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Proof of Language Proficiency

Different types of evidence show language proficiency, with language certificates being the most widely accepted by universities. While participation in language courses or registration for exams can sometimes count, they’re not typically enough on their own.

Completing university studies in the language or attending a certain number of language classes may also be considered but is less commonly recognized as proof. Recognizing the various forms of acceptable evidence is important for students meeting language requirements for academic purposes.

Language Proficiency in German Higher Education

A good understanding of either German or English is important for doing well in your studies at German universities. Most classes are taught in German, but there are also international programs where classes are in English, sometimes with a mix of German or other languages.

Because of this, universities in Germany usually ask international applicants to show they have a recognized language certificate to prove their language skills.

What Are the German Language 黄瓜视频直播 for University Admission in Germany?

You need to speak German if you want to join a study program in Germany that’s taught in German, either fully or partly. To show you can speak German, you’ll need to pass a recognized German language test or have a certificate from a program taught in German.

But if you’re looking at international study programs in Germany, they mostly use English as the language for teaching. You may not need to know much German for those programs.

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  • Bachelor’s Degrees. For studies taught in German, you need to demonstrate at least a C1 level of proficiency in the language, according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) or DSH II certification.
  • Master’s Degrees. Master’s degree studies in German typically require a level of proficiency ranging from DSH I to DSH II.
  • Doctoral degrees. There are no universal German language requirements for doctoral degree studies in Germany. Language requirements for doctoral programs are determined independently by each educational institution based on their admission regulations.

Accepted Certificates for German Language Skills in German Universities

For C1 level proficiency:

  • DSH Certificate (Level 2 or higher)
  • TestDaF Certificate (with a minimum of 4 points in 4 sections)
  • GDS Certificate (C2 level or above)
  • Language Certificate of the Education Ministers鈥 Conference (Level 2 with C2 in each section)

Additional recognized certificates include:

  • German University Entrance Qualification 鈥淎bitur鈥
  • Assessment Exam Certificate 鈥淔eststellungspr眉fungszeugnis鈥
  • Various Goethe-Institute test certificates
  • telc Deutsch C1 Hochschule Certification
  • telc Deutch B1 Certification (accepted only by specific colleges)
  • 脰sterreichisches Sprachdiplom (脰SD Zertifikat C1)
  • Certificates of completing an academic study degree abroad in Germany (not accepted by all institutions)

For DSH I level proficiency:

  • DSH Certificate (Level 1 or higher)
  • TestDaF Certificate (with a minimum total of 14 points)
  • GDS Certificate (C1 level or above)
  • telc Deutsch C1 Hochschule Certification
  • UNIcert III
  • Language Certificate of the Education Ministers鈥 Conference (Level 2 with C1 in each section)

Some foreign educational certificates may exempt you from the German language requirement:

  • German Language Attestation in the French Dipl么me Du Baccalaur茅at
  • US Advanced Placement Exam (AP Exam) in German Language
  • School Leaving Certificate from specific regions such as the German-speaking community of Belgium, Luxemburg, or South Tyrol, Italy
  • Diplomas from specific German-language international schools
  • Bilingual German-Irish Secondary School Leaving Certificate from specific schools
  • University degree obtained from a German higher education institution (relevant for postgraduate studies)

Accepted Certificates for English Language Skills in German Universities

  • Completion of at least 5 (B1) or 6 (B2) years of schooling in an English-speaking school.
  • IELTS scores of at least 4.5 (B1) or 5.0 (B2).
  • Cambridge English Certificates: B1 Preliminary, B2 First, C1 Advanced, or C2 Proficiency.
  • TOEFL scores: 450 (B1)/500 (B2) in the paper-based test, 130 (B1)/170 (B2) in the computer-based test, or 60 (B1)/80 (B2) in the internet-based test.
  • UNIcert庐 minimum level I (B1) or II (B2).
  • TOEIC certificate.
  • University entrance qualifications or degrees obtained in an English-speaking country.

Recognized English Language Tests

TOEFL Test

The TOEFL test, created by the Educational Testing Service (ETS), is a standardized exam that evaluates how well non-native English speakers can communicate in English.

Many universities worldwide accept TOEFL scores as evidence of English language proficiency for admission to academic programs. However, each university sets its own minimum TOEFL score requirements.

The test is divided into four parts, with a total score of 120 available:

  1. Listening (0-30)
  2. Reading (0-30)
  3. Speaking (0-30)
  4. Writing (0-30)

TOEFL scores remain valid for up to two years.

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IELTS Test

The IELTS Academic exam evaluates the English language abilities of non-native speakers aiming to join undergraduate or postgraduate programs.

German universities commonly recognize IELTS scores as proof of English proficiency for admission.

The exam includes four parts:

  • Listening
  • Academic Writing
  • Academic Reading
  • Speaking

IELTS scores are valid for a maximum of two years.

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TOEIC Test

The TOEICTest, administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS), evaluates the English language skills of non-native speakers in workplace settings.

While some German universities accept good TOEIC scores as evidence of English proficiency for academic studies, it’s not widely accepted.

The TOEIC test includes two sections:

  1. Listening and Reading
  2. Speaking and Writing

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Cambridge English Test

Cambridge English Tests, administered by Cambridge University, are exams based on the CEFR that assess the English language abilities of non-native speakers preparing for academic studies in English. These certificates validate language skills and are widely recognized for various purposes.

These tests offer certificates at different proficiency levels:

  • B1 Preliminary (formerly PET): Demonstrates basic English skills for daily communication.
  • B2 First (formerly FCE): Indicates competence for studying, living, and working in English-speaking environments.
  • C1 Advanced (formerly CAE): Shows advanced language skills for academic, professional, and social contexts.
  • C2 Proficiency (formerly CPE): Confirms expert-level English proficiency.

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UNIcert Test

The UNIcert test is a German exam based on the CEFR and managed by various language centers, teaching institutes, and foreign language institutes. It assesses the English language abilities of non-native speakers for educational purposes.

UNIcert offers proficiency certification at five levels:

  1. UNIcert Basis (A2)
  2. UNIcert I (B1)
  3. UNIcert II (B2)
  4. UNIcert III (C1)
  5. UNIcert IV (C2)

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Recognized German Language Tests

DSH Test

The DSH (Deutsche Sprachpr眉fung f眉r den Hochschulzugang) test is a standardized language examination designed to assess the German language skills of foreign students enrolling in study programs with German as the language of instruction.

The Test DSH Certificate, specifically Level II or III, is widely accepted by higher education institutions in Germany as proof of German language proficiency for admission to academic programs.

The DSH test consists of two main sections:

  1. Oral examination (30%)
  2. Written examination (70%)

The DSH certification indicates proficiency at various levels of the German language:

  • Basic German (A1, A2)
  • Intermediate German (B1, known as DSH1)
  • Advanced German (C1, known as DSH2 and C2, known as DSH3)

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TestDaF

TestDaF is a standardized examination that assesses the proficiency of foreigners seeking admission to higher education institutions in Germany. The TestDaF Institute, located in Hagen, Germany, oversees and maintains the exam. Licensed TestDaF Centers can be found in 80 countries worldwide.

The TestDaF Certificate (4脳4) is widely recognized by most German higher education institutions as evidence of proficiency in the German language.

The TestDaF exam comprises four sections:

  1. Reading
  2. Writing
  3. Listening
  4. Speaking

TestDaF offers examinations and certificates for proficiency levels ranging from TDN 3 to TDN 5, equivalent to CEFR levels B2.1 to C1.3.

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Gro脽es Deutsches Sprachdiplom (GDS) Test

The Major German Language Diploma (GDS) test evaluates highly advanced German language skills of non-native speakers, equivalent to the CEFR C2 level.

The Goethe-Zertifikat C2, also known as the Gro脽es Deutsches Sprachdiplom (GDS), is frequently accepted by German academic institutions as proof of language proficiency for university admission.

You can take the GDS test at any Goethe Institute center, even outside of Germany.

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Deutsches Sprachdiplom der Kultusministerkonferenz (DSD) Test

The German Language Diploma (DSD) program is designed to certify the German language skills of non-native speakers. To participate in the DSD preparatory course, you need to have at least an A2 level of German language competence.

The DSD II Certificate is widely recognized by German universities as evidence of advanced German language proficiency, similar to the CEFR C2 level.

The DSD I Certificate demonstrates proficiency equivalent to CEFR B2/C1 levels and is accepted for admission to a “Studienkolleg” in Germany.

The DSD examination includes four sections:

  1. Writing
  2. Reading
  3. Listening
  4. Speaking

It consists of two mandatory parts:

  1. DSD I test
  2. DSD II test.

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Telc Test

The Telc test is a standardized exam offered by Telc gGmbH that evaluates and certifies the German language skills of people who are not native German speakers.

Aside from German, the Telc test also provides certification in nine other foreign languages for various purposes.

The Telc German C1 University certificate is widely accepted as proof of strong German skills for academic studies in Germany.

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