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-Institut location, Goethe Centers or Goethe-Institut examinations partners).
We 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.
However, we recommend participation in a prep course at the testing location. There you will learn the necessary language 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.
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-Zertifikat exam (A1 through C2, Kleines or Großes Sprachdiplom, respectively) is 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 rules currently in effect 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
Many institutions and employers, however, expect the certificate to be dated not more than two years prior.
The certificates of the Zentrale Oberstufenprüfung (ZOP), das Kleine Deutsche Sprachdiplom (KDS) und das Große Deutsche Sprachdiplom (GDS) will still be valid after the introduction of the new Goethe-Zertifikat C2: Großes Deutsches Sprachdiplom following changes to the exams being offered at the C2 level 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.