Attention: The information on this page is only relevant for students in the Teacher Training Programme who began their studies before winter semester 2016-17 and for students in the BA Programme in English and American Studies who began their studies before winter semester 2015-2016. Students enrolled in more recent curricula do not need to take any FPs. For the requirements of these curricula, please check on the Study page.
Students still enrolled in the old Teacher Training Programme (Lehramt) have to take three FPs and students enrolled in one of the older BA curricula (version 2005 to 2012) have to take the third FP only. The purpose of the FPs is to test students’ general command of English. The 3rd FP is the final exam of a student’s language studies in the old Teacher Training Programme and for those in the older B.A. curricula, this is the only formal language exam in the course of their studies (in more recent curricula, the command of English is tested in the Placement Test)
The Fachprüfungen are held three times each semester and the dates and details can be found on the notice board in the department and online.
The purpose of Fachprüfungen is to test your general command of English. This means that it is not possible to study or cram right before taking the exam. Ideally, you should do whatever you can to improve your English language proficiency from your first day as a student of English. In other words, you should prepare yourself adequately for the exams by studying independently in addition to the language courses you attend.
It is not possible to register for the last Fachprüfung in a semester unless you have already completed all the necessary classes by the registration date. This does not mean that a grade can be awarded early for classes which still have to be completed that semester.
The 3rd Fachprüfung is the final exam of your language studies, so you need to be confident that you have reached a high level of competence. For those in the B.A. programme, this is the only formal language exam you will have to take.
The topics given in the oral and written sections relate to issues recently covered in the news that everyone with basic general knowledge should be able to discuss. Hence, in order to be prepared for the exams, you should be following English news such as BBC and CNN regularly, as well as news in other media outlets.
If you are uncertain about how to structure a text for the written section, revise the input you have received in the writing classes offered at the department. If your oral or written production is prone to lexical or grammatical errors, revise the materials covered in the courses Language I and Language II. You will find many useful books, CDs, software and other materials in the Self Access Centre.
The quality of your performance in the individual sections is reported on the score sheet displayed on the general notice board. Your performance in the exam is reported there anonymously using student ID numbers.
Take time to study the feedback carefully and note exactly where any critical weaknesses in the exam occurred. If you have any questions, please contact the chairperson of the committee. Please note that we do not keep exam papers for more than 6 months and that feedback immediately after the Fachprüfung is more useful than feedback immediately before the next Fachprüfung you want to attempt.
Registration procedure for Fachprüfungen
FP dates are offered three times per semester (at the beginning, in the middle and at the end of the semester). The dates and registration periods can be found on the notice board, on the departmental website and on Facebook.
B.A. students need to complete the following steps:
submit your current “Studienerfolgsnachweis“ (including “Anrechnungsformulare“ for courses taken at other universities)
for FP1 submit the form “Language Consolidation and Development”
for FP2 submit the form “In-Depth Language”
for FP3 submit the form “Advanced Language”
If FP3 is the last remaining exam you need to pass before finishing your studies, please obtain confirmation from the StudienprogrammleiterIn. This will give you priority in the registration process.
The total number of students who may do the oral exams at one of the scheduled sessions is limited to 25 candidates (Wednesday mornings, between 8:00 and 12:30). As stated above, students with a confirmation from the StudienprogrammleiterIn will receive priority. The remaining places will be allocated on a “first come, first serve” basis. Students will be notified of whether they have been successfully registered or not after the registration period has ended. Applicants who do not get an exam slot must re-apply for the subsequent exam date.
*Please note that ALL relevant documents MUST be attached to your email application. INCOMPLETE applications CANNOT BE PROCESSED!
Speaking: • Preparation time: ~ 15 minutes to read and prepare a short text (200-250 words) • Speaking time: ~ 5 minutes • Feedback: written (copy of descriptors with grades for each of the four dimensions and overall grade) Students are examined individually. They are asked to introduce themselves briefly, to summarize the text they have analysed during preparation time, and to answer questions about it (content related as well as personal opinions).
Writing: • Timing: 90 minutes • Text type: one formal academic paragraph • Length: 225 to 275 words Students are asked to write one formal academic paragraph on an exam question related to reading they have done in preparation for the exam (see additional information). They must pay attention to appropriate academic style and paragraph structure, as well as correct and appropriate use of vocabulary and grammar.
Fachprüfung 2 & 3
Speaking: • Preparation time: ~ 15 minutes to read and prepa re a short text (200-250 words) • Speaking time: ~ 10 minutes per pair • Feedback: written (copy of descriptors with grades for each of the four dimensions and overall grade) Students are examined in pairs. They are asked to introduce themselves briefly and make a one-minute statement about their own position regarding the topic of the text they have analysed during preparation time. Finally, the examinees will have a discussion with each other; it is up to both of the students to keep the discussion going.
Writing: • Timing: 150 minutes • Text type: one-sentence thesis statement & two paragraphs according to instructions specified in the prompt • Length: 225 to 275 words per paragraph Students are asked to write a one-sentence thesis statement and two formal academic paragraphs on an exam question related to reading they have done in preparation for the exam (see additional information). They must use a particular pattern, such as problem & solution, cause & effect, or compare & contrast. Students must also pay attention to academic style and paragraph structure, as well as correct and appropriate use of vocabulary and grammar.
Additional information for the Written Exam
After candidates have successfully registered for an exam date, they will be provided with a text that introduces the exam topic and serves as a starting point for independent reading on and around this topic beforethe exam. The exam question for the written exam will be related to this topic. During the exam, students are asked to answer the exam question by following the respective instructions for the first, second and third Fachprüfung.
During the exam, students need to follow all instructions carefully. They should spend time thinking about the task and planning the assignment properly. The assignment should have substance, which means it should consist of developed ideas that are logically connected. The assignment should deal closely with the topic and answer the questions posed. It should be written in formal academic style, showing a good command of grammar and syntax, and a wide range of vocabulary and idiomatic expressions (the examiners do not want to read ‘inner monologues’, emotional ‘confessions’, personal accounts, or lists of platitudes, superficial or vague comments or repetitions).
Mobile phones have to be switched to ‘mute’ and kept out of reach during the exam.
Exam takers are allowed to use print dictionaries.
Exam takers are allowed to take notes on the exam paper.
Exam takers doing FP2/FP3 are allowed to speak to each other during preparation time.
Mobile phones have to be switched to ‘mute’ and kept out of reach during the exam.
Exam takers must place their ID-cards clearly visible on the workstation they are using.
Exam takers are not allowed to use their own laptop computers.
Exam takers are allowed to use on-line dictionaries and corpora.
Exam takers will fail if they go on-line for other purposes than consulting on-line dictionaries and corpora (except submitting their text via e-mail after they have finished).
In line with legal requirements (§75 Abs. 4, UG 2002) the official period of time for grading exams is four weeks. Please do not inquire about test results as they will be posted as soon as possible!