Are you Learning German? Then you might be aware of German language proficiency tests in India, i.e., Goethe-Zertifikat Deutsch, TestDaF, DSH, TELC, ÖSD, OSD, etc.
But why Learn German of all the languages? The ability to speak German offers immense potential for language jobs across the world. The career opportunity after learning German is infinite! German is the second most popular foreign language among language enthusiasts.
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What is the German Proficiency Test?
The German proficiency test is international standardized tests that assess someone’s German proficiency, whose native language is not German. Whether you are experienced or just starting to learn, you can prove your German skills by taking a language proficiency test, such as Zertifikat Deutsch, TestDaF, DSH, TELC, ÖSD, and ÖIF.
Benefits of the German Proficiency Test
Apart from the fact they can be used as adequate proof of knowledge and proficiency in the German language. It can also help a great deal in satisfying the demands of both employees and employers alike. These exams are essential for business organizations and government establishments to help know more about the language skills and personality of prospective employees.
They can be used as proof of competence for job applications and studies in German-speaking countries. Do you want to pursue your studies in German-speaking countries? Well, then these certifications are recognized and accepted by most of the universities and institutions for both undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
There are few more benefits, such as traveling to Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and German-speaking central Europe. It can boost your confidence, and of course, confirmation of your German proficiency level.
Types of German Language Proficiency Exams
There are many language proficiency tests for German. Are you wondering which exam to take? What are the differences? Take the German test that suits your requirements and also better in terms of testing centers, dates, and prices.
Once the test is given, the organization will provide a certificate of language proficiency that can be used in a variety of situations. Here are the types of widely recognized German proficiency tests and certifications you can earn.
1. Zertifikat Deutsch (ZD)
Zertifikat Deutsch (ZD) is the German proficiency test that will ascertain your competency in speaking German (Deutsch). The Federal Government of Germany highly supports the Zertifikat exam and designed according to the set-out guidelines of the CEFR. The test is performed in levels ranging from A1, which is for beginners, to C2, which is for advanced speakers of the language.
After passing the Goethe-Zertifikat C2: Großes Deutsches Sprachdiplom (GDS) test, you will be eligible to study at a German university or institution of higher education and also accepted as official evidence of the language skills required to teach German in Germany.
Goethe-Zentrum, in partnership with the Goethe-Institut, also conducts the Zertifikat exam at Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Coimbatore, Hyderabad, and Trivandrum. The exam is held 5 to 6 times a year, and the exam fee will depend on the level that you sign up. Generally, it is between Rs 6,000 to 11,000.
The Goethe-Zertifikat A1 and A2: Fit in Deutsch 1, and 2 are two international German exams for school going children and young learners of German aged 10 -16 years who have reached the level of A1 or A2 of the CEFR.
The course content is relevant to intercultural language teaching and focuses on themes of interest to young people. The level of Fit in Deutsch is more manageable and below the Start Deutsch, which are meant for someone 16 years or over.
Goethe-Test PRO is another test designed for professionals. The computer-based online German test evaluates listening and reading competence quickly and reliably in the workplace. The test results and a report on your level of language proficiency are available immediately after you have completed the test.
2. TestDaF Exam
If you’re interested or planning to study in any German University where the medium of communication and instruction is not English. In that case, you will have to pass one of the two German fluency exam, i.e., TestDAF or DSH. All German universities and institutions of higher education recognize the TestDaF and DSH certificate.
Students taking admission for courses taught in the English language are not required to take these exams. For the majority of degree programs, Adequate knowledge of German is expected to be admitted to the Universities in Germany. It also provides evidence of your German proficiency test to research institutes and employers.
TestDaF stands for Test Deutsch ALS Fremdsprache, i.e., Test of German as a Foreign Language. It is an internationally recognized advanced level German proficiency test and spans levels B2.2. To C1.2 of the CEFR (Common European Framework of Languages).
The certificates you will obtain from TestDaF is valid indefinitely. Additionally, You can reappear for the examination as many times as you wish if you are not satisfied with your score. TestDaF evaluates your German language skills at three levels: TDN 3, 4, and 5, which is equivalent to the levels B2.1, B2.2, and C1.1 and C1.2 of the Goethe-Zertifikat.
The TestDaF assesses the four language skills separately (Listening, Reading Comprehension, Written Production, Oral Production). Your proficiency level will be certified into four separate results, giving you a clear picture of your strengths and weaknesses in each skill. It is currently being offered six times a year in around 450 test centers in 90 countries around the world.
Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan offers the TestDaF exam in India with five test centers across Bangalore, New Delhi, Pune, Coimbatore, and Chennai. Examination Fee for 2019 is 100 Euro or roughly Rs. 8500 in India. After successfully passing the test, you will receive a certificate with your results five to six weeks after the examination.
3. DSH Exam
Another German proficiency exam is called the “DSH” (German Language University Entrance Examination for Foreign Applicants). Unlike the other German proficiency exam – TestDAF, DSH is not standardized and varies from University to University conducting it. However, The DSH examination pattern is more or less similar to TestDaF.
There are three levels, namely DSH 1 (57% and more is equivalent to B2.2), DSH 2 (67% and more is equivalent to C1.1), and DSH 3 (82% and more is equal to Level C1.2). However, The DSH is given at German universities, which means it can only be taken in Germany.
4. TELC GmbH – The European Language Certificates
TELC, which stands for The European Language Certification, partners with the Federal Government of Germany to test your proficiency in German (Deutsch). The TELC GmbH – Foreign language tests are currently available in 11 European languages with over 80 different certificates.
The TELC also allows you to choose which area of the exam you wish to be tested. For example, a general language, tests for migrants, business tests for various professions, vocational exams, and other customized contents.
The test is done according to the set-out guidelines of the CEFR. TELC exams can be taken in over 3,000 examination centers in 28 countries. However, most of the centers are in Europe. In India, there is only one center in Bangalore.
5. ÖSD – German Language Certificate Austria
The Austrian German Language Diploma (OSD – Österreichisches Sprachdiplom Deutsch) is a German examination approved by the Austrian Federal Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Education, Science, and Cultural Affairs. It assesses German as a foreign and as a second language.
The ÖSD exams are recognized all over Austria for different purposes. It is also accepted as proof of proficiency test of German in several universities in Germany, Switzerland, and South Tyrol (Italy).
The examination is aligned with the level descriptions of the CEFR and is equivalent to Goethe Institut Zertifikat Deutsch and TELC exams. There are more than 200 test centers in Austria and roughly 200 centers in other countries. In India, There are two OSD centers in Chandigarh and Bangalore.
6. ÖIF – Austrian Integration Fund
There is another German proficiency test called ÖIF ( Österreichische Integrationsfonds). It handles German tests for different skill levels across Austria and evaluates for immigrants whose linguistic ability in German has not yet reached A2 level.
Established in 1960, The ÖIF is a partner of the Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs along with many responsible authorities on migration and integration in Austria. The Austrian Integration Fund (ÖIF) refunds up to 50% of the German course fees on the successful completion of the A2/A3 test.