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It is a well-known fact that Germany is counted as one of the top study destinations for attaining overseas education. Scores of students flock to Germany every year to seek high-quality education provided by some of the top universities in Germany. While a majority of international students prefer courses taught in English medium, a significant number also opt for courses with German as the medium of language. Just like non-native English speakers have to score a minimum percentile in English proficiency tests like IELTS, TOEFL and PTE in order to pursue a wide range of programs, the German language course aspirants also have to go through language proficiency tests such as the TestDaf through which their knowledge and command on the German language is assessed. So, if you also wish to study in Germany and pursue courses taught in the German language then read on to know all the details pertaining to the TestDaf examination.

General Overview

An abbreviation for “Test Deutsch als Fremdsprache” or “Test of German as a Foreign Language”, TestDaf Exam is an internationally recognized, German language proficiency test which assesses the knowledge of German language of candidates who wish to study in Germany without IELTS or are seeking employment opportunities in the European nation. This test is conducted only for the students who have opted for courses having German as the medium of instruction and want to demonstrate their language skills in the form of certification. Upon obtaining a set percentile are the students considered fit for studying, working and conducting research studies in the German language. 

TestDaf Exam: Eligibility Criteria

As far as a language proficiency test is concerned, subject-based knowledge of the candidates is not tested. Applicants should have passed the intermediate level of the language from any recognized institute teaching the German language with around 700 to 1000 hours of study. However, before taking the TestDaf exam, it is advisable for the candidates to check whether they fit the criteria of intermediate level or not. You can click on the official link right here and this 10 minutes test is all to give you a rough idea about where you stand.

TestDaf Exam Levels

Centrally developed and administered by the TestDaf Institute, the TestDaf exam is just like any other language proficiency test which consists of sections that assess the Speaking, Listening, Writing and Reading skills of the candidates. On the basis of the results obtained after completing the exam, the candidates are graded based on one of the three levels of the exam namely,

  • TDN 5 or TestDaF-Niveaustufe 5
  • TDN 4 or TestDaF-Niveaustufe 4
  • TDN 3 or TestDaF-Niveaustufe 3

The candidates should at least reach the TDN 4 level in each section so that they can easily get admission into any German course (Subject to academics and other requirements being fulfilled). However, if a candidate reaches TDN level 5, then they are considered to be highly knowledgeable in the German language. 

Note: The aforementioned levels are equivalent to the B2 to C1 levels as set by the Common European Framework of Reference for Language (CEFR). 

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Exam Pattern

Before taking any exam, it is of utmost importance to understand the pattern and the types of questions asked. Knowing about the pattern helps the students to prepare for any exam smartly and the chances of them ace the test increase exponentially. Coming to the sections or subtests of the TestDaf exam, the candidates will be required to answer multiple-choice and true/false type questions in reading and listening comprehension. The duration of the exam (without any breaks) is 3 hours 10 minutes. Let us walk you further through the pattern of the exam:

  • Reading Comprehension: This section of the TestDaf exams requires the candidates to answer three short texts containing 30 questions within 60 minutes. Each of the three given texts may vary as far as the level of difficulty is concerned. There could be texts based on topics related to everyday lives, basic general knowledge, socio-political topics, general science and so on.
  • Listening Comprehension: In the listening comprehension section, the candidates will be given three audio texts, each containing 25 questions/items. Through this section of the TestDaf exam, the candidates have to prove their ability to understand spoken German texts. Varying in the level of difficulty, the candidates will have to listen to dialogues pertaining to everyday life, a radio interview with four speakers, a short lecture, etc. The comprehension test has to be completed within 40 minutes.
  • Written Production: With one writing task to be completed in 60 minutes, this portion of the TestDaf exam analyses the writing abilities of the candidates. They are expected to write a well-structured essay or a short text on a given topic such as statistical data, guide points and so on.
  • Oral Production: Testing the oral skills of the candidates who wish to study or work in Germany, this 30 minutes oral production section will require the candidates to respond on seven tasks which would be related to general topics, discussions, and situations they might face in their everyday lives.

Tabulated below is the exact test procedure the candidates will have to follow while they are attempting the TestDaf exam:

Subtests Tasks Duration
Reading Comprehension 30 Tasks/Questions 60 minutes
Listening Comprehension 25 Tasks/Questions 40 minutes
Written Production 1 Task/Question 60 minutes
Oral Production 7 Tasks/Questions 30 minutes

TestDaf 2021: Important Dates

The TestDaf Institute conducts the exam 6 times every year across 500 test centers in almost 100 countries. Before the candidates choose their exam date, it is important to note that the complete evaluation process takes around 6 weeks to complete. Therefore, they should choose their exam dates well in advance before the application deadlines of the universities end, irrespective of whether they are applying for masters or a PhD in Germany. Here is a table listing all the important dates that the aspirants need to be aware of:

Date of Exam Registration Deadline
9th February 2021 17 November 2020 to 12 January 2021
20th April 2021 23 February 2021 to 24 March 2021
08th June 2021 13th April 2021 to 11th May 2021
15th July 2021 20th May 2021 to 17 June 2021
9th September 2021 15th July 2021 to 12th August 2021
09th November 2021 14th September 2021 to 12th October 2021

* These are tentative dates. However, these dates signify the activation of the results portal of the participants.  

How to Register for the TestDaf Exam?

As discussed, the TestDaf exam is a gateway for those who want to pursue higher education or work in Germany. Here is a step by step guide on how you can get yourself registered for the TestDaf exam: 

  • The first and foremost aspect of applying to the TestDaf exam is to have sufficient knowledge in the German language. For this, the candidates can head to any recognized institute to learn the language and be familiar with its contents.
  • Secondly, the candidates need their valid ID and passports to register for the TestDaf exam.
  • After having fulfilled the above two conditions, the candidates can get themselves registered through online mode. You have to select the country, test center, and exam dates. To sign up, you can visit the official website of the TestDaf exam or click on the link here.


For how long is TestDaF valid?
Though the TestDaf validity is for an indefinite period, some universities in Germany need test scores not older than 1, 2, or 3 years. It is thus advised to check the eligibility criteria of every university you are applying to.  

How many attempts are allowed?
You can attempt the exam for as many times as you want. However, it is advised to improve your linguistic skills before applying again. 

Hence, to get the highest level certification in the TestDaf, it is important to get hold of the language efficiently. While clearing the exam is just one of the many requirements to study in Germany for Indian students as well as those from other countries, evaluating the cost of studying in Germany is also an essential part. Leverage Edu is your one-stop-shop for all your study abroad requirements. From completing admission related formalities to writing an impeccable SOP, our team of experts will provide assistance at every step of the application process. Best of Luck!

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