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Most courses at German universities are taught in German, which can be a hurdle for some students. Therefore, you must prove your German language skills in order to be admitted.


However, international courses are an exception. For these, knowledge of German is not a requirement.


In international programs or special postgraduate courses, German is often not a necessary requirement. Some universities do not require a language certificate if you only want to study for one or two semesters. However, this rule does not apply everywhere, so be sure to check with the university of your choice.



You have passed the Goethe Institute's Central Upper Secondary Examination (until 2011).

You have acquired the Goethe Certificate C2 or the Great German Language Diploma after 2012.

You have the new Goethe Certificate (C2: Great German Language Diploma) or one of the previous examinations (Small or Great German Language Diploma).

You have obtained your Abitur at a German Gymnasium.

You have passed the telc German C1 Hochschule examination.

You have the German Language Diploma (Level II) from the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany.


If German is a prerequisite, language tests are your access to German universities. You must prove your language skills with one of two recognized exams. You can take the TestDaF (Test German as a Foreign Language) in your home country. It is offered in over 100 other countries as a paper-based and digital test.


You can also take the so-called German Language Examination for University Entrance (DSH). Many universities offer this exam. You can find out the dates from your university's International Office.

The exams include several levels of performance. If you achieve the intermediate level of performance in all parts of the exam (TDN 4 for TestDaF, DSH-2 for DSH), you will be admitted to the course without restrictions. Whether a lower level in individual parts of the exam is also sufficient depends on the university you are applying to.

To take the exam, you must pay a fee. The costs vary depending on the institution that conducts the exam and the country in which you take it.


How much does the test cost and where can I take it, even if I'm not yet in Germany?

You can take the test online at the TestDaF center. It is only in German and costs around €215

What exactly does such a test look like? And how can I prepare for it?

The test consists of four parts: reading, speaking, writing and listening. All tasks, topics, texts and situations relate to everyday academic life and test the language skills you need for studying or working in an academic setting in Germany.

How is the test graded?

The TestDaF assesses your language skills at three levels: TDN 3, 4 and 5. These levels correspond to levels B2 and C1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages ​​and thus make your language skills internationally comparable.

If I fail, how many times can I retake the test

You have the option of retaking the TestDaF as many times as you like. If you are not successful on the first attempt, we recommend that you wait a little while before the next test. Use this time to work specifically on the areas where you had weaknesses.

How long does it take until I get the test result?

The results of the digital TestDaF are available within about 4-6 weeks.


The German language is very important. Not only for studying or getting your dream job, but also for finding new friends.

If you would like to check your German language skills yourself, you can take a free placement test on the Goethe Institute website. After the test, you will receive a recommendation for the appropriate course level.

If your German language skills are not yet sufficient, there is the option of taking a language course in Germany. Many universities offer such courses during the semester break. These summer courses usually take place between June and September. Some universities also offer language courses in the winter months.How long does it take until I get the test result?

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