TestDaF exam in Berlin
TestDaF, a name with an almost magical sound! TestDaF – formally “Test Deutsch als Fremdsprache” (“Test of German as a foreign language”) – is a German language test which serves as proof of German language skills for university admission. If you want to study at a university in Berlin or at some other German-speaking university, you need a top-notch knowledge of German. And you will need a special certificate to prove your German language skills to the university. You can obtain one of these certificates by taking the TestDaF. The TestDaF is the central German language examination for university admission and has been recognised by the German Rectors’ Conference (“Hochschulrektorenkonferenz” or HRK) as proof of German language proficiency for university admission since 2001. For this reason, thousands of people have already taken this German language examination since 2001. And the trend is clearly upward. One could say that the TestDaF is THE German exam for universities in Germany. The TestDaF is also very popular in Berlin. We can say this from experience, as the deutSCHule has been the official TestDaF examination centre since 2013. Several thousand students have already taken the TestDaF with us, and a good half of them have been very successful. As a rule, all of the slots for the TestDaF examinations are filled very quickly. At the deutSCHule, your chance to take the TestDaF in Berlin is secured if you register for one of our TestDaF preparation courses. If you want to take part in the TestDaF in Berlin without taking such an exam preparation course, you can register with us at the deutSCHule on a waiting list. With a little luck, you will get one of the much-sought-after places for the German exam on your way to a university career.
Our TestDaF examination dates
Fees for the TestDaF 2019
Prerequisites for TestDaF
German level B2 or higher
The structure of the TestDaF
The structure of the TestDaF is the same all over the world. Whether you take the TestDaF exam in Berlin or in Indonesia, it takes place on the same day and consists of four parts: reading comprehension, listening comprehension, written expression and oral expression. The parts are of different durations. For reading comprehension, the examinee is granted 60 minutes; for listening comprehension approximately 40 minutes; for written expression 60 minutes and for oral expression approximately 30 minutes. The TestDaF is designed to cover all four of the skills that you need to have in order to communicate successfully in German. Two of these are receptive skills, i.e. understanding spoken and written language, and two are expressive skills, i.e. producing oral and written texts.
In other words, you have to know German really well in all areas! You don’t necessarily need all four parts to navigate in the night scene of Berlin, but you certainly need them at the university and during your studies.
The evaluation of the TestDaF
The different parts of the examination are graded in TestDaF levels. There are three TestDaF levels: TDN 3, TDN 4 and TDN 5. TestDaF level 3 corresponds to levels B2.1 to B2.2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). TestDaF level 4 corresponds to levels B2.3 to C1.1 and TestDaF level 5 to levels C1.2 to C1.3.
Each part of the examination is assessed individually. There is no overall grade, meaning you can fail one part and pass all the others. Nevertheless, the entire TestDaF is considered failed if you fail only one part. It is not possible to repeat a single part of the examination.
The TDN 3 is the entry level of the tested German knowledge. If you reach TDN 3 in one part of the exam, you have proven a “low knowledge of German” in this part of the exam. The TDN 4 should be more interesting to you. At this level, “unrestricted university access” is recommended. The highest level is the TDN 5, meaning you have an outstanding knowledge of the German language.
In order to be admitted to the university, you need to achieve 4×4, i.e. at least TDN 4 in all four examination parts of the TestDaF.
Anyone who scores TDN 3 in an exam section will have to tremble. Now it all depends on the course of studies. With this result, access to higher education through the TestDaF is no longer unrestricted.
The TestDaF – A standardised exam
The TestDaF is a standardised examination. In Berlin, there may seem to be a lot of improvisation. In Germany, however, almost everything is subject to a prescribed and certified standard. It is not only the format of the TestDaF tasks which are affected, the entire presentation of the test – from the layout of the pages to the typeface used, the length of the sentences, the vocabulary, etc. – is standardised. And of course, the examination itself is strictly regulated! It must always follow the same rules without exception, regardless of whether the TestDaF is taken in Berlin or some other city.
The most important reason for this is comparability. Anyone taking the TestDaF exam in Berlin today must have the guarantee that they have the same chances as someone who took the TestDaF exam in Tokyo five years ago.
The standardisation of the TestDaF is what ensures the quality of the TestDaF examination. After all, it is only in this way the exam results become meaningful. The result of this German language examination corresponds more or less precisely to the actual performance in the TestDaF examination. This is why universities and authorities can rely on the TestDaF to decide whether or not to admit someone to higher studies. And that is precisely what makes it so valuable!
You can nail the TestDaF
The first and most important skill to pass the TestDaF is having a solid knowledge of German. This means you must have a proper and confident level in all four areas at a clear C1 level. This means you must have a proper and confident level in all four areas at a clear C1 level. Of course, you may still pass the TestDaF if you have only completed a B2 course. However, a B2 level is usually not sufficient to be certain of success. Or that you will, in fact, be able to complete your studies at a German university. Therefore, we also offer TestDaF preparation courses at the deutSCHule in Berlin. These courses are specifically designed to prepare you for the TestDaF examination and have proven to be extremely successful!