Top Exams Required To Study In Germany For Master’s & Undergrad

Cityscape of Frankfurt downtown at sunset, Germany

Table of contents

Author

Picture of Aayush Nagpal

Aayush Nagpal

Lead, Lending Partnerships and Research

As the 3rd biggest economy of the world, Germany is naturally a lucrative destination for students who wish to study abroad. If Germany is on your wish-list too, this guide will help. This guide focused on all the exams you might need to register for, in the course of your application to a university in Germany. 

This guide will provide comprehensive answers to common questions such as:

  • What are the exams required to study in Germany?
  • Can I study in Germany without IELTS?
  • What are the entrance exams for Indian students to study in Germany?
  • Are there specific exams for fields of study like medicine, engineering, or business?
  • What are the different entrance exams for undergraduate and postgraduate programs in Germany?

Let’s dive in.

Types of exams to study in Germany

If you’re planning to do an undergrad or master’s course in Germany, you need to know about the different types of entrance exams for studying in Germany.  

These exams are divided into 3 major categories: 

  • English language proficiency exams to study in Germany

As the name suggests these tests assess your proficiency in the English language. Several programs in Germany are taught in English. Good scores on these exams ensure that you can understand lectures, participate in discussions, and complete assignments in English.

For example: IELTS, TOEFL, PTE, Duolingo English Test

  • Germany language proficiency exams to study in Germany

These exams evaluate your ability to understand, speak, read, and write in German. Proficiency in German is required if you are enrolling in German-taught programs. Even otherwise, German proficiency ensures you can navigate daily life easily.

For example: TestDAF, DSH, Goethe-Zertifikat

  • Aptitude-based exams to study in Germany

These exams evaluate your aptitude and skills relevant to your chosen field of study. Aptitude-based exams vary depending on the field of study. They include tests in areas such as mathematics, physics, biology, or business administration.

For example: Feststellungsprufung (FSP), JEE Advanced, GRE, GMAT

There might also be some course or university-specific Germany entrance exams. 

Let’s explore these exams required to study in Germany in detail.

English language proficiency exams to study in Germany

If your program requires you to submit proof of score in a particular English language test, then you’ll also need to include this proof when you apply for a student visa.  

For example, if the university requires that you secure an IELTS score of 6.5, you will need to submit an IELTS certificate with a score of 6.5 or higher with your visa application.

 

Now, let’s learn more about all the possible language-proficiency exams you might have to consider. 

 

  • IELTS

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is the most popular exam that assesses your English proficiency. 

Anyone who needs to prove English proficiency (academic/professional use) can take IELTS. 

Not all programs require an IELTS score to study in Germany. But generally, for a student visa, you would need an IELTS score. 

Required IELTS score to study in Germany:

  • 5.5 to 6.0 for undergraduate programs
  • 6.0 to 6.5 for postgraduate programs.

Always check the university-specific requirements for IELTS scores to study in Germany

IELTS preparation resources:

Check out the IELTS exam dates in 2024.

 

  • TOEFL

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is another exam to test English proficiency. It assesses you across parameters such as reading, listening, speaking, and writing.

Applying for a German university/course where English is the language of instruction? TOEFL is ideal. 

Similar to IELTS, the requirement depends on the program and university. Minimum scores range from 80-100, with a score of 90 generally considered safe. 

TOEFL preparation resources: 

Check out the TOEFL section-wise syllabus here.

  • PTE

PTE (Pearson Test of English) Academic is a computer-based test of English proficiency. Though not as popular as IELTS or TOEFL, PTE is now gaining traction in Germany.

Many German universities now accept PTE scores. The required PTE score to study in Germany varies as per the university and program. But generally:

  • You need a minimum score of 50 for the student visa
  • Undergrad programs require scores between 51-60.
  • Masters programs require scores between 53-65. 

Always confirm the exact PTE score to study in Germany with your chosen university.

PTE preparation resources: 

  • You can buy paid PTE resources and take tuition, but there are also free resources offered by PTE itself. 
  • These include practice tests, study materials, and samples, which you can find here: https://www.pearsonpte.com/preparation

 

  • Duolingo English Test (DET)

Duolingo is a popular freemium language learning app with a gamified approach. It also offers the Duolingo English Test (DET) for study abroad aspirants. It’s a much more affordable and accessible option compared to the other tests.

DET is accepted by 5,000 universities globally with 50+ German universities too. So if the traditional tests seem daunting, DET can be good for you.

The minimum DET score for German universities typically ranges between 90 and 120.

DET preparation resources:

  • The English language program on Duolingo is a good place to start your DET preparation. 
  • You can familiarize yourself with the test format and question types and get more resources here: https://englishtest.duolingo.com
  • Note: You will not be able to use your DET score as valid proof when you apply for your student visa. So, it’s likely you will need to take either the TOEFL or the IELTS test alongside DET in such a case. However, most German universities also accept TOEFL and IELTS, which means that DET will always be an optional test (restricted to a very few universities). This also makes the DET the least favored test for students who wish to study in Germany. 

German language proficiency exams to study in Germany

Usually, English-taught courses don’t require proof of German proficiency. However, if you are enrolling in German-taught programs, you will need to attempt one of the following German language proficiency exams.

  • TestDAF (Test Deutsch als Fremdsprache)

TestDAF is a standardized language proficiency test for non-native German speakers. It is widely recognized not just by universities but also employers, and government agencies. This means TestDAF scores can also help you get jobs in Germany later on. 

The test consists of 4 sections assessing reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. TestDAF scores are graded on a scale from TDN 3 (basic language skills) to TDN 5 (advanced language skills). 

TDN 4 typically is the minimum requirement for admission to German universities. Check your preferred university’s requirements on their official website before applying.

Get started with TestDAF preparations by visiting: www.testdaf.de 

  • DSH (Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang)

DSH is one of the exams required to study in Germany, which is offered by universities themselves. The scoring system varies between institutions. 

 It is typically more focused on academic language proficiency compared to TestDAF. You can visit your preferred university’s website to find out if they require (and offer) DSH. 

  • Goethe-Zertifikat

This is a series of German language exams offered by the Goethe-Institut.  It assesses language skills at different levels according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

Scores range from A1 (beginner) to C2 (advanced). 

Learn more about the exam, registration, fees, and preparation advice by visiting: https://www.goethe.de/ins/de/en/prf/prf.html

Aptitude-based exams to study in Germany 

  1. Feststellungsprüfung (FSP)


Feststellungsprüfung, which translates to “assessment examination” in English, is a test required for international students who want to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Germany. It assesses your readiness for university-level studies in Germany.

FSP is one of the exams to study in Germany for those with foreign educational certificates. 

Important:

  • Many universities recommend attending a Studienkolleg, a one-year preparatory course that culminates in the FSP.
  • The Studienkolleg provides subject-specific instruction and helps improve your German language skills.
  • In some cases, you may be able to take the FSP externally without attending a Studienkolleg. But you’ll need to prepare independently.

You can find more information about FSP on your preferred university’s website.

  1. JEE Advanced

 

JEE Advanced is a prestigious engineering entrance exam in India. It also works as a Germany entrance exam for Indian students in various cases. 

Scoring well in JEE Advanced can allow you to apply for direct admission to some German universities. It is among the preferred entrance exams for engineering in Germany or certain related fields. It helps bypass the need for a Studienkolleg. 

It also showcases your academic strength in science and math subjects. This is often highly valued by German universities.

Note: While some universities might consider JEE Advanced scores, it’s not a standard requirement across Germany. Check the specific admission criteria of the university before applying.

  1. GRE

 

The GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) is an important entrance exam for study abroad aspirants. It is an important entrance exam for study in Germany and accepted for admissions in many universities, especially for engineering or science-oriented courses. 

A good GRE score can strengthen your application and make you a more competitive candidate. 

If you’re aiming for top universities or competitive programs, a total GRE score around 318 or higher is generally considered competitive. 

Get access to more information about GRE here.

 

  1.  GMAT

The GMAT, which stands for Graduate Management Admission Test, is widely used for admission to MBA and business-related programs.

It is also among the key entrance exams for MBA in Germany. It’s not specifically designed for Germany, but many German universities consider GMAT scores as part of their application process.

In fact, certain programs, like Master’s in Finance or Management Science, might place a strong emphasis on the GMAT.

For top business schools in Germany, a score of 680 or higher is generally considered competitive.

Other college/university-specific Germany entrance exams

Other than standardized exams to study in Germany, some universities might have their own entrance exams for specific programs. 

Such exams are less common and typically used for highly competitive programs or those with limited slots.

For example, there might be special entrance exams for MBBS in Germany. Or an art school might require a portfolio review and a practical exam.

The best way to find out if a program requires an additional entrance exam is to check the program’s information page on the university’s website.

While you can easily check program details in this way, comparing many programs is quite time consuming. The information-fatigue is a big issue, as many students limit their options merely to avoid this problem, and in doing so, could miss out on a massive-ROI university. 

SelectRight solves this problem. 

Instead of random selection or going by the suggestions of others, you can use SelectRight to compare and shortlist the best universities that match your profile.

Simply register and complete your profile. Sit back as the AI-powered algorithm matches your profile with the best institutes and programs based on your academic performance, career goals, RoI, placement opportunities, etc. 

So don’t wait, give wings to your German education dream. Find the right course and college with SelectRight and then prepare for the relevant exams to study in Germany.

FAQs

What are the entrance exams for MBBS in Germany?

The main entrance exams for MBBS in Germany is the Test for Medical Studies (TMS). However, for Indian students, NEET is also widely accepted by German medical schools. 

What are the entrance exams for MBA in Germany?

There are no specific entrance exams for MBA in Germany. Universities consider factors like GMAT/GRE scores, work experience, and essays for admission.

What are the entrance exams for engineering in Germany?

There are no specific entrance exams for engineering in Germany. Universities usually consider GRE or JEE Advanced scores. 

What are the entrance exams for masters in Germany?

Entrance exams for masters in Germany vary by program. Some universities and courses may require GRE/GMAT, while others rely on previous degrees and portfolios.

Can I study in Germany without IELTS?

Yes you can. Some universities accept alternative tests such as TOEFL, PTE or DET as proof of English proficiency. It’s best to check with the specific university to see if you can study in Germany without IELTS.

Picture of Aayush Nagpal

Aayush Nagpal

One of the core members of GradRight's founding team, Aayush has been associated with the higher education sector for the past 6 years. His never-say-die attitude & go-getter mentality makes him an invaluable asset to the company.

Get discovered by Top Universities

Find The Best University and Programs Based on Your Profile

Explore SelectRight
Related Blogs