Frequently asked questions
We will inform you here about frequently asked questions on the examinations of the Goethe-Institut.
If you have additional questions concerning the Goethe certificates A1 through C2, please arrange an informational, free-of-charge personal consultation at one of our testing locations (Goethe-Instituts, Goethe Centers or Goethe Examinations partners).
We do recommend a minimum age for taking the exams.
More detailed information can be obtained directly at the testing location at which you wish to take the exam.
Level classification of the Goethe-Institut exams and language courses
Common European Framework of References for Languages (GER)
Only an exam certificate of having passed a Goethe exam (A1 through C2, Kleines or Großes Sprachdiplom, respectively) are recognized as proof of the respective knowledge level in German as a Second Language.
To find out more about the language requirement of a specific university and/or a course or field of study in Germany, request information directly from the university, or visit www.sprachnachweis.de.
The currently effective rules can be found at:
Duden. Die deutsche Rechtschreibung
Der Duden Produktkatalog
Bertelsmann WAHRIG. Verlagsprogramm
Institut für Deutsche Sprache (IDS)
Should you already have studied one or more languages, you may learn German faster. It makes a big difference if you participate in a language course in your home country or in Germany, where you will be exposed to the German language outside the classroom.
Also of relevance is the intensity of the instruction (intensive vs. evening courses, for example). Please consult the testing location of your choice and request a personal consultation.
- free of charge
- by additionally ordering materials.
Learning German by correspondence course
The exam Goethe-Zertifikat A1: Start Deutsch 1 is deemed to have been passed if at least 60 points (60 % of the maximum point score) have been earned and if all sections of the exam have been completed.
The exam Goethe-Zertifikat A2 or Goethe-Zertifikat A2: Fit in Deutsch is deemed to have been passed when at least 60 points (60 % of the maximum point score) have been earned and if all sections of the exam have been complet-ed. Of these points, at least 45 points must have been earned in the written exam and at least 15 points in the oral exam. Otherwise, the entire exam will be deemed to have been failed.
The Goethe certificates B1, B2, C1 and C2 are modular exams.
A module is deemed to have been passed if at least 60 points or 60% are attained.
You can know more about the Goethe certificates by clicking on the examination title.
Many institutions and employers, however, expect the certificate to be dated not more than two years ago.
The certificates of the Zentrale Oberstufenprüfung (ZOP), das Kleine Deutsche Sprachdiplom (KDS) und das Große Deutsche Sprachdiplom (GDS) will be valid after the introduction of the new Goethe-Zertifikat C2: Großes Deutsches Sprachdiplom and with the change of the the exam offers on the level C2 beginning 01.01.2012.
If the exam was taken within the last ten years, the testing location where you took the exam will issue a substitute document for a small fee.
A change of name can be verified either with an official document from the relevant authority (birth certificate, marriage license, etc.) or a notarized copy of the above.
Name/ spelling of name must be documented via photo ID during registration at the testing location. The certificate for the exam will be issued based on this previously recorded personal information.
However, we recommend participation in a prep course at the testing location. There you will learn the necessary linguistic and exam-specific skills that will help you succeed on the exam.
For more information, please contact the testing location of your choice and request a personal consultation.
Help with registration on My Goethe.de:
Help with retrieving exam results:
If you have any questions, please contact your Goethe-Institut directly.
If you took your exam with an examination partner working with the Goethe-Institut, please contact your examination centre directly.