I took the German A1 exam at Goethe Institut in Makati PH and here’s what happened

Test in progress!

Exactly a year after my last visit to Manila, I made the trip again to take my Goethe-Zertifikat A1: Start Deutsch 1 or beginner German language exam at the Goethe Institute in Makati, Philippines. It felt so weird to pack my things and go somewhere during this time but I am happy I was able to finally take the test after being stalled by the pandemic.

I had so much fun! Everything was socially distanced so I was able to relax about COVID-19. This is the standard exam and it has four parts: listening, reading, writing, and speaking.

We did the first three as a group of eight in one room, about an hour long, and the oral part in a group of four, around 15 minutes, in another room. Apart from my hour-long wait in between, I have no complaints about the process. 

Prior to the test, I told Markus that I am not nervous, more curious about knowing what I know; that my only concern would be if I got a wave of anxiety once I arrive at the testing area. Fortunately, my excitement and focus was stable until the end.

I really had a lot of fun, especially during the speaking exam. I wish there was more of it so I can practice the beginner German that I learned. I suspect I enjoyed the entire A1 exam because it awakened my competitive side – it has been over a decade, if not more, since I felt this kind of challenge.

Interestingly, in the second part of the oral exam, I was asked the name of my German language teacher; a simple question that can be answered with a name but I had to go into a lengthy explanation of how I do not have a teacher because I never went to school and only taught myself – in German! Just my luck.

The results should be available in 10 days. Looking forward! I will definitely tell you the result when it comes in. As you know, I am never afraid to fail.

I also wish the best for the other examinees since they seem to have paid a large amount of money for their online language courses. Plus, many of them came from far islands of the Philippines.

I only had to take a car to Manila but I was surprised to learn others flew in from Davao, Cebu, Bohol, and so on. In normal circumstances, I am sure it would be fun to travel but not so much during this pandemic.

Now I am back home but I am ridiculously tired. I hope all of you are having a nice week and I look forward to catching up on your posts.

Just curious: how many languages can you speak and have you ever taken a language exam? How was it for you?

85 thoughts on “I took the German A1 exam at Goethe Institut in Makati PH and here’s what happened

      1. I am good 😁 My breathing is stable at home. I am having cataract surgery on my right eye tomorrow. I had my left eye cataract surgery 2 weeks ago and that went well so I expect the same this time around. I am currently learning French and I hope to start learning Russian some time this year.

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        1. All the best for the surgery! Should be a simple procedure. Recover well, Amy. Russian? Wow! I am always impressed because I do not know how I will feel if I had to learn a new alphabet, too!

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          1. Thank you! Surgery went well today and I am recovering well at home. I have a nifty eye patch for 1 week so I am embracing my inner pirate πŸ˜€ I like challenging myself so I am looking forward to trying to learn Russian!

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  1. I’m sure you did great! I’m amazed at the fact that you loved the speaking part of the test! It’s precisely the thing that my anxious self dreads all the time πŸ˜… I haven’t taken a proper language examination test but I’ve learned and forgotten many languages during the years! One of them is German, which I could speak quite well, but my level is back to being close to beginner! I love learning languages though, so I am sure I will get the chance to improve my German in the future! For now, I am focusing on Spanish and Russian!

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    1. Thank you. Coming into it, I wanted to do my best in all other areas so a minimum will be fine on the oral exam. I am just glad it was not too hard. The experience was very nice and I look forward to the next test. I am sure your German is very much okay, especially if you get to speak it sometimes. All the best with the Spanish and Russian – I cannot imagine learning the latter, must be really challenging because the alphabet is different!

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  2. All the best for the result 😊
    I learn German without going to German Course and my boyfriend (a German) has helped me a lot in the process. So far I have finished A1-B1 so my next goal would be B2 or C1.

    I personally really enjoy the learning process even though mostly I just try to find materials online hehe

    It can be very challenging sometimes but so far I still enjoy learning German by myself 😊

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      1. I live currently in Hessen but soon will move to southern Bavaria 😊
        Where are you going to live in Germany?

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    1. Thank you. I had fun and that is the biggest win for me. What three languages do you know? Do you mean English, German, and French? And please appreciate the study of foreign languages. I know it can be extra work but it is worth it in the future.

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      1. I know English, Hindi and another Indian language (I can’t say which since I’m not comfortable with giving away my exact location) fluently, picked up bits of French and German from books and movies.
        I absolutely agree!

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  3. Best wishes on satisfactory results. Bravo to you for completing your exam. πŸ‘
    I took two years of French and Spanish in HS and continued with Spanish in college.
    I recognize more words than I can recall. I would love to be immersed in cultures where I had opportunities to speak in those two languages, learned long ago.

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    1. Thank you, Michele. How did you feel about learning these languages in high school? Did you like it or were they just extra work? And yes, I agree. Immersion is the best way to practice a language. Hopefully we can all travel soon!

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      1. I absolutely loved learning foreign languages, and did very well. I squeeze in lessons when I can, through the internet and I joined a few free conversational classes at the local library, prior to Covid, but to become fluent would require so much more of my time. Yes, travelling soon would be a dream. Take care.

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        1. That is helpful. I really appreciate it when foreign languages are taught in school. Makes things easy. Of course, the students will never feel like that at the time. Haha! In The Ph, children learn Filipino and English.

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      1. Only a few units of Spanish back in university. We had a language requirement for my major. I really enjoyed it. But it’s been too long and I haven’t practiced at all. πŸ˜„

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  4. That’s actually pretty cool! Does Markus speak to you in German too? I’m guessing it’s such a help being with someone who speaks the language you are learning… although I can’t figure out if you are learning it because of him! πŸ˜…
    I speak English fluently, Advanced/business Portuguese, intermediate Japanese and French

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    1. He speaks to me in German sometimes and it is great because I can always ask him how to say things. I am learning it so I can communicate in German or so he cannot sell me in exchange of five kilos of potatoes. Wow, you speak a lot of languages well. That is so cool. Which one was the easiest to learn for you?

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    1. Thanks, same! The experience was fun. I felt competitive, just with myself. I want to know where I am, how much I know, if I am able to do the basics. The result will be helpful info on how to proceed with the learning. What languages can you speak?

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      1. Sounds like you are a curious person who likes to try out new things. I wish I was more curious.
        I speak English, Karamojong (my language), Swahili, and Luganda ( a language commonly spoken in central Uganda).

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        1. Wow, you are cool. I wish I can hear you speak these languages. It would be an awesome experience to see Africa and dive into its culture. I am sure the continent holds many wonders. And yes, I can be curious and questioning. What do you mean, you do not find yourself curious enough?

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      1. I know a few things because my great grandma would speak to me in German when I was a little girl. She was born and Germany and defected to the U.S. during WWII.

        I had some friends that learned a second language and then went to a country that spoke said language to teach English to children.

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        1. Oh, that is cool. And yes, I can see how that works with the teaching. I know many backpackers who do that, too. At one point, I also considered teaching English but did not pursue it. So did you also eat German food as well?

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          1. Thank you for the follow!

            Me too! I’ve always wondered if I should go back and get a teaching certificate. I know a lot of people that find it fulfilling.

            We love German food and beer!🍻 My favorite thing to eat in Germany was lunch with all of the delicious cold cuts, cheese, and bread. We also looked forward to when my grandma would make Blau kraut and these huge potato dumplings with gravy. I forget what they are called but they were sooooo good!

            Prost!

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  5. Congratulations for your effort: it’s not an easy language to learn. I regret not having studied it because I have travelled so many times to German speaking countries

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          1. Well, I must admit that learning Tagalog was not too challenging as verbs have very limited inflection and no real tenses to learn but, yes, with focus and determination one can learn anything no matter how old he or she may be

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    1. This made me smile so much, Anne. Very clever as always. And that would be super awesome. How are you going after your vaccination and are there many changes in your community now?

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      1. We were fine after our vaccinations. We’ll get our second shots at the end of the month. When the lock down first started, there were no cars on the roads and few people in the grocery store. I use the grocery as an example, because everyone has to eat. When the restrictions were lifted a bit, there were suddenly lots of people walking and shopping on Main Street. Our restaurants are open, but only half the tables are used. Our salons and barbers are open, so shaggy people are shaggy by choice. For the most part, we are living here as we always did, though we wear masks inside all stores. How are things in your area? Are there still a lot of restrictions?

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        1. You are lucky. I heard for some people in your country, their schedule is being delayed and just for the first vaccine. I am glad things are starting to open up where you are and that people are taking precautions. Here, our small town has always been covid-free, never any community transmission. Problem is this is a tourist town and so the livelihood of most of town has been down since last year. Summer is approaching again but it does not look like things will improve. Quite unfortunate actually because it could have been managed better. Currently, only the luxury places are open but that does not help the community, does it?

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  6. I learned French for a couple of years over 50 years ago and regret never having gone further. So now I am learning French online. It is a real challenge but fun, and frustrating at times! All I can say Micah is ‘keep it up’ and continue whilst you are still young! πŸ™

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    1. What is the story behind you learning French? Thank you. I will keep going. I want to reach a level where I can understand native speakers and they do not have to speak like turtles to me.

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  7. Ooh good luck with the results! I’m sure you’ll do well.

    I can totally understand how exciting it is to just go anywhere right now. We went for a weekend staycation to an old Indian fort resort 3 months back. It was 3 hrs away and I was so excited just about making that travel. πŸ™ˆ

    I speak 3 languages – English, Hindi, Tulu (regional language spoken in Karnataka, India). I can also understand 3-4 other Indian languages but not speak them proficiently. I was trying to learn French (because it sounds so sexy) but didn’t follow through. Maybe I should try again.

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    1. Thank you. We will find out soon enough. I am happy with my effort and hopefully it is enough. Good on you for being able to have a holiday. With this trip, I just felt strange, not really excited to go anywhere, I suppose because it is out of the ordinary. For a digital nomad to say that is something! Oh wow, you know a lot of languages from your country. I wish I am able to understand dialect, too. And yes, why not with the French? A little bit onlone every day is always better than nothing, no?

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    1. Thank you. Will find out soon. I am excited to know where I am, because it is hard to say without the measurement. Of course, by level I mean basic-able or not. Haha! What languages do you speak or are interested in learning?

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  8. Oh I am sure you did well! That lengthy explanation may have been your ace! I mean, of course!!!

    I am surprised they do not have testing centers nearby. Not fun travelling during COVID indeed!

    Wishing you and your test buddies the best!!!

    Arabic. Read, Write, Speak – Level 2
    Enough for socialization (and cheating) and minor work.

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    1. Haha! I like how you explain your proficiency. Because I follow a Muslim Russian fighter, I am familiar with a few sentences that they repeatedly say in Arabic. Foreign languages are so fun and interesting. Thank you for the well-wishes. I look forward to finding out where I am and knowing what I know and what I can work on. Fortunately, the days pass by fast and the results will arrive soon enough!

      Liked by 1 person

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