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German B1 test: Best way to get a passing mark

Hi, I recently undertook a German B1 test and I did not do as well as I wanted.

I passed writing with a score of 72%, however I fell short at the other modules (50% speaking, 57% hearing, and 33% reading).

What would be the best method for me to take from here? Any special advice on passing b1? Or is it just a matter of putting in the time/hard work?

I am currently taking private tutoring lessons with a local native speaker. Would it pay to take more lessons online, for example through a tutor?

November 24, 2017



Well, in general I suggest you speak and listen to German more often. Sounds quite general, no? Hiring a tutor is a good step as they can tell you what your weak points are and help you conquer them. Also, it is good speaking practice.

Well, here is the specific advise I can give you:

  • Throw away all notions of 'weirdness' and start talking to yourself in German. You don't have to get stressed because there are no conversation partners whose opinion you are afraid of. It is simply you, the mirror and the German language.

  • Listen to German music obsessively. No, I am not kidding. Listen to German music and just keep listening to it every single day until you find yourself singing along and actually understanding the lyrics (may sound weird, but it actually works). Also, try checking lyrictranslate when you are completely lost. It can really help.

  • For writing: get a good German dictionary with sample sentences. Practice writing letters using some of those sample sentences as grammatical framework. You should also memorize the 'rules' for writing both informal and formal letters. Properly following these can earn you quite a few points. Also, remember that German capitalises all nouns. Misisng capitalization can drastically decrease your score.

  • Start reading German books. It does not matter if you actually uderstand everything of what is being said, as long as you can follow the plot. You could try getting books for ages up to 12 as these are usually not that hard, but not so easy (and quite honestly: useless for learners) as "die Katze. Judith hat eine Katze. Die Katze heißt Katchen. Katchen ist sehr lieb. Sie ist nimmer schmutzig". If you cannot get access to books: Read online blogs. Just change your google language settings to German and search for a blog that interests you (using German to search, of couse)

  • If you are having trouble with understanding what the examinator is saying, just ask "Können Sie das vielleicht langsamer wiederholen?" (I am not a native speaker. Germans: feel free to correct me if I am wrong) Always speak formally to the examinator. Using 'du' will not get you points for politeness, using 'Sie' will.

  • Joina forum/community/discord that is either German speaking (change your language setting in Google to German snd search for something that interests you) or has a large population of German speakers. The best would be a forum or something that allows you to text-chat with people. A forum with a chatbox is ideal (that is how I managed to improve my English). They may make some grammar mistakes, but at least you are getting lots of exposure.

I hope this helps.

PS: Did you pass writing with 72% or 33%? I am a bit confused.


Thanks for the message and thanks for the advice.

I have edited my post, I got 72% for writing and 33% for reading.


Verbal communication is the most important and also the most difficult part of any language course. Spend as much time as you can with your tutor, use duo to enhance you vocabulary. Good luck.


I disagree a little bit. I think writing and listening are harder. For example, when speaking English they're, their, and there sound all the same, but when writing you must get them right. German is like that but on steroids. When speaking or listening there isn't a whole lot of difference between "meiner" or "meine" etc. and you can fudge the cases a little and still be understood.

Then with listening you have to listen as fast as the person chooses to talk, and deal with potential accents, idioms, regional verbiage etc. That's just my opinion.

As for OP I think you should work on the thing you scored worst on- reading, which would probably involve lots of vocabulary drilling. Also practice speaking a lot more with your tutor. Tell them to not use any English with you.


If you are thinking about taking further lessons online then I would suggest that perhaps a tutor who is experienced in preparing students for these types of exams would be helpful.


listen to DRAFI DEUTSCHER songs with lyrics would help

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