Language examinations
German language examinations

German Language Examinations

At LLC we offer two alternative common examination systems for German as a foreign language.


  • Similarities

    Similarities - general

    • The level of both tests/examinations corresponds to B2/C1 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).
    • In both tests/examinations the skills writing, listening and reading are tested The result is determined in three levels (DSH-1, DSH-2 & DSH-3 or TDN 3, TDN 4 & TDN 5), of which the intermediate level entitles the participant to study in Germany.
    • The validity of the certificate is unlimited.


    Similarities - examination/test format

    • The writing tasks in text production/written expression are the same: describing, arguing, expressing an opinion.
  • Differences

    Differences - general


    • can only be taken at licensed universities/colleges within Germany
    • decentralised examination, which can be slightly different at each location and takes place on different dates
    • the certificate can primarily be used for studies at a German university or college
    • the certificate is more likely to be recognised within Germany
    • in exceptional cases, there may be problems with the recognition of the certificate at certain colleges/universities (this is regulated by the local examination regulations)


    • can be taken at licensed test centres worldwide
    • central test, which takes place on the same dates worldwide
    • the certificate serves as proof of German language skills both for studies and for a job
    • the certificate is generally also recognised internationally
    • there are no difficulties with recognition at German colleges/universities

    Differences - examination/test format


    • there is no minimum performance in the individual subtests, which means that you can compensate for slightly worse parts of the exam with better ones
    • a monolingual dictionary (German-German) is permitted throughout the examination
    • grammatical knowledge is explicitly tested (scientific language structures, 100 out of 700 points)
    • the oral examination may only be taken if the written examination has been assessed with at least 57% (the written and oral examinations therefore do not take place on the same day)
    • the oral examination takes place in person with an examination board (consisting of two examiners)
    • in the oral examination there is usually a task with different speaking tasks (describing, arguing, possibly expressing an opinion)
    • in the listening/reading comprehension there is one (longer) text (approximately at level B2)
    • the listening text is read out twice, live by one examiner
    • in listening/reading comprehension there are on average ten tasks and questions of different types (open, half-open and closed), some of which are quite complex


    • there is a minimum performance in the individual subtests, which means that to study in Germany you must achieve at least the TDN 4 level in all four parts of the test (no compensation possible)
    • during the entire test, tools (including monolingual dictionaries) are forbidden
    • grammatical knowledge is not explicitly tested
    • each participant has to take an oral part of the test (the whole test takes place on one day)
    • the test part "Oral Expression" takes place with the help of technical equipment (PC, language laboratory etc.)
    • in the test part "Oral Expression" there are seven tasks with seven different speaking tasks
    • in listening/reading comprehension there are three texts each on three different topics and with three different levels of difficulty
    • the first two listening texts are recited only once, the second listening text is recited twice; the recitation is done from a medium (CD, PC etc.)
    • in listening/reading comprehension there are 25 or 30 mainly closed (or half-open) questions and tasks


M.A. Selin Lehmann
Chair of DSH Examinations
Im Moore 11B, Raum 221
30167 Hannover
Im Moore 11B, Raum 221
30167 Hannover


Christina Buhrmester
Im Moore 11B, Raum 220
30167 Hannover
Im Moore 11B, Raum 220
30167 Hannover