Monday, April 21, 2008


I took the TestDaF (Deutsch als Fremdsprache) back in February and was told the results would be ready in 6 weeks. Heard nothing so wrote to the head of the school on Friday; got an e-mail saying the results had come 2 weeks ago and had to be collected.

The school is in the former East, reachable only by tram (trams being, of course, one of the great things about East Berlin). Took the U6 up to Oranienburger Tor, the M6 tram over to Landsbergerallee, the M8 tram into the wild (corner of Siegfriedstraße and something), and presently walked out clutching my certificate.

The good news is, I passed. Leseverstehen 5, Hörverstehen 5, Schriftlicher Ausdruck 4, Mündlicher Ausdruck 3. (5 is the top mark; 3 is the minimum for passing.) The bad news is, the Humboldt Universität requires a minimum of 4 in all sections of the test, so if I wanted to enrol there I would either have to take the test again or do some fast talking. So I am somewhat aggrieved; the parts of the test that went best were the ones calling on skills I had before I bothered to take a course (I could ALREADY understand the written and spoken language), while the weaker ones were precisely the ones I had hoped to strengthen by taking the preparatory course advertised online, only to be told I must take some other course instead. (Yes, this does seem petty. Well, I'm not all THAT aggrieved.)

I think this falls in the 'you don't need a brain, you need a diploma' category. It feels very good, having a certificate, much better than having to blather on about my familiarity with the German prose of 19th-century Prussian philologists. I wish I had more certificates. The head is filled with straw.


Anonymous said...


well, i know this isn't what you wanted, but take a moment to feel proud you at least passed. If you didn't you would have had to have been very ashamed of yourself no?

I got a 98 on a neru-bio test on friday too!


Jenny Davidson said...


Yes, do some fast talking...


Ithaca said...

SMB. Well, the main thing is, I made myself go through with it. I hate taking exame (or doing anything else) where I feel underprepared and unlikely to do well, so I was thinking of not going through with it. Using my father's death as an excuse ('My father has died, I'm distraught') when really it was the fact of being underprepared that made me want to cry off.

Anyway, congratulations on your 98.

JD, Yes, it does feel good having a certificate. My guess is having any sort of certificate puts one in a stronger position for talking one's way into things. Who knows, perhaps I could wave it at people and get a job.