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info zum dsh


DSH General information

What is DSH?

It is the abbreviation of „Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang“.

The DSH is a language examination which tests whether you are capable of taking on studies in a University in Germany. This exam is taken before studies commence in each of the universities. The exam is in written and oral form.

In this way you can show both your linguistic skills and competences in the German language as a solid base for successful
studies in Germany.

DSH – Who is it for?

The DSH is for all foreign student applicants

It is also ideal for all foreign students who already have a valid entrance to study at a higher institution. Successful participation and completion of the DSH exam is obligatory for all applicants. However, there are exceptions. More information can be found under the DSH requirements. DSH is designed to test whether you are linguistically able to take up studies in the German language. Can you understand the lectures in German and can you fish out the important content? Can you answer questions on scientific topics, in writing or orally, with no problems?

Such questions will be covered in the DSH examination sections.

DSH – Are you ready?

The DSH is for foreign student applicants.

GoAcademy will prepare you for the exams. Our native language trainers have years of experience, which the DSH is based on, and will train you with a tried and tested system. Group discussion, exercises with the original exam and tape recordings – GoAcademy provide you with adequate exam preparation training. For further information: Training

DSH – Examination fee

The universities demand an exam fee. This varies from university to university. We recommend that you get further information from the individual university?

The examination fee costs between 40 - 170 Euros.

DSH - exemption

DSH – who is exempted?

There are those who are exempted:

  • Applicants who can prove that they have the necessary language skills through higher institution qualifications which meet the German higher institution level
  • Student applicants who have the „Deutsche Sprachdiplom der Kultursministerkonferenz“ Level 2 (DSD II)
  • Student applicants who have obtained their „Zentral Oberstufenprüfung“ ZOP from the Goethe Institute.
  • Student applicants who have the „Kleines deutsches Sprachdiplom“ or the „Großes deutsches Sprachdiplom“ from the Goethe Institute
  • Applicants who have taken German as a foreign language classes and have successfully passed the „Festellungsprufüng or Abschlussprufüng“ in a German Studienkolleg.
  • Applicants who have completed a limited part of their studies as an exchange student at a German university.

For more information on exemptions from the DSH obtained from the relevant universities.

DSH levels

DSH & GER Reference Frame

Advanced Language

Detail: CEFR competence level and language skills

Competence level
  • To understand the basic plot and dialogue of movies when standard language is spoken.
  • To read and understand articles and reports about present problems in which the author takes a particular attitude and viewpoint.
  • Understanding texts in contemporary literature.
  • Spontaneous and fluent engagement in a normal conversation with a native speaker.
  • To be able to take part in a discussion on familiar situations and to be able to give reasons for my views.
  • To give a clear descriptive representation of the various topics I am interested in.
  • To take a stand about a current question and explain the advantages and disadvantages of various possibilities.
  • To write a detailed text on various topics which are of personal interest.
  • To give information on specific issues including arguments and counter arguments in the form of an essay or a report.
  • To write letters, clearly describing personal on-going events and experiences.
Competence level
  • Ability to comprehend a wide spectrum of demanding, longer texts and their implicit meanings.
  • To be able to spontaneously and fluently articulate myself, without having to look for the words to say.
  • communication is easier at the professional level, or at the university, and one can use the language in a more flexible manner.
  • ability to articulate in a structured manner in complex situations and as well as the use of text as a way of communicating fluently.
Competence level
  • To practically understand everything you read and listen to.
  • To gather different information from various written material or oral sources and to represent reasons and coherent explanations on various topics.
  • Being Spontaneous, fluent and precise, and having the ability to give finer shades of meaning, even in more complex situations.

DSH Vorbereitung im GoAcademy Düsseldorf

DSH preparation at GoAcademy Düsseldorf

In GoAcademy Düsseldorf you can prepare on a course dedicated to the DSH.

GoAcademy Düsseldorf is located in the heart of Düsseldorf, and it enables you to learn in a relaxed atmosphere. For many years our language trainers have prepared foreign student applicants through intensive training for the DSH exams.

Whether you are an advanced student or a complete beginner – GoAcademy offers individual programs for everyone. This way you can be assured of learning success and optimal preparation for the exams.

If you do not have prior or only minimal knowledge of the German language, we offer you the DSH preparation intensive course: Intensive courses for beginners.

Whether the DSH training is necessary for you will be decided after taking a placement test at or
Sprachcaffe or online on our website.

The DSH training

The DSH-training tests language proficiency at the B1 level of the Common European framework of reference for languages. A lot of focus is put on preparation for the DSH language test.

There are special teaching methods and exercises as well as original examinations, which are used to help you prepare adequately for the exams. This way, GoAcademy ensures you effective training. You can practise in our modern E- learning centre and nothing will stand in the way of you passing the DSH exams!

The language trainers

The courses are taught only by qualified native speakers. They have years of teaching experience and DSH preparation training and are aware of the kind of questions which may be asked in the exam. All the needs of the participants are evaluated and this helps the trainers to use modern teaching methods and a variety of teaching materials. Vocabulary, grammar, written and oral expression – our trainers know exactly what is necessary for the DSH exam.

DSH preparation courses – Types of courses

GoAcademy Düsseldorf offers different forms of DSH preparation at various competence levels. You decide which level is most suitable for you.

DSH one to one lesson

Do you like to learn alone?

Then the one to one lesson the most effective language course for you. In this way you are sure to have continuous language practice and maximum concentration. The language trainer organises the program to suit your personal needs and helps you with your language weaknesses. Intensive conversation with the trainer gives you a quicker learning progression.

DSH preparation course as one to one lesson

DSH Standardkurs

Do you like to learn and exchange ideas with others?

Then take part in the group courses! Together, with a maximum of eight participants, you will prepare for a common goal. To pass the DSH successfully, apart from the exercises, you will train your written and oral expressions; there will be discussions as well as partner exercises included in the training program. Different answers and topics will be compared and discussed on the group. The extra bonus point for you: in the course you will get to meet new people and make friends.

DSH preparation course as a standard course

DSH Intensive course

Do you have no prior knowledge of, or no language skills in, German?

We recommend you take the intensive course for beginners before you start with the DSH training. Here you will learn the basics which are required to get ready for the DSH.

The duration of this course varies according to the individual, and it depends on different factors. The intensity of the course and the motivation depends on the students.

DSH preparation course as an intensive course

DSH course with accommodation

The DSH is for foreign student applicants

GoAcademy Düsseldorf organises the accommodation. In our comfortable vacation homes you can book a single or a double room. You will share with roommates facilitated with a complete kitchen and bathroom.

You have other options, such as living with a family and getting a single room with breakfast included, or with half pension in a guest family. This way you can practice your German language and learn about the culture, not only in the classroom, but also in your free time.

If you have any further questions, we will be glad to help.

DSH preparation course with accommodation

The DSH exam structure

The DSH exam

DSH - General / DSH and their structure

The DSH Exam has two parts: written and oral. In both parts of the exam, you will be tested to see whether you have sufficient language skills to take up studies in Germany.

Listening and reading comprehension will test your on general knowledge and scientific topics which assess your ability to express yourself in written and oral form.

In order to pass the DSH successfully, you do not need special expert knowledge. Hereinafter there will be a detailed description of what is expected in the written

Moreover, we have DSH sample exams with examples. This way, you can get an impression of what the DSH exam looks like.

The written DSH exam

The written part of the DSH exam accounts for 70% of the whole DSH exam. It is the first part of the exam and takes three to four hours. For references and to check up unfamiliar words and vocabulary you will be given a dictionary to use. The tasks in the written exam are systematically arranged in four major topics. In this section of the exam, various topics can be intertwined and may result in two or three parts of the written part of the DSH exam, without leaving out any task.

The oral DSH exam

The oral exam accounts for 30% of the whole DSH examination. This follows after you have successfully passed your written exam. If you do not pass the written part of the exam, you can not take the oral exam, even if your skills have been graded as very good and good.

What is the written part of the DSH exam about?

und Verarbeiten
eines Hörtextes

Lectures, seminars and presentations are part and parcel of university life. As students, you are required to be able to summarize the most important points in the form of notes during lectures. In this part of the written exam you will be required to prove whether your German skills match up to this requirement. Before the exam starts, you will be introduced to the topic.

Subsequently, the text, of 5500 to 7000 characters, will be read out twice in normal speaking tempo, where you are required to make notes.

Whether you have understood is what the examiner is going to test you with, by asking questions. He offers you the content summary of the text, or gives you a multiple choice test with true or false choice tasks.

This part accounts for 20% of the DSH exam and it takes 60 minutes. Your efforts will be evaluated to see whether the task has been properly tackled. The content coherence plays here a major role in comparison to the linguistic correctness.

Comprehension and working on a text

The scientific texts are the basic foundation for students. Almost every day at university, you will find different sorts of literature on specific topics, where you can concentrate on projects you may be interested in and write thesis.

It is important that you read actively and that you can fish out the key points in the text. This is the aim of this part the written exam.

You will get a scientific text with 30 – 60 lines and a graph will be included. The tasks that follow will be answering questions from the text, to see whether you have understood the context. The questions vary in every aspect. You will be given either multiple choice questions or general questions to each single text passage which have to be answered. You should pay close attention to how you answer the question, instead of simply rewriting the passage where the answer is, you should be able to reformulate the text into your own words.

This part of the exam accounts for 20 % of the DSH exam and it takes 60 minutes. This part of the exam is the same as a listening comprehension where the context of the answers holds a lot of weight, as does grammatical correctness.

Comprehension and working on scientific structures

This part focuses on the German language. You will receive a reading text. Do you understand the grammatical structures in text and can you reform the structures? Can you create new contextual references? These skills will be tested in this part of the exam, which is important to understand scientific language. The tasks are very different. There will be questions on the grammatical structures (e.g. the function for conjunctive,) but also as specific transformation (e.g. the usage of the relative clause)

This part of the exam accounts for 10% of the total, and it takes 30 minutes. Grammatical correctness plays the biggest role in the evaluation.

Text production

This is the written part of the exam. Are you able to articulate yourself orally and in writing, about a specific topic? In order to get study credits at German universities, you will be required to write essays and thesis about particular topics. Good writing skills and a rich vocabulary will be required.

In the exam you will get a specific topic to handle. This can be, for example, a text from the listening or reading comprehension part, but a graph and diagrams could also be possible. Your task is to write a text of 200 – 250 words in which to answer each question by explaining, commenting or comparing.

This part of the exam accounts for 20% of the DSH exam and it takes 60 minutes. The evaluation is based on the correctness of your ability to express yourself in text, as well as the content (e.g. the text construction and the content coherence).

What does the oral examination demand?

The DSH oral exam

To be able to comment on, to be able to understand, illustrate and oral – academic skills, which are acquired at the university these skills will be required in each seminar. Especially foreign students are faced with the challenge of oral expression in a foreign language. The oral part of the DSH exams test whether you can orally handle academic texts and be able to comment on them.

You will get a short text, a graph or a voice or video recording from the academic field. You have 15 – 20 minutes to prepare and to tackle the material and keep in mind which things you expect the examiner will test you on. The conversation takes 20 minutes and takes place usually without any written submissions.

The questions are based on the given material but at times the questions can go beyond the particular topic at hand, to other related topics. It is also possible to be asked questions which are related to your chosen field of study.

In some universities, the oral exam can be done in groups of two or three. For further information please contact your chosen University.

The oral exam accounts for 30 % of the DSH exam. During the evaluation, the following aspects will be considered: the linguistic correctness and the comprehensible pronunciation and intonation.

DSH evaluation

Pass "or" fail

Firstly, you have to take the written exam. After you have successfully passed your written exam, then you can take the oral exam. You can not take the oral exam if you written skills in the German language are not graded as good or very good.

You must pass both the written and oral parts to pass the full DSH exam. (The only exception is if you have been exempted from the oral exam)

You can only pass the written exam, once you have successfully answered each of the exam parts which means two thirds of the tasks. The same goes for the oral exam. You pass the exam only when you have attained two thirds of the total marks required.

DSH Results

The DSH-results will be announced by the examiner after the test. Depending on the university, it can be formulated differently. In the field of study „German as a foreign language“ at the Heinrich Heine –University the results are graded as “Passed” or „Not passed“. You will find Information about the DSH evaluation at your chosen university.

Not passing the DSH exam

If you fail the DSH exam, you can redo the whole exam one more time. However, you should not forget to mention that it’s the second time you are taking the exam.

DSH Exam Dates


DSH exams can only be taken at a university. The dates vary from university to university. Therefore, for exam dates, please contact the university directly to which you wish to enrol and study.