German A1


Deutsch A1 is a general language exam that you can normally take after an average of 100 - 150 teaching units (45 minutes).  

Visa for immigrants joining their spouse in Germany

Do you need to prove your basic German language competence for a visa application so that you can join your spouse in Germany? Visa Offices at the German Consulates recognise the Start Deutsch 1 / telc Deutsch A1 certificate as proof of your language ability.

What can you do at level A1?

At level A1 you can communicate in a very simple way about needs of a concrete type (e.g. introductions, food and drink, shopping, say where you live.) You can use a few very basic grammatical constructions.

What is the structure of the examination?

The exam consists of a written and an oral part. The written exam lasts 65 minutes. The oral exam usually takes place straight after the written exam, without any preparation time.


Written Examination



Reading and writing

20 minutes

45 minutes

Oral Examination

usually together with up to three other candidates

11 minutes

* The exam Start Deutsch 1 was developed in co-operation between the Goethe Institut and telc GmbH.

Family reunion

Since August 2007 residence regulations require proof of basic language competence (A1) from immigrants who wish to apply for a visa to permit them to join their partner living in Germany. In June 2009 the Foreign Office instructed its foreign representations to recognise telc certificates as proof of language ability.

This simplifies the process for immigrants wishing to move to Germany to join their spouses. Soon there will be more locations where they can take the language test. telc has opened an office in Turkey and is co-operating with selected licensed partners locally.

Practice material

What is expected from you in the examination?

You can find out the details of the exam by looking at the mock examination telc Deutsch A1. This is a complete test (with answer key), which you can try out at home or in your lessons. In addition, you can read about the exam procedure and how the written test and oral performance are rated.

You can download the mock examination and the relevant MP3 files here free of charge.

Download mock examination (PDF, 1,2 MB)

Download listening texts (MP3, 7,67 MB)

Additional material

The brochure on learning objectives (Prüfungsziele / Testbeschreibung Start Deutsch) gives you detailed information about the necessary vocabulary and grammar skills you need and is available as a download.

learning objectives (PDF, 1,54 MB)

Ergänzend dazu bieten wir hier ein weiteres Handbuch mit Lernzielbeschreibungen, die speziell auf die Bedürfnisse von Zuwanderern zugeschnitten sind. Die hier beschriebenen Prüfungen gibt es als Übungstestsätze auf einer CD-ROM für Integrationskursträger. Diese Übungstestsätze wurden von der telc GmbH im Auftrag des Bundesamtes für Migration und Flüchtlinge erstellt. Auch in anderen Zusammenhängen kann das Handbuch von Nutzen sein.

Handbook Start Deutsch für Zuwanderer (PDF, 6,18 MB)