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Language skills

What level of language do I need to demonstrate to apply?
The TestDaF Institute provides information about all issues relating to the German language on its website at You will need to contact the institutions for their specific requirements.

What is a pre-study German course?
At many institutions, applicants who do not yet have the required proficiency in German to study can complete a pre-study German course before starting their actual course of study. This should prepare them for their studies linguistically and it ends with an examination, consisting of an oral and a written component - the DSH. At many institutions, you can also take the TestDaF.
The pre-study German course normally lasts 2 semesters. During this time, you are enrolled at the institution.

What is the difference between the assessment test and the German language test for higher education admission (DSH)?
The assessment test involves both subject-specific and linguistic preparation for your course of study. However, it can only be taken by those applicants who do not have an appropriate entrance qualification to study a subject, "only" for the preparatory course / assessment test. Passing the assessment test entitles you to enter higher education and proves you have gained the necessary proficiency in German to be admitted.
The pre-study German course is for applicants who have an appropriate entrance qualification for a subject but are not yet proficient enough in German. The pre-study German course at an institution generally leads to the DSH.
Whether or not you are entitled to enter higher education is determined by checking your qualifications. Our database shows which international qualifications are accepted for entrance to higher education, for 16 countries at present.

Do I have to complete a pre-study German course at an institution?
No. There are numerous private language schools in Germany that prepare students for the standard language certificates recognised by higher education institutions (it may not be possible to obtain such a certificate directly at the language school, you may need to take the examination at a central location). If you attend a language course outside the higher education institution, you do not have student status.

How to I find a provider of language courses?
A special database from the German as a Foreign Language Association (FaDaF) helps you to find providers of German courses throughout Germany. You can search for both higher education institutions and private language schools.

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