German Exams
Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions

On this page, we will inform you about frequently asked questions on the examinations of the Goethe-Institut Hongkong.
If you have additional questions concerning the Goethe certificates A1 through C2, please arrange an informational, free-of-charge personal consultation at Goethe-Institut Hongkong or send us an email at

The exams of the Goethe-Institut are available to anyone interested, regardless of the exam candidate’s citizenship. They are designed to demonstrate knowledge in German as a second language and/or as a foreign language.

We do recommend a minimum age for taking the exams:
  • GOETHE-ZERTIFIKAT A1: FIT IN DEUTSCH 1: 10 years of age and older
  • GOETHE-ZERTIFIKAT A2: FIT IN DEUTSCH, GOETHE-ZERTIFIKAT B1 for teenagers and GOETHE-ZERTIFIKAT B2 for teenagers (from 1st Aug. 2019): 12 years of age and older
  • GOETHE-ZERTIFIKAT A1-C2: 16 years of age and older
Potential exam participants, who are younger than the recommended age or whose age varies considerably from the recommended ages above may not appeal their exam results on the grounds of their age, e.g. because the topics are not suited to their age.

Goethe-Institut Hongkong makes every effort to accommodate participants with disabilities (such as chronic illnesses, visual or hearing impairment). Level and type of chronic illness/disability must be disclosed upon registering for the exam and be confirmed by a doctor’s attestation. We are obligated to maintain strict confidentiality.

More detailed information can be obtained directly during the opening hours of our language office (Mon-Fri 10:00 AM-7:00 PM, Sat 1:00 PM-6:00 PM). Alternatively, please send us an email at

Goethe-Zertifikat C2: Großes Deutsches Sprachdiplom, Zentrale Oberstufenprüfung (ZOP), Kleines Deutsches Sprachdiplom (KDS) and Großes Deutsches Sprachdiplom (GDS) are recognized for study at a college/university in Germany, and exempt one from taking the TestDaF exam or any similar exam.

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

You can find current exam dates at Goethe-Institut Hongkong here.
For exam dates at exam venues outside of Hong Kong, please go here.

The Goethe-Zertifikats A1 through C2 correspond to the ‘Common European Framework of References for Languages (GER)’. You can check the classification under:
Level classification of the Goethe-Institut exams and language courses

To find out your current language proficiency in German, please take one of our placement tests:

Learning is an individual process. How much time you need to attain a certain level depends on various and individual factors: your commitment, your time input, and your taking advantage of additional practice resources.

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. standard courses, for example). Please write to us at and request a personal consultation.
Goethe-Zertifikat exams Minimum amounr of attended 45-minute units of teaching (depending on previous knowledge and learning conditions)
Goethe-Zertifikat A1
Goethe-Zertifikat A1: Fit in Deutsch 1
80-200 teaching units
Goethe-Zertifikat A2
Goethe-Zertifikat A2: Fit in Deutsch
200-350 teaching units
Goethe-Zertifikat B1 350-650 teaching units
Goethe-Zertifikat B2 600-800 teaching units
Goethe-Zertifikat C1 800-1000 teaching units
Goethe-Zertifikat C2 at least 1000 teaching units

You can find exam fees at Goethe-Institut Hongkong directly next to the respective exams and exam dates.

For each exam level you will find practice and info materials for download on our website.

Our libraryalso offers a wide selection of language learning and exam preparation material. Come on over and find out!

Some exams offer distance learning material and online courses.

Learning German by correspondence course

The attendance of one of our exams requires neither prior attendance at a specific language school or in a prep course nor the acquisition of a lower level certificate.

However, we recommend attending one of our test preparation courses or booking individual lessons with a teacher. There you will learn the necessary linguistic and exam-specific skills that will help you succeed on the exam.

For current courses that we have on offer, please check our language courses.

If you cannot take the exam because you are sick before or during the exam, please send us an email within 5 working days after the exam providing written proof of your illness in the form of an official doctor's statement. In this case, we will refund the exam fees in full.

If there is a typhoon with signal no. 8 or higher, the exam(s) will be cancelled. In this case, we will provide a substitute exam date for the cancelled (parts of the) exams within 2 weeks. The exam fee already paid will be transfered to the substitute exam date.

We normally release the exam results online14 days after the day of the exam.
We issue the exam certificates 2 working days after the release of the exam results.

As a general rule, you should pick up your exam certificate yourself during the offiice hours of our language office.

If you would like another person to pick up your exam certificate, this person should provide the following documents at our reception:
a) a copy of your (Hong Kong) ID card or your passport
b) a written statement signed by you giving permission to this person that they may pick up the exam certificate on your behalf

Please understand that we cannot issue and/or send copies, scans or digital versions in any form of your official exam certificate.

Goethe-Zertifikat A1: Fit in Deutsch 1
The exam is deemed to have been passed if at least 30 points (50% of the maximum point score) have been earned and if all sections of the exam have been completed.

Goethe-Zertifikat A1: Start Deutsch 1
The exam 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.

Goethe-Zertifikat A2
Goethe-Zertifikat A2: Fit in Deutsch
Goethe-Zertifikat B2
Goethe-Zertifikat C1
The exam 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.

Goethe-Zertifikat B1
Goethe-Zertifikat B2(modular)
Goethe-Zertifikat C2: Großes Deutsches Sprachdiplom
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.

The exam as a whole can be re-taken as often as needed. Details on re-taking the exam or part of the exam can be found under Terms and conditions for exam administration.

Goethe-Zertifikats A1 through C2 do not expire.

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.

No duplicate will be issued.

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 fee. At Goethe-Institut Hongkong, we incur a fee in the amount of HKD 100.

In the case of a name change (for example due to marriage, adoption, divorce, etc.), neither a new certificate nor a substitute document will be issued.

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.