Have you ever checked your German language competence level against the Common European Framework of Reference? Deutsche Welle suggests A1 is reached with about 75 hours of German studies, A2.1 with about 150 hours, A2.2 with about 225 hours, B1.1 with about 300 hours, and B1.2 with about 400 hours.
Deutsche Welle (DW) is Germany’s international broadcaster known for its in-depth, reliable news and information and promotes exchange and understanding between the world’s cultures and people. Deutsche Welle also provides access to the German language. A their site you can check you German language level for free by taking a thorough test of the levels from A1 to B2. You only need to register with your email address and you can start the test at the level of competence you self-asses for yourself.
How does the test work? The test consists of reading, listening, vocabulary and grammar tasks. For each level there are 30 questions.
What do I have to do? Sometimes you must click on the correct answer, sometimes you have to write the answer yourself in the box provided. To hear the listening texts you have to click on the loudspeaker icon. You can hear the audios three times. After each task you click on the button to take you to the next task, until you reach the 30th and final task.
How do I get the result? By clicking on Evaluation you get your result. You are also told whether you are at the level that you chose, and if you get more than 80% you will be recommended to try the next level. You will also receive advice as to how to continue to improve your skills in German with the free offers of Deutsche Welle.
How do I start? Register on the first page of the level (A1, A2, B1 or B2) you have chosen, then click on the button and this will take you to the first task.
The Common European Framework divides learners into three broad divisions that can be divided into six levels; for each level, it describes what a learner is supposed to be able to do in reading, listening, speaking and writing. These levels are:
||Level group name
||Breakthrough or beginner
- Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type.
- Can introduce themselves and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people they know and things they have.
- Can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.
||Way stage or elementary
- Can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment).
- Can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters.
- Can describe in simple terms aspects of their background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need.
||Threshold or intermediate
- Can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc.
- Can deal with most situations likely to arise while travelling in an area where the language is spoken.
- Can produce simple connected text on topics that are familiar or of personal interest.
- Can describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes and ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.
||Vantage or upper intermediate
- Can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in their field of specialization.
- Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party.
- Can produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options.
||Effective operational proficiency or advanced
- Can understand a wide range of demanding, longer clauses, and recognize implicit meaning.
- Can express ideas fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions.
- Can use language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes.
- Can produce clear, well-structured, detailed text on complex subjects, showing controlled use of organizational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices.
||Mastery or proficiency
- Can understand with ease virtually everything heard or read.
- Can summarize information from different spoken and written sources, reconstructing arguments and accounts in a coherent presentation.
- Can express themselves spontaneously, very fluently and precisely, differentiating finer shades of meaning even in the most complex situations.
You can take the test here.