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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tips for the TestDaF: Hörverstehen

3 Sections
25 Questions
40 Minutes

The second section of the TestDaF is listening comprehension (Hörverstehen). It is comprised of three sections. Before each section starts, you will receive a couple minutes to read over the questions. You should take this time to highlight the important parts of each question. Then, when the text begins, you already know what to listen for. Each text will answer the questions in order. You will hear the first two sections once and the third section twice. Each section increases in difficulty.

Hörtext 1:

For the first section, you will hear a conversation between two people, typically students. The questions (1-8) are all pretty simple, but you will need to write out the answers yourself. What makes this exercise especially easy is that the first speaker will ask all of the questions listed (1-8) almost verbatim. Then the other speaker will provide all of the answers.

Example Questions:

Welches Fach studiert der Student?
Welcher Kurs fehlt dem Student noch?

Tips:
  • Do not write out full sentences
  • Don't overthink it -- the answers are often just 1-2 words

Hörtext 2:

Next, you will hear an interview. It is typically between a journalist and one or two scientist(s) or researcher(s). This means that questions are more scientific in nature, but the way you answer the questions (9-18) makes it not too difficult. For each question, you just have to check off whether the statement it is true (Richtig) or false (Falsch).

Example Questions:

Dr. Müller findet es schwierig, Beruf und Familie zusammen zu bringen.
Die Interviewerin glaubt, dass Arzt einer der schwierigste Berufe ist.

Tips:
  • It moves fast, so use the time at the beginning to read all of the questions thoroughly
  • When the text starts, make sure to keep up
  • If you miss an answer, leave it blank and move on to the next
  • At the end, make an educated guess for any you missed -- you have a 50% chance!

Hörtext 3:

They have saved the hardest for last. In this exercise, you will hear a speech from a researcher or scientist about their work. The questions (19-25) are open-ended and typically require you to write out a longer answer. Luckily, you will hear the text two times, with a few minutes in between to collect your answers and figure out what is missing.

Example Questions:

Welche Vorteile hat Atomkraft im Vergleich zu anderen Energiequellen?
Warum ist die Abfallbeseitigung ein Problem bei Atomkraft?

Tips:
  • It's normal to only get half of the answers the first time, don't worry about it
  • Switch to a different colored pen for the second time the text is read
  • During the second time, check that all the questions you already answered are correct while also filling in blanks
  • Do not overthink it -- some answers are just 2-3 words

After the third section is over, you receive 10 minutes to copy your answers onto the answer sheet. For exercises 1 and 3, you do not have to write full sentences. Nearly all questions can be answered in 1-3 words. Do not stress too much about grammar either -- they just have to be able to understand your answer, it does not matter if you used das instead of der.

Good luck, and let me know if you have any questions!

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