DaF Test and Confirmation from the Goethe Institute Frankfurt

If you have read my previous post, then you know what we have been waiting for. Yes, after four weeks of no communication whatsoever from the institute, we finally got an official Einladung (invitation) for the German language proficiency exam yesterday.

We had signed up on 28 December and got it finally confirmed yesterday, on 24 January.

As instructed, I read the mail carefully and was advised to notify them of any necessary changes by 24 January, the same day we got the mail.

They did not give much of a deadline, did they. Reminds me a bit of the “Hurry up and Wait” principle, only in reverse order.

DaF Seite 1

DaF Seite 2

Even if I had discovered a mistake in her online registration, it would be too late now to correct it, based on this mail.

On its website, test takers are also advised that if registration and documents did not match, there would be no certificate issued.

In this case, our data was correct, and at this point, I can only say:

Wir wünschen Ihnen, liebes G0ethe Institut, auch viel Erfolg!

Die Elternkommission


DaF Test: Registration and Confirmation with the Goethe Institute Frankfurt

If you are looking for confirmation to your DaF proficiency test registration, check your  automatic response carefully. If you see the following words below in your mail, you are in.

Teilnahmebedingungen: akzeptiert

(eligibility requirements: approved)

Over the years, I heard from various sources about this lack of written communication between test applicants and the Goethe Institute in Frankfurt, once registration for the test has been made.

An outdated IT department sends out automatic responses in German, which clearly need an update.

As the test applicants are foreigners, I had wrongly assumed that they had just missed the written confirmation of their registration, or it might have ended up in spam.

Not so, it seems. I signed up my daughter on 28 December for the German proficiency test on 7 Feb. In response, I got a standard reply, listing my given data and asking not to reply to this e-mail.

Hinweis: Diese E-Mail wurde automatisch erstellt. Bitte antworten Sie nicht auf diese E-Mail.

(This is an automatic response. Please do not reply.)

So I contacted the Goethe Institute Frankfurt via private message on its Facebook page four days ago. It seems they have no social media manager, nor page administrator either.

Then I lost more time trying to find a contact e-mail address in regards to the test. No such luck. On the other hand, the contact e-mail address for signing up for a German course is clearly visible though…

I went back to the automatic response, and then I found it. In tiny writing, pressed between lines of data, I found it: Teilnahmebedingungen: akzeptiert

In spite of being German, I had a difficult time working my way through this. The registration confirmation procedure definitely needs improvement and a more customer-friendly service.

For a euro 200 test-taking fee, I expect more service, such as a clear statement of admission and links to important information.

The German School System – Elementary School

Over the years, a frequent question in conversation with ex-patriots is about the complex structure of the German school system.

This short outline covers the main parts of elementary schooling.

* Grundschule

All children from ages six to ten years old must attend a primary school (Grundschule). You cannot choose the school, instead your child will be assigned to the one closest in your district. This is usually in walking distance.

Before school admittance, all children are tested (Einschulungstest). In the old days, if a child could reach with his/her right arm around the head and touch the left ear, the child was often found suited mature enough to start first grade. The criteria has changed a lot since then.

Today, children have to go through various tests to show their physical, mental, emotional, and social capabilities. There are also “Kann Kinder” (capable children) who may start school earlier at the age of five, provided they turn six before 31 Dec in the same school year. There are also “Darf Kinder” (“may start school early” children) who may start school earlier under different guide lines (more bureaucracy).

First day of school tradition: the Schultüte


A common practice throughout all 16 states in Germany is giving the Schultüte or also known as Zuckertüte (definition: large cornet of cardboard filled with sweets and little presents given to children in Germany on their first day at school).

This tradition began in Saxony and Thuringia in the 19th century. Today, the average parents spend euro 69,52 on its contents ( with parents in the eastern part of Germany spending more). More parents (54%) in the West make the Schultüte themselves, in comparison to only 16% homemade Schultüten in the East.

The contents are most often school supplies, candy, plush animals, and other small gifts.

In primary school, children are taught to read, write, do maths, and they study local history, geography, and biology. Unlike most other countries, students also have religious instruction classes. In addition to their homeroom teacher (Klassenleiter/in), they have separate teachers for music and sport.

Very little homework is assigned – usually 30 to 40 minutes a day.

In the student’s fourth and final year at primary school, teachers evaluate the child’s next level of schooling in discussion with the parents. If the students seems apt for university education, then he/she will move directly into secondary school (Gymnasium). Those students who need two more years to develop their academic skills can continue middle school (Gesamtschule), where they can choose from three tracks: intermediate schools (Hauptschule or Realschule) or Gymnasium.

My previous post about kindergarten can be read here:



English Level Test EF Cambridge (EFCELT)

Für die deutschen Leser (gelesen auf XING):

Kostenloser Englisch-Einstufungstest für die Leveleinschätzung

EF Englishtown entwickelte zusammen mit der Universität Cambridge ESOL den EFCELT (EF Cambridge Englisch Level Test), der das Englischniveau anhand international anerkannten Standards einstuft. Jeder EF Student kann diesen 40-minütigen Test online absolvieren und erhält so eine detaillierte, anerkannte Einstufung des Sprachlevels, die sich nach den Kriterien des Gemeinsamen Europäischen Referenzrahmen für Sprachen (A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2) richtet. Der EFCELT wurde in 18 Monaten Forschung entwickelt und an mehr als 8000 EF Studenten in 14 verschiedenen Ländern erprobt.

For the rest of the world:

English Level Test EF Cambridge (EFCELT) is a free assessment test of your English language skills provided by Englishtown.

This EFCELT test was developed by EF Englishtown and Cambridge University to assess your skills on an international standard level. To attain a detailed and recognised level assessment, every English as a Foreign Language (EF) student may take this 40-minute online test. The levels are based on the European framework of language testing (A1, A2, B1, B2, C1 and C2). EFCELT has been tested on more than 8000 EF students in 14 different countries within its 18 months of research.

To take the free online test, click on Englishtown online Cambridge student quiz

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