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Indiana AATG Virtual Fall Immersion 2020

10/1/2020 » 10/4/2020
German Studies Association Conference

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General Information

What is tested on the National German Exam? Answer
No one method, textbook, or approach is given preference over any other in designing the Exam. Exam materials are selected with great care to be accessible to a large, general student population. They are varied in character and focus of interest. While the exams are challenging, they are based on knowledge and abilities well within the reach of all students. You can find detailed information on the exams on the NGE Program Overview page. Practice Exams for levels 1, 2, 3, and 4 are also available online. Hide▲

Why should I offer the National German Exam to my students? Answer
The National German Exam provides you the opportunity to compare students' performance to other students from across the nation. You will also receive detailed diagnostic results reports, which can help you better understand where your students did well and where your students may need more instruction. Hide▲

Who should take the National German Exam? Answer
All students in all classes level one, two, three, four, and above! Analysis of Exam results indicates no significant difference in scores when all students in a class take the Exam, or only part of the class participates. Students from German-speaking homes and students who have traveled extensively to a German-speaking country may take the Exam as well. Scores from these students are not included in the calculation of percentile scores for the standard group of students. Hide▲

How much does the National German Exam cost? Answer
The Exam costs $6.00 per student. Hide▲

Who pays for the National German Exam? Answer
This depends upon the school and varies from school or department funds, German club funds, and students themselves. Hide▲

Which National German Exam level should my students take? Answer
A general guideline is that students should take the Exam for the level at which they are enrolled at the time of administration. The Level 2, 3, and 4 Exam design takes into account that students are tested halfway through the school year: the Level 2 Exam is designed for students at 1 ½ years; the Level 3 Exam for students at 2 ½ years; the Level 4 Exam for students at 3 ½ years. If students are in Level 5 or higher, register for the Level 4 Exam, which will be scored together with other students in the fifth or sixth year of German study. If your school is on a block schedule, register for the level students completed when last enrolled in German. The Level 1 Exam is designed for students in their first year of language instruction. Read more about the target proficiencies of each Exam level on the Program Overview page. Hide▲

Are there accommodations for students with special needs? Answer
Students with an IEP who receive accommodations under IDEA guidelines on standardized examinations may receive the same accommodations on the National German Exam. Arrangements for special accommodations must be made at least one week prior to exam day. To make arrangements for students with special accommodations, send a copy of the student’s IEP in an email to with the following information: Teacher name, Teacher’s e-mail address, NGE Confirmation Number, School Name, Student Name, Required accommodation. Hide▲

How are National German Exam scores reported? Answer
Teachers receive detailed reports organized by exam level and student performance from highest score to lowest. Along with separate scores for the Reading section and the Listening and Viewing section, the report includes a Total Raw Score and Percentile Ranking for both Standard Group and Total Group. The Standard Group represents only students who respond NO to the survey question "Is German spoken regularly in your home?" Percentile scores for Total Group indicate the performance of students in comparison to ALL students taking the exam at that level.
The raw score indicates the number of items a student answered correctly. Each section of the exam consists of 50 questions for a total possible National German Exam raw score of 100. The percentile score indicates the performance of an individual student in comparison to all students who took the National German Exam. For example, a percentile score of 79 in the Level 2 Standard Group indicates that the student performed better than 79% of all students who took the Level 2 Exam and answered NO to the survey question "Is German spoken regularly in your home?".
Teachers also receive the Skills Report which 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. Hide▲

The National German Exam is approved by the NASSP. What does that mean? Answer
The National Association of Secondary School Principals has placed the National German Exam on the Advisory List of National Contests and Activities for 2020-2021. With this approval, principals usually support the administration of the Exam during the school day. Hide▲

Who develops the National German Exam? Answer
The AATG National German Exam is created by a committee comprised primarily of high school teachers. College faculty also serve on the committee. The committee members select resource material and carefully design exam items appropriate for each level. Find more information on the NGE Committee page. Hide▲

Registering Students

How do I register students for the National German Exam? Answer
Register for Exam online first by registering your students on the Quia website, then paying for the Exam in our online store or by check or purchase order. View a tutorial with pictures for registering in three easy steps outlined here. If you are not an AATG member, you must pay an $90 non-member sponsor fee. Teachers and sponsors may only register students who are enrolled in courses they teach during the exam period. Registration for the 2021 NGE levels 2, 3, and 4 opens October 1, 2020. Registration for the Level 1 exam begins February 1, 2021. Hide▲

Now that I've registered for the Exam, how do I make changes to my roster or add students? Answer
A step-by-step guide to adding students and making changes to the roster is available in the Administration Manual. To make changes to your roster or to register additional students to take the exam, you will need your NGE username and password, which you will receive an email with your NGE username and password along with details for Exam administration. The date when this e-mail is sent depends on when you registered. View the NGE Calendar to find out when you will receive your NGE login information and contact us if you need further assistance. Hide▲

I am not sure if all my students will be taking the Exam. How do I avoid the late fee? Answer
Make sure to register one or more of your students before December 15, 2020. Once you have registered at least one student for the National German Exam, you can add additional students to your roster without penalty. A step-by-step guide to adding students and making changes to the roster is available in the Administration Manual. Hide▲

How do I pay for the National German Exam? Answer
To pay for the NGE, Go to the NGE product in the AATG online store. Enter the total number of exams ordered and your registration confirmation number and school name. Click “Add Item”. If you are not a member of the AATG, add the Non-Member Sponsor Fee. Proceed to “Checkout". Provide required information and select payment type. If paying by Check or Purchase Order, click "Check/Money Order" or click "Credit Card" and provide card information. Click “Proceed to Confirmation” to review. Click “Complete Order” to access your invoice/receipt.

If you have any questions, please call the AATG office at (856) 795-5553 or contact us. Hide▲

Administering the Exam

How is the National German Exam delivered? Answer
Since 2014, the Exam is an electronic exam, delivered on an online platform that allows for the addition of video clips as authentic source material for exam questions. This delivery system also gives students the ability to pause audio and video materials, and replay portions as needed within the allotted 40 minutes. Eliminating the paper burden inherent in the old pencil and paper format is also part of AATG's green initiatives. Hide▲

When is the 2021 National German Exam administered? Answer
The NGE may be administered at any time during the exam administration period. The exam administration period for the Level 2, 3, and 4 exams is December 1, 2020 to January 30, 2021. The Level 1 exam administration period is April 5 to May 4, 2021. View the complete NGE Calendar. Hide▲

Why can’t the National German Exam be administered later in the year? Answer
The results of the NGE Level 2, 3, and 4 Exams are used to determine the recipients of the AATG/PAD Study Trip Award and the Pädagogischer Austauschdienst requires that winners be determined by early spring. Level 1 students are not eligible for the Study Trip Award. The exam period for Level 1 is in April. Hide▲

Who administers the National German Exam? Answer
The Exam is administered under the supervision of an appropriate proctor. An appropriate proctor is generally the teacher of record. The school's testing or guidance staff or an administrator may administer the Exam. Knowledge of German is not necessary. For more information on proctoring the Exam, download the National German Exam Administration Manual. Hide▲

How can the National German Exam be administered if our school is online or using a hybrid model? Answer
Given the fluid situation with schools given the pandemic, the AATG Board of Directors has made modifications to the Exam administration procedures. There are two options in addition to in-school administration: teachers may proctor the exam remotely using a video conferencing platform such as Google Meet, Zoom, Skype, Canvas Conference; or the exam can be administered under the supervision of an adult proctor who may be a parent, guardian, or other responsible adult. For guidelines on remote testing, download the National German Exam Administration Manual. Hide▲

What are the hardware and software requirements needed to administer the exam? Answer
Each student must have use of a computer that has access to the Internet. Each computer station should have a set of headphones or earbuds so that students may hear the audio portion of the exam. Teachers should review the System Requirements and ensure that all software and hardware components are compatible with the Quia format. Before Exam administration, make sure that the Practice Exams properly load and function on the computers to be used on Exam day. If the practice exams do not function properly after verifying technical requirements, contact your school’s technical support service or contact National German Exam technical support for assistance. Hide▲

What can I do if there aren't enough computers at my school for every student? Answer
Schools having an insufficient number of computers to administer exams to all students at once may administer the exam to a small number of students over multiple days. Students may also take the Exam under appropriate supervision using their own devices. Schools with insufficient hardware or software requirements may choose to administer the Exam in another location, such as a local library or college. For assistance in locating an alternate testing site, contact Hide▲

What can I do to avoid running into any issues on Exam day? Answer
Since the Practice Exams function the same way that the real Exam does, make sure that the practice exams properly load and function on the computers to be used on exam day. If possible, schedule the test earlier in the Exam administration period in case there are unavoidable issues, like a power outage or school closure. Hide▲

How long is the National German Exam? Answer
The Exam lasts a total of 85 minutes. Each section of the exam is timed. Section I is 40 minutes long and Section II is 45 minutes long. The sections may be administered in any order. The Exam may be administered on one day or over two days. Hide▲

How do I distribute usernames and passwords to students? Answer
Teachers who register for the Exam receive guidelines on this by e-mail. Student usernames and passwords are also available in the teacher's NGE Quia account online. Teachers may distribute the usernames and passwords to students prior to Exam day, but the secret words are not to be given to the students until they have logged into the exam on exam day. Refer to the Administration Manual for detailed guidelines on how to distribute usernames, passwords, and the secret word. Hide▲

A problem occurred during the exam administration. What do I do? Answer
Technical support for the National German Exam is available to assist with any questions you may have. Refer to the Administration Manual for complete contact information for National German Exam technical support. If any irregularities occurred in the exam administration or a student was provided an additional attempt, you must file an online Testing Irregularity Report. Student scores may be disqualified if irregularities are not reported. Hide▲

Troubleshooting Technology

What should I do if there is a technical issue before Exam day? Answer
Make sure that the practice exams properly load and function on the computers to be used on exam day. If the practice exams do not function properly after verifying System Requirements, troubleshoot the error using this guide. If the issue persists, contact your school’s technical support service or contact the National German Exam technical support. Hide▲

I click on a link to a video/audio and nothing happens. What's wrong? Answer
This issue is usually caused when the browser's pop-up blocker is turned on. Make sure that the pop-up blocker is turned off and no other security browser extensions or add-ons are preventing the window from opening. You may have to refresh the page or close and reopen the browser. If this issue persists, contact us. Hide▲

The video/audio opened, but the window is black. Answer
Make sure that the device being used meets the System Requirements. There may be issues with video playback if these requirements are not met. If the computer meets the requirements, it is possible that web browser extensions are interfering with video playback, especially if Firefox is being used. Try disabling all non-essential browser extensions. You can find a guide on your browser's website. You can also try testing video playback in a different browser, like Chrome. If the issue persists, contact us. Hide▲

The video/audio opened, but it takes a very long time to load, and/or the videos play very slowly. Answer
This issue is usually caused by a slow internet connection or by a local limit on bandwidth. Check with your school's technology support to ensure bandwidth is not limited for the duration of the Exam. It may be a good idea to schedule the Exam on a day and time when your local server is not under heavy use. Hide▲

The video is working but there is no audio. What do I do? Answer
Check to make sure that headphones are plugged in correctly and that the volume has been turned up. Make sure that audio has not been muted. Most browsers are able to play audio recordings. However, if your browser cannot or if there are issues, try installing or reinstalling an audio plug-in. For more information, view the Computer System Requirements page. Hide▲

Study Trip Award

What are the AATG/PAD study trip awards? Answer
For 60 years, the Federal Republic of Germany, through the Auswärtiges Amt and its Pädagogischer Austauschdienst, has provided the AATG/PAD Study Trip Awards. Prizewinners receive round-trip group transportation from Newark or New York to Germany, spend 3-4 weeks in the summer living in Germany, attend classes, and participate in various excursions to places of cultural significance. Find more information about the Study Trip Award and how to apply on the Study Trip Award page. View the NGE Calendar for more details on the Awards selection timeline. Hide▲

Who is eligible for the AATG/PAD study trip award? Answer
Requirements include: 90th percentile (or higher) on the National German Exam; minimum of a B average; at least 15 years old by June 1, 2021; must not live in a household where regular conversation is in German; must not have visited a German-speaking country for more than two consecutive weeks since the age of six; must be a US citizen or US permanent resident. Hide▲

My students participate in GAPP – why are they not eligible for the study trip? Answer
GAPP is also supported by German government funds. The Pädagogischer Austauschdienst, the award sponsor, honors students who would not otherwise have the chance to travel to Germany. Hide▲

I have a student who is eligible. How do they apply? Answer
Visit the Study Trip Award Application page for complete application details. Some chapters may have additional criteria for application. Check with your Chapter Testing Chair for details. Their contact information is available on score reports. Hide▲

How is a chapter nominee selected? Answer
A committee, headed by the Chapter Testing Chair, selects the nominee. Some chapters use additional criteria, such as a writing sample or oral interview. Contact your Chapter Testing Chair directly for more information. Their contact information is available on the individual student report sent to teachers. Hide▲

Who selects the AATG/PAD study trip award finalists? Answer
A national selection committee chooses award winners from among the chapter nominees. Learn more about the selection process here. Hide▲

Who accompanies the study trip award winners to Germany? Answer
AATG members chaperone students to Nürnberg or Kulmbach and serve as liaisons to the German course directors in Germany. If you are interested in being a chaperone or learning more about the program, please send an email to AATG. Hide▲

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