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What is TestDaF or DSH Language

For pursuing higher studies in Germany knowledge of local language which is German is a prerequisite for most of the universities. But if you are planning to enroll in international degree programme, knowing German language may not be necessary. If you are not familiar with the language, a short-term course can be done to improve your German language skills.

Your skills in the German language can be proved by taking TestDaF or DSH language test. Some universities make it compulsory for international students to take one of these tests before accepting their application form for any course. Higher studies in German universities are usually conducted in German, so to get admission in a good university of this country students need to prove their hold over the language.

Few universities do not ask for German language proficiency proof if the student is planning to study just for 1-2 semesters. However this rule is not applicable to all academic institutions in Germany. So it is always advisable to inquire personally with the universities that you intend to apply, and ask about language requirements for international students.

Following are the circumstances in which you do not have to take the TestDaF or DSH:

  • If you possess ‘Sprachdiplom’, i.e. German Language Diploma, Level 2 done from Kultusministerkonferenz (KMK), i.e. Conference of Ministers of Education

  • If you completed ‘Abitur’ school leaving examination from a German-speaking school

  • If you have passed Goethe Certificate C2 exam

Students who are already in Germany but do not have proper German language skills, can take a German language course. Some universities help the international students by providing language courses in their campus. These courses are usually held during semester breaks.

Also Read:  First and foremost thing to find courses to study in Germany

Here is what you need to know about TestDaF and DSH


It stands for ‘Test Deutsch als Fremdsprache’ that is ‘Test of German as a Foreign Language.’ This test can be taken by international students in their home country before leaving for Germany. TestDaF is conducted in almost 100 countries all over the world and is held several times in a year. You can refer to the official website of TestDaF for details regarding the dates, canters, application process and fees.


It stands for ‘Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang’ that is ‘German Language Examination for University Entrance.’ DSH is conducted only in Germany. Several German universities offer this exam. Your university’s international office can be contacted for test date details.


Whether the higher studies course in Germany need you to know German language or not, it would always make your life and communication easier with people of Germany if you know their language. Though many people there speak English, but knowledge of German would help you settle quickly in the foreign land.


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