While Danish is the main official language in Denmark, it is spoken by an additional 200 thousand people in parts of Germany, the United States, Canada, and has official language status in Greenland and in territories of the Faroe Islands.
In addition, Danes and their descendants can be found in almost every country, so you will surely have plenty of opportunities to practice your Danish skills wherever you travel. It goes without saying, though, that, if you really want to immerse yourself in the Danish language and culture, the best destination for you is Denmark.
Sitting for a Danish exam, whether it is a language test or a Danish citizenship exam will open lots of doors for those who wish to travel to this wonderful country. So, if you want to know what qualifications you need to study in Denmark or to apply for Danish citizenship, we’ve got you covered!
Danish Exams - An Overview
The most popular Danish exams are known as Danish 1, 2 and 3 and they are offered by the Danish government. These tests have two parts with two sections each. The written part includes a test in reading comprehension (90 minutes), and a written assignment (60 minutes).
The oral part includes a test in oral communication which includes listening comprehension. In total, the oral part lasts about 30 minutes.
Let’s see in detail what you’ll be expected to do in each section of the exam.
The texts in the Reading section cover general topics with a focus on the areas of work, education, everyday life and citizenship. To make the exam fair and ensure that no one fails just because the topics are unfamiliar, the texts are suitable for all adults, regardless of gender, age or educational background.
In this exam, you will be expected to be able to read quickly and find factual information as well as subtext and attitudes. Understanding the texts requires a certain knowledge of Danish society.
The Writing section includes two subtests:
- In the first one, you’re given factual information in the form of a graphic or a text that you will have to use to write an argumentative essay of at least 400 words. You’ll be given three topics, and you will have to choose one.
- The second one entails writing a formal and an informal text, such asa notice and an email.
In both subtests, candidates are expected to provide objective data, as well as express attitudes and ideas in an understandable language with varying degrees of complexity and correctness depending on which Danish Exam they are sitting for.
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In the Oral Communication section, you will have to interact with another candidate. Subtest 1 consists of a presentation of a topic chosen by the participant and follow-up interview questions, while subtest 2 consists of two tasks: the examiner first interviews each participant individually, and then the two test participants discuss a different topic.
Though the level of fluency and accuracy expected from candidates changes depending on the level of the exam, the skills that are being tested in this section are: describing and telling, exchanging information, expressing ideas and justifying viewpoints.
Danish Exams 1, 2 and 3 are assessed with one overall grade for the written part (Reading and Writing) and one grade for the oral part (Speaking and Listening), which are measured according to a 7-point scale. An interesting thing about the grading methodology for these Danish exams is that, when calculating an average score, the grade in oral communication counts twice. So, you may want to put some extra emphasis on this area when studying! Bear in mind that the best way to improve your pronunciation and learn to speak naturally in a foreign language is with the help of a native speaker
When the examination in all three skills has been completed, candidates get an examination certificate, which is an invaluable tool when looking for a job in Denmark.
Now that you know what the format of the exams is, let’s see what candidates are expected to know at each level.
Danish 1 is a language proficiency test that shows whether a candidate has attained good enough Danish language skills to be introduced to cultural and social conditions in Denmark. By passing Danish 1, candidates show that they can handle everyday communication in a work environment and they are able to function actively as citizens.
This Danish exam measures linguistic proficiency, which includes vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, and spelling, as well as pragmatic proficiency, which includes the ability to adapt the language to the context, register, and intention of the communication. In other words, you will be expected to use relevant language in a given situation.
The aim of Danish 2 is to measure whether a student can cope with work, education and everyday life, and whether he or she can function in Danish in one and two-way conversations by using coherent and accurate language with a degree of complexity.
At this level, candidates should also be able to find information and understand a wide range of texts, fill out relatively complicated forms, and express themselves in writing about concrete and ordinary everyday conditions.
In addition, candidates who sit for Danish 2 must show that they have gained insight into cultural and social conditions in Denmark and can relate their personal experience to them.
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A candidate who passes Danish 3 understands the main ideas of complex texts about both concrete and abstract subjects, which includes technical discussions on academic topics.
Passing Danish 3 also means that a candidate can interact with a high degree of fluency and flexibility, in a way that spontaneous interactions with native speakers do not cause any strains for either participant.
In addition, a student who has passed Danish 3 has successfully shown that he or she can express themselves in written form in a way that is clear, detailed, and appropriate, about a wide variety of topics, being able to explain their viewpoint and discuss advantages and drawbacks of different issues.
The Danish Citizenship Exam
Wondering how to get Danish citizenship? Meet the Danish Citizenship exam.
The Citizenship Exam is one of the requirements that you’ll need to fulfill if you want to become a Danish citizen. This is a multiple-choice test with 45 questions on sociohistorical topics, 36 of which must be answered correctly to get a passing grade. In addition, candidates must answer at least 4 out of 5 of the questions about Danish values correctly.
By doing this, candidates show that they understand Danish culture and that they are prepared to live according to the values of their new country. The duration of the test is 45 minutes.
How to Pass a Danish Exam
Okay, so now that we’ve covered all the basics about Danish exams, you are ready to start studying! These are some of the tips that our teachers recommend you follow to get the best score possible.
Step 1: Get the Official Material
Before you register to sit for any of the Danish exams below, you need to contact an educational center, which will give you a course pack divided into 6 modules. This material constitutes invaluable practice for the three Danish exams.
Of course, this may not be enough, so you may want to complement your course pack with other materials, such as our guide to Danish slang
Step 2: Practice With Mock Tests
As you progress through the syllabus, you will find mock tests at the end of each module. These tests will tell you whether you are on track and will help you decide if it’s time to register for the exam. If you’d like a more professional assessment, you can always ask your Danish teacher to give you their opinion on your progress!
Step 3: Practice With a Native Speaker
Oral Communication is the most challenging part of a Danish exam. In this section, you will have to demonstrate that you can express and justify viewpoints, sustain a successful interaction, and show that you have enough vocabulary to get by in Denmark. But how will you know that you have the right level if you don’t have personalized feedback?
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Government language programs are a great way to get started, but the groups are usually large, so you are not likely to receive the kind of tailored attention that can make the difference between a passing and a failing grade.
That’s the part where we can help. At Listen & Learn, we work with native teachers who can help you prepare for the dreaded Speaking section of the Danish exams, giving you expert feedback on how to sound like a Dane.
They will also be able to evaluate your writings through the eyes of an examiner and give you useful feedback on how to take your writing skills to the next level! Contact us now
and we’ll pair you with one of our native tutors so you can pass your exams as soon as possible and reach your objective of working in Denmark, becoming a citizen, and integrating into this society!