outcast wrote:Hi, I actually have asked some of the following questions before in my respective language logs, but I think they got buried under my lengthy posts and went unanswered. Ok:
1. I need good recommendations for German and French B2 and C1 testing test-preparation materials. I have look around a bit but I can't really see the books, and/or the descriptions are non-existent, well at least on Amazon. In any event there are plenty of French and German learners here so I am asking for you to take just a moment of your time and recommend something to me. I don't need a detailed description, a recommended title and publisher along with a sentence or two on what makes the material a good buy will suffice.
I began studying German in school long ago and after a few years was offered a chance to take the B1 exam at Goethe but out of laziness and nervousness I declined. As I've been resurrecting my knowledge over the past months I've been strongly considering taking a proficiency exam this year to make my knowledge official but am not sure yet which level I'd aim for (B1 or B2) or even which exam it'd be (basically ZD vs. BULATS; TestDaF is not in the cards for me).
To expand a bit on aokoye's points (on which I'm in agreement), there are three sets of exams that could work for you: Goethe Institut's
for a short thread comparing them even though there's not that much difference) and ÖSD
. This last one is based in Austria and has fewer testing centers than Goethe. There's also DSH
, which is meant for someone wanting to study at a German university and get lectures in German, but I somehow doubt that you want to go that way.
Within the Goethe Institut you can sign up for Zertifikat, TestDaF or BULATS. Zertifikat is the best known and fairly general in coverage. TestDaF is more suitable if your goal is to go into academia in the German-speaking world (as opposed to taking DSH to demonstrate your ability before enrolling at a German university - see here
for a comparison between TestDaF and DSH). BULATS is more suitable if you're focused on proving your ability to an employer. As you see, how you prepare and which set of prep material you choose will indeed vary as aokoye has mentioned. The market for German proficiency test preparation does seem to be dominated by courses and guides meant for Goethe's Zertifikat exams with fewer options targeted explicitly for the others.
In any case, the best way to find the test prep stuff on Amazon.com (no need to go to .uk, .ca or .de) is to type "zertifikat deutsch", "telc deutsch", "prüfungstraining" and similar. There's a ton of stuff to buy, and I've read posts here and there that test prep published by Hueber is pretty good, which isn't to say that Cornelsen or Klett/Langenscheidt are slouches. There are some blogs by people who've passed the certification exams including Goethe C1 Test Prep
, How to prepare for an advanced language exam. Lessons from my Goethe-Institut C1 success
, and Passing the Goethe-Zertifikat-B2 exam: a post-mortem
one is for B1 but the post by Setareh Fhk shows that he got a lot out of test prep manuals; specifically "Fit fürs Zertifikat B1" and "Zertifikat B1 neu 15 Übungsprüfungen" published by Hueber, and "So geht's noch besser zum Goethe-/ÖSD-Zertifikat B1" published by Klett. For B2 onwards, Hueber has the series "Fit fürs Zertifikat..." while Klett has the series "Mit Erfolg Zum Goethe-Zertifikat..."
There are also some free mock exams from Goethe
(just click on the level that interests you, and then click on "practice material" for some samples). It can't hurt to check out mock exams from ÖSD
which seem closely aligned with Goethe's stuff but is better known in Austria.
In any case, these test prep manuals are just part of what you need, and you'd probably be working through regular textbooks or exposing yourself to as much as German as possible every day so that you minimize the chance of being thrown off by something on the exam.