DSH Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang

  • Assessment of your capability to study in Germany
  • Registration at our cooperation universities
  • No admission needed
  • Oral exam
  • Written exam
  • Registration with the C1 certificate issued by IBZ Dortmund
  • Registration by IBZ
  • Exam fee depends on the university
DSH – Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang (German language exam for accessing universities and colleges)

University applicants who did not acquire their university qualification at a German institution must demonstrate sufficient German language skills before beginning their studies at universities in the Federal Republic of Germany.

The DSH exam tests your ability to study by evaluating your language skills in the following areas: Listening comprehension (HV), reading comprehension (LV) scientific language structures (WS), writing skills (TP). The oral exam is a mandatory part of the DSH.

How is the exam structured?

Written exam

Understanding and processing a reading text and scientific language structures

90 minutes including reading time

Understanding and processing an audio text

10 minutes after the first listening and 40 minutes after the second listening. The duration of the listening as well as explanations do not have an impact on the time in which you solve the tasks.

Writing a text

70 minutes

Oral exam

Oral expression

40 minutes

(20 minutes preparation + 5 minutes short presentation + 15 minutes dialogue)

How is the oral exam conducted?

Oral exam DSH

Part 1

Preparation for the presentation

20 minutes

Part 2

Short presentation

5 minutes

Part 3

Conversation/ dialogue with examiners

15 minutes

The oral exam is supposed to evaluate whether you are capable of performing actions in German that are relevant for studying in Germany (Discussing topics, assessments, giving examples, presenting information) in a spontaneous, fluent and appropriate way. The oral exam also assesses to what extent you can process such information while listening and to what extent you can cope with relevant interaction strategies (taking turns in speaking, cooperating, asking for clarification etc.).

  1. a) How the exam is conducted: The maximal duration of the exam is 20 minutes, the preparation time before the short presentation takes 20 minutes as well. It is allowed to use monolingual dictionaries during the preparation. It is not permitted to use electronic devices or other items that could be helpful in the preparation.
  2. b) Tasks: The oral exam consists of a short presentation which takes 5 minutes and a dialogue which takes 15 minutes. The material which is handed out to you before the exam is a short, neither too complex nor too difficult text or an illustration with diagrams and/or statistical data, which you are supposed to present in the oral exam.

The purpose of the tasks in the exam is to assess whether you can present, summarize, compare, explain reasons, judge and comment on different types ofi information.


DSH certificates

The test certificate indicates the overall result of the oral and written test with the grades DSH-3, DSH-2

or DSH-1. In order to obtain the admission to a university, you usually need at least DSH-2.

Overall result



Particularly high written and oral skills

(At least 82% of points in both the written exam and the oral exam)

With the achievement of the DSH-3, a particularly high level of German language skills is proven. The DSH-3 is above the level required for admission or enrolment.


Differentiated written and oral ability

(At least 67% in both the written exam and the oral exam)

If you obtain the grade DSH-2, you are considered to be capable of studying in any university course for which you want to enrol in university.


Grundlegende schriftliche und mündliche Fähigkeiten

(Mindestens 57 % der Anforderungen sowohl in der schriftlichen Prüfung als auch in der mündlichen Prüfung)

If a university has set language requirements that deviate from DSH-2 for specific study purposes, admission or enrollment based on this has no binding effect for admission or enrollment when changing the degree program at the same university or for admission or enrollment at another university, if other language requirements are specified for this.

Can I use a dictionary in the DSh exam?

During the preparation of the short presentation in the oral exam and during the written exam, you can use a monolingual dictionary.


Retaking the exams
The DSH exam can be retaken at any time. The number of attemps is not limited.