Best ways to hop from B1/B2 to C1 level

Hi, perhaps that is quite frequent topic, but I would like to personalize it a bit myself.

I find it easy to listen to Podcasts, read & watch films in target language. Still I think it is not enough. For example with German. On the one hand I think that I need more like "real work" than just listening, hanging around with this language. On the other hand, if there is really hard work, it's possible that I quickly lose motivation...

Still I think that Italki will help me with it. I will try to WRITE in my direct language and also find some language partner to TALK to in target language. I see that this two areas I am most neglecting, so this should improve the B2 level to C1.

I wonder what more I can do. Writing a diary in target language should be good. And what, like post one entry in a few days here on Italki? Or maybe there are some better ways to do this, but I think there is no such feature here that you are writing a diary and people are correcting it on the go. That would be great, but propably it's a task for your personal teacher.

The other thing is I want to start going to Couch Surfing gathering once again and really push myself to speak in other languages.

Would you like to share some of your experiences?


Jun 29, 2014 10:20 AM
Comments · 5

Well I have got one handicap, and that is that I am always really quickly fluent in speaking a foreign language. So, I have no real advice for you here. But one thing that is really challenging is making translations. Go and find some (light) news article in English, and translate it to German. The thing here is that you are forced to look for new words and new constructions outside the comfort zone of what you already know.


By the way, about exams, I know that exams are just a snap shot of your knowledge, but they are a neutral and exact figure. Hence I like to have that figure. My German friends always say I am totally fluent in German, but they are biased, I would doubt that if my German was crap they would tell me. :)

June 30, 2014

What Valentin suggested sounds good but I'd suggest to stay away from dialects. German dialects sometimes don't really sound like normal high German.

But if you understand normal colloquial German, why don't you try some more demanding texts or other sources? Read Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung or die Süddeutsche Zeitung, science reports (although they might be too difficult).

Write in German (eg argumentations, mediation, summary etc..), chat on a regular base with others in German (orally and written). Just remember what you did to achieve this level in English.  It's just a matter of practice^^

June 29, 2014

If you find watching regular movies too easy, maybe you could challenge yourself with movies with less general language: historical movies, movies with a lot of slang or with different accents. However, I'm not sure if there are different accents for the German language.

June 29, 2014

Currently I am not preparing for any exams, I just wanted to put the level as thing that we can refer to. But perhaps in the future I will do the C1 exam, it can help me to motivate myself. You know, that the goal you can reach for.

As for your case Chris I think the best way is to always do some before-exams, so the exam and the level should not surprise you. And if you see that maybe B2 is too low, you check online for C1 exams and see how it goes. Later you can post your written answers here and get the feedback.

Still, I hope that you have done well and the mark on the test doesn't matter it how you perform in this language in real life :) 

June 29, 2014

Hi Haplo, Are you preparing for the C1 test? The Goethe C1 test?


Actually when I was studying German, I doubted between doing Goethe B2 and Goethe C1. I have done the B2 test a week ago, but it seemed that easy, that I was sorry for not trying C1 in one go. I am not sure it was really easy, though. I have not got the result back. Maybe I am over confident, and the teachers see mistakes I did not see.


Anyway, if you are going from B2 to C1, I am curious how big that step is. Is that test really a lot more difficult?


But, I am finished studying German, and focusing on some other fields I have to study. They are more exact science subjects, no languages for the moment. I kind of hope I get a bad point for B2. I mean, I would like to have passed that test, but not with an 80%++ score. Then I would think I was a coward for not trying the heavier exam.

June 29, 2014
Language Skills
English, Esperanto, German, Polish, Spanish, Vietnamese
Learning Language
Esperanto, German, Polish, Spanish