German Language Tests

7 minute read
German Language Tests

Study in Germany is a dream come true for students and professionals in different parts of the world. There is a lot to learn in the country ranging from significant historical past to the latest advancements. However, to be a part of this booming economy, there’s a catch. Before you decide to pursue your future in Germany, it is prudent to keep in mind that you must qualify for one of the German Language Tests. This blog will give an in-depth idea about all the major German-language tests and all relevant information pertaining to them. 

What is the German Language Tests? 

For any individual wishing to study or join as an employee of the company in Germany, the German language test is a prerequisite to get visa approval.  A country with an ever-growing economy offering infinite opportunities, Germany is becoming increasingly popular amongst citizens of other nations who are ready to work or study in Germany due to global interconnectedness. The score of the test is evidence of one’s competence in the language and one’s willingness to adapt to the environment of the country by learning to use the language. When an individual is applying for any educational institution, they’ll be asked to furnish the test results and similarly, for an employee applying to Germany, it helps the organization to meet the basic language requirement to be able to undertake the employment. There are many tests available for people from foreign countries to prove their efficiency in using the German language.

Note that you do not need to take German language examinations to study in Germany if you meet the following criteria:

  • You already have an Abitur from a German-language high school
  • You are enrolled in foreign degree programs as well as unique postgraduate programs.
  • You’re applying to a university program that doesn’t need any knowledge of German.
  • You are only participating in a short-term exchange or study abroad program while enrolled at a university outside of Germany.

For a prospective candidate wishing to undertake a language proficiency test, it is imperative to be aware of all test options available to pick the one that suits the need of the individual the best. Enlisted below are some of the most popular and accepted German language tests which have been explained in detail in the following section. 

  • TestDaf
  • DSH
  • ÖSD
  • Zertifikat Deutsch für den Beruf 
  • WiDaf
  • Goethe-Zertifikat


Test Deutsch als Fremdsprache which is commonly known as TestDaf is a high-level German language test. The TestDaf qualification document makes one eligible to apply for any university in Germany. This German language proficiency test has approximately 390 TestDaf centers established in 80 nations worldwide for students’ convenience. Examination charges vary depending on the country one is taking the test. 

Test Pattern

The test is conducted over a duration of 3 hours. Questions are asked based on four different components, which include Reading Comprehension, Listening Ability, Writing Skills, and Speaking. Test results are formally prepared on a scale between 3 to 5. The test levels are named differently based on the score obtained: TDN 3, TDN 4, or TDN 5. If someone achieves a TDN 5 score, one has a strong command of the German language.


Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang also shortened to DSH is a test to determine an individual’s language skills. It is conducted by the specific university one is applying to. This exam is mandatory to be taken only if the prospective student has not taken any other German-language tests. 

Test Pattern

DSH test comprises of various sections, which are, Verbal Communication, Writing and others. It also follows a triple grading system, DSH 1, DSH 2, and DSH 3. The minimum grade to be achieved to qualify for the examination is DSH 2. 

Zertifikat Deutsch für den Beruf 

Zertifikat Deutsch für den Beruf is a test developed by Goethe-Institut that conforms to the CEFR B2 level. Primarily, this exam is conducted to analyze how articulately a person can communicate their ideas and thoughts in a given situation. The test is a measure of a person’s fluency in the German language. Those planning to take this test will most likely find a Goethe-Institut testing center in their own country, with the institute having close to 150 exam centers in a total of 93 nations worldwide. 

Test Pattern

Questions in this German language exam are usually distributed over two separate parts. The written test duration is more than 2 hours and the viva voce test spans over 20 minutes. The text delves into a person’s ability to use the language closely.


One of the top-rated German language tests, was designed by the French and German Chamber of Commerce and Industries to fulfill employee needs who were coming from different countries so as to assess their language proficiency. There are around 237 centers in different countries. The charges for this test varies based on how soon a person wants to receive the results.

Test Format

WiDaf test comes with 150 vocabulary questions, questions on grammar and comprehension. It is a Multiple Choice Question paper that encompasses every aspect of language proficiency. The score of the test ranges between 0 and 990 with the two numbers being the two limits.


Business Language Testing Service is amongst the widely used German tests by people and organizations to evaluate the fundamental understanding of German of an individual. The fee charge for this language test is £60.

Test Pattern

Average BULATS German language tests are conducted in a 1-hour duration. It has two distinct parts to assess one’s language knowledge with the questions aimed at assessing different aspects of language usage. The test grades range from 1-100.


Every Goethe-Zertifikat German language test is a part of 6 CEFR levels.

Here score certificates are categorised in three major components. They are: Goethe-Zertifikat A1 & Goethe-Zertifikat A2 which are the basic level, Goethe-Zertifikat B1 & Goethe-Zertifikat B2 which is termed as the independent level and lastly,  Goethe-Zertifikat C1 & Goethe-Zertifikat C2 which is the advanced level of proficiency.

This exam is available to be taken in almost 90 countries thus being a commonly opted German language test.

Test Pattern

In Level A1 Goethe-Zertifikat test, it follows a group-level written examination format followed subsequently by a verbal examination. Both the parts are conducted on a group basis. Further, Level A2, B2, and C1 tests also have a group-based written examination but viva-voce is mostly conducted on an individual basis. The level B1 test has a similar pattern. Level C2 also has a group-based writing test and a spoken language test conducted individually. A candidate has to score at least 60 to be considered successful in this test.

Level of Examination

The following are the levels of the German language test:

A1 – Young People, Adults
A2 – Young People, Adults
B1 – Young People, Adults
B2 – Young People, Adults
C1 – Adults
C2 – Adults

Eligibility Criteria For German Language Tests

A prospective candidate doesn’t have to meet a litany of requirements to take any language proficiency test. Generally, a person should have qualified for the intermediate stage of German, which is a minimum of 700 hours of studying any recognized program of this language.

Note: If you are enrolling in an English-taught program, you will be required to take an English language competence exam such as IELTS or TOEFL. CAE/CPE is also accepted by some colleges, although no other English proficiency test is. Having said that, if you are a citizen of a majority English-speaking nation, you do not need to take English language tests to study in Germany, or you have a Bachelor’s degree in a course where English was used as the medium of instruction or you have a letter/certificate from your former university proving your English proficiency (only in certain cases) or you are enrolling in a program such as English Philology, which does not require you to pass an English language exam.

Benefits of the German Language Tests

The following are the benefits of German language tests:

  • It creates a good impact on the employee in front of potential buyers and gives an impression that you can fulfil the employer’s demands
  • These tests are essential for business and government organizations to get a perspective on a candidate’s linguistic skills and personality
  • It can boost your confidence and certainly improves your German language proficiency
  • These certifications are accepted by most universities for undergraduate and postgraduate universities


Which German language certificate is the best?

The following certificates are recognized by German higher education institutions as proof of German language proficiency at the c1 level of the CEFR:
DSH Certificate (Level 2-above).
TestDaF Certificate (Minimum 4 points in 4 of its sections).
GDS Certificate (C2 Level-above).

What are the German language exams?

The DSH, TestDaF, and Goethe Institut tests are the most widely recognized German exams, covering all CEFR levels from A1 to C2. More information about a variety of credentials, why you should choose one over the other, and how Lingoda can help you succeed can be found below!

Is German hard to learn?

German is not as difficult to learn as most people believe, thanks to a plethora of simple principles. And, because English and German are related languages, you might be amazed at how much you pick up without even trying! And, to top it all off, it’s really in demand at the moment.

Is B1 German enough?

The German government thinks B1 to be enough to get along well enough with the Germans in case you are looking for citizenship status.

Can I study in Germany without knowing German?

Yes, you may study in Germany without ever learning the language. To enroll in university, you must demonstrate your command of the English language. Certificates such as the TOEFL (minimum score of 71) and IELTS (minimum score of 6.5) are accepted.

We hope this blog has familiarized you with the procedure and the details of different types of German language tests. Are you looking at taking one soon but are unsure about the right one? Experts at Leverage Edu will help you make the decision smoothly. They will put forth all the aspects of all the tests and help you pick the one which will be the most advantageous. Register today for your 30 mins session and get ready to conquer another language and be a global citizen! 

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