In my last article, I mentioned I passed Goethe-Institut German B1 test last March, while having a 12-hour full-time job. Within less than 1 year, I passed B2 last month. Wouldn't it been for my failure in the reading part, I would have got the certificate last November.
Just to share more details, originally I could take the test in September, six months after I passed B1. But due to the pandemic, the exam was postponed to November. I failed in the reading part and I re-took the reading test in February. That's why I got my certificate later than my peers.
Having achieving my goals, now I can take a rest. But I felt a sense of loss in my heart. Why?
What German B2 Test Means
Passing a language proficiency exam doesn't equal to fluency.
It just means you can use the language “as the way exams want to you do”. You can understand the texts and the dialogues. You know how to write an email and a short essay that “meets the assessment standards”.
It doesn't necessarily mean you can have a fluent conversation with German people (at least I can't) It doesn't necessarily mean you can understand German news or TV series without subtitles.
So to those who see this certificate and who strive to get the certificate: you need to truly know how proficient you exactly are.
Rethink Why I Learn this Language
I recalled why I started to learn German. After all these years, I can finally admit that I learned German not because I wanted to get to know more about Germany. Nor did I have interests into German culture or anything. It was just because:
1) As an English major, I was also required to take a “second foreign language”. I've learned French and German seemed to be a pretty good choice then.
2) a friend who I'd like to get closer to choose German
I took the test just because I wanted to pick this language up so that I wouldn't feel it's a pity that I put so much effort during college.