German Reading / Translation Exam

German Proficiency Exam for Reading / Translation Exam for Graduate Students

Date: Thursday, April 25, 2019
Time: 5-7pm
Location: WLH 115

Please notify Alexander Svensen, German Department Registrar, by Monday, April 22, 2019 if you plan to take the exam.


Students have 2 hours to translate, with the help of a dictionary, one or two texts of moderate length and difficulty (appr. 500 words total) into idiomatic English. Texts are taken from various disciplines, such as history, literature, or politics.

Sample Text 1 and Sample Text 2.

  • Please bring your own dictionaries; laptops or other electronic devices are not permitted.
  • You are expected to translate the complete text(s). Incomplete translations of 50 words or more will not be considered for grading.
  • You will receive a grade of “pass” or “fail.”


The reading/translation exam will be administered twice a year, usually the last Thursday from 5-7pm of the fall and spring semesters respectively. Exact dates are announced on this website.

How do I prepare?

Students are expected to be familiar with the following upper-level grammatical structures: passive, subjunctive I+II, and, in particular, extended adjective constructions

Students should be able to pass the proficiency exam after taking our German for Reading class, GMAN 100.

GMAN 100 can also be taken in the summer. It is offered through the GSAS and open to Yale PhD students only.

Alternatives to taking the reading/translation exam

Some departments accept a grade of B or better in GMAN 100 as an alternative to passing the reading/translation exam. Some departments offer their own translation exam.

Please inquire with your department about the requirements that apply to you.

NB: This is NOT the same test as the final exam that students take at the end of the German for Reading courses nor is it the same as the placement test (The latter is used to place students into the appropriate level before they start taking classes at Yale).


Questions concerning the exam should be directed Marion Gehlker, PhD, Senior Lector II, Coordinator for German for Reading.