Okay, you guys, as promised, here’s my (sort of) ultimate guide to the Telc C1 Hochschule Exam.
Brace yourselves, it’s going to be a long one.
First of all, I want to let you know that there are no tricks or shortcuts to passing it. It’s all
blood, sweat and tears aka HARD WORK. It took me about 18 months or as I mentioned 2,000 hours or more to reach this level of C1.
Compared to my last post, I want to share more about the test format, how many points you get in each section and tips on how to make the studying process easier.
– READY TO HUSTLE? –
1. LESEN/Reading (90 minutes/70 points)
a. Textrekonstruktion (6 questions/12 points)
You’re given a text of about 400-500 words. Your task is to find out what the next possible sentence is from the 8 choices (a-f) given. Two of them don’t belong. Now, this part of the reading comprehension was the hardest for me because the texts are not taken from a children’s book. They are usually scientific passages which means they will probably include words that you do not know. If you majored in Chemistry and the text is about that, lucky you. But if not, you have to guess like I did, haha. Well, not guess entirely.
There are some clues, of course. For example, there are dates involved. If 1822 is mentioned in the first sentence, guess what comes next? That’s right, the year 1823. There’s usually a chronological order to it so you have to discover the pattern yourself. Also, prepositions, conjunctions and other markers such as nach, aber, diese, etc. are important, so underline them in the text or in the choices. Don’t forget to read and re-read the sentence above and below the blank you have to fill in.
b. Selektives Verstehen. (6 questions/12 points)
You are given a longer text, about 650-800 words consisting of 5 paragraphs, to read. This time you have to choose a, b, c, d, or e, and answer, “In which paragraph does the author express _____?”
The key to this part is to scan and skim the questions and then the text, or read the whole text quickly, and then answer the questions. You have to find the exact sentence the question could be referring to. The answers are usually hidden so you have to read between the lines. Aside from that, what can be difficult is when you don’t know a word in the question, like Vermutungen, Befürchtungen, polemisieren, etc. I suggest that you start building up your vocabulary not only about these things, but in general, because it will really help you.
c. Detailverstehen + Globalverstehen. (11 questions/22 points + 1 question/2 points)
You’re given a very, very long text of about 1,000-1,200 words. It’s usually a story. Your task is to determine if the sentences given are true, false or not stated in the text. Some people find this part the hardest. For me, it was easier than the other two, lol. It really depends on your strengths. The key here is to forget all logical thought. I know, you’re going like, WHAT?!!, haha. What I mean is, if it’s written in the text that the earth is square and that it’s not round, you write that as true, even when in reality, it is round. You also have to make sure that it is stated in the text. If it’s true or false, ask yourself, “Where can it be found exactly?” Mark the sentence (or the area where it should be) and decide if it’s true or false.
After that, there’s one multiple choice question where you have to choose the correct headline for the text.
d. Sprachbausteine. (22 questions/22 points)
This is where your grammar, spelling and vocabulary comes in. You have to know what case you should use, the correct endings, how to spell the word correctly and which word fits, i.e. Nomen-Verb Verbindungen. Thankfully, this one’s multiple choice (a, b, c, d).
– 20-MINUTE BREAK –
2. HÖRVERSTEHEN/Listening (40 minutes/48 points)
Note: You hear the statements, interview and speech only ONCE so practice intense concentration before doing the exam.
a. Globalverstehen. (8 questions/8 points)
You’re given 10 statements but only hear 8 speakers. These speakers will each give their opinion about a topic and you have to find out which statement matches or summarizes their opinion best. The key here is to read the statements right away and mark the keywords. What makes this speaker stand out from the others? Underline that. Another tip is to find out if they’re for or against something. Add a + or – sign next to them. It also helps to organize the statements in your head as best as you could. Oh, this guy talks about vegan chocolates. But this other guy talks about vegan chocolates AND candy. Hmm, this other speaker talks about non-vegan chocolates.
Although this part is only worth 8 points, if you mess up one up, that means you’ve messed up another, so it’s not as easy as you think. I also take down notes throughout the whole Horen exam, so if I get distracted and miss out on what someone said, I get to go back to that unanswered question, review my notes and check. Doing this really helped me out.
b. Detailverstehen. (10 questions/20 points)
Next up, you hear an interview. This goes by very fast, so the minute you finish the first part of Hören, you have to immediately get yourself together and start reading the next set of question and underlining the keywords. When I went through this part, I got so confused that I wasn’t sure which number I was at anymore. That’s how fast it is. You have to be careful because the answers can be sort of similar to each other. Also pay attention to when the answers have nicht or keine in them.
c. Informationstransfer. (10 questions/20 points)
I feel like this last part is the easiest among the three because all you have to do is write down exactly what you hear. The only thing about it is that the speaker can drone on and on about the topic that you will sometimes be distracted and not know if the next answer is over or if he/she still hasn’t mentioned it. Sometimes I thought that the speaker already said the answer but no, it was 5 minutes later. It also helps when you don’t try to understand what the speaker is saying and just focus on the word that comes next. This note-taking exercise will be really helpful during university or in the workplace.
3. SCHREIBEN. (70 minutes/48 points)
You’re given two situations which you have to write about. Pick the one that you know more about so you can write at least 350 words. A tip I can give is to follow the recommended format which is what you’re usually taught in school: introduction, body, conclusion. Aside from that, at the preparation course I attended, they really drilled how a good essay would look like. To sum it up, it looked like this:
a. Introduction. Elaborate on or describe the theme, present the main question, explain what will follow.
b. Body. Give 1 main pro- argument, 2-3 arguments supporting it with examples, AND 1 main contra- argument, 2-3 arguments supporting it with examples.
c. Conclusion. Summarize the points you’ve made in the body and answer the question you presented in the introduction, give final statement based on what you’ve written.
Another tip is to make an outline before writing so you will be clear on the points you want to make. An extra tip is to use the Redemittel (given in the Telc C1 Hochschule books) and not use big words just so you can use them. Make sure it makes sense and that your essay ties up nicely together and stays on topic from start to finish.
– BREAK –
4. SPRECHEN/SPEAKING. (16 minutes/48 points)
Yay, you survived the written part of the exam!! Now comes the easy part.. for most people. I’m not the type who likes to talk a lot, I mean hello, that’s why I’m here, lol. I write. Unless we’re really good friends, I like to keep quiet. Anyway, for this part, it’s important that you practice with your exam partner or whoever you can practice your Deutsch with. It’s very, very helpful when you already know who you’re going to be paired with because you have to get used to each other’s voice, accents and the way you speak. My partner was Korean, but thankfully, we were well-acquainted already because we took the preparation course together, so yeah.
a. Präsentation. You know that whole essay format thing that you did for the Schreiben part? Guess what? It is really useful because you can use it for your 3-minute presentation! Follow the same format- introduction, body, conclusion, but don’t write the whole thing, and don’t list every argument. Two arguments and examples should be enough. Speak clearly so your partner can take notes and mention your theme at least twice in your presentation to help him/her out.
b. Zusammenfassung & Anschlussfragen. Now it’s your turn. Listen closely to what your partner says and make sure to write the main arguments. You don’t have to write everything she says, point for point. You just have to show that you understand what she’s saying. You also have to ask a question at the end. This can be a simple question. Here would be a good time to show off your Konjunktiv II (Hättest du, Wäre es, Würdest du.. ?)
c. Diskussion. The final part of the exam is to discuss a quote with your partner. These quotes are deep. In fact, they’re so deep that when I told my husband about the quote we were given in the exam, he was like, “#$@&%*!” No, haha, just kidding. He said that it was a really hard quote and that even he has to give it a few minutes of thought before he can answer.
BUT the good news is that you don’t actually have to understand what the quote means, you just have to show that both of you can have a ping-pong, give and take kind of conversation. Go ahead and ask your partner first how he/she feels about the quote or what does he/she think what it means. And while they ponder, you use those precious seconds to gather all your remaining brain power and think about what it actually means, haha. Once you’ve said enough, the moderator will tell you that the time’s up and you can expect the results in a month.
– GOOD LUCK! 🙂 –
So there you have it, guys, my guide to the Telc C1 Hochschule exam. In my next posts, I will write about the materials I used to prepare for the exam and the preparation course I attended. Stay tuned for that!
Read more here:
My Telc C1 Hochschule experience
Telc C1 Hochschule: I passed!