German B1


If you already have a good basic knowledge of German, Zertifikat Deutsch / telc Deutsch B1 is the right exam for you. It tests general language competence and can be taken by anyone.

The Zertifikat Deutsch / telc Deutsch B1 is recognised as proof of sufficient language competence for a German citizenship application.

For school pupils we recommend Zertifikat Deutsch für Jugendliche / telc Deutsch B1 Schule. The best exam for professional purposes at this level is the telc Deutsch B1+ Beruf.

What can you do at level B1?

At level B1 you can communicate in a simple and connected way in everyday situations, while travelling and when talking about topics that are of personal interest. You can describe experiences, hopes and ambitions and give reasons for opinions. On the whole you can use the most important grammatical structures correctly.

What is the structure of the examination?

The exam consists of a written and an oral part. The written exam lasts 2 hours and 30 minutes. Before the oral exam you have 20 minutes preparation time. The oral exam can take place on the day of the written exam or on another day.


Written Examination

Reading Comprehension Language Elements (vocabulary and grammar)




Listening Comprehension



90 minutes


20 minutes

30 minutes

30 minutes

Oral Examination

usually together with one other candidate

15 minutes

 * The exam Zertifikat Deutsch was developed in co-operation between the Swiss Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Education (EDK), the Goethe-Institut, the Austrian Language Diploma and telc GmbH. 

Practice material

What is expected from you in the examination?

You can find out the details of the exam by looking at the mock examination Zertifikat Deutsch / telc Deutsch B1. This is a complete test (with answer key), which you can try out at home or in your lessons. In addition, you can read about the exam procedure and how the written test and oral performance are rated.

You can download the mock examination and the relevant MP3 files here free of charge.

Download mock examination (PDF, 2,3 MB)

Download listening texts (MP3, 9,2 MB)

Additional material

The brochure describing learning objectives (Zertifikat Deutsch, Lernziele und Testformat) gives you detailed information about the necessary vocabulary and grammar skills you need and is available as a download.

Download learning obejctives (ZIP, 974 KB)

German Phrase Box

With the telc flash cards you always have the right words to hand. Whether for everyday and classroom use or preparation for the Oral Examination, the Phrase Box contains 64 flash cards with key phrases featured at level A2-B1. The Phrase Box is based on the concept of a five-level flash card system; allowing you to learn vocabulary, sentence structure and common phrases in an effective and methodical way. The instructions provide practical tips for students and teachers alike.