Applying Studying Institutions Living

Preparatory course/Assessment test

What is an assessment test?
The assessment test is intended to determine whether an applicant has the required subject knowledge and language proficiency to study at a German higher education institution. There are assessment tests with particular main courses for universities and universities of applied sciences. Passing the assessment test allows you to apply to study the corresponding subject. The one year attending a preparatory course prepares students for the assessment test. However, it can also be taken as an external assessment test without attending such a course.
Whether or not you have to take an assessment test before you can apply to study your chosen subject depends on your previous education in another country. The type of main course allowed and whether you can take an assessment test for a university or a university of applied sciences also depends on the type of foreign qualifications you have.
The assessment test can only be retaken once, which must be after at least a further six months on the same preparatory course.

What does the assessment test cover?
As well as the subjects included in the relevant main course, the assessment test normally tests proficiency in German and Mathematics. For more information, contact the preparatory course or the institutions themselves.

Can I choose whether I want to take an assessment test or start studying the subject immediately?
No, whether you can take the assessment test or attend a preparatory course depends on the type of higher education entrance qualification you have.

Do I have to take an entrance examination to get onto the preparatory course?
Before you are accepted to the preparatory course, they check that your language proficiency is sufficient for admission. Some preparatory courses also test your subject knowledge, for example Mathematics.
The language component of the entrance examination consists of several sections: grammar, reading comprehension, listening comprehension and writing. Further information on the content of the entrance examination is available directly from the institution or preparatory course.
This test can normally be repeated once, or twice for some preparatory courses. Many preparatory courses offer intensive courses to prepare for retaking the entrance examination. These are generally referred to as "preliminary courses".

Where to I apply for the preparatory course?
Prospective students who are applying for a preparatory course are reported to the preparatory course by the institutions or the responsible state authority. Depending on the institution, you may need to make a written application for admission to the preparatory course, either to the institution, directly to the preparatory course or to the responsible state authority. The institutions will inform you of where you need to send your application in specific cases.

What is the difference between the assessment test and the German language test for higher education admission (DSH)?
The preparatory course provides subject-specific and language preparation for your course of study. However, the assessment test at the end of the preparatory course can only be taken by those applicants who do not have an appropriate entrance qualification for their chosen course, "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 to higher education.
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 21 countries at present.

Am I committed to the main course in the assessment test or can I study a different subject?
Your previous education in your home country determines which courses you can study. For example, if you want to study mechanical engineering and have an appropriate previous education record, you could attend a T or TI course and, after passing the assessment test, you can decide whether you still want to study mechanical engineering or another subject in the technical / scientific field.
In addition, some preparatory courses allow you to take a supplementary examination. This then allows you to apply for other courses.

Do I have to study the same subject for which I have applied to the preparatory course?
No, you complete a main course based on your previous educational record. Once you have passed the assessment test, you can then choose a course that is covered by this main course. For example, if you have completed a "W course", you can choose a course from the field of business or social sciences. Note that a course may be assigned to several main courses at the same institution or it may be assigned to different subject specialisations at different institutions. (For example, a Psychology course could be an M subject at Institution 1, a G subject at Institution 2 and a G and M subject at Institution 3.)

Am I guaranteed a place after the assessment test?
If you have passed the assessment test, you meet the formal admission requirements for the courses covered by your main course,
but like all applicants you must go through an admission process. For courses with restricted admissions (NC courses), grades from your previous education and the assessment test are normally taken into account. In addition, there are an increasing number of institutions in Germany that set supplementary admission criteria. For details of these criteria (for example, additional language skills), you should contact your chosen institution.

After passing the assessment test, can I still apply for the coming semester?
Normally, the examination and application dates at the institutions are co-ordinated so that it is still possible for you to apply before the deadline. Also, there are often special arrangements for those completing preparatory courses.

Do all institutions offer a preparatory course?
No. Therefore, it is essential that you find out whether your chosen institution offers a preparatory course or an external assessment test.

Is the assessment test recognised by all institutions?
The assessment test is normally recognised by all institutions, provided that your previous education demonstrates that you were entitled to take it. Note that the institutions are not obliged to accept the assessment test if you did not actually have an appropriate academic record for admission to the preparatory course or to take the assessment test and only gained admission due to special arrangements or an error.

Does an assessment test for universities of applied sciences also allow me to study at universities?
No. You take a course that is specifically tailored to prepare you for education at a university of applied sciences.

Does an assessment test for universities also allow me to study at universities of applied sciences?
Yes. The course designed to prepare you for study at a university is also suitable for studying at a university of applied sciences.

Do I have to apply for the preparatory course through the institution or directly?
Many institutions have an affiliated preparatory course. However, there are also preparatory courses that you need to apply for directly. In some German states, applications for preparatory courses have to be made through a particular state authority. Information is available from your chosen institution.

php2all MiniCMS