News and Updates


Changes and updates for 2024 (new!)


Contest Promo Video #1 (students from one school tell why they love contest)


Contest Promo Video #2 (one student tells why she loves contest)


Teacher-to-Teacher Tips


Houstonfest Scholarships


Scholarships at State


State Promo Video Contest


Tips for Pair Discussion


Arrival at Heights High School


Lunch options

Daily log of changes to state-qualifier list


Photo Gallery


Important Dates


Tue., Jan. 16, 2024, 11:59 p.m.Houstonfest registration spreadsheet due for regular price of $12/student (payment does not have to be mailed until 1/22).


Mon., Jan. 22, 2024, 11:59 p.m.Houstonfest registration spreadsheet due for late price of $15/student. Deadline to postmark Houstonfest payment.


Sat., Jan. 27, 2024, 9:00 a.m.:  Submission of entries in the 7 virtual Houstonfest events due (get link to Google Form from your teacher).


Tue., Jan. 30, 2024, 11:59 p.m.:  Remote judging of the 7 virtual Houstonfest events ends.


Wed., Jan. 31, 2024, 9:00 p.m. Houstonfest changes (adds, drops, substitutions) due. After this point, no more changes will be allowed.


Sat., Feb. 3, 2024 Houstonfest, Heights High School, Houston.


Fri., Feb. 9, 2024, 11:59 p.m.:  State online registration due for "early bird" price of $12/student (payment does not have to be mailed until 2/14).


Wed., Feb. 14, 2024, 11:59 p.m.:  State online registration due for regular price of $15/student. Deadline to postmark State payment.


Sat., Feb. 17, 2024, 9:00 a.m.:  Submission of entries in the 7 virtual State events due (get link to Google Form from your teacher). Also, Mary El-Beheri Memorial Scholarship applications due.


Mon., Feb. 19, 2024, 8:00 p.m.:  Entries in promotional video contest due to State director.


Tue., Feb. 20, 2024, 11:59 p.m.:  Remote judging of the 7 virtual State events ends.


Sat., Feb. 24, 2024 Texas State German Contest, Texas State University, San Marcos.


Sat., Mar. 2, 2024, 11:59 p.m. Houstonfest Scholarship applications due.


Sun., Mar. 10, 2024 Gail Cope State Scholarship applications due.


rolling basis:  submit Gail Cope Teacher Grant applications.

Rules:  Pass auf!


Pass auf! Study Guide

Pass auf! Vocabulary List for Erdkunde

Video of a Sample Game

NewTheme for 2024:  UNESCO World Heritage Sites and Intangible Heritage Elements in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland (see more at Rule 7 below). Here are two links to get you started: World Heritage Sites, Intangible Heritage Elements. Note: you may also see information on the UNESCO website about Biosphere Preserves and Global Geoparks, but those two UNESCO lists are NOT included in the special topic.


Novice Schedule       Varsity Schedule

  1. A Varsity team consists of up to 7 students who are in any level of German, with the exception of Advantaged Speakers and exchange students from German-speaking countries. A school may enter 1 Varsity team.

  2. A Novice team consists of up to 7 German I and German II students who have never played in a regional or state Pass auf! competition. A school may enter 1 Novice team. Novice teams do not advance to State.

  3. Only 5 students may play at a time. A team may begin playing with fewer than 5 players and players may be added after the game begins, if the team notifies the moderator before the game begins that players will be coming late. At no time may more than 5 team members participate during a game. Once a team starts playing, players may leave to go to other contests, but they may not be replaced. Alternates will be considered as spectators and may not observe unless the game is open for spectators. Spectators may not communicate in any way with the teams that are playing.

  4. Spectators are allowed only during the final game. They are not allowed in any other games at any of the contests.

  5. There will be no changes to times of Pass auf! games in a contest. Teams may be eliminated if they are more than 5 minutes late to a scheduled game.

  6. Each team must designate a captain. This is the only person from whom an answer may be accepted. In certain instances, the captain may designate one of the team members to give an answer. This must be done verbally and it must be acknowledged by the moderator before the answer may be accepted. If someone other than the captain or designee should give an answer, it will not be acknowledged by the moderator. In this instance, the appropriate person on the team must begin to give the answer before the allotted time expires.

  7. Each game consists of a round of 25 questions from the following broad categories: History & Politics, Arts & Letters, Odds & Ends, and Erdkunde. There will be 5 questions from each of those 4 categories (5 × 4 = 20) plus an additional 5 questions from 1 of the categories to round out the 25 questions. 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 & Politics:  early German history (beginnings through the Folk Migrations), the Middle Ages, the Reformation, the 17th and 18th Centuries, the 19th Century, the post-WWII period, German-American history, Texas-German history, government, the European Union, political parties, current events, etc.

Arts & Letters:  literature, fairy tales and folk tales, drama and cinema, philosophy and theology, music and composers, art, architecture, scientists, inventors, etc.

Odds & Ends: holidays, food, games, sports, education, folk festivals, customs and traditions, travel vocabulary, communication, idioms, language functions, vocabulary, days/months/seasons, etc.

For each category or subcategory in a round there will be questions valued at 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50 points, depending upon difficulty. Erdkunde questions will be asked in German and must be answered in German. Each year a theme will be announced, and during that year there will be at least one 50-point question related to that theme asked in each round. Other questions related to the theme may also appear in the rounds. The theme for 2024 is UNESCO World Heritage Sites and Intangible Heritage Elements in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland.

  1. The questions will be read by the moderator in order as printed. The category and point value for each question will be stated before the question is read.

  2. After the question is read for the first time, the teams have up to 30 seconds in which to signal. They may confer during this time. If there is no signal within the 30-second period, the question is passed. To expedite the game, teams may elect to pass a question before the 30-second period expires.

  3. If a team signals while a question is being read, the moderator will stop immediately and may not complete the question or give any additional information or answer any questions.

  4. After signaling, the team has 30 seconds to begin giving an answer. It may confer during this time, but once the team starts giving an answer, it may not pause in order to gain more time. The first attempt by a team will be considered the answer -- a team may not start over once it has begun to answer a question. In any case, the determination of whether or not to accept an answer lies with the moderator and not with the players, assistants, or spectators.

  5. If the signaling team gives an incorrect answer or if it fails to answer the question in the time given, the moderator will repeat the question for the other team. The other team has 30 seconds to decide whether they want to try giving an answer or to pass. After deciding to attempt the question, the team has 30 seconds to begin giving an answer.

  6. If a team gives a correct answer, it will receive the designated points, but no points will be deducted for failing to give a correct answer.

  7. Appropriate behavior is expected of all players and spectators. No interruptions will be tolerated while a team is attempting to answer a question. Clarification of rules may be addressed to the moderator between questions, before the game, or after the game, but never while a question is in play.

  8. 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 judgment of the moderator is final.

  9. Should the moderator misread a question, give the answer before the other team has a chance to answer, etc., a replacement question from the same category and the same point value will be read.

  10. If the score is tied after the round of questions is completed, the moderator will then select tie breakers from the alternate set of questions.

Main Rules Page Arts Declamation Drama Music
Oral Tests Pass auf! Research Paper Scavenger Hunt Written Tests

When is the next Houstonfest?



February 3, 2024


Where is Houstonfest?


Heights High School

413 E. 13th Street, Houston, TX 77008


Link to Texas State German Contest


Texas State German Contest on Facebook


Texas State German Contest 40th Anniversary Facebook Group