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Germany - TestDaF

The TestDaF ‘Deutsch als Fremdsprache’ means, “German as a Foreign Language“, is a language examination at an advanced level, managed and supervised by TestDaF Institute. The TestDaF certificate is valid for an unlimited time period.

The TestDaF is offered in 96 countries across the world. The number of registrations for the TestDaF keeps increasing with every passing year. In 2003, 7,498 candidates sat for the exam; while in 2012, the number of candidates increased to 24,261. It corresponds to the levels B2 to C1on the Common European Framework of Reference six-level scale.


If you have successfully completed all 4 examinations at TestDaF level 4, you’ll receive a certificate that is valid as a language qualification for admittance to any higher education institution in Germany. The TestDaF language examination is globally acknowledged proof of your level of mastery of German for scientific projects and academic careers.

Eligibility Criteria

Students who wish to study in Germany or plan to stay at a university in Germany and wish to check their German language skills and knowledge are eligible for TestDaF. Likewise, students who are coming to Germany via programs of the European Union can appear for TestDaF.

Dates and Deadlines

The TestDaF is held six times a year at test centers throughout the globe and in Germany. To know about the examination dates and deadlines, visit TestDaF dates.

TestDaF Format

The TestDaF exam is of 3 hours and 10 minutes. TestDaF consists of 4 four sections: Reading Comprehension, Listening, Written Expression and Speaking/Oral Expression. The reading comprehension, listening and written expression sections of the exam is tested in a classroom setting, and an oral examination is computerized wherein, a student has to speak in German while sitting in front of a Computer.

Reading Comprehension: It consists 3 reading texts about daily life, on scientific or socio-political topics, and University publication. The candidates are required to read, understand and answer the questions accordingly.
  • No. of questions: 30 items
  • Duration: 60 minutes
Listening Comprehension: It includes 3 audio-texts: the first is a short dialogue followed by an interview or discussion on a course-related or general scientific topic and the last is the presentation. The candidates are required to make notes on the questions, decide whether statements about the text are true or false, and listen to a presentation and give short answers about the main questions in it.
  • Duration: 40 minutes
  • No. of tasks: 25
Written Expression: The candidates are given a topic and with the help of guided points and statistical data, they need to draft a logical and structured text. They are required to state their point of view along with appropriate reasoning. Their writing ability is tested in style, structure, correctness, and consistency.
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • No. of tasks: 1
Oral Expression/Speaking: Candidates need to prove their ability to speak German in different situations related to various circumstances of higher education. The candidates have to take part in 7 activities/tasks which put them in different communicative situations at German universities. They have to get information, sum up their content, express their viewpoints and provide a rationale behind it, take a stand, evaluate the alternatives and also formulate their own theory/hypothesis.
  • Duration: 30 minutes
  • No. of tasks: 7

Registration and Fees

You can register online. For registration, you’ll need to have a valid identification proof or passport. Presently, there are about 450 testing centers in 96 countries around the globe. To know about the test center close to your place, visit the TestDaF-Institute website.
You are required to pay an examination fee either by the Internet subscriber portal or in cash or by bank transfer directly to the respective test center. If you pay at the test center, you get a transaction number (TAN) for the desired TestDaF. This transaction number is needed for the online registration and is valid until the registration period has been over for that TestDaF.

After the successful registration along with payment of fees, you’ll receive a confirmation mail. You will get the admission letter 10 days after the registration period is over. You need to log-in to the registration portal and download the admission letter.

Scoring and Results

Each section is graded separately. The results are expressed in three TestDaF levels (TDN) - Grading Levels 3, 4 and 5 which depicts the skills you have with respect to the following sections-reading, writing, listening and oral/speaking.
  • If the result is below TDN 3, the test is considered as “failed”. In this case, all examination parts will have to be repeated.
  • Applicants for a place at university who have attained a minimum of TestDaF-Level 4 in every examination section are entitled to take part in programme or course in Germany Universities.
  • A score of TDN 5 confirms that you have an excellent command of German.
Certificate: Within six weeks, a certificate is issued to the candidates by the Test Centre. The certificate depicts the grades of all sections of the examination and an in-depth explanation of the achieved level.

Test Day Essentials

  • Admission Letter
  • Valid Identification proof or passport with photo (the same ID as used while applying for the exam).
  • Pen (blue or black)

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