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.