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Test Prep Classes

At the South Bay Deutscher Schulverein, we have been offering German language exams from the Zentralstelle für Auslandsschulwesen (ZfA) and the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG) for many years.  

Every student is at a different level with unique strengths and weaknesses. Hence, our test teachers will advise each student on which exams they are ready to take. Not only is the level of German important, but also other factors like maturity, age, as well as political and cultural awareness have to be considered. 

Learn more about German language exams.

AATG Exams

The National German Exam (NGE) by the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG) is a nationally administered exam for middle school and high school aged students.

The AATG exam focuses on listening and reading comprehension. There are 4 levels of AATG exams offered each year. SBDS classes for high school students focus on developing the vocabulary, skills and strategies needed to become more proficient in German. To do well on the AATG tests, students need to understand enough of the vocabulary to identify the main idea, find supporting details, project beyond the text, and identify the intended audience.

AATG tests provide a means of comparing students of German in all regions of the country. The exam offers individual diagnostic feedback, rewards students through an extensive regional and national prize program, and creates a sense of accomplishment.

AP German test Prep

In this class, advanced teen students prepare for the AP German test. AP German  enables high school students to meet the UC College Board A-G requirements for foreign language studies through their German language studies at the South Bay Deutscher Schulverein.

SBDS does not host an AP German test. Students wishing to take it, register in early October for the AP German test through one of the local south bay high schools that offer the AP German test.

Deutsches Sprachdiplom (DSD) tests

SBDS test preparation classes also prepare students for the two competitive DSD Deutsches Sprachdiplom tests from the German Government’s Zentralstelle für das Auslandsschulwesen (ZfA). These are globally administered exams for advanced students who intend to study in Germany.

We are gold certified  to offer the DSD tests and complete annual staff training to stay up-to-date on the latest teaching methods and exam standards to maintain these credentials. 

  • The DSD I test is required for admission to Studienkollegs (1-year college preparatory institutions) in Germany.
  • The DSD II serves as proof of German language proficiency required for admission to a German and for many Austrian and Swiss universities. Students still need to satisfy the academic requirements for admission to a German university.

To prepare students, teachers focus on the four core skills that will be tested in both DSD exams – listening, reading, writing, and speaking. DSD prep classes emphasize grammar and vocabulary and include practice tests.


Classes are generally Saturdays from 9am to 12pm with a 30-minute recess. Some of the test prep classes are offered at different times on Saturdays.

There is ample green space on campus for students to enjoy during recess. And students can purchase snacks from the “cake table” during recess, too.


Tuition is $440 per semester, plus a small fee for textbooks. Sibling discounts are offered.


Textbooks are procured directly from Germany and sold at cost to students. Each class typically has a course book and a workbook, selected each year by the teacher from renowned publishers of German language course books. In addition, students are encouraged to check out German books and media from our library at no additional charge.

What our students say

My German teacher makes learning German interesting by always being in a good mood, being supportive and making the activities fun. I’m learning German to communicate with my German friends and family.


9th grade

Learning German will help me not get Alzheimers 🙂 I want to master a second language and possible work / study in Germany in the near future. My teacher creates a fun learning atmosphere and prepares fun and creative warm-up activities.


8th grade

I’m learning German to understand and communicate with family and relatives, and possibly go to college in Germany! In class, we do many projects and we do activities where we present the results.


9th grade

I’m learning to speak German better because I want to speak to my grandparents in Germany better and because I might want to study in Germany. My German teacher makes it interesting by letting us create fun presentations.


8th grade

Learning German will help me go to college in Germany. We do grammar exercises and write essays in class. I want to improve my vocabulary and grammar so I can go to college in Germany.


10th grade

I want to immerse myself in German culture and communicate with some wonderful German people. With German I can interact with the German community, befriend Germans and experience German culture.


11th grade

Though the SBDS classes, I will be able to speak to people in Germany, pass the AP exam, and study abroad. It’s fun when we do Kahoots and interactive activities.


9th grade

German will expand my job opportunities, let me study abroad, visit family in Germany and travel to other countries. My SBDS teacher cultivates a friendly classroom environment that encourages everyone to learn by creating fun and exciting activities. We write often, give presentations, learn in various forms / lenses and play Kahoots.


10th grade

Learning German will help me better understand the world and its culture. Learning German will also help me to better communicate with my grandparents and possibly go to college in Germany. In class, we write essays, play some games and do “team” work. I have friends in class, so working in teams is fun.


10th grade