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German B1 - I need your advice on how to prepare.

Dear All,

I am aiming to take my German B1 exam at the end of July and I am wondering how to alter my current process of learning. At the moment I am using Duolingo every day - about 50xp, I have a skype lesson weekly and meet a sprachpartner once a week for an hour.

For those who consider themselves B1 level and also those who accumulate significant xp each day, what do you advise ? Should I ratchet up my xp to say 100 per day ? Or some other form of exercise to improve my German ? If you have some specific ideas that worked for you I would be happy to hear from you.

Best, Daniel

April 24, 2018



Once you start getting into the B-levels I find the usefulness of Duolingo starts to decrease. You will be well-served by continuing to branch out (as you're doing already!) into other resources and media.

Duolingo can still be helpful for drilling sentence structures you're not getting right 100% of the time, and for mining the comments for explanations. You can also test your knowledge by offering clear explanations to other users in the comments, especially about topics that you're not quiiiite confident on. By the time you've researched an explanation to someone else, you'll have solidified your own comprehension too! If you really want to get 100% on the grammar section, find a textbook that teaches B1, and tick off each of the grammatical structures it teaches as you revise. I think you'll find that Duo has helped you a lot already, but there may be some gaps.

The main limitations of Duolingo at the B-levels is that it doesn't demand so much appreciation of context, which can only come from longer multi-sentence texts. It also doesn't offer any real listening comprehension with context (just voice-synthesised single sentences). At the B levels, you could definitely get some use out of the experimental "Stories" feature on Duolingo (under the "Labs" tab on the web version, if you're lucky enough to be part of the beta test group). Otherwise, make use of high-quality online resources like Deutsche Welle.

Viel Erfolg!


Thanks for the quick response. I appreciate the feedback.

I am indeed looking into the discussions a lot more than when I first started using DL as I want a more in-depth understanding and I am starting to comment where I think I can offer some knowledge. This is helpful as you say.

Other resources I am using less regularly are:

Easy German - youtube Audible - German audio book for learning German Anki - flash cards (although I haven't got into this fully)


Hi Daniel! I did not learn German on Duolingo, but I still think I can share some cool resources that have helped me improve my German skills. My language-learning philosophy is that more immersion = better!

I'm not sure where you're located, but from the U.S. I am able to watch TV shows and movies from several German stations online. Many (thought not all) videos have subtitles.

ZDF: https://www.zdf.de/

SWR: https://www.swr.de/

I listen to a lot of German music. Basically, I just go to YouTube and search for German music and let myself fall down the rabbit hole; any genre or age is okay with me, as long as I like it!

Someone else's recommendation for Deutsche Welle is great. They are a news source with an entire section for German learners, including "langsam gesprochene Nachrichten:" http://www.dw.com/en/learn-german/s-2469

zeit.de is also a good news source, but drier and may be too advanced as far as vocabulary.

Podcasts! They are a great way to hear German that doesn't feel like a chore. I find that the more I listen to specific people talking, the better I understand those specific people. So podcasts are a great way to hear the same people over and over again without getting bored, and still learning new vocab. Again, fell down the iTunes podcast rabbit hole. :) Just pick a topic that interests you. (I've found German podcasts on politics, sports, relationships, music...)


Important is the look from other persons where you should focus on but you should follow but the feeling in your stomage (gut feeling). If you want to learn harder do it if not than not. Very important is to know what they want you to know. When I made my B2-C1 for English (and you see I was not good and had idiomatic problems) they wanted me to: know how to write a discussion, to make an interpretation with stylistic devices, interpretate a picture with description what is visuable, explain a chart, write an article, write a "letter to the editor" or a speech and translate an article with the sense and short it up as a blog. For french when I made my A2 I only need normal test knowledge like some vocabulary to be able to buy something, explain a way if someone asks me, know greetings and salutations, questions for time and weather, the perfect tense a litle bit, be able to write what I can hear, cope with articles and possessive pronouns.

For German I would say important are what it to write with a capital letter, the order in a sentence, articles and the casus you want to use. What else for the level? -Maybe ou can ask the people who will make the proof with you. Best, Parsella Portas

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