Placement guidelines for German

Purpose of Self-Placement

Willkommen an UCSC. The purpose of this information is to help you place yourself in our German language courses. In the Fall quarter, students who wish to take German 1 (Beginning German) may enroll directly online, if space is available. Students who wish to take German 4 (Intermediate German) will need to come to the German Placement Interviews before the Fall quarter begins. In the Winter quarter, students may enroll in German 1A (Accelerated Beginning German) directly online. All other courses in the Winter quarter (German 2, German 5, German 119 (offered some years) and Spring quarter (German 1B, German 3, and German 5) require that students either take the prerequisite course at UCSC or complete a German Placement Interview.

What courses are offered Fall quarter?

Fall quarter we offer two regular German language courses:

German 1 and German 4.

Placement in German Courses, Fall quarter: September 20, 1:00-2:30PM, 250 Humanities and Social Science 2. Approximately 15 minutes to complete the interview-style placement exam. Written exam if necessary. Orientation begins promptly at 1:00PM.

German 1 (Beginning German) provides an introduction to the German language and culture. It is designed for students with no knowledge of German or for those students whose German skills are rusty and wish to review their German from the start. This course introduces basic German pronunciation, everyday vocabulary, basic knowledge of German nouns (subject, direct object, and indirect object forms), verbs (present tense), and some of the prepositions in German. Students practice oral skills such as introducing themselves, asking questions, ordering food, talking about themselves and their family, talking about their daily activities etc. In addition, students learn to read and understand simple texts using the vocabulary and grammatical constructions they are studying.

If you have not previously studied German or you wish to review the absolute beginning level, as described above, enroll in German 1.

German 4 (Intermediate German) helps students develop the four language skills--reading, listening, speaking, and writing--at the intermediate level. It is designed for students who have recently completed one year of college-level German or three years of high school German, or their equivalent. This course reviews and strengthens some basic areas of grammar (verb tenses, word order, case endings, prepositions), builds active and passive vocabulary through class activities and readings, improves listening comprehension through the exclusive use of German in the classroom and the appropriate use of audio-visual materials, improves speaking ability through the extensive use of small-group work, improves free writing through the regular assignment of short essays, and builds reading comprehension through the use of authentic, culturally appropriate texts of various lengths.

If you have recently completed one year of college-level German or three years of high school German (or Advanced Placement (AP) German, see below), you should enroll in German 4.

German 119 (German Media) is a German language and culture course at the advanced level. It is designed for students who have completed two years of college-level German or its equivalent (e.g. AP German with a score of 5 and some time living in Germany.) Using regular readings from the German newspaper Die Zeit, other newspapers and magazines, and on-line publications on the World Wide Web, this course is constructed as a true seminar. Students read articles of interest for each class session, write a brief summary of the main points, and then present the articles in class. Through questions and the ensuing discussion, the instructor attempts to amplify the particular topic and provide the relevant social, cultural, and political background appropriate to it. Over the course of the ten weeks, students are encouraged to read in a variety of topic areas, including politics, social issues, economics, philosophy, religion, the arts, and the sciences. By so doing, and keeping an individual vocabulary list, students greatly expand their reading comprehension and working vocabulary in a variety of fields.

If you have recently completed two years of college-level German, or its equivalent, and the topic of this course interests you, enroll in German 119. You will need to complete a German Placement Interview or receive the consent of the instructor. Consult the schedule of classes to find out when this course will next be offered.

What if I have taken Advanced Placement (AP) German?

Students who have taken the Advanced Placement (AP) Test in German and scored 4 or 5 most often begin our program with German 4. Occasionally, such students begin with German 119- German Media, if they are very comfortable reading and speaking

What if I belong in a course between German 1 and German 4?


If you have studied some German in college (less than one year of recent experience) or high school (from one to three years) and you do not feel prepared to begin with German 4, but also do not need to review the absolute beginning level, German 1, you should enroll in German 2 (Winter quarter) or the German 1A, 1B accelerated beginning German series (Winter quarter (1A) and Spring quarter (1B)). Students wishing to enroll in German 2 or higher should come to the German Placement Interviews. German Placement interviews are offered before the start of each quarter.

What if I want to start with a German literature course?


German literature courses are generally designed for students who have completed the equivalent of German 5--one and one-half years of college-level German. If you have recently done so, or have equivalent experience (e.g. strong AP German background), and wish to begin with a German literature course, you may do so. For specific information on the course you are interested in, contact the appropriate faculty member.

Information about German Courses, German Majors, and Study-Abroad Opportunities

More detailed information about the German program at UCSC is readily available. You may also contact any of the German faculty members by e-mail.

What if I would like to talk to a German language faculty member before the quarter begins?


There will be a brief orientation session held Fall quarter, before classes begin. Please consult the Fall Schedule of Classes for the time and place of the placement interviews for German. If you would like to discuss the German course you have chosen, your placement, or have any questions about the German Program at UCSC or the UC programs abroad, we would be happy to answer them.

We look forward to seeing you in our classes this fall...
und wünschen Ihnen alles Gute.