top of page
YBIB map pink header

Tips for the A1 German Exam - Writing

Updated: Feb 1, 2023

Preparing for your A1 German exam? The good news is that you do not have to choose between TELC or GOETHE certificate yet as the exam "Start Deutsch 1" was developed by Goethe and TELC in cooperation. This article has some great tips on how to thoroughly prepare, not just for the exam, but also for writing in German in the 'real world'. To ensure that you ace the exam, make sure to also check out my other post Tips for the A1 German Verbal Exam.


A1 Goethe and TELC

Good news! There are only two parts in the writing section of your exam and part one is fairly easy. 😊


Part 1 – Fill out the form

You will receive a short introduction that you need to read carefully. Then it is up to you to fill in the form. All necessary information is given in the introduction. Try not to get hung up on the words you don't know. Focus on the words you do know and put them in context. This will help you to figure out the words that you don't know.

Example

Ihre Freundin, Eva Kadavy, macht mit ihrem Mann und ihren beiden Söhnen (8 und 11 Jahre alt) Urlaub in Seeheim. Im Reisebüro bucht sie für den nächsten Sonntag eine Busfahrt um den Bodensee. Frau Kadavy hat keine Kreditkarte. Schreiben Sie die fünf fehlenden Informationen in das Formular. Am Ende übertragen Sie Ihre Lösungen bitte auf den Antwortbogen.


Answers

Let’s have a closer look at the example. Make sure you read the instructions carefully too find the pertinent information.


Section 1: This section is asking you for the total number of people on the journey. The words Anzahl (number) and Personen (people) are very useful words, try to memorize them for the exam, as they are used very often in this part of the exam. (Answer: 4)


Section 2: In this section davon Kinder means out of all the travellers how many are children. Sometimes you have to see the connection between the sections as well. (Answer: 2)


Sections 3: This section asks you for Urlaubsort. If you don’t know what Urlaub is, try to focus on the parts of the word you do know – I am quite sure you’ve heart Ort before and this is then easy to decipher. (Answer: Seeheim)

Section 4: This section is tricky as they just stated that Ms. Kadavy does NOT have a credit card. Pay attention to words like keine or nicht as they help you to tick the right answers. So if she doesn’t have a credit card she can only pay cash. (Answer: bar)


Section 5: This section is asking when they plan to travel. You can use the same method you used for Section 3. Maybe you don’t know Reise but you most likely know Termin. (Answer: Sonntag)


Try not to take too much time with this task as you might need it for part two.


Part 2 – Short letter/E-Mail

In the second part you will need to write a short message to someone. It should only be 30 words long, which very often is not more than 3-5 sentences. Make sure you cover all the important information asked for in the instructions and use the appropriate greeting and sign off, depending if the message is formal or informal.


Example

Schreiben Sie an die Touristeninformation in Dresden: • Sie kommen im August nach Dresden. • Bitten Sie um Informationen über Film, Theater, Museen usw. (Kulturprogramm). • Bitten Sie um Hoteladressen. Schreiben Sie zu jedem Punkt ein bis zwei Sätze (circa 30 Wörter) auf den Antwortbogen. Vergessen Sie nicht den passenden Anfang und Gruß am Schluss.


Answer

Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren,

ich besuche Dresden im August. Könnten Sie mir Informationen über Theater und Museen schicken? Ich liebe das traditionelle Theater besonders.

Könnten Sie mir auch Adressen von guten 3 Sterne Hotels schicken?


Vielen Dank!

Mit freundlichen Grüßen

Sabine Erker

(43 Wörter)


It is OK to write slightly more but don’t write too much. More words sometimes also mean more mistakes. What is most important is to be sure that you covered all points they asked you for.


To prepare for this section, try to write as many short messages as possible. You will see it gets easier every time. When writing the exam try to save some time at the end of the exam to read through your text and check the verbs for correct conjugation and make sure they are in the right position in the sentence.



General German Writing Tips

Greetings for starting and ending a message

When writing anything in German, it is helpful to know a few greetings for both formal and informal occasions.


Formal + you don’t know who you are addressing:

Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren,

….

Mit freundlichen Grüßen


Formal + you know who you are addressing:

Sehr geehrte Frau Müller, (if you know the name and it is a woman)

Sehr geehrter Herr Müller, (if you know the name and it is a man)

….

Mit freundlichen Grüßen


Semiformal + you know who you are addressing:

Liebe Frau Müller, (if you know the name and it is a woman)

Lieber Herr Müller, (if you know the name and it is a man)

….

Liebe Grüße


Informal – writing to friends or good acquaintances:

Liebe Susi,

Lieber Tom,

….

Bis bald / Liebe Grüße



Building Sentences

NOUN + VERB

This structure happens very often in a German sentence – later it will become more complicated, but for A1 this is the structure of a good German statement. In this sentence the noun is in position 1 and the verb is in position 2. Later you will learn that having the verb in position 2 is very important as you won't always start a sentence with a noun. (i.e. Im Sommer fahre ich nach Dresden.)


Examples

Ich gehe.

Peter lernt.


As you can see from the example. You need to know how to conjugate verbs. Start with the most popular and most frequently used ones like:


arbeiten, bekommen, brauchen, einladen, fragen, gehen, …


NOUN + VERB + OBJECT

Now you can start playing with sentences and add an object.


Examples

Ich gehe in die Schule.

Peter lernt Deutsch.


Again, this can vary as you progress, but you need to practice your grammar and these examples can help you to build a strong foundation.


NOUN + VERB + TIME + PLACE

Once you have mastered that, you can progress further.


Example Ich fahre im August nach Dresden.


Try to remember that time comes before place in German, this will come in handy at a later stage but for now it also spices up your sentence writing a bit and you can already write more complex sentences.




I hope this guide has proved useful. I wish you all the best for your studying process. I hope you can enjoy it and have fun learning German – this language is actually way funnier than it’s reputation. 😉

Ich drücke euch die Daumen! (I wish you good luck!)


Eure Sabine





Sabine Erker

Sabine Erker is an online German language teacher, content creator, editor and podcaster. She holds several examiner licenses for TELC and ÖSD and prepares students for all common German language exams including Goethe, TestDaF, ÖIF, and more. Her podcast focuses on interesting topics for German learners and reaches listeners in over 80 countries worldwide.




Sources and Practice Test


1,098 views0 comments

Related Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page