Prepping for the Zertifikat Deutsch

English: A typical Junior Certificate exam hall.

Photo credit: Wikipedia

Tonight I registered and paid €95 to sit the Zertifikat Deutsch which is the official B1 German certificate that is recognised worldwide. If I pass this exam and if the German courts say that my whole time in Germany is taken into account not just the time after I got my EU Blue Card, then I can apply for permanent residency in April.  To no longer need to worry about visas would be fantastic.

My exam date is 8th February, therefore, I need to start preparing for this exam right away instead of my usual ‘leaving things to the last minute’ thing. I have some major weaknesses I need to work on – listening comprehension, vocabulary, speaking and writing as well of course as getting those grammar rules to stick in my brain.  Preparing for this exam will be a major undertaking, so I will need to do some work towards it every single day.

Luckily, I have started already working on increasing my voacb using the awesome site Memrise. This site already has lots of German vocab courses to choose from and I’m in the middle of creating one for all the words in the official ZD word list.

Also, I’m listening to German radio (thanks for all your suggestions, I’m loving Deutschlandfunk) and I’ve started watching the children’s TV station Kika.

I need to get serious about speaking German regularly.  I’ve discovered the weekly farmer’s market literally just 10 mins walk away and I plan to go there every Saturday and try and ask the sellers lots of questions about their produce (and of course buy delicious fresh food). As well, I have the Weihnachtmärkte (Christmas markets) opening this weekend which provides more opportunity to ask lots of questions of sellers.  I also plan to try out Verbling, an online chat roulette type site dedicated to learning languages.

However, if those of you who have done the exam have any suggestions of how to prepare for it, I would appreciate it.  I did buy a ZD training book which has copies of old exams in it, but I think I’m going to need to do way more than just that if I want to pass.

I really hate doing exams, but they do have the benefit of providing a swift kick up the ass and making me put some effort into my German learning.

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9 thoughts on “Prepping for the Zertifikat Deutsch

  1. I just have this nagging feeling that you’ll pass with flying colors…I’ve said it many times but you have got to be one of the most dedicated learners I’ve come across. I have no other pointers to give you as you are going to be well more prepared than I ever was and I imagine your German has (or will) very swiftly pass my own! Good luck….keep us posted…and yay for Kika (we watch it DAILY as you can imagine anyone with a 2 year old in Germany would).

    Let usknow how Verbling works out, I’ve got this down as a possible New Year’s Resolution but haven’t heard any first hand reviews (other than the OTHER great site you got me hooked on – Fluent in 3 Months.)

    • To be honest, I’m dedicated in short bursts. I’ve yet to keep up my dedication on a more long term schedule. Also, it takes me twice as long to learn German as normal folks so I feel most of the time I’m battling to keep up with everyone else.
      I’ll let you know what I think of Verbling once I work up the courage to try it.

  2. You really are living my dream. I’ve been in love with Germany since I was 15, 22 now, I’ve been there four times, my girlfriend is German and I’m Aussie too. I would do anything to be in your position. I’m currently on a youth mobility visa in London, so Germany is just a flight or train ride away.

    • I think Germany also has the same youth mobility visa as UK does where you can live/work here for a year if you are under 30. If you want to live and work here, I recommend working on your German and then coming on over. :)

  3. Besides all the other prep and study work you’re already doing, I’d definitely recommend getting familiar with the format of the test. I sat a different exam at the Goethe Institut and as prep, I took several of the practice exams at home beforehand, using the same time limits and conditions as there would be on test day. During the real test, this saved me SO much time because I was able to fly over the instructions and use my time on more important things. Plus, it helped increase my confidence because I knew more or less what was in front of me and how I should tackle it. Good luck!

    • My class teacher has been great by giving us practice tests in the ZD format so we get used to it and I plan on working through the practice tests that came in my Prüfungstraining book so that come exam time at least the format won’t be challenging, just the content. :)

  4. Pingback: Zertifikat Deutsch Letter Writing Practice 1 « Geek Mädel

  5. Did you ever manage to find a German to English vocab list for any of the ZD levels? Im trying but I cant track one down anywhere.

    • No, I only found a German one and translated it into English. If you use Memrise, I have a B1 Zertifikat Deutsch course on there.

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