Last Updated on July 27, 2022
Deutschtest für Zuwanderer (DTZ) – the main exam for foreigners in Germany. It has actually two levels – A2 and B1, but level A2 is not necessary for anything.
You need certificate level B1 for unlimited residence permit, naturalization and for work.
DTZ takes place after all integration courses, but you don’t have to attend courses to pass the exam. If you feel ready, just sign up and pay.
DTZ is not carried out outside Germany. In other countries it is possible to take the Zertifikat B1 from the Goethe Institute. In Germany, the Goethe Institute also conducts its own exam, but not all cities have it. The Zertifikat B1 seems to be a little more difficult, but as far as I heard, the oral and written parts can be retaken separately.
Letters 1, Letters 2, Letters 3, Letters 4, Letters 5, Letters 6
Dialogues for B1 test 1, Dialogues 2
German picture description phrases and sequence
Picture description in German B1. Deutschtest für Zuwanderer
Everything about the #Orientierungstest (Test Leben in Deutschland) is here.
DTZ was introduced relatively recently (although it has been around for ten years already). The previous form was more complicated. Books for preparation for the previous form of the exam can still be found in libraries and in Amazon, so be careful when choosing.
What level has DTZ
DTZ is a two-level exam. Depending on the number of points scored, the applicant receives either a certificate with a B1 level, or a certificate with an A2 level. One of the parts – writing or oral – is decisive if the results are different in parts. It used to be said that the main part is the letter, now it is oral.
In my opinion, the tasks are not difficult, I would rate the DTZ as a lower level exam than the level B1 described in the European requirements. I know several people who, in reality, do not own B1, but they have a certificate.
At the same time, the simplicity of the tasks is compensated by the very limited time.
A book from Klett (such*) will help you prepare. It can be found in libraries. It seems to me that it alone is quite enough, if you write many letters and look through the topics of the dialogues and pictures.
There are listening and reading tasks in all sets of books for B1. So it is better to have grammar books, learn B1 words, than buy some expensive special books to prepare for the exam. You can take also many books in the library or download exams samples in Internet (Modelltests here or here or here).
*This is affiliate link. If you buy something, I receive a small money. There is no disadvantage for you, you pay nothing. New books in Germany have the same price
The first part is listening. There is no time to think, you need to quickly scan the task with your eyes, listen carefully to the text, quickly note the answer and immediately run through the next task with your eyes. Each track is repeated only once.
The second part is reading. Here you can and should save time for writing. The reading assignments are very simple. You can start writing by turning in the reading answer sheet. When I passed the exam, it was possible to do so. However, the forums sometimes write that examiners didn’t allow to write a letter ahead of time. Therefore, the best option would be to quickly look the subject of the letter at the very beginning – if there is such an opportunity.
The third part is a letter. The types of letters are limited to everyday life. Many of these letters every foreigner had to write or will write, because such situations often arise.
On the exam, you need to choose one of two letters. Particular attention must be paid to the correct design: the city, date must be indicated, the correct greeting and ending must be chosen.
For the letter is given half an hour. This is enough if you write on immediatly a clean copy and think at the same time, but not too much, that is, you need to already know WHAT to write. If you save 15 minutes from reading, then you will have enough time both to think a little about the content of the letter, and for the draft. But it’s still better to practice writing without a draft, writing only keywords on a draft, since there are stories how people do not have time to rewrite them cleanly and begged the examiners in tears to give them more time.
The oral exam takes place later, often in the afternoon. On the written exam, you may be given a paper with a schedule of the oral exam. You get also a partner to take the exam. Unfortunately your partner can spoil your exam if er / sie speaks too bad or too good.
It has also three parts.
The first is to tell about yourself (where from, how old, family, specialty). Usually they ask a couple of clarifying questions. The story should contain complex sentences, but not be too long. Don’t mention anything that you can’t describe, such as a complicated hobby or life situation. But it is also good if you say a few details that you would like to discuss.
The second part – you receive a picture and you need to describe it. Then they ask about the topic of the picture. For example, if the picture shows a family in the mountains or on the beach, then the next question will be “How do you like to spend your vacation” or “How do families usually spend their holidays in your country.”
Read about picture description hier.
The third part is dialogue.
For examiner important, that you can speak with each other, ask and answer questions and understand the topic.
The very form of the dialogue is not so important, the main thing is to say something and not let the partner drown himself in silence. For example, I had a topic “What materials are useful for learning German in courses, discuss it with a partner.” Instead of painfully squeezing out the idiotic dialogue “Hello, you know, our teacher asks about the materials …” my partner and I spoke about what can be used in general, then we asked each other a couple of clarifying questions, and the exam was over with full score.
I wish all those who take the exam to pass successfully.