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TestDaF exam

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Germany is renowned for its excellent higher education system and the presence of many reputed public and private universities. One of the top scientific and economic super-powers, Germany attracts thousands of international students from across the world every year.

Most international students need to submit a proof of proficiency in the German language to demonstrate their ability to adjust to their lives in Germany. There are many German universities that offer preparatory courses for you to learn German and successfully pass a German language proficiency exam.

The TestDaF is a popular German language exam taken by international students or scientists who want to work in German universities.

The TestDaF is a popular German language exam taken by international students or scientists who want to work in German universities.

Read ahead to learn more about this German language exam and tips on how to pass it in your first attempt.

What is the TestDaF?

The TestDaF (Test Deutch als Fremdsprache) is a standardised German Language test for non-native German speakers. The exam is conducted by the TestDaF-Institut across 95 countries and is universally recognised by German universities as proof of a student’s German proficiency.

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The exam lasts for 3 hours and 10 minutes and has 4 major sections—reading comprehension, listening comprehension, written production and oral production. The test results can be categorised into the following 3 levels:

  • TestDaF- Niveaustufe 3 (TDN 3): You can understand the broad meaning and important details of any text written in German. You can also partially understand written texts pertaining to different academic subjects.
  • TestDaF- Niveaustufe 4 (TDN 4): You have the proficiency of TDN 3. In addition, you can also comprehend German academic text written in a non-specialised vocabulary.
  • TestDaF- Niveaustufe 5 (TDN 5): You have the proficiency of TDN 4 and can also break down complex German texts and can communicate in the language clearly.

How to get at least a TDN4 level?

In general, a German university might require you to get at least a TDN 4 level in TestDaF to qualify for a specific programme. However, this criterion can differ depending on the course subject, language of instruction, course duration or the university offering it. At the very least, the TDN 3 level is the minimum score required by German universities.

Here are a few tips and tricks to help you score a TDN 3 level and above.

  1. Start your preparation early to give at least a few months of practice before the actual exam.
  2. Pay equal attention to improving your grammatical skills as conversational skills as mistakes in both sections can take down your score.
  3. Attend as many mock tests as you can to get into the hang of giving the exam. This can give an experience of performing well in the real exam.
  4. Practice questions from all 4 sections of the exam. Don’t miss a section even if you think you are proficient in it.
  5. Talk to Native German speakers to improve your speaking and listening skills. You can also request them to correct you on your mistakes and pronunciation.
  6. Read different German texts like online blogs or newspapers for your comprehension skills. Try to ask yourself a lot of question from the text and answer them accurately.
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The TestDaF exam aims to ensure that you have the required fluency in German to help you settle down to an academic life in Germany without a lot of troubles. You should enrol in a TestDaF preparatory course to get started on your preparation today.