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The DSH examination

This examination is held by the University itself and consists of 4 written parts:

1. Oral comprehension
2. Reading comprehension
3. Writing
4. Linguistic structure.

There follows the final oral examination.

The universities are allowed to set their own version of the exam within the given framework. It is therefore important to enquire about the particular requirements of the university in question.

What is required in the examination ?

1. Oral comprehension  

A text of 50-100 lines is read out twice. You should take notes during the 2nd reading. Afterwards, questions relating to the structure and content of the texts need to be answered and a summary produced.

2. Reading comprehension

A scientific text of 30-60 lines, often adapted for the general reader, needs analysis. This consists of answering questions as to content and stucture, an explanation of the constituent parts, and the summarizing and re-structuring of the text.

3. Writing  

From the given starting material - theses, short pieces of text, diagrammes and pictures - you are required to write a longer continuous piece of text in which the individual parts are described and explained. In this, it is not only contextual criteria such as the text structure and logical consistency that are important, but also the quality of use of language.

4. Linguistic structure

This test involves extension and convertion, using the vocabulary in the given written or oral presentation. The requirement is competence in grammatical structure such as is typically present in scientific texts.

The duration of the written DSH test is generally 180 minutes in total. The individual parts can vary depending on the tasks. The oral test takes 20 minutes. Beforehand, you receive a short text or picture, normally from your specialisation,
to analyse for another 20 minutes. In your discussion, you should show that you are able to understand, review and comment on the presentation of facts or the line of reasoning in a scientific work.


Be careful not to miss the final date of application date. The university must have received all the necessary documents by that date, otherwise your application will be denied !  

Required Documents:

- a fully-completed application form ( not forgetting your minor subjects !);

- an officially certified copy,in the local language, proving entitlement to higher education.

Depending on the country, this could be issued by:-

      a German embassy or consulate;

      the school or university which gave the matriculation certificate;

      an attorney having the necessary authorization.

In Germany this could be:

      your country's embassy or consulate;

      an attorney;

      an accredited, sworn, translator.

- an officially certified translation of the permit for higher education, except for the following languages: Daenisch, Englisch, Franzoesisch, Hollaendisch, Islaendisch, Italienisch, Katalanisch, Norwegisch, Portugiesisch, Rumaenisch, Spanisch, Schwedisch, Lateinisch.

- An official notificaton of recognition from the Certificate Recognition Office (Zeugnisanerkennungsstelle) is required for certain countries.

- Curriculum Vitae up to the date of application.

- Statement of Motivation (Motivationsschreiben).

- Proof of knowledge of German (Intermediate Level II).  

Note: only send certified documents, never originals!