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What is my Proficiency Level with the German Language?

Image via BBC's page Languages, German. Click to go to the test.

Click the picture above to go to the BBC’s test.

In late May, I found the BBC’s page for the German language. In addition to some lessons, key phrases, and other tools, there is an assessment called Test Your German, which I decided to take. It is designed to test your German proficiency level. First, the test asks whether you think you are Beginner, Post-Beginner, or Intermediate. I chose Post-Beginner. The test started off with weather. I understood the words for “cool” and “windy”, but checked the wrong picture, so I restarted. This showed me that the test mixes itself up each time because the next time the weather questions didn’t come until the end.

The test included various exercises such as reading a personal letter and answering questions about it, listening to a conversation and answering questions about it, and matching verbal statements to pictures. One example is that instructions are given to say, “I am looking for my cat” in German. I would say, “Ich suche meine Katze”. Then the test demonstrates what should have been said. They ask if you got it correct, were close, or got it wrong.

My overall score was 60% which is not that great, but it is better than I expected from my scores on some of the answers. The results are further broken down into four categories. I got 73% in Reading, 85% in Listening, 34% in Writing, and 48% in Speaking. This was pretty much what I expected because I understand a lot of what I hear but struggle with saying something in response. I can read some things in German, but I struggle when it comes to remembering how to write something myself.

Among my plans for improving my speaking are to use Germanpod101 podcasts as they involve listening as well as speaking aloud and attempting to use German when I am among those who speak it. I have acquired several books that are written in both German and English which I think will help my own writing, especially if I copy some of them down. I have also gotten a little practice with some writing in some online exchanges with German speakers. At some point, I plan to attempt the occasional blog post in German.

I think it is also important for me to continue practicing listening and reading because those things can help to improve writing and speaking. Along those lines, I have been watching movies in German with English subtitles, listening to German music and translating the lyrics, and trying to read web pages that are written in German before I hit ‘translate.’

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4 Thoughts on “What is my Proficiency Level with the German Language?

  1. those are the best things you can do when learning a language. try http://www.busuu.com it helps you learn another language and you help someone else. pretty interesting.

  2. I need to tell David about this!
    I would say your German is pretty awesome because you seem to understand almost everything!

    • Someone else mentioned busuu.com to me. He may want to check that out also. I have only done one lesson so far but it seems pretty good (and it’s free). I’ll probably write a post on it once I’ve gotten a bit further with it. Thanks. I do understand more than I used to but there is still quite a bit that goes right over my head.

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