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Speaks: English*, GermanB2
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Message 1 of 209 July 2015 at 5:34pm | IP Logged
I'm planning on taking the TestDaf in February next year, so as to be able to study in
Germany next fall. I wanted to know- does anyone who's taken it or similar tests have any
tips or anything I should know?
My grammar is very solid, probably about a C1 or C2 level, but I'm less comfortable with
vocabulary and speaking (maybe B2) and just can't figure out how much I need to
know, or how much I can possibly learn in the next 7 months. Any advice for a newbie at
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Joined 3938 days ago
235 posts - 453 votes
Speaks: English*, German
Studies: Dutch, Norwegian, Japanese
Message 2 of 211 July 2015 at 5:03am | IP Logged
I'm in a somewhat similar situation to you. I am planning on studying in Germany next fall but through
a bilateral exchange program that my university has with Baden-Württemberg (I can chose to go to
any of the universities there but I'll be going to Universität Heidelberg), that said I'm hoping to that
the majority of the classes I take are with native German speakers. What also makes my situation
different is that I'll be taking German at my school this upcoming school year (after a year and a half
of not being in school which is a long unrelated story). I'm also going to be applying to German grad
schools while I'm there and will take the DSH or TestDaf while I'm studying abroad (I'm doing my
senior year of college abroad which makes taking the DSH convenient).
With all that said, I'm at generally at around B1-B2 level and my listening is significantly higher (I
watch shows on ZDF on a regular basis). My major issue over the years has been with reading and
remember the genders of nouns.
So what have I been doing to improve my German? Since around May I've been working through
und Aufbauwortschatz nach Themen. I have been putting all of the words into a spreadsheet
and then putting those into a "course" on Memrise. I'm about a quarter of the way done with
entering everything and about an eighth of the way through the book in terms of learning). I try to go
through one new lesson on Memrise a day (most of them are around 20 words) but sometimes life
gets in the way. Even when I can't learn a new chapter I make sure to do my reviews every day.
That alone, which hasn't been stressful for me at all (which is the reason I have kept it up), has
improved my reading by leaps and bounds and surprisingly quickly! I didn't expect my reading
comprehension to improve as quickly as it has but even though I wouldn't put my reading at C1 (or
even above a low B2) I have had no problem reading through (and understanding) the degree
handbooks for all of the MA programs in translation in Germany and Austria (there are only a handful
of programs) which were written for an audience primarily made up of native German speakers.
My current plan from now through the end of September (when school starts) is to keep doing the
vocab stuff (I also have the workbook which I would highly recommend as an addition), go through
one of my grammar books, and to do a lot of reading. Right now I'm reading through Heuber's
Lesetraining book (which was published years ago and is targeted at high school students, it
probably goes from A2-B1 level wise) while I wait for the book
Lesetraining B2 to arrive. I'm also going to keep watching
shows on ZDF (their documentary show 37 Grad is amazing).
The class that I'm taking in the fall is a B2 class so I don't need to do as much as I'm doing but
getting a head on vocabulary is going to make the school year significantly less stressful for me. I'm
also in a convenient position (compared to the one you're in) of not having to take the DSH or
TestDaF to study in Germany for the 2016/2017 school year (I'll have to take some sort of language
test when I get there but that's more of a placement test than anything), though I will have taken a C1
course the summer prior.
I'm not doing this right now but if I were you I would buy something like Mit Erfolg zu TestDaF any of
the other TestDaF preparation textbooks. Most if not all of them have example tests in them and in
addition have exercises that will get you used to the test format.
Edited by aokoye on 11 July 2015 at 9:06am
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