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UNIcert III Examination (Wirtschaftswissenschaften)

Examination Information - Written Certificate exam / UNIcert® III – BUSINESS ENGLISH
Summer Semester 2015



The Written Certificate exam / UNIcert® III: will take place on:

To be announced. 


For information about the examination, please read the Prüfungsordnung. This can be found in the latest blue Sprachenzentrum Informationsheft, or at the following web page address:

Also please refer to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages at the following web page address to see what language proficiency levels are required at each level:


The listening comprehension part of the examination will be either a video or audio recording of a discussion, interview or lecture with a business or economic theme.  The recording will be about five minutes long. 

For the reading comprehension part of the examination, you will be asked to answer short text questions and write a short summary of a 1000 to 1500 word-long text.  Exam texts are chosen from business and economics related journals such as The Economist, The Wall Street Journal or The Financial Times.




The oral exam takes 30 minutes and will be given by appointment following the written exam on July 16, starting at 09:00 and going until we finish. The exam will be scheduled by appointment directly at the end of the written exam on July 14, 2015. The oral exam will take place in AB 208.



All candidates must submit a proposal of the topic they intend to discuss on the day of the written exam: to be announced. Please read the information given below, by "Submission of Proposals!


Length of Time

The oral examination takes a total of thirty minutes. During the first 6-7 minutes of the exam, the candidate is to deliver a presentation on a theme from the field of business or economics. The rest of the examination will be in the form of a discussion with the two examiners.


Grading Criteria

There are three grading criteria for the oral examination. These are (roughly translated from the Prufungsordnung) 'language', 'style' and 'content'.  By 'style' we mean the usage of appropriate academic register. Some students with very good English-language skills (perhaps obtained during a stay in England or the United States) don't do as well as they had expected because they use a style which is too colloquial. In judging the 'content' of a candidate's performance, we consider both the 'breadth' and 'depth' of the candidate's coverage of the subject matter. 'Breadth' indicates the range of facts and details which the candidate is able to integrate into the discussion. A significant portion of these should, of course, be related to business and/or economics. 'Depth' indicates the ability of the candidate to express the relationship (e.g., implication, contingency and process) of these facts to each other. 

The exam will test the relevance and coherence of what is said, as well as the accuracy and style of the English used. Thoughtful comment and good interaction is expected. Reading a prepared text or giving a memorized speech does not demonstrate oral skills.


*******************************   Submission of Proposals ***********************************

All candidates should submit a proposal of the topic they intend to discuss on the date of the written exam: to be announced. The proposal should be printed and in the following form:

  • Title
  • Paragraph describing the background and the issues involved.
  • Bullet list of five to eight points or questions of discussion which could be raised during the discussion. These won't necessarily come up during the exam, but may provide a starting point for the discussion.


Sample Oral Exam Proposal  

Is Offshoring a Boon or a Bane for Developed economies?                                                           

 IBM's recent announcement that it intends to hire 10,000 of 15,000 new employees outside of the United States has unleashed a storm of protest. For several years manufacturing jobs in developed nations have been lost as production has moved to China, and now white-collar workers are becoming increasingly worried that in a similar fashion service-sector jobs will be lost 'offshore' to India. Furthermore, this development could increasingly affect employees with a high level of training or education, who had up to now considered their positions to be secure. Although many politicians seek protectionist remedies for what they see as a problem, some economists contend that the benefits of such offshoring will outweigh its disadvantages. An important question in this regard is then whether a country such as Germany should encourage offshoring or seek to impose restrictions on it.

  • Why and how has the use of offshoring been continuously increasing since the 1960s?
  • Does Offshoring result in overall job losses?
  • Does Offshoring make a country dangerously dependent on foreign suppliers?
  • Can the long-term and short-term benefits of offshoring be compared?
  • Are there winners and losers from offshoring?
  • What could be some of the advantages and disadvantages of offshoring for a particular company?


Please direct questions about the exam to Wendy Bell at