversation is about everyday topics like work, school or leisure;
- can express themselves in a simple, structured and addressee-specific way about known topics, personal interests and experiences, dreams and goals, as well as give reasons and explanations;
- can understand uncomplicated non-fiction texts about their interests and their own field.
Terms and conditions for the B1 exam administration (PDF, 383 KB)
The Goethe-Zertifikat B2 comprises listening, reading, writing and speaking modules, which can be taken individually or combined. The exam offers full flexibility thanks to its modular structure.
By passing the B2 exam, candidates prove that they…
- can understand the main information in complex texts about concrete and abstract topics and professional discussion in their field;
- can communicate spontaneously and fluently so that regular interaction with another German speaker is possible without strain on either party;
- can express themselves clearly and in detail on a wide range of topics, explain a position on a current question and specify the advantages and disadvantages of different possibilities.
Terms and conditions for the exam administration B2 (PDF, 354 KB)
The Goethe-Zertifikat C1 comprises listening, reading, writing and speaking modules, which can be taken individually or combined. The exam offers full flexibility thanks to its modular structure.
By passing the C1 exam, candidates prove that they…
- can use the German language flexibly and effectively in private, public, academic and professional contexts;
- can understand challenging and long texts and their implicit meaning even if the topic is not familiar;
- can communicate spontaneously and fluently and argue a position.
Terms and conditions for the C1 exam administration (PDF, 343 KB)
The Goethe-Zertifikat C2 comprises listening, reading, writing and speaking modules, which can be taken individually or combined. The exam offers full flexibility thanks to its modular structure.
In the second part of the writing module, candidates may choose a literature-related topic. These exercises are being created in collaboration with the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich.
By passing the exam, candidates prove that they…
- can summarize information from different written and oral sources and reproduce justifications and explanations coherently;
- can communicate fluently, spontaneously and precisely and make differentiated meanings clearly;
- can understand practically everything they read or hear in German without any effort.
In Germany, the Federal States recognize the C2 exam as proof of language proficiency as part of the teaching qualification (“Lehramtsqualifikation”).
Further information is given by the recognizing bodies in the respective federal state, such as the Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs, the Office for Teacher Training, the District Council or the Senate Committee.
Terms and conditions for the C2 exam administration (PDF, 344 KB)
Framework regulations on German language examinations for studying at German universities (RO-DT) (german version) (PDF, 395 kB)
Manual Examination goals and test description (PDF, 300 KB)
The Goethe-Test PRO can be implemented as a B2B product directly at a company on site. For further information, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Goethe-Test PRO: German for Professionals has been conducted at the Goethe-Institut's examination centres and with corporate clients worldwide since April 2017. It is designed as an adaptive online test and assesses listening and reading competence in the workplace at levels A1-C2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.
In this study, the psychometric quality of the Goethe-Test PRO was analysed with regard to various measures on the basis of test data from N = 5,636 test subjects from 17 countries. The Goethe-Test PRO delivers reliable test results with a reliability of > .9. The psychometric properties of the test are similar in different countries in which the Goethe-Test PRO is administered.
The Goethe-Test PRO Pflege comprises listening, reading, writing and speaking sections. In the digital part, reading and listening skills are assessed using an adaptive test method on a scale from A1 to C2.
The writing and speaking parts are paper-based and examine German knowledge at the B2 level.
By passing the exam, candidates prove that they…
- can understand relevant types of text with professional and profession-specific topics;
- can write reports and messages fitting the care context in a style and register;
- can talk about their work, conduct patient interviews, give an oral case report and participate in work discussions.
Exam Guidelines (PDF, 301 KB)
About the German Exams
Here you can verify the authenticity of a Goethe certificate quickly and easily online.
Here you can find free practice material, accessible and interactive as well: sample tests for the modules/exam parts listening, reading, writing and speaking.
Here you can find an overview of the levels A1 to C2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).
Here you can find out what types of contractual collaboration are available and what requirements must be met.
Frequently asked questions
We verify the quality of our exams at regular intervals using the audit procedure of the Association of Language Testers in Europe (ALTE). Goethe-Institut exams carry the ALTE Q -Mark as official proof of this. This quality seal confirms that our tests are valid, reliable, objective, fair and practicable.
Further information about our quality management can be found on this page.
The modular principle corresponds to the reality of many learners. Due to the diverse requirements and needs in everyday and professional life, learners’ language skills are often at different stages of development in the individual skills.
The modular approach makes it possible to select modules according to need, take them at different times, and repeat them if necessary.
Online German exams are currently only offered at selected pilot institutes. An online German exam can be taken from any location (e.g. at home) on your own desktop computer or laptop if the technical and spatial requirements are met. Exam candidates are monitored by an online exam proctor throughout the entire exam.
Please contact your local Goethe-Institut to find out whether digital and/or online German exams are offered in your country.
The practice material, videos of the oral exam, the word lists, and interactive, accessible online practice material can be found unter exam preparation.
Supplement to the Terms and Conditions for Exam Administration: Exam Participants with Special Needs (PDF, 228 KB)
Information for Exam Participants with Special Needs (PDF, 57 KB)
Accessible and certified exam training with interactive evaluation (display of correct and incorrect answers) is available for each exam level. You can find the exam training material at exam preparation.
For further information, please contact your local exam centre directly.
Many universities also accept the Goethe-Zertifikat C1 or the Goethe-Zertifikat B2 as proof of language proficiency. You can find an overview of the respective language requirements of the universities (without guarantee) in this list.
Universities that would like to be included on this list can contact email@example.com.