News and Updates


Houstonfest Scholarshipswinners announced!


Changes and updates for 2022 including procedures for online contest


State Promo Video Contest


"Texas State German Contest at 40" newsletter series (full of tips for contest prep and Pass auf! study material)


"Leidenschaft der Aussprache" Pronunciation Contest


Scholarships at State


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


Tips for Pair Discussion


Photo Gallery


Arrival at Heights High School


Lunch options


Daily log of changes to state-qualifier list



Important Dates


Sat., Jan. 15, 2022, 11:59 p.m.Houstonfest registration spreadsheet due for regular price of $10/student (payment does not have to be mailed until 1/24).


Tue., Jan. 18, 2022, 4:00 p.m.:  Registration opens for pronunciation contest "Leidenschaft der Aussprache" (teachers who submit a Houstonfest registration by the regular deadline will receive a link to register for this special contest)


Mon., Jan. 24, 2022, 11:59 p.m.Houstonfest registration spreadsheet due for late price of $12/student. Deadline to postmark Houstonfest payment.


Wed., Feb. 2, 2022, 8:00 p.m. Houstonfest changes (adds, drops, substitutions) due. After this point, no more changes will be allowed.


Sat., Feb. 5, 2022Houstonfest (virtual) -  submissions of art and recordings due by 9:00 a.m., some events conducted live via Zoom


Tue., Feb. 8, 2022, 11:59 p.m.:  Remote Houstonfest judging ends


Fri., Feb. 11, 2022, 4:45 p.m.:  Houstonfest results announced via live-stream (see Results page for a recording of the awards show)


Wed., Feb. 16, 2022, 11:59 p.m.:  State online registration due for "early bird" price of $10/student (payment does not have to be mailed until 2/18).


Fri., Feb. 18, 2022, 11:59 p.m.:  State online registration due for regular price of $12/student. Also, Mary El-Beheri Memorial Scholarship applications due. Deadline to postmark State payment.


Wed., Feb. 23, 2022, 8:00 p.m.:  Deadline extended: Entries in promotional video contest due to State director Jennifer Christianson.


Sat., Feb. 26, 202240th Annual Texas State German Contest (virtual) -submissions of art and recordings due by 9:00 a.m., some events conducted live via Zoom (ask your teacher for the sheet with all the links!)


Tue., Mar. 1, 2022, 11:59 p.m.:  Remote State judging ends


Sat., Mar. 5, 2022, 11:59 p.m. Houstonfest Scholarship applications due. State awards video released.


Fri., Mar. 11, 2022 Gail Cope Scholarship applications due.


Sat., April 30, 2022 Gail Cope Teacher Grant applications due.

The 2022 contest will be held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A highly modified version of the Pass auf! contest (Varsity level only) will be offered using the Kahoot! platform.


Rules for 2022:

1.    1 team per school (we'll call it Varsity, but basically, there's no Novice division this year).

2.    Each team may have 4-7 players.  (In normal years, teams may have up to 7 members, but a maximum of 5 may compete in any given round and the other 2 must sit out.)  This year, all students (up to 7) may log in and compete.

3.    As with all events held live on the day of contest, students will need to register their names via a Google Form on or before contest day.  The link to this Form will be sent out to teachers well before contest day.  This is separate from the original registration spreadsheet that the teacher submits and may seem redundant, but it really helps expedite things on the tabulation end.

4.    On the day of contest (February 5 for regionals and February 26 for state), students will log in to a Zoom meeting at 1:00 p.m.  The Zoom link will also be sent out to teachers well before contest day.  Teachers should confirm with students before initially registering them for Pass auf! that they will be available at 1:00 p.m. on contest day.

5.    Within the Zoom meeting, students will be given the code to join a Kahoot! quiz on  The proctor running the Zoom meeting will provide any further instructions.  Students will use this format for their player name: school+last name (for example: MemorialSmith).  The proctor will provide a standardized list of school names, some abbreviated, for consistency.  It is imperative that students use this format for their player name, or the school may not receive the points earned by that student.

6.    It would be advisable for students to have the Zoom meeting and the Kahoot! website open side by side on their computer (or to log into the Kahoot! quiz on their smart phones).  The student must remain on camera in the Zoom meeting during the entire Kahoot! quiz.

7.    All contestants from all entering schools will compete simultaneously, i.e., there will not be the usual tournament format of two teams competing against each other at a time.

8.    The Kahoot! quiz will have 30 questions of various types, mostly multiple-choice but formats may also include true/false, multi-select (more than one answer must be chosen), "puzzle" (dragging responses into a specific order), and short answer (where you type in your response).  The state Kahoot! quiz may include more questions, including some with an audio component.

9.    The questions for this year will not come from our main bank of Pass auf! questions.  Rather, they will focus on this year's special topic (The Three Bs of German Classical Music: Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms) and information from the newsletters that have been published by Gail Cope in anticipation of this year's 40th anniversary of the state contest (see links below).  Students will need to study for the "Three Bs" topic based on their own research, as in a traditional Pass auf! year.

10. The top 4 scores from each school will be added to get a total score for the school.  If 5, 6, or 7 students from a school play the Kahoot! quiz, the 5th-, 6th-, and 7th-highest scores will be discarded.  If fewer than 4 students from a school compete, the school will be at a disadvantage vis-a-vis the other schools by virtue of having fewer than 4 scores flowing into their total score, but don't let that stop you from taking your best shot at it!


Texas State German Contest at 40 Newsletters

April-May 2021

June 2021

July 2021

August 2021

September 2021

October 2021

November-December 2021

January-February 2022


The rules below are left here for future years.


Rules:  Pass auf!


Pass auf! Study Guide

Pass auf! Vocabulary List for Erdkunde

Video of a Sample Game

New:  Theme for 2022:  The Three Bs of German Classical Music:  Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms (see more at Rule 7 below)


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 2022 is The Three Bs of German Classical Music:  Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms.

  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 4, 2023


Where is Houstonfest?


Heights High School in Houston


Link to Texas State German Contest


Texas State German Contest on Facebook


Texas State German Contest 40th Anniversary Facebook Group