Useful Tips for the Writing Part of the German Goethe C2 Exam

In this post, I explain important rules for the writing part if you are planning to take the German Goethe C2 exam: GDS (Großes Deutsches Sprachdiplom).

Descriptors of German C2 Writing

The Council of Europe developed the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) that contains the descriptors, i.e. what you should be able to if you wish to pass the C2 writing part (“I can write”):

  • a clear, smoothly-flowing text in an appropriate style.
  • complex letters, reports or articles which present a case with an effective logical structure which helps the recipient to notice and remember significant points.
  • summaries and reviews of professional or literary works. (Source: CEFR)

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How the Writing Part Is Structured

The writing part consists of 2 parts. The first part is about vocabulary (synonyms, change word categories, expressions). You receive a text with 10 bold expressions that you have to rephrase or change its category (verb to noun…). You have 20 minutes for this part. (If you are faster, you will have more time for the second part!)

The second part is the most difficult one. You always get 4 topics. You have to choose one!

The first 2 are general topics that matter in nowadays life, for example transport (means), (bilingual) education, health, work (from home), learning, social competences, pollution…

The last 2 topics, on the contrary, refer to literature the Goethe Institute has chosen for the current year. You have only 60 minutes for this part!

In this post, I am going to concentrate on the second part, and herein on the first 2 topics (general matters).

What You Have to Do in This Part

Among the 2 topics proposed, choose the one you are more familiar with (you have more knowledge and/or a clear opinion about, you have experience with…).

The situation is the following: You have heard or watched a debate about the topic chosen and you are given 3 statements (opinions) out of this debate. Usually there is one positive, agreeing statement, then there is one negative statement and there is also a different one that could be a synthesis/fusion or a complete different opinion. You have to discuss/mention/quote these 3 points in your composition!

What Is Important/Structure

Before you start writing your text, I recommend to make a small sketch with the points you want to mention in the order you want to follow through your composition.

0. Salutation (and farewell at the end) according to the task.

1. Introduction: who, what, why, about what (= topic), 1-3 sentences (ca 10 %)

2. Main part: mention/rephrase the 3 statements and give your personal opinion (useful phrases for an opinion piece, for a reader’s letter) about them. Do you agree or not? Why (not)? Support your opinion with arguments and examples! (70-80 %)

Example: Quote (or rephrase or explain) the first statement and give clearly your opinion about it (pro or contra). Then give arguments and examples (i.e. from your own experience) that support your opinion. Thereafter, the second statement of the topic follows. Usually, it is opposite the first statement, so you should (dis)agree but always be consistent with your opinion given before!

3. Conclusion: summarizing/finishing/general opinion/conclusion (10-20 %).

After finishing your text, if you still have time, I recommend strongly you revise it. Look for possible grammar and spelling mistakes! You can my checklist when practicing before the big exam.

Download now for free my composition example that I have written for topic 2, available in this model test of the Goethe Institute. 🙂

Download “Example of the writing part of the Goethe C2 exam”

Goethe-Schreiben-C2-Teil-2.pdf – Downloaded 4895 times – 104.15 KB

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