Proficient use of language


Is able to understand a wide range of relatively long, demanding texts and can grasp implicit as well as explicit meanings. Can express him/herself spontaneously, fluently, and usually choose his/her words without any apparent effort; can speak clearly in an appropriate style on a wide range of general, academic, professional or leisure topics. Can speak clearly, smoothly and fluently, with a good structure, about complex subjects, using a variety of appropriate con-nectors and cohesive devices.



Understands practically everything he/she reads or hears without difficulty. Is able to summarise information from various written or oral sources and present them coherently, giving reasons and explanations. Can express him- or herself spontaneously, extremely fluently and precisely, as well as being able to highlight comparatively subtle shades of meaning when presenting complex facts.


Productive, autonomous use of language


Can understand the main points of conversations in which clear standard language is used, and when the subjects are familiar things from the world of work, school, leisure etc. Can handle most situations that arise when travelling in German-speaking countries. Is able to make simple, coherent statements about familiar subjects and matters of personal interest. Can talk about experiences and events, describe dreams, hopes and objectives, and explain or elaborate on personal plans and viewpoints.



Able to understand the main content of complex texts on concrete and abstract subjects, as well as discussions in his/her own specialist area of expertise. A normal conversation with native speakers is usually spontaneous and fluent, involving no great effort by either party. Can express him/herself clearly and in detail on a wide range of subjects, explain his or her view of a current topic, and state the respective advantages and disadvantages of various options.

Elementary use of language


Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very simple sentences in order to satisfy concrete, basic requirements. Able to introduce him/herself and others, and to ask others questions about themselves – where they live, what kind of people they know or what they own – as well as answering similar questions.


Able to understand sentences and common expressions used in connection with situations directly affecting him/her e.g. personal data, information about the family, shopping, work or the immediate surroundings. Can commu-nicate limited information in simple commonplace situations when only a basic, direct exchange of information about familiar everyday things is required. Uses simple structures to describe his/her own background.
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