German Language Contest Description and Awards

AATG Test and Awards

Each year, 2nd, 3rd or 4th year German students from Wisconsin high schools are eligible to participate in the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG) sponsored National German Language Exam administered at high schools throughout Wisconsin by their German teachers. The Level 2 test is taken by students who have two years of high school German. The Level 3 test requires three years of study, and level 4 requires 4 or more years of study. The Wisconsin AATG awards certificates and medals and also invites students achieving the highest scores to participate in a selection committee interview held in Wisconsin during March of each year. Based on students’ test scores and interview results, the AATG will nominate one or two students for four week summer study trips to Germany. The national AATG office evaluates the nominations from each state and determines the final winners of the P√ɬ§dagogischer Austauschdienst, (PAD – German Student Exchange Program) sponsored 4 week summer study trips to Germany. The number of study trips sponsored by PAD as well as the number of these trips allocated by the national AATG office to German students in Wisconsin may vary from year to year.

DSSV Essay Contest and Awards

The DSSV annually sponsors over one hundred awards including book awards and cash awards for Wisconsin students with excellent performance on the AATG National German Language Exam. In past years cash prizes as high as $8,000 have been awarded.

In addition, students taking the level 3 or level 4 AATG exam are eligible to participate in the DSSV-sponsored German Essay contest. The essays written by these students are evaluated by a German Department faculty member from a Wisconsin university. Students who have taken both the AATG test and have written a DSSV essay are eligible to compete for a separate DSSV-sponsored four week study trip to Germany as well as additional cash and book prizes. The DSSV trip to Germany is provided by PAD through its long-standing relationship with the DSSV.

Trip Award Interviews

Finalists for the AATG and the DSSV trips to Germany will be invited to participate in personal interviews from which the winners are selected. These personal interviews are conducted every year in March by a panel of University of Wisconsin faculty members, AATG members, and representatives of the DSSV. Students must register for and participate in a personal interview in order to be selected as either an AATG or a DSSV trip winner.

These interviews are held each year in conjunction with the selection committee interviews for the AATG trip(s) on the same date and at the same Wisconsin location. While all students participating in the AATG test are eligible for medals, books and DSSV cash awards, only students who have written a qualifying DSSV essay and taken the AATG test are eligible for the DSSV sponsored trip to Germany.

AATG trips are awarded nationally to many students throughout the country and the number of trips available to Wisconsin students may vary from year to year. Only Wisconsin students have a unique opportunity to also participate in the DSSV Essay Contest and compete for the DSSV Award trip to Germany.

German students throughout the state of Wisconsin are strongly encouraged to take advantage of this unique opportunity to compete for the DSSV study trip to Germany. Wisconsin’s high school German teachers are asked to encourage their students to participate in the DSSV Essay Contest. These teachers are also requested to facilitate their students’ participation by disseminating contest information and administering the essay contest at their respective schools.