The DSD preparation classes are intended to prepare students who intend to study in Germany for the DSD (Deutsches Sprachdiplom), a globally administered test by the German government’s ZfA, Zentralstelle für das Auslandsschulwesen. This exam is offered at two levels:
1. DSD I is required for admission to Studienkollegs (1-year college prep institutions) in Germany.
The class serves students of the age of 12 to 15 years (8th through 10th grade). Students study different types of literature, get an insight of modern German history, and learn about the culture of the German-speaking countries of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. They review grammar and spelling, and expand their oral and written vocabulary. Over a two-year period, the students are prepared to take the third level of the Common European Framework of Reference of Languages (CEFRL) – the so-called Deutsche Sprachdiplom I (DSD I).
2. DSD II may serve as a proof of the German language proficiency required for admission to many post-secondary institutions such as universities in Germany. (Your student will still need to satisfy the academic requirements for admission to a German university, e.g. excellent high school diploma, AP classes, etc.). Certain age requirements for exam admission apply.
The DSD II class serves high school and college students (up to 20 years old). Building on their DSD I foundation or similar prior proficiency, the students progress from exploratory and descriptive use of language to critical analysis of current topics, like globalization, mobility, and 21st century learning. In class and at home, the students work with printed and digital media, including an online learning platform hosted by the German Federal Foreign Office. During the exam, the students will compose a two-hour persuasive essay and prepare two analytical presentations. Successful exam grades correspond to levels B2 or C1 of the CEFRL. A few of our alumni are already enrolled at German universities.
Download the DSD Flyer from Germany’s Federal Office of Administration.
The AP® German exam is administered in May each year. The course follows the College Board guidelines for the AP® curriculum. AP courses are considered college-level courses, and after passing the exam with a score of at least 3, the students may receive college credit.
Disclaimer: rules vary among state and private colleges, however, and there is no guarantee that they will receive credit from a specific college.
Both the DSD and the AP courses develop four core skills that will be tested in both exams: Listening comprehension, reading comprehension, written expression, and oral expression. The course curriculum comprises a thorough grammar and vocabulary review, practice exams, as well as classroom study with printed and audio-visual materials and textbooks as well as online study.
Parental Advisory: These are some of the most rigorous courses the GSEB offers, but they will provide successful students with distinct rewards for their post-high school options. Parents can support your student by following up on class topics and assignments, by encouraging them to do their homework (AP classes are usually 5 hours/week at high schools; we compensate for that with targeted homework assignments), and by speaking as much German as possible (if applicable) at home. In a school setting, this would be a daily one-hour class plus at least 5 hours of weekly homework. In the past, our students have done well with three hours of Saturday instruction plus about three hours of homework, but it is essential that they miss as few classes as possible, and complete their GSEB homework diligently.
Please see this page for more information about the benefits of AP testing.