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B1 Certifikates

If you need a B1 certificate you have 3 major choices.

You can take the B1 test at the Goethe Institute, the telc B1 test at a telc test center, or the German Test for Immigrants (Deutsch-Test für Zuwanderer, DTZ, also at a telc test center). If you pass, each will give you a valid B1 certificate with which you can apply for a permanent residence for example.


The test formats and difficulties vary.

The B1 test at the Goethe institute and the telc B1 test have basically the same structure. But the rules for passing are different. In the Goethe test you need to surpass 60% in each part in order to pass: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking.
If you don't pass a part, you can repeat that part only (and pay a lower test fee). This means if you pass listening, reading and writing, but fail speaking, you can sign up for a separate speaking test and concentrate on speaking only for the next time.

To pass the telc B1 test you need to get at least 60% of the points for the parts reading, listening and writing, and 60% for speaking.
If your listening sucks but your reading and writing are very good, you will pass telc B1. I would not recommend you to try the Goethe test in this case. On the other hand if you fail the speaking part in the telc B1 test, you will have to repeat the whole test. The next time you do the test, you have to pass listening-reading-writing again in order to get the B1 certificate.

The DTZ test is completely different from Goethe or telc B1.

Most German teachers would agree that the DTZ is easier. However, if you pass, the B1 certificate you get is just as useful as the B1 certificate issued by telc or Goethe.

To get the B1 certificate, you need to get at least 75% of the points in the speaking part. If you get more than 75% of the points in the parts listening and reading (counted together as one block), you get the certificate. Scoring low in writing (even 0%) doesn't hurt. If you get more than 75% in writing, you also get the certificate. Even if you get zero points in listening and reading.

Summary for passing the DTZ: As long as you can communicate orally, it is permissible to have low writing capabilities.

Here you can find a collection of B1 model tests for preparing one of the three B1 tests.

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