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5/30/2016
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National German Exam General Information

The National German Exam is administered each year to nearly 22,000 high school students in the second, third and fourth level of German. The Exam, now in its 56th year, provides individual diagnostic feedback, rewards students through an extensive prize program, and creates a sense of accomplishment. Exam results provide a means of comparing students in all regions of the country, as well as programmatic data provided to help inform curricular decisions. Exam results are among the criteria used in selecting the recipients of chapter awards and the national AATG/PAD Study Trip Awards, a four-week study trip program in Germany.

The 2016 Exam period for the Level 2, 3, and 4 Exams will be December 1, 2015 to February 1, 2016. The last day to administer the exam has been extended to Thursday, February 4. The Exam period for the Level 1 Exams will be April 1 to April 30, 2016.

Registration for the Level 1 Exam begins February 1. Note: The late registration period runs from March 16 to April 15. A $30 late registration fee applies. Member registration and Non-Member registration.

The National German Exam is delivered in electronic format compatible with Windows and Apple operating systems and various internet browsers. Students will need access to a computer connected to the internet in order to take the exam. Headphones or earbuds are required so that students may hear the audio portion of the exam. This online delivery system allows for the inclusion of video clips as source material for the exam. Students will be able to pause audio and video materials, and replay portions as many times as they wish within the allotted time.

Each Exam is comprised of 100 questions. Question types include multiple choice, matching, and true/false. The Exam is comprised of two parts. The listening and viewing portion is 40 minutes in length and consists of a series of short audio and video segments with a total of 50 questions and tasks. The reading portion is 45 minutes in length and consists of a number of print texts, including graphs and images with a total of 50 questions and tasks. All materials used in the exam are from authentic resources.  

No one method, textbook, or approach is given preference over any other in designing the exams. The exams do reflect the principles of the World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages and their focus on developing competence to communicate effectively and interact with cultural competence to participate in multilingual communities. Exam materials are selected with great care to be interesting and accessible to a large, general student population. They are varied in character and focus of interest. While the Exam is challenging, it is based on knowledge and abilities well within the reach of all students.

Targeted Proficiencies. The Level 1 Exam measures student proficiencies in the Novice range as measured by the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines. These students understand some ideas on familiar topics containing phrases, simple sentences, and frequently used expressions. They can understand the main point and a few details in short conversations, messages, and announcements.

The Level 2 Exam measures student proficiencies in the Novice High to Intermediate Low proficiency range. These students understand the main idea and some details on familiar topics expressed in sentences, short conversations, presentations, and messages.

The Level 3 Exam measures student proficiencies in the Intermediate Low proficiency range. These students understand the main idea and many details on familiar topics expressed in a series of connected sentences, conversations, presentations, and messages. They comprehend information related to basic personal and social needs and relevant to their immediate environment such as everyday life, school, and community.

The Level 4 Exam measures student proficiencies in the Intermediate proficiency range. These students understand the main points and most details in conversations, presentations, and messages on familiar topics. They also understand the main idea and some details on unfamiliar topics. They demonstrate emerging evidence of the ability to make inferences. They comprehend texts focused on relevant real-world topics of general interest.

Practice Exams for levels 1, 2, 3, and 4 are available on our website. The Practice Exams reflect the structure and functionality of the NGE, which allows students to gain familiarity with the Exam and teachers to test the Exam's functionality in advance on the devices that will be used.

The Administration Manual is available for download

How Results are Reported. National German Exam results provide a means of comparing students in all regions of the country. The results also serve as a diagnostic tool to inform curricular decisions.
Teachers receive printable Results reports, detailed Skills reports, along with printable individual student reports.
The Results Report includes student raw scores as well as their Percentile rankings, which indicate the performance of an individual student in comparison to all students who took the National German Exam across the US. The achievement level for each student’s performance and whether or not they qualify for the Study Trip Award are also included.

The Skills Report provides information on how students performed on specific question types, such as identifying main ideas, comprehending idiomatic expressions, and making inferences. This report is provided to help teachers better understand where their students did well and where students may need more instruction.

Honoring students. The National German Exam provides an excellent opportunity to highlight student success and promote German. All Gold, Silver, and Bronze Award Winners are honored in the Presidential Honor Roll. Free downloadable certificates to recognize student performance are available. Certificate Seals are available in our store.


The National Association of Secondary School Principals has placed this program on the NASSP National Advisory List of Contests and Activities for 2015-16.



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