On your way to prepare for the B2 level in German, you surpass the stage of basic understanding of the language. You will dive deeper into the daily usage of the language by reading, listening, and improving your speaking capabilities.
Let me introduce you to the requirements and the process of achieving the B2 level in German at Goethe Institut.
Topics in this article
German language levels
Advantages of having a B2 level in German
Learning German B2 level by yourself
The preparation for B2 German exam
Where can I take the German B2 exam?
What does the German B2 exam comprise?
Pass mark for Goethe B2
Make sure you start learning the German language levels in the correct order: A1, A2, B1, and then B2
When you learn a new language, you should start with the basics first. There are many reasons for it, as learning a new language is more effortless that way. So, before you think about advancing to a B2 level in German, you should first take the A1, A2, and B1 tests.
A quick overview of German language levels A1, A2, and B1
The A1 level in German teaches you all the basics essential for further progress. So, passing the A1 level classifies you as a beginner. Getting from zero knowledge to that beginner level usually takes less than eight weeks.
By achieving the A1 level, you can understand simple German sentences and use those in a slow conversation. You can say what you need or want in your daily communication and introduce yourself. In addition, you can ask others where they come from and what kind of profession they have.
The next level would be the A2 level in German. As you can see, that level of German is already a bit more advanced than A1 but still at a beginner’s level. You will learn to explain and ask for more information about family, friends, shopping, work, or your surroundings. In routine situations, you can communicate your needs.
Moving forward from the A-levels to the B-levels
Before taking the exam for the B2 level in German, you should accomplish the B1 first. Both B levels allow you to use the German language independently and develop your skills.
The B1 level is still limited, but you learn to understand more. You can get along in most situations. Conversations can become more personal, and you can start discussing your interests, dreams, hopes, or goals. Last but not least, you can begin to reason your opinion a bit.
What are the advantages of having a B2 level in German?
The clear advantage of having a B2 level in German is that you can now understand the main topics of more complex texts and topics. In your special interests, you can even understand deeper conversations on a professional level.
The significant difference from my point of view is that you can spontaneously communicate with locals without more considerable effort from your end. You can also explain the advantages and disadvantages of different possibilities more efficiently than ever.
Can I learn German B2 level by myself?
Based on my own experience, learning B2 level in German is impossible to be discovered on your own without professional help. Of course, you can learn a lot on your own, but it becomes critical at that level to have a teacher who helps you with the more difficult things.
The step from the B1 to the B2 level of German is quite significant, so I can only recommend visiting a language school and taking a professional course.
The preparation for B2 German exam
The Goethe Institut in Germany offers numerous materials to prepare for the B2 exam. This material helps you with your reading and listening comprehension. In addition, Goethe Institut provides some writing and speaking sections as well.
You can download all material directly from their website. You can also listen to online model exercises for adults and young people.
Here are some general tips based on my experience preparing for the B2 level in German:
- Make sure that you understand and know the test format, point system, and rules by heart.
- Build up your vocabulary by reading.
- Have a lot of conversations with locals or language trainers. It can be helpful to use iTalki.
- Learn your German grammar. This recommendation is a bit tricky. I experienced that just by knowing the grammar, you might not yet be able to use it in your daily communication.
- If you haven’t started yet, begin by watching German YouTube channels and movies and reading German blogs in your area of interest.
Usually, it should take you about ten weeks to prepare for the exam if you attend an intensive course with roughly 20 hours a week.
Where can I take the German B2 exam?
The website of Goethe Institut is the best place to find out where you can take the German B2 exam. It provides an overview of exam venues worldwide that you can sort by country.
Usually, there are several locations available in your country, either managed by Goethe Institut or by examination partners, that let you take the exam based on the same standards.
I was able to take the German B2 exam while already living in Germany, but there are usually several options for you to take the exam in your home country.
Goethe-Zertifikat B2: What does the German B2 exam comprise?
To get the B2 level in German, you must pass the Goethe-Zertifikat B2. The test itself consists of 4 different modules that I’d like to explain to you in this chapter.
The reading comprehension test takes about 65 minutes to get through. You must read through many texts, such as newspaper and magazine articles, forum posts, commentaries, and instructions.
As I remember from the B2 exam, you have to summarize critical information and details. You should also be able to understand different viewpoints, rules, and opinions.
For the writing test, it’s helpful to understand current social themes from the news. In the writing test, you will most likely be asked to express and justify your opinion. From my experience, passing this part of the test is not too difficult.
Since the German B2 exam is more advanced, you will also have to write a formal message in a professional context. You will have 75 minutes to accomplish that part of the exam.
Listening to interviews or conversations is sometimes not easy. This part is one of the most difficult without proper training between the B1 and B2 exams. After passing the German B1 level, you have acquired fundamental listening comprehension.
Based on my experience, I can only advise you to listen to as many movies, podcasts, and news broadcasts as possible in German.
In this approximately 40 minutes lasting part of the test, you have to summarize the main points and note down key details from the content you hear.
Last but not least, during the Gothe-Zertifikat B2 exams, you also have to speak. You must deliver a short presentation about a specified topic and discuss it with your conversation partner.
This also includes exchanging arguments with the other person, which can be challenging for some. The good thing is that this part usually lasts only 15 minutes.
In general, I can recommend reading the “Prüfungsordnung” or exam guidelines here.
What is the pass mark for Goethe B2?
To pass the Goethe B2 exams and get the German level B2 certificate, you must achieve 60% of the maximum of 100 points. Your German knowledge is rated “fair” by attaining the minimum requirement between 60 and 69.5 points.
But there is a caveat because the emphasis lies on the written part of the exams, where you need to achieve at least 45 points. You pass the vocal exams as soon as you reach 15 points.
The rating consists of four different levels. By achieving 100 – 90 points, you will get a “very good” rating. Everything between 89.5 – 80 points will give you a rating of “good.” If you reach 79.5 – 70 points, you are rated as satisfactory.
I can only advise you not to take it too easy. The B2 level in German is more challenging than it might initially sound. Goethe Institut recommends having at least 800 hours of language training at one of their official language centers between B1 and B2.
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