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Everything you need to know about the Goethe exam in 2021

In the following article you will encounter everything you need to know about the Goethe exam. I will tell you what exactly it is, why you need it, what it looks like and most importantly how to pass it. If you are thinking about taking the Goethe exam, but still have open questions, or if you are unsure if you`ll be able to pass the test – look no further! All your questions will be answered in the section below.


Now you might be wondering….

What exactly is the Goethe exam...?

The Goethe exam is a highly regarded German language test that will determine your language proficiency. You can take the Goethe exam on all levels (A1 – C2).

…and why do I need it?

You need the Goethe exam as an official prove for every matter that requires a certain level of German skills, for example:

  • Integration and residence permits (A1, A2, B1)
  • Work permits (A1, A2, B1-B2)
  • Swiss passport (B1)
  • University admission (C1)
  • Recognition of foreign diplomas (B2 / C1)

And here’s the best part:

Where is the Goethe exam officially recognized?

The Goethe exam is officially recognized in all German speaking countries (Switzerland, Germany, Austria). It is highly regarded by companies, government authorities, schools, and universities.

Now let’s dive a little deeper into the exam structure

What is the structure of the Goethe test?

Depending on which language level you’re taking the exam, the structure will differ. The tables below will give you more details on your language level.

Goethe A1 exam structure

Goethe exam structure A1

Goethe A2 exam structure

Goethe exam structure A2

Goethe B1 exam structure

Goethe B2 exam structure

Goethe C1 exam structure

Goethe C2 exam structure


Now you might be wondering…

How long does an average learner have to study for each level?

 Here’s the deal:

Typically, each language level can be broken down into two parts.

As an example:

To reach the language level A1 you will have to complete the course A1.1 and A1.2.

German level A1.1

For the level A1.1 a course usually consists of 16 sessions of 90 minutes.

If you would have 2 sessions per week, you could complete the A1.1 course in 8 weeks.

German level A1.2

For the level A1.2 you would need another 16 sessions of 90 minutes – so in total another 8 weeks to reach A1.2

That means, in only 16 weeks you can reach the level A1.

If you choose to visit an intensive course, reaching an A1 level can be accomplished even faster.


Sounds not bad, right?

Feeling ready for the exam!?

Then it’s time to take action

Where can I take the Goethe exam and how do I register for it?

In Zurich, the Goethe exam is offered here:

Zürcher Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften (ZHAW)

Zentrum Deutsch als Fremdsprache

Lagerstrasse 41/45

8004 Zürich

Tel.: +41 58 934 61 85

Fax: +41 58 935 60 90

Important: Keep in mind that the ZHAW only runs 5 exam sessions a year and that you must register in time for the exam (registration dates can be found below).

When does the Goethe exam take place?

You can already register now on the website for the upcoming Goethe exam session which will take place from 18th of January to 6th of February 2021.

You can only register online for the exam. Go to, scroll down a bit and then hit the orange button to register.  



The next Goethe exam dates in Zurich, Winterthur & Horgen can be found here

How much does the Goethe exam cost?

Thank you for reading my article! Drop a comment if you liked it or if you still have a question.

Hear you soon,


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