Please click the tabs for further details about Pass Auf. Check out “Game Preparation Tips” for downloadable study lists, proverbs and to a video link of a sample Pass Auf! round.
One novice and one varsity team per school, competing in separate tournaments. Novice teams, consisting only of students in German I and German II who have never competed in Pass auf! before, compete only at the regional level and do not advance to state.
A team may consist of up to seven players, with no advantaged speakers. However, only up to five players may compete in a given round. Two teams play head-to-head in each game. A game consists of 25 questions – five questions from each of the following categories: Arts and Letters, Erdkunde, Grammar, History and Politics, and Odds and Ends. In each category there will be questions valued at 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50 points, depending upon difficulty. There will also be one 50 point question relating to a specific theme announced each year.
From the time that a question is read for the first time, the teams have 30 seconds in which to signal. After signaling, a team has 30 seconds to confer before beginning to give the answer. If a team gives a correct answer, it receives the points designated for the question. If the team’s answer is not accepted by the moderator, the moderator will reread the question for the opposing team. It then has 30 seconds to signal whether it wants to try to answer the question. After it signals, it has 30 seconds in which to answer.
Pass Auf : Revised Rules & How to Play 2016
Novice Sample Game
Grammar for 10
In German, some words are spelled with a consonant that does not exist in the English alphabet. Give the German name for this letter?
ANS: Eszet (Scharfes S)
Arts and Letters for 10
Name the German scientist who is considered the father of the American space program?
ANS: Werner von Braun
History and Politics for 10
Name the last major German offensive of WWII in the West.
ANS: Battle of the Bulge
Odds and Ends for 10
As of January 1, 2002, what is the basic monetary unit in Germany?
Erdkunde für 10, Auf Deutsch.!
Wie heisst die Hauptstadt von Deutschland?
Odds and Ends for 20
Give the German equivalent of We believe what we wish to believe.
ANS: Was man wünscht, glaubt man gern.
Arts and Letters for 20
Which king of Bavaria was the royal patron of Richard Wagner?
ANS: Ludwig II
Grammar for 20
Give the plural form of the following noun. Mann
Erdkunde für 20, Auf Deutsch!
In welchem Bundesland fliesst die Mosel?
History and Politics for 20
Name the Prussian king who preferred French to German and often calmed his nerves before battle by playing the flute?
ANS: Friedrich der Grosse (Frederick the Great)
Grammar for 30
What are two ways to say it is 4:30 am?
ANS: Es ist halb fünf. Es ist vier Uhr dreissig. (Es dreissig Minuten nach vier Uhr. Es dreissig Minuten vor vier Uhr.)
History and Politics for 30
Two part question. Who is the current Chancellor of Germany and to which political party does he belong?
ANS: (Gerhard) Schrörder SPD
Odds and Ends for 30
What is the German name for the famous boy’s choir from Vienna?
ANS: Wiener Sängerknaben
Arts and Letters for 30
What was the name of the group of artists who gathered in munich before WWI and included the famous Russian-born artist Wassily Kandinsky?
ANS: Der Blaue Reiter
Erdkunde für 30, Auf Deutsch!
Wie heisst die Landeshauptstadt von Niederösterreich?
ANS: Sankt Pölten
Odds and Ends for 40
Give the German equivalent of A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
ANS: Ein Sperling in der Hand ist besser als eine Taube auf dem Dache.
Erdkunde für 40, Auf Deutsch!
Zweiteilig! Wie heisst Deutschlands höchster Berg und in welchem Bundesland steht er?
ANS: Zugspitze Bayern
Arts and Letters for 40
During the 15th century, guilds were formed to cultivate poetry and music. What were the members of these guilds called?
ANS: Meistersinger (Meistersänger)
Grammar for 40
Change the following sentence into the present perfect or conversational past tense – Er lädt uns ein.
ANS: Er hat uns eingeladen.
History and Politics for 40
Name the missionary who attempted to Christianize the Germanic tribes. He established the bishoprics of Salzburg, Regensburg, Passau, and Erfurt.
ANS: St. Boniface
Grammar for 50
Put this sentence into German: She stands in front of the door.
ANS: Sie steht vor der Tür.
Arts and Letters for 50
Multi-part question. What period of German Literature followed the Aufklärung and was characterized by a love of sentimentality, nature and liberty? And who were its two most famous authors?
ANS: Sturm und Drang Goether and Schiller
History and Politics for 50
For the first time since 1933, a freely elected all-German parliament met in what year, in what building, in which German city?
ANS: 1990; Reichstag; Berlin
Erdkunde für 50, Auf Deutsch!
Welche Insel Gruppe liegt an der Nordsee Küste von Schleswig-Holstein?
ANS: Nordfriesische Inseln
Odds and Ends for 50
In Germany and Austria most prices include a value-added tax. What is the German term for this tax?
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Varsity Sample Game
Varsity Pass Auf Game
Grammar for 20
Put this sentence into German. She is washing her face.
ANS: Sie wäscht sich das Gesicht.
2. Grammar for 10
Change the subject and verb in this sentence to plural:
Das Kind ist klein.
ANS: Die Kinder sind klein.
3. Arts and Letter for 30
Which group of Expressionist painters gathered in Dresden in 1905? Emil Nolde and Max Beckmann are well known members of this group.
ANS: Die Brücke
4. History and Politics for 40
After the death of Charles VI, Austria was attacked by Prussia, Bavaria and France. During this war which lasted from 1740-1748 Prussia seized and held Silesia. Name this war.
ANS: War of Austrian Succession
5. Arts and Letters for 40
Which German archeologist discovered and excavated the ancient city of Troy?
ANS: Heinrich Schliemann
6. History and Politics for 30
The first all-German elections to the German Bundestag were held on what date?
ANS: Dec. 2, 1990
7. Erdkunde für 40 Auf Deutsch
Welcher Wald liegt zwischen der Tschechische Republik und Deutschland?
8. History and Politics for 10
Who became the first Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire in 962?
ANS: Otto I
9. Odds and Ends
Give the German equivalent of – Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
ANS: Aus nichts, wird nichts.
10. Erdkunde für 20 Auf Deutsch
Welcher Fluß ist die Grenze zwischen Liechtenstein und der Schweiz?
ANS: (der) Rhein
11. Odd and Ends for 40
Give the German name for the warm, dry winter winds that come over the northern Alps from the Mediterranean and are blamed for everything from an increase in accidents to an increase in headaches?
12. Odds and Ends for 30
Give the German name for the famous boy’s vocal group from Vienna?
ANS: Wiener Sängerknaben
13. History and Politics for 50
What agreement issued in 1122 ended the investiture dispute between Henry III and the pope over the selection of bishops?
ANS: Concordat of Worms
14. Arts and Letters for 50
Give the composers for each of the following pieces: Academic Festival Overture, Träumerei, and Der Rosenkavalier.
ANS: Academic Festival Overture – Johannes Brahms
Träumerei – Robert Schumann
Der Rosenkavalier – Richard Strauss
15. Grammar for 30
Put the following sentence into German: The pupil helped the teacher.
ANS: Der Schuler half (hat) dem Lehrer (geholfen).
16. Erdkunde für 50 Auf Deutsch
Wie heissen die fünf neuen Länder DEutschlands?
ANS: Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Sachsen, Sachsen-Anhalt, Thüringen
17. Odds and Ends for 50
Two part question. Name the oldest zoo in the German-speaking world and the city in which it is found?
ANS: Schönbrunn Zoo Vienna (Wien)
18. Grammar for 40
Change the following sentence into the simple past, also known as the imperfect or narrative past tense. Ich habe die Fragen schwer gefunden.
ANS: Ich fand die Fragen schwer.
19. Erdkunde für 10 Auf Deutsch
Wie heist die älteste Stadt Deutschlands?
20. Odds and Ends for 10
What is a Stau?
ANS: traffic jam
21. Grammar for 50
Translate the following sentence into German. He looks as if he were ill.
ANS: Er sieht aus, als ob (als wenn) er krank wäre.
22. Arts and Letters for 10
Which German author, living from 1749-1832, is considered the greatest figure in German literature?
ANS: (Johann Wolfgang von) Goethe
23. Arts and Letters for 20
Which German wrote the words for the hymn Ein Feste Burg ist Unser Gott?
ANS: Martin Luther
24. Erdkunde für 30 Auf Deutsch
Wie heist der größte See Bayerns?
25. History and Politics for 20
Which German Texas settlement was founded on Good Friday, 1845?
ANS: New Braunfels
Pass Auf! Wortschatz
Pass Auf! Wortschatz
|älteste||Gegend, die||Olypiade, die|
|Bahn, die||groß, größte||östlich, östlichst-|
|bauen, eine Grenze||Großlandschaft, die||Passionsspiel, das|
|benutzen||Hauptlandschaft, die||Quelle, die|
|Berg, der||Hauptstadt, die||recht-|
|Bergspitze, die||Heide, die||Religionsgehörigkeit, die|
|Bergwiese, die||Heimatstadt, die||Residenz, die|
|berühmt-, berühmtest-||Herz, das||römisch|
|besichtigen||hoch, höchst-||Ruine, die|
|besiedelt-||Hochebene, die||Sandstein, der|
|Blüte, die||Hügel, der||Schffahrt, die|
|Bodenschatz, der||IAEA||Schloss, das|
|Buchdruckzentrum, das||im Jahre..||Schwebebahn, die|
|Buchstabe, die||in der Nähe von…||Schweizer|
|Bundes-||Industriestadt, die||See, der|
|Bundesland, das||Inlandhafen, der||See, die|
|Burg, die||Insel, die||Seehafen, der|
|Denkmahl||Kanal, der||Sitz, der|
|deutsch||Kanton, der||Sprache, die|
|dünnstbevölkert-||Kontinent, das||Straße, die|
|durch||Küste, die||Strom, der|
|Ebene, die||Lager, das||süd|
|ehemalig-||Land, das||südlich, südlichst|
|Einwohner, der||Landeshauptstadt, die||Symbol, das|
|Eisenerz, das||lang, längst-||Tal, das|
|Fels, der||mittelalterlich-||Vernügungspark, der|
|Fest, das||mittler-||Vielfalt, die|
|flach||münden sich||Volksfest, das|
|fließen||Mündung, die||Wald, der|
|Flughafen, der||Museum, das||Wappen|
|Flugverkehr, der||Name, der||Wasserkraft, der|
|Fluß, der||Nationalzeichen, das||Wasserweg, der|
|Flußhafen, der||Naturschutzgebiet, das||Wein, der|
|für etwas bekannt sein||nennen||westlich, westlichst-|
|Gebiet, das||neu||wichtig, wichtigst-|
|Gebirge, Das||nord||Zeitzone, die|
|nördlich, nördlichst-||Zentrum, das|
Categories & Annual Theme
In addition to the 5 Categories, there will be a special theme designated each year. One 50 point question each round will relate to this theme.
The theme for 2020 is: Texas Germans
There are five categories of questions:
History & Politics, Arts & Letters, Odds & Ends, Grammar, and Erdkunde
All categories may include questions about any of the German-speaking countries:
The Federal Republic of Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Liechtenstein; and about German-Americans or German-Texans.
Questions in all categories may have words in German and may require answers in German.
Questions in the broad categories of History & Politics, Arts & Letters and Odds & Ends, will be grouped in subcategories within each round. Subcategories will include but not be limited to the following:
History and Politics: Early German History (Beginnings through the Folk Migrations), Middle Ages, Reformation through 1700, 1700 to 1848, 1850 to 1945, Post War Period, German American History, Texas German History, Government, European Union, Political Parties, Current Events, etc.
Arts & Letters: Literature, Fairy Tales and Folk Tales, Drama & Cinema, Philosophy & Theology, Music/Composers, Art, Architecture, Scientists, Inventors.
Odds & Ends: Proverbs, Holidays, food, games, sports, education, folk festivals, customs & traditions, travel vocabulary, communication, days, months & seasons, etc.
Grammar may include idioms, grammatical structure, usage, etc.
Erdkunde (geography) questions are in German and must be answered in German.
Controversies and Disputes
Any challenge to a question or ruling by the moderator must be made immediately following the question or decision that is being challenged or before the game is declared finished. The judgement of the moderator is final.
General settlement: Throw out the controversial question and ask a new question.
All documents from the Internet must be printed directly from the the Internet showing the source. Any printed source must be in the room with the players, who may not leave the room.
A maximum of three protests per round per team may be allowed. To avoid any unpleasant controversy there will be a referee, who is an impartial party, such as a professor. The referee will have the last word in disputes.
The Pass Auf Coordinator may have a recording device ready for moderators to use to record each round. This should alleviate disputes concerning pronunciation, as well as content of questions and answers. Before recording, the moderator will say to the teams: “This round is being recorded for your protection. This recording will be used to settle all disputes.”
Game Preparation Tips
Links to Study Guides. Note: All items on the study guides are fair game for Varsity Teams; however, items in italics are for Novice teams to focus on.
Tips for preparing a Team
- Download the questions posted on the State German Contest web-site and review them for format and the types of questions asked in the different categories.
- Assign students or teams of students to research areas in which they are interested. They should research those and make up questions. Be sure that all areas are covered.
- Questions should be short answer where a phrase or name are sufficient to answer.
- There are no true/ false or multiple choice questions in the game.
- Some questions can be flipped so that the stem clue can be an answer and the answer can be a new stem clue.
- The teacher should review the questions and be sure that they are appropriate.
- At the state contest there are visuals of famous people, famous art works, buildings, landmarks, coats of arms of states, country flags, maps, etc. Students should become familiar with them.
- Questions should be entered into a word document so they can be used for study and practice. It is a good idea to have two versions – one by category and one random version.
- Some test bank software may give you the flexibility to generate different “tests” question sets.
- Assign students to study at least two categories. Be sure that you have at least two students to a category so that during a competition, if one is missing due to a scheduling conflict, the content will be covered.
- Two important keys in preparing a team are knowing the content and being fast on the buzzers.
- Content comes from study, but speed comes from practice. One way to drill both is to have the team sit as they would in contest and ask them questions from the question bank that you have developed. Rapid fire question rounds really help teams develop speed. Mark those questions that they miss and ask them again after you run through the question sets. Keep going until they master the questions.
- Run set up question sets as described above and run through practice games.
If you have more students that want to play and you need to determine which five should be your starting line-up, you can do tryouts two stage tryouts. Stage 1 would be a written test using randomly selected questions. Rank the students by their scores. Stage two would be to ask questions and have students signal in. At the end of the set of questions, rank students by their scores. This method addresses the two key factors in the game – knowledge and speed of response.
State adopted textbooks:
Komm mit!, Deutsch Aktuell,
Biology textbooks – famous scientists
Chemistry textbooks – famous scientists
Physics textbooks – famous scientists
Other print resources:
Michelin Green Guide Germany
Michelin Green Guide Austria
Michelin Green Guide Switzerland
German Seed in Texas Soil by Terry Jordan ISBN 0-292-72707-0
The History of the German Settlements in Texas 1831-1861 by Eudolph Leopold Biesele
Erstes Buch – Harry Reinert – available from Amazon
German, Second and Third Years – ISBN: 978-0-87720-577-7 Amsco Publishing
German newspapers and magazines for current events.
Check these web sites for information to be used in playing Pass Auf:
News services for current events