What does the TestDaF look like?
All the topics and tasks in the test are situated within the general context of higher education. They are intended for applicants of all academic disciplines.
The TestDaF comprises four subtests:
3 reading texts with 30 items
Duration: 60 minutes
3 listening texts with 25 items
Duration: approx. 40 minutes
1 writing task
Duration: 60 minutes
7 speaking tasks
Duration: approx. 30 minutes
Overall examination duration (without breaks) : 3 hours 10 minutes
You are asked to prove your ability to understand written texts related thematically and linguistically to the field of higher education. You are asked to treat a set of tasks which require comprehension of context and detail as well as implicit information. There are three texts at variable levels of difficulty. The text types and task types also vary. (Short texts on everyday life at university, newspaper / magazine articles and articles from academic journals).
You are asked to prove your ability to understand spoken texts related thematically and linguistically to the field of higher education. There are three listening texts at variable levels of difficulty: a dialogue typical of everyday life at university, a radio interview with three or four speakers, and a short lecture or an interview with an expert. The text types and tasks also vary. The tasks require comprehension of context and detail as well as implicit information.
You are asked to prove your ability to write a clearly structured and coherent text dealing with a specific topic. In the first section, you are asked to describe statistical data presented in a graph or a table. The second section asks you to state your opinion on a specific question for discussion.
You are asked to prove your ability to speak German in different situations related to the field of higher education. The subtest consists of seven tasks at variable levels of difficulty. You are asked to respond in various university situations: e.g. take part in adiscussion with fellow students, describe a diagram during a tutorial, state your opinion on a particular topic, form hypotheses. The tasks in the subtest Oral Production are CD- or cassette-based. You can follow them simultaneously in your examination booklet. Your responses are recorded on a second CD or cassette.
Hints and tips for tackling the examination tasks
You can find detailed information on preparing for the test on our homepage (Hints and Tips/Hinweise und Tipps). There you will find descriptions of the individual subtests and suggestions for practice and preparation. Now you know the essential information about the TestDaF. You can find more information and training material at your nearest Test Centre, in bookshops or on the TestDaF Institute website (Preparing for TestDaF/Vorbereitung auf den TestDaF). The TestDaF Institute wishes you good luck with your preparation and examination. We hope that your aim of studying in Germany will be realised soon.