TestDaF: German language test for international applicants

The test TestDaF ‘Deutsch als Fremdsprache’ means, “German as a foreign language“. TestDaF, administered by TestDaF Institute, is an internationally recognized and globally standardised language examination, testing language proficiency of non-native German Speakers. The TestDaF exam is the language qualification that facilitates admission to university and is recognized by every university in Germany. It is aimed at people who would like to study in German Universities or academics and scientists who would like to work in Germany. The TestDaF is approximately 3 hours 10 minutes exam. The TestDaF certificate is valid for an unlimited time period. The number of enrollments of the TestDaF keeps increasing  on year on year basis. 

TestDaF Eligibility

Students, who are planning to study in Germany, or academics who are planning their stay at a university in Germany and would like to test their current knowledge of German, or students who are coming to Germany via programs of the European Union are eligible for TestDaF.

Dates and Deadlines

The TestDaF is held seven times a year at test centers in over 500 test sites throughout the world and in Germany. 

TestDaF Format

TestDaF consists of the 4 parts: reading comprehension, listening comprehension, written expression as well as oral expression. The reading comprehension, listening comprehension and written expression parts of the exam is tested in a classroom context, while the oral examination is done by speaking to a computer.

Reading Comprehension: It includes three reading texts with 30 questions to answer. You need to read, understand and answer accordingly. In this section you need to prove that you can understand texts that have thematic and linguistic relevance to universities.
Duration: 60 minutes

Listening Comprehension: It includes three audio-texts with 25 questions to answer. You will require to execute tasks that need an understanding of the overall structure as well as detailed and implicit information.
Duration: 40 minutes

Written Expression: There is one writing task assigned to the applicants in this section wherein their writing ability is tested, i.e. style, structure, correctness, and consistency. In this section you need to demonstrate that you can compose a cogent and clearly structured text about a specific topic. In the first part of the text you need to describe a graphical image. In the second part of the text you need to expound your opinion about a question posed for discussion.
Duration: 60 minutes

Oral Expression/Speaking: Candidates need to prove their ability to speak German in different situations related to the field of higher education. This part consists of seven tasks at variable degrees of difficulty and the candidates are required to respond in various situations at university, like discussions with fellow students, voicing your opinion on a particular topic, or forming hypotheses
Duration: 30 minutes

Scoring and Results

Each section is graded separately according to the following three grading levels:  
  • TestDaF-Grading Level 3 (TDN 3)
  • TestDaF-Grading Level 4 (TDN 4)
  • TestDaF-Grading Level 5 (TDN 5)
If the result is below TDN 3, the test is to be considered failed. In this case, all examination elements will have to be repeated.

Applicants for a place at university who have reached a minimum of TestDaF-Level 4 in every examination element are allowed the possibility to take part in courses of study in Germany.

A score of TDN 5 shows that you have a very good knowledge of German, above that required at the beginning of your studies.

Certificate: Within six weeks the candidates would receive a certificate issued by the Test Centre. The certificate shows the grades of all parts of the examination and the detailed description of the reached level.

TestDaF Registration

To enroll for TestDaF, fill out an application form online on www.testdaf.de. Pay the examination fee by Visa credit card or debit entry or directly to the TestDaF Institute. You will receive a receipt of the payment made and a confirmation mail as well.
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