German Language: Levels 1 and 2

The German Language exams measure skills acquired from multiple semesters of studying German.

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The German Language exam is designed to measure knowledge and ability equivalent to that of students who have completed two to three semesters of college German language study.

Material taught during both years is incorporated into a single exam, covering both Level 1 and Level 2 content. ACE recommends 6 semester hours of credit for mastery of Level 1 content (a score of 50) and 9 semester hours of credit for mastery of both Levels 1 and 2 (a score of 60). Colleges may award different amounts of credit depending on the candidate’s test scores.

Knowledge and Skills Required

The exam contains approximately 120 questions to be answered in 90 minutes. Some of these are pretest questions that will not be scored. There are three separately timed sections. The three sections are weighted so that each question contributes equally to the total score.

The exam is administered in three separately timed sections:

  • Sections I and II: Listening
  • Section III: Reading

Questions on the German Language exam require test takers to demonstrate the abilities listed in each section below. The percentages indicate the approximate percentage of exam questions focused on each ability.

Sections I and II (40%)

  • 15% Rejoinders: Ability to understand spoken language through short stimuli or everyday situations
  • 25% Dialogues and Narratives: Ability to understand the language as spoken by native speakers in longer dialogues and narratives

Section III (60%)

  • 16% Part A. Discrete sentences: Mastery of vocabulary and structure in the context of sentences
  • 20% Part B. Short cloze passages: Mastery of vocabulary and structure in the context of paragraphs
  • 24% Part C. Reading comprehension: Ability to read and understand texts representative of various styles and levels of difficulty (e.g., passages of about 200 words; shorter pieces such as advertisements, signs, etc.)

Score Information

ACE Recommendation for German Language

Level 1
Credit-granting Score 50
Semester Hours 6
Level 2
Credit-granting Score 60
Semester Hours 9

Note: Each institution reserves the right to set its own credit-granting policy, which may differ from the American Council on Education (ACE). Contact your college to find out the score required for credit and the number of credit hours granted.

Add Study Guides

CLEP German Language Examination Guide

This guide provides practice questions for the CLEP German Language (Levels 1 and 2) Exam only.

  • PDF
  • $10.00



Study Resources: German Language

A study plan and list of online resources.


ACE Credit Recommendations

Recommendations for credit-granting scores from the American Council on Education.