Certificate B2 and C1
Certificate B2 and C1
Tips for successfully passing B2 and C1
Before you register for an exam, you could ask and answer the following questions or get an expert tip: Where am I currently with my German language skills? Have I already reached level B2 or C1? Which skill (s) do I want or do I still have to practice particularly intensively? How do I want to prepare for the exam? Individually or in a small group setting ? From a certain level, e.g. B2 and C1, you benefit enormously from your ability to prepare yourself for an exam situation! You will also find numerous tips and videos with oral exams on the Internet for the B2 and C1 certificates. You should definitely check them out. You can use the ÖSD model tests and exercise materials to prepare for the reading comprehension and listening comprehension sections. However, you should prepare for the “Writing” exam sections under supervision, either in a writing workshop or in individual appointments. The requirements are often underestimated, especially of a C1 exam. And these are high, both in terms of communication skills and word knowledge, grammatical structures and writing skills.
Consider the timing in the exam
It makes sense to consider effective time management in exams B2 and C1 not only in the productive parts of “Writing”, but also in the examination parts of reading and listening. For example, you should only access the dictionary if you do not know a word that you need to solve a problem and cannot deduce it from the context. You should be well trained in using the dictionary! If you are unsure, it is better to use synonyms instead of using a new word that you might not fully understand and use appropriately. The tip to pay attention to the time management also applies to the processing of the tasks in the “Writing” part of the examination, which you should have already practiced under realistic conditions (i.e. within the time specified for the examination), if possible by hand.
Use useful strategies while reading
In contrast to the B2 certificate, the reading and listening texts specified in the C1 examination also include complex specialist texts. Here it is particularly important that you concentrate exclusively on the text content and do not try to fall back on your knowledge on this topic. Keep in mind that your goal is only the correct solution of the reading tasks! In task 1 of the C1 exam, for example, in the first step you only concentrate on the heading and the first lines of text with the intention of recognizing the topic of the text. In the second step, read the text quickly so that you can only understand the main statements at first. In the third step, read the five exercises on sheet 3 carefully. Here you have all the references to detailed information that you should understand in the text. Highlight important words. Finally, read the text intensively or as precisely as possible. Find the passages in the text that you need to correctly solve the problems on sheet 3. Whenever you find a suitable passage in the text, mark it clearly. Immediately decide which answer is correct. Check your answers by comparing them once again with the individual passages in the text. Whenever you make corrections, make them clear and precise.
Source: ÖSD Zertifikat C1 exercise materials - Volume 1, Vienna-Klagenfurt 2016, 5th edition, p. 11f.
Pay close attention to the communicative situations and the task items
During the preparation time for the oral and written exam parts, read the communicative situations on the task sheet very carefully so that you can prepare or write your contributions to the conversation and texts accordingly. However, stay flexible during the examination interview so that you can react appropriately to questions, objections, suggestions and arguments of your interlocutor. In the B2 examination, tasks 1 and 3 are dialogical, in the ÖSD examination C1, the two dialogical discussions in tasks 1 and 2 take place in, clearly fictional, formal public situations. Here, too, it is important that you use the notes you made during the preparation period on the basis of the task items flexibly and appropriately so that you can respond to the arguments, objections and suggestions of your dialogue partner. Also in the “Writing” part of the exam, follow the task items exactly and keep in mind that formal texts must be written in both the B2 and C1 exams. You should process the "private notes" on the assignment sheet in such a way that they correspond to the formal situation. When do you want to take an ÖSD exam? Have you already registered for a professional and effective exam preparation? Register here for your exam preparation
What skills do you have at language level B2?
At level B2 you are able to use the German language independently, recognize some of your own mistakes and also correct them. The focus is on effectively arguing and negotiating in both public and private situations. You have a wide range of grammar structures and vocabulary, including in your own subject area, so that you can communicate on a wide range of topics. Therefore, you can also understand essential content in more complex texts as well as technical discussions in your own professional environment and specialty.
What skills do you have at language level C1?
At level C1 you are able to use the German language competently. This means that you are not only fluent in everyday communication, but also in a specific subject area. You can use the language successfully in social and professional life as well as in training and studies. You are able to communicate verbally and in writing in a clear, structured and convincing manner in difficult situations. Due to your varied vocabulary and the complex grammatical structures that you have mastered, you can easily understand films, literary texts and specialist articles that do not belong to your own specialist field.
What skills do you have at language level C2?
At level C2 "Business Language German" you can use the German language so competently that you can effortlessly cope with complex communication in business and professional life. The focus is on the detailed understanding of different, very demanding texts from everyday work or business, on the competent production of formal and factually informative documents that should be demanding and constructive. In the oral area, the focus is not only on convincing arguments and negotiations, but also on effectively presenting detailed information about a product or company. The C2 certificate also serves as proof of your very high general language competence.