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German K–12
For Testing on or after 10/1/2023

Oral Interview

Test Format and Sample Questions

The German K to 12 subject area test is composed of two subtests. Subtest 1 assesses listening, reading, and writing skills as well as knowledge of the culture of German-speaking countries, the mechanics of the German language, and the teaching of German. Subtest 2, an oral interview, measures speaking skills. You must pass both subtests to receive a passing score on the exam. If you fail one, you may retake only that subtest.

Oral Interview (Subtest 2)

The oral interview takes approximately twenty minutes. The entire interview is conducted  start italics in German end italics . You may ask the examiner  start italics in German end italics  to repeat or to clarify information. Use of a language other than German during the interview will result in a lowered score.

The interview consists of four items testing daily communication skills and one guided conversation.

Table of Question Formats

Type of Question Sample Question
Daily communication
A short scenario involving an everyday situation will be presented by the examiner. You will be asked to respond to questions about the scenario.
Item 1
Guided conversation
The examiner will lead you through a conversation on one topic, dealing with survival needs, daily activities, and other areas that a speaker at the intermediate-high level could be expected to discuss.
Item 2

Scoring Guidelines: Oral Interview

The interview will be recorded and later evaluated by trained scorers. Scoring follows the Intermediate-High Level Scoring Guidelines below, which are based on the  A C T F L  Proficiency and Provisional Proficiency Guidelines (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, 1986). No partial credit will be assigned. No extra credit will be given.

Intermediate - High Level Definition Able to satisfy most survival needs and limited social situations. Developing flexibility in language production, although fluency is still uneven. Can initiate, sustain and close a general conversation on factual topics beyond basic survival needs but errors may be evident. Evidence of substantially appropriate use of past tenses, although mistakes in formation may occur. Subjunctive appears when appropriate, but not always used or formed correctly. There may be inconsistent coding of proper dative and accusative cases following prepositions. Attempts to expand discourse beyond short sentences and there is emerging evidence of connected, paragraph-length discourse for simple narration and/or description. Limited vocabulary may cause hesitation or unexpected circumlocution. Generally understood by speakers not used to dealing with foreigners, but repetition may be required [i.e., speech is at the advanced level, as per  A C T F L  Proficiency Guidelines (1986) for at least 50% of the interview]. Pronunciation and intonation provide a good classroom model. Accent is free of strong interference from the first-language or pronounced German dialect. Consistent mispronunciation of sounds such as /z/, /r/, /ch/ and diphthongization of vowels are not evident.

Oral Interview

Daily Communication

In this part of the subtest, the candidate will be asked to respond orally to each of four situations. Below is an example of the type of situation presented on the test.

  1. Sie haben gerade in einer Konditorei Kaffee getrunken und Kuchen gegessen. Die Rechnung war 7 DM. Sie geben der Kellnerin 20 DM, und sie gibt Ihnen nur 3 DM zurück. Machen Sie die Kellnerin höflich auf den Fehler aufmerksam!

    An appropriate response could be:

    "Verzeihung! Ich habe Ihnen 20 DM gegeben. Ich bekomme noch 10 DM."


    "Entschuldigung, ich glaube Sie haben einen Fehler gemacht."

    Answers will vary.

Guided Conversation

The examiner will lead the candidate through a total of eight questions on a single topic. The candidate will be given up to two minutes to think about the topic before the examiner begins.

The candidate should answer the questions as fully as he/she can while still speaking in as natural a style as possible. Below is an example of a topic and four questions that could follow.

  1. Topic: Mein Alltag

    1. Warum haben Sie dieses Thema gewählt?
    2. Beschreiben Sie mir Ihren Alltag!
    3. Vergleichen Sie Ihren jetzigen Alltag mit dem Alltag Ihrer Kindheit!
    4. Wie würde Ihr Tag aussehen, wenn Sie Millionär(in) wären?