Update: I took and passed the B1 Exam in December 2020. These were very helpful:
- I took SmarterGerman's B1 Exam Preparation course taught by Michael Schmitz (the person in the YouTube video).
- For speaking practice, I hired Andrea from Lively German. She taught me a general flow for the speaking part, both for the individual 'speech' and the conversation partner dialog. We practiced speaking on actual previous exam topics.
I found this awesome YouTube video on how to prepare for the German B1 Exam.
Sharing my notes. Hope you find them helpful.
1. Search for, download, and do trial exams online – to get familiar with what to expect and save time from having to decode the instructions.
2. Preview oral exams on YouTube. Search “B1 German Oral Exam” – watch repeatedly until you are familiar with the structure, what they ask for, and how to answer them.
- Do not read the entirety of the text. You probably only need to understand 5 to 10% of the text to get the answer. Read the title, subtitle, and scan for 1 minute to get an idea of what it’s about.
- Then, look at first question or task to identify keywords. Look for the keywords in the text to get the answer.
- Practice without headphones because this is how it is in the real-life exam. Audio quality is not so great.
- The listening part is one of the hardest parts of the exam.
- Learn how long and how many lines it takes you to write a certain amount of words. Usually, 80 to 120 words are required. Practice writing 1 sentence per line. i.e. Figure out, when you write: 80 to 120 words = X lines
- Don’t write more than required. The more you write, the higher the chance for mistakes.
- Preview oral exams on YouTube. Search “B1 German Oral Exam” – watch repeatedly until you are familiar with the structure, what they ask for, and how to answer them.
- Prepare possible topics in English and translate this to German words. Practice.
- Communicate w your exam partners. The test is not about saying something brilliant, but about showing that you can communicate.
- If they are much better than you, you can ask for help. “Entschuldigung. Kannst du mir helfen?”
- If they are much worse than you, either say you can’t understand and / or offer to help. “Entschuldigung. Ich verstehe dich nicht. Noch einmal bitte.”
- Usual structure of oral part
- 1. Introduce yourself (least important, but ace it)
- 2. Present something. For example, doing sports is healthy, don’t eat sugar, being a lonely child, disadvantage v advantage of this vs that.
- 3. Plan an event. For example, communicate how you would plan a party, a picnic, etc.