The Goethe-Zertifikat C1. Personal experience

After staying in Germany for one year and studying German language for 11 months I got a chance to take Goethe-Zertifikat C1 exam.

I have not mentioned it on my blog before, but I am actually staying in the university town in the south of Germany that is called Tübingen. I have got many interesting experiences while living here and I shall dedicate another post to this town, but for now, I just want to mention that there was no place in Tübingen last August where you could take an exam. The same with Stuttgart (a city close by). I had to travel to Mannheim in order to take an exam in August (I was in a hurry taking the exam for some personal reasons).

Tip #1

If you have to travel to another city to take your exam, make sure you stay at a good hotel where you can get enough sleep before the exam.

In my case, my husband and I stayed at an Airbnb room and we were not happy at all. Everything seemed to be fine when we arrived, but as soon as it was time to go to bed the “action” started. We could hear people talking outside, a phone ringing, doors shutting in the hall.

Additionally, not only I forgot my earplugs, but also my eye mask. The street lamp gave too much of light and it was very hard to fall asleep. It was very hot too. On the day we arrived to Mannheim and the exam day the temperature was about 30-33 degrees.

I could not sleep because of all the noise and some stomachache.

Tip #2

Do not try any new exotic food for you before the exam.

As we arrived to Mannheim we found out that there is a superb Korean restaurant over there. We decided to check it out for dinner. The food was super spicy, but very tasty and we were very satisfied with it. However, it was too much for my stomach because I was very nervous about the exam. The night before the exam I felt regrets I ate the food that was so spicy.


Here is the delicous spicy Korean food

In the end, I could only sleep for 4 broken hours before my exam. Cold shower helped me in the morning.

So, sleep well and eat normally before the exam.

Finding the Goethe Institute in Mannheim the next morning was not a problem. Exam began.

The Goethe-Zertifikat C1 exam is a difficult one. Do not underestimate it. Based on my own experience I do not recommend you taking it after 11 months of studying German if you want to get sehr gut or gut (unless you have lots of practice with native speakers all the time). I would say 1 year and a half would be enough for studying German and preparing for the exam (if you aim for gut or sehr gut).

More tips:


The reading part was the most challenging for me. I thought I did OK in the end, but I was too optimistic.

The best way to prepare for the reading part is to learn new words and to read more in German every day.


You have to concentrate well and do not waste the precious time you have for the listening part. Make sure you use the time given for reading the questions carefully! Sometimes, it is easy to skip one word and get confused about the whole task. Understand the questions. Practice before the exam. Remember do not transfer your answers to the answer sheet while listening to the task. You will have 5 minutes to do it in the end of the task.


Learn certain phrases by heart and use them in writing. Review grammar. Practice a lot before the exam. Write enough words. Do not write too little/too much. Read what you have written and check the possible mistakes. Once again, learn more sophisticated German words that you can use in your writing.

I have definitely not studied enough of German vocabulary. 😦


Answer all the bullet points from Aufgabe 1. Be creative. Do not say you do not know something. Even silly ideas are OK to say if your German is correct.

Speak for the required time. Do not make your speech too short because of the stress you have during the exam.

Do not fear talking to a partner (Aufgabe 2). His/her knowledge has nothing to do with you. Be interactive. If you think you did not do well during the monologue (Aufgabe 1), show your speaking abilities during the dialogue (Aufgabe 2).

Study well and good luck!!!


Here is my result (that I do not find very satisfactory 🙂 )

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