The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) is the most widely used system for measuring language proficiency in German and other languages. The CEFR has six levels of proficiency, with A1 being the lowest and C2 being the highest. The levels are:
A1: Beginner – Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases. Can introduce themselves and others and ask and answer questions about personal details.
A2: Elementary – Can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g. basic information about oneself and one’s family, shopping, local geography, employment). Can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters.
B1: Intermediate – Can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc. Can deal with most situations likely to arise whilst travelling in an area where the language is spoken. Can produce simple connected text on topics that are familiar or of personal interest.
B2: Upper Intermediate – Can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in their field of specialization. Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party.
C1: Advanced – Can understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts, and recognize implicit meaning. Can express themselves fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions. Can use language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes.
C2: Proficient – Can understand with ease virtually everything heard or read. Can summarize information from different spoken and written sources, reconstructing arguments and accounts in a coherent presentation. Can express themselves spontaneously, very fluently and precisely, differentiating finer shades of meaning even in the most complex situations.
German Language Certification in Malaysia
Currently in Malaysia, the only German Language certification that is accepted in Germany is the Goethe-Zertifikat.
Goethe-Zertifikat: This certification is offered by the Goethe-Institut, the cultural institute of the Federal Republic of Germany. There are several levels of Goethe-Zertifikat exams, ranging from A1 to C2, and they are designed to test all language skills (reading, writing, speaking, and listening).