In order to prove your proficiency in the German language as part of your visa application, you need to present either B1 or B2 certificate depending on the required field.
The approved German language certification bodies are Goethe, Telc, ÖSD and ECL. They are all approved because they have been accepted by ALTE (Association of Language Testers in Europe). All four certification bodies test the same 4 skills: reading, writing, listening, and speaking.
The ECL (European Consortium for the Certificate of Attainment in Modern Languages) provides examinations in 15 different European languages. It is part of the European Union. The visa handbook (Visumhandbuch) issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Germany mentions clearly that the ECL is accepted to be provided to all German consulates and embassies globally. Kindly check section 1.5.5, page 444 here.
CareLend has partnered with the ECL to provide the German language examination in different countries including Egypt, Morocco, India, Pakistan, and the UAE.
The ECL is a very practical exam with a number of advantages compared to the other certificates, for example:
In the speaking section of the exam, every pair of students entering the exam are arranged and not randomly selected. Every applicant chooses his partner in the exam. This reduces the level of pressure on the students. No one will be surprised with a random partner in the speaking examination room.
The practical side: the exam tries to avoid the tactics that students use in the other certifications to “show off” at the expense of their random partner. Partners will be able to practice their approach before the actual exam.
In the writing section, students can enter the exam with a dictionary. The dictionary can be German-German or German-any other languages. It has to be a paper dictionary, not digital one. Also, it must be a general dictionary, not thematic; ie, dictionaries specialized in a specific field are not allowed. Nothing should be manually written in a dictionary.
The practical side: in real life, if you are not sure about a word or two while you are writing an essay, you may use a dictionary, why not in an exam.
In the listening section, there are two parts that get repeated twice. This is well compared to other exams that are more than double in terms of listening time, while parts don’t get repeated.
The practical side: in real life, if you ask someone a question and he didn’t hear you, you repeat your question, why not in the exam room.
In the reading section, all answers can be short and to the point. You don’t have to write full sentences. This is in comparison to other exams where only full sentences should be written.
The practical side: this section is focusing on comprehension, not your writing skills, so short answers can be accepted to prove that the sections are understood.
FAQ's about the ECL:
1- How much is the pass mark in the exam?
In order to pass the ECL exam, you need to score 60% as minimum average score for all 4 levels. However, the minimum score for every level is 40%. So if you score in the four skills 80%, 80%, 50% and 40%, the average is 62.5% and you passed the ECL. However, in other certificates, you failed the last 2 skills as they typically require 60% per skill as well. There is a higher chance of passing the ECL exam than the other exams.
2- How many ECL exams per year?
There will be ECL exam (B1 and B2) every second month starting February every year. So, there will be exams in February, April, June, August, October and December. It means if someone failed in one month, he doesn’t have to wait a long time until the next examination.
3- If I fail one skill and pass the rest, what will be the situation?
The ECL groups the 4 skills in 2 groups: reading and writing is one group, while listening and speaking is the second group. If you fail any skill in one group, you have to repeat the 2 skills of this group. For example, if you failed the writing section, you will have to repeat both the reading and writing. Similalry, if you fail the speaking for example, you have to repeat the speaking and listening.
4- Where are my papers going to be marked?
All exams will be marked in Europe. The speaking section will be marked by the local examiners, however, all recordings will be reassessed in Europe to make sure that the marks are fair. In the writing and speaking section, the marks will be set by 2 different persons in Europe, then the average will be taken to avoid any personal assessment bias.
5- Can I ask for my results be reassessed?
Yes. Fees are charged.
6- Can I review my own answers and check the marks myself?
Yes. Fees are charged. You will have to be present in one of CareLend offices. You can not record or type any question. You can just take notes. The review session is 45 minutes. A teacher from CareLend will be present during this review session to answer any question you may have
7- When is the deadline to register for an exam?
Typically, the deadline is one month before the exam date. However, the ECL allows for one extra week of late registration at additional fees.
8- Will CareLend provide revision for the ECL exams?
Yes, the revisions will last between 3-4 weeks. There are online and on-sight revision programs provided. All 4 skills will be fully covered as well as full examinations and answers.
9- How much is the cost of examination?
Kindly contact the local CareLend office to check the examination fee.