How do I pass German B1 while Having a 12-hour Full-time Job?

Wendy Chang 張雅鈞✈️
6 min readJun 12, 2021
Photo by Dmitry Ratushny on Unsplash

This sounds incredibly insane. I passed the German B1 test this March. The reason why I couldn’t believe is that I work almost 12 hours a day. By the time I got home, I am exhausted. The only thing I would like to do is falling asleep right away. There is no time for studying or reviewing. Then how can I still make it?

A Little About My Background

I work in a public relations agency in Taiwan and my client is one of the biggest luxury auto manufacturers in Germany and worldwide. The pandemic wasn’t too serious in Taiwan in H2 2020, so there were a lot of press events and activities. It was very “normal” that I worked 12 hours a day or even later. I started my German online courses in July 2020 and planned to take the Goethe Institut B1 test in March 2021. And yes, I passed, in 8 months.

I have learned German in college for 3 years. According to the course structure, I was supposed to have a B1 level when I finished the 3-year study. However, due to various reasons, I can barely read and write German, not to mention speaking fluently. Improving German has always been on my to-do list.

First, Know Your Goal and Why

You have to know why you are doing this. You want to pass a test. What for? For studying abroad? For working abroad?

My reason was quite simple: finish the thing I didn’t achieve in college. I started serving the German client last July and I told myself: if I have to give myself a reason to study German, then this is the time. Though later I found out most of the materials are written in English (of course!), I still went on the journey anyway.

If your goal is to communicate with German people in daily conversation, then my method may not apply to you.

I am preparing for a test, instead of learning a language.

Second, Decide How to Prepare

There are various ways to learn a language or say preparing for a test. You can study by yourself through books, apps, websites, etc. Or you can go to cram school, which is VERY popular in Taiwan.

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Wendy Chang 張雅鈞✈️

左手寫媒體寫公關,右手點戲點電影,翻譯遊走語言間,紅白拖要不停走。Writer, translator, and polyglot. PR and communication professional. Twitter: @wendychang1114