The Test Deutsch als Fremdsprache (TestDaF) is an international, centralised and standardised language test for German as a foreign language – and an important milestone on your path to a German university education.
This language test is intended primarily for:
- students who wish to study in Germany and need proof of German language proficiency to enrol
- students who have to prove their German language skills in their home country
- academics who are planning a research visit at a German university and want to check their language level
- anyone who has to provide proof of German language skills for academic work.
With the certificate you officially prove that you are linguistically ready to start your studies.
The TestDaF certificate is valid indefinitely.
You can take the digital TestDaF exam here at the Language Centre of the University of Passau. The examination is conducted online on the computer and consists of four examination parts: Reading comprehension, Listening comprehension, Written composition and Speaking.
You will type, using a keyboard, short answers in the listening comperehension portion of the exam and texts for the written composition portion. You will also use the computer for the speaking portion, where you will listen to the task and a fictitious interlocutor via your headphones. Your answers will be recorded.
The TestDaF exam tests your ability to communicate successfully at a high level and whether your language skills are sufficient for studying a degree programme in Germany.
The topics and tasks in the TestDaF exam are directly related to university study and deal with important communication processes in class, in discussions or working groups as well as other study-related activities at the university. For example, you may be asked to give an opinion on another student's seminar paper, take notes during a lecture or summarise a text. The test combines different communication skills, which you will need when you are studying for real. This could, for example, take the form of you reading a text and then summarising it orally, or listening to a lecture and reading a summary of it.
No subject-specific prior knowledge is assumed. However, you should have general knowledge, an interest in socio-political topics and the current big issues being debated in Europe and in the German higher-education context.
TestDaF exam fee
Optional additional costs
- Additional certificate: EUR 20. You can order another certificate directly from the TestDaF Institute via the contact form [German content]. Please include your name, current address, participant number and the date of the exam.
- Preparatory course of the Language Centre: EUR 250. Please see "How can I prepare for the TestDaF exam?" on this page for details.
The TestDaF is graded centrally. The examination results are assigned to one of three levels in all four examination parts:
There is no overall mark; the TestDaF certificate shows one TestDaF level for each skill tested. Details on how the TestDaF is graded [German content]
The highest level you can reach is TDN 5, the lowest is TDN 3. Below this level, there is no further grading – the certificate will then indicate that the result is below TDN 3.
German language requirements can differ for each degree programme. Please see the list linked to below for the required language skills for your intended degree programme.
Overview of required German language proficiency for degree programmes at the University of Passau.
Only the digital TestDaF exam is offered at the University of Passau.
In 2023 the Language Centre is offering the following examination dates:
Date: Tuesday, 14 February 2023 at 8.45a.m. (ID check at 8.30a.m.)
Venue: Room NK 317 (Nikolakloster Building, Innstrasse 40, 94032 Passau).
Registrations are accepted from 22 November 2022 to 6 February 2023 (only through the TestDaF website)
Notification of results: 14 March 2023
There won't be a preparatory course offered for this exam date.
To register for the TestDaF exam, you have to go through the registration process at the TestDaF Institute website. The Language Centre of the University of Passau cannot accept direct registrations for the TestDaF exam. Participants of the preparatory course have the possibility to get a reservation number for their TestDaF exam at the Language Centre of the University of Passau.
To register, you need a valid national identity card or passport and you must upload a photo. If you are in Germany, you can also use the so-called electronic residence permit (eAufenthaltskarte) issued by the Foreigners' Office (Ausländeramt/Ausländerbehörde).
The TestDaF Institute offers you extensive materials and practice opportunities to make sure that you are well prepared and confident for the TestDaF exam. Familiarise yourself with the test now, make use of the numerous preparation materials and find out about the procedure on the day of the exam itself.
Even if you are sure your German language skills are up to the challenge, it is still important that you familiarise yourself with the format of the digital TestDaF exam. The Language Centre offers a paid preparatory course to prepare you for the format of the digital TestDaF exam in a couple of weeks. You do not need to take this course to be allowed to sit the exam, but doing so will enhance your chances in the TestDaF exam.
The dates of the preparatory course are based on the TestDaF exam date at the Language Center of the University of Passau and will be announced here