ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Passing the Goethe B1 German exam - spoken

Updated on May 17, 2011

My experience on the B1 exam (spoken)

This article is a continuation of this one, where I reviewed the day when I took the Goethe exam. I ran out of text space, so thus the continuation here.

If you find this article helpful, please 'like' it or leave me a comment. :-)

A recommendation: Read Part 1 first, and then return to this article.

Photo source:

My experience

on the B1 Goethe spoken part of the exam

continuing the day...

At 1300 we headed back upstairs to the unheated lobby to wait for our turn at the verbal section. There were 2 rooms, each with examiners. The procedure was that examiner 1 would call 2 names, these people would accompany her to the room. After some time, perhaps 10 min or so, either they would come out, or examiner 2 would appear from the other room to retreive them into the step 2 exam room. As there were 18 people, there were 9 pairs. Which pair was I a part of?

Pair 8 of 9. The 'mystery' part of the afternoon on this point was painful and I could have used a cup of coffee in the icebox. You had to be on standby, as there was no sharing of the list of names. So if someone else's name was called, you knew you had approx 10 min to take a bathroom break before having to be present again. As they started to call each pair, the matching technique became clear: people were matched on nationality/language. So there were a few Polish people in the room (and they all took the VHS class together and knew each other), they were each matched. There was a Japanese woman also in their class, she was matched with the one extra Pole. For whatever reason, they also matched on gender, so males with males, and females with females; it worked out evenly in that way.

As I had not taken a class at the test center, I was matched with a Brazilian woman who also did not know anyone. One one hand it was a little challenging to only meet someone in the moment before you walk in the room as I had never heard a Brazilian speaking German so was a little unaware of the accent, however, I was very lucky to have this woman as my partner. She had previously married a German and since divorced, but had been in the country 15 years so had strong skills. Due to recent legislation changes, she was forced to take the B1 exam, for her residency. As I had been in the country only 5 years, she was definitely stronger than me.

We were informed that we would go first to one room and then a second. When we were called into the first room finally at 15.00, we were given 2 sheets of paper and instructed to read it. The first was a graph showing that children today watch more television than children in the previous decades; it was a simple bar chart. The second sheet had a short paragraph that talked about some of the negative and positive points of children watching more television: they are more aware about the rest of the world beyond their neighborhood, they can learn about many different topics such as science and technology that they are perhaps not learning in school, but that children are not as social because TV is not interactive so they do not relate well to other children, and as well they are not as fit.

Then under this paragraph were some talking points, that said something like, 'I think it is good that children watch more television than 20 years earlier because...' and then the first person would start the sentence and state an opinion. The second person would then agree or disagree with the first person, and say why. There were four conversation starters like this, so we each started two and answered our partner on the other two.

The graph and text and topics were not terribly difficult. The point was that you understood the topics (and from what I've heard, they are usually quite broad, something anyone can speak about), and then that you build on it with a little personal experience or detail. So my Brazilian speaking partner said something about how she thinks that watching more TV these days is bad because children cannot relate well to each other as it says in the article, and that she has seen this in her own life, that her children while in Germany do not interact as much with their peers as they do when they visit Brazil and watch less TV. I then tagged onto her statement by saying that even though I do not have children, I agree with her statement that more TV watching is bad, because I notice the playgrounds are often empty so that children are less fit now than 20 years ago.

Our second speaking exercise was that we were given a sheet that outlined our task, 'your German teacher has an upcoming birthday, please plan for how the class with celebrate this event'. This was freeform, so we were ad libbing on the topic. Fortunately, we were both conversational enough and could make do with each other's accents. We spoke about how we should plan for a cake and a small gift for our teacher, and that we should plan with our other classmates who should bring the cake, napkins, etc. Then we spoke about a gift, that we should make a photo of the class, and then we should each sign it, and that we should keep all of this as a surprise for our teacher.

At the beginning of this session, the moderator informed us that she was a practice moderator and this was a practice session, but that she felt that we had done well and would be OK for the real session. She gave us the tip that we should speak to each other like the real moderators are not there, and just to carry on as were were, and that they would interrupt us once they heard enough.

She then released us into the hall where we had to wait another 5 minutes for the prior pair to complete with the 'real' moderators (there were two). The activies followed exactly the same as they had with the practice moderators, and overall, we were out in under 10 minutes.

My tip: I scored very well on the spoken section, and I tried to sound as German as possible, not only in words and accent, but also in emotion as well. So if you have spent some time around native German speakers, you may notice that they are enthusiastic on things like birthday celebrations, so I gave it full enthusiasm when speaking about the birthday gift conversation. So when my partner suggested the photos, I jumped in with a 'What a great idea, our teacher will be very happy with this gift!!!!!!', as I was all lit up like a Christmas tree.

After we completed the second section and we were told that our exam was complete, my Brazilian partner asked the moderators if they could give us an idea of our performance. The answer: results are unofficial until submitted, but you both definitely passed, and how many years have you been in this country?

I also later figured out that they seemed to 'rank' the people somewhat up until that point, so that the weaker speakers had completed earliest.

Another tip: Our practice moderator praised our choice of a signed photo as 'a smart gift in Germany'. Apparently the two males immediately before us had discussed giving the teacher a bottle of perfume. The point would be to try to think like a German and sound like a German so that you make it as easy as possible for the moderators to like you and give you points.

After we left the room, we were completed for the day. My speaking partner was so excited to hear that we passed that part, that she thanked me and shook my hand and told me that she was so happy that she was paired with me, that having a good partner made it easy for her. And here I was thinking the same.

My overall scort was a 2 out of 6 on the entire exam, so I was pleased with the experience.

How many years have you studied German before attempting the B1 zd exam?

See results

A recommended ZD Deutsch test preparation book

This book comes from the Langenscheidt people, so a good addition to your test materials. It includes test tips and the like (in German), but the most important thing it provides is practice in the various test sections and an entire practice test with answer key, so that you can be confident when you go in to take the test that you're already been through a similar test during your studies.

New Guestbook

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      realy aprieciate this.want to write mein by next month.wish myself d best

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      My goodness, are you a writer by profession? Is it a true story or you just invented it? I was eager to read about an examinee's experience so as to get inside information and concrete tips for students, but quickly, I enjoyed your writing as if I were reading a short story and forgot my goal. I loved it!!! This is a great narrative!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)