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Course Levels & Placement Tests

If you already have (some) knowledge of the language, it would be advisable to take a placement test in order to determine from which level you should start.

In order to determine whether you should start from level A1/1, it would be advisable to take a placement test.

In principle, teaching will be carried out in the target language. In German courses, explanations in English will only be given in exceptional cases. In foreign language courses, the trainer may offer some explanations in German, as well.

This depends on a number of factors:

  1. course track, respectively course intensity
  2. your previous level of proficiency, i.e. the course level you start from
  3. passing grades in the previous course level, allowing you to move on to the next
  4. your willingness to concern yourself with the language outside the classroom (reading newspapers in the target language, watching TV, listening to the radio, interaction with native speakers of the language, etc.)

In order to determine the right course level for you, we recommend that you take a placement test. The dates the placement tests are scheduled for are available here.

A placement test is mandatory when registering for your first German course at the Language Center, except if you can produce a Goethe or ÖSD certificate.

If no placement tests are offered for the foreign language of your choice, you can carry out a self-assessment, based on our checklists.

If you are not sure what course level to choose, you can take a placement test in many foreign languages. You will find the test schedule at Course Levels & Placement.

If no placement tests are offered for the foreign language of your choice, you can carry out a self-assessment, based on our checklists.

People who are joining a German course at the Language Center for the first time and do not hold a Goethe or ÖSD certificate have to take a placement test upon registration.

Yes, you do, for the first German course you attend at the Language Center, except if you hold a Goethe or ÖSD certificate. (Exception: course level A1/1)

If you have previously attended a German course at the Language Center or hold a Goethe or ÖSD certificate, you can register directly for the next course level.

You can, but do not have to take a placement test in order to register for a foreign language course. You can sign up directly for the course level of your choice.

No, the placment test can only be sat in person at our Office. 

We recognize Goethe and ÖSD certificates in course level allocation, which means that these certificates replace the German language placement test. You can register directly for the next course level, as soon as the registration period has started. Please submit your certificate when registering in person.

If you should not be certain that your current level of language proficiency still corresponds to the one attested by your certificate, you are of course welcome to take a placement test during registration period.

Certificates issued by the Language Center are recognized in the admission process by the University of Vienna, the Vienna University of Technology and the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna. Thus, they supplant the German Supplementary Examination. You will be required to produce a passing-grade German certificate, level B2/2. The amount of time you will need to reach level B2 will depend on your starting level, on the course intensity and on your personal degree of motivation; with no prior knowledge of the language, you will need an estimated one to two years. You need to complete every course phase with passing grades, before moving on to the next.

Our course level system is based on the course levels of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR): A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2.

Most course levels are subdivided into two phases - in German, for example, level A1 is subdivided into phases A1/1 and A1/2.

Different numbers of course phases may be necessary to achieve each respective level in different languages. Thus, in foreign languages which use different writing systems (scripts), level A1 is subdivided into 3 course phases. As a rule, higher levels in foreign languages are also subdivided into 3 phases.

It is only after successful completion of the highest phase of every course level, e.g. A1/2 in German, or B1/3 in French, that a specific level of proficiency according to CEFR is achieved: A1, respectively B1, in our examples.

See Course Levels & Placement

Our courses are designed didactically as building blocks. We strongly recommend progressive completion of all successive course phases and levels in foreign languages.

Passing-grade completion of each course phase is a pre-requirement for advancing to the the next phase in our German courses.

The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) is a classification of language proficiency levels in the process of foreign language acquisition, created by the European Council. The purpose of this classification is the international comparability of language proficiency levels.

CEFR includes three steps: basic step A, intermediate step B and advanced step C. Each of these steps is, in turn, divided into 2 levels. Thus, there are a total of six proficiency levels according to CEFR: A1, A2, B1, B2, C1 and C2.

Detailed information is available on the website of the European Council.

Which level of proficiency you will be required to achieve will depend on your personal objectives and/or the specific requirements of institutions/organizations (e.g. your university). There is no stringent necessity for you to reach level C2 in order to be able to communicate adequately in a foreign language.

The aim of our courses is for participants to reach and enhance communication skills in general situations of life. Simple, every-day communication is already possible in the A levels. For professional communication, it is advisable to gain proficiency in the B levels. C-level courses provide proficiency in high-level communication in the academic environment and aim at near perfection in the language.

We do not offer brush-up courses. If you learned the language at some point in the past, we recommend that you take a placement test in order to determine from what level to start.

If no placement tests are offered for the foreign language of your choice, you can carry out a self-assessment based on our checklists.

See Course Levels & Placement

The German courses offered at the Language Center are geared on preparing participants for university programs of study in German. It is therefore very important for you to reach equally good proficiency levels in all four language skills (reading and listening comprehension, writing and speaking). In order to successfully achieve this course objective, we are very mindful of harmonizing our groups in terms of level homogeneity. This renders placement tests stringently necessary (except if you hold a Goethe or ÖSD certificate; or have no previous knowledge in German).

The German placement test is an assessment of your speaking and writing skills. It includes a short conversation, a multiple-choice test and a writing task.

The test lasts for approximately 30 minutes and is carried out at our premises during office hours. You do not need an appointment.

Participants of our February- and Summer-Intensive courses take their exam on the first day of the course.

No. Our counseling interviews for Austrian sign language, English, French, Italian, Russian and Spanish are only offered as supplementary support for your self-assessment.

  • How does the test take place?
    The placement test lasts for approximately 30 minutes and includes a written and an oral part.

You can carry out a self-assessment based on our checklists. Perusal of the relevant textbooks can also provide insight.

Taking the placement test repeatedly is possible for foreign language courses.

NB: In the case of German courses, you can only re-sit the placement test six months after your first test or your latest end-of-course test.

Taking the placement test repeatedly is possible for foreign language courses.

NB: In the case of German courses, you can only re-sit the placement test six months after your first test or your latest end-of-course test.

No preparation is necessary.