DSH stands for "Deutsche Sprachprufung fur den Hochschulzugang auslandischer Studienbewerber" (German language university entrance examination for foreign students). The DSH is a language examination, which tests whether you have the potential of taking on studies in a University in Germany.  The DSH takes place in two forms: written as well as oral.


The DSH is for all the foreign students who want to study in Higher Education Institution in Germany.

Dates and Deadlines

DSH is developed and maintained by individual universities and is conducted several times in a year.

Examination Fees

The DSH examination fee varies from University to University. Participation in the DSH is possible only after proven payment of the examination fee. It amounts to 100-130 euro approximately. In addition, a registration fee is too charged at some Universities.  The deposit receipt must be presented upon entrance into the examination room.


Registration for DSH is done at the respective Universities only-either online or in person. Enter all your details and submit. Pay the fees as per the University norm. Consequently, you’ll receive a confirmation email. The deposit receipt must be presented upon entrance into the examination room.

DSH: Levels

There are three competency levels of DSH exam. Following are the levels:
  • Elementary level which includes A1 and A2
  • Intermediate level which includes B1 and B2 DSH1
  • Advanced Language levels which include C1 DSH2 and C2 DSH3
The B2 DSH1, C1 DHS 2 and C2 DSH 3 Competency levels consist of three sections: Comprehension which includes listening and reading, speaking and Writing.
  • Comprehension Section: This section includes Listening and Reading comprehensions. This section tests you on general knowledge and scientific topics which assesses your ability to express yourself in written and oral form.
  • Speaking: In this section, various topics would be given, you need to be spontaneous, fluent, and descriptive and take a point of view. Explain your points clearly with appropriate supporting statements.
  • Writing: It involves writing on a specific text, issue essay or a letter. You need to be clear, concrete and be capable to express your viewpoints clearly.

Format: Detailed

The DSH exam has two parts- Written and Oral

The Written DSH exam
The Written DSH exam accounts for 70% of the whole DSH exam. The dictionary is given for references and to check up unfamiliar words.
Duration: 3 to 4 hours

Written part consists of:
a. Listening Comprehension: This part accounts for 20 % of the DSH exam. Lectures, Seminars and presentations are part of this part. You are required to listen and summarise the most important points into notes during lecture or seminar. A summary of the textual matter plays a significant role in resolving the questions. Candidates' answers will be assessed depending on their completeness and rightness.
Duration: 60 minutes

b. Comprehension and Working on a text: This includes scientific text about 30-60 lines with a graph. You need to answer the questions from the text. You need to be grammatically strong and accurate while answering questions. This part accounts for 20% of the DSH exam.
Duration: 60 minutes

c. Comprehension and working on a scientific structure: This part accounts for 10% of the DSH exam and focuses on the German language. A reading text is given with questions based on grammatical structures, transformations etc. This part tests your ability to reform the structure with the correct usage of grammar. Grammatical correctness plays the crucial role in the evaluation.
Duration: 30 minutes

d. Text Production: This is the written part of the exam and accounts for 20 % of the DSH exam. In this part, good writing skills and rich vocabulary is needed. A specific topic would be caved in, you need to write a text on that of about 200-250 words, answering each questions in a detailed form, i.e. by explaining, commenting and comparing. The most significant point to keep in mind for this part is “Content” and “Correctness of your ability to express”.
Duartion: 60 minutes

The Oral DSH exam
The Oral DSH exam accounts for 30% of the DSH exam. You will be given a short text, graph, or voice recording from the academic field. The questions are based on the given material or from your chosen field of study. This section tests your ability to communicate distinctly and effectively. You should be capable to display an ability to connect events, facts and trains of thought intelligently and naturally, to contend with these linguistically and to respond in a suitable manner to such topics during a conversation. Candidates will be evaluated according to their general conversation and discussion skills in a university context (understanding of questions, appropriate responses, and spontaneity) as well as the ability to convey facts correctly and distinctly.
Duration: 20 minutes

Scoring and Results

You need to pass the written exam in order to take the Oral exam. The results are marked as “Passed” or “Not Passed”.

The performance in the various sections/parts-written as well as oral examinations is measured in %. The total score is documented to the following three levels:
  • DSH-1 (57 % or higher) indicates "elementary" language proficiency.
  • DSH-2 (67 % or higher) confirms "sophisticated" language proficiency.
  • DSH-3 (82 % or higher) confirms "extraordinary" language proficiency.
If less than 57% of the possible points will be obtained during one examination element, this exam is considered “failed"

The whole examination counts as passed, if both the written and the oral examination are passed.
Certificates: Upon passing the oral exam you will be issued a temporary certificate. You will receive the official DSH certificate (DSH II/III) via post six weeks at the latest after the examination date. No certificate is issued for results lower than the DSH II level.
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