Cours de préparation à TestDaF à Berlin

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TestDaF: FAQ

Marion is GLS Academic Director and responsible for TestDaF courses and exams at GLS Berlin. Below please find her FAQ about TestDaF.

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TestDaF Berlin - FAQ

Why TestDaF @ GLS Campus Berlin?

GLS has a lot of experience as a test center: GLS is not only a test center for TestDaf, but also for TOEFL. So we are familiar with testing language skills for university studies.

If you want to take TestDaF at GLS, just select GLS as your testing center when registering for the exam, which you have to do via the TestDaF website. All preparation course participants are guaranteed a test date for the TestDaF examination at GLS.

Is telc C1 Hochschule a valid alternative to TestDaF?

Yes it is. In 2016 the certificate telc Deutsch C1 Hochschule was officially recognized as a valid alternative to TestDaf, i.e. as proof of language skills for admission to German universities by the members of the German Rectors' and Cultural Ministers’ Conference.  

telc C1 and TestDaF - what is the difference?

  • TestDaf has only six testing dates per year, while you can do a telc C1 Hochschule exam every month (see testing dates at GLS)
  • Exam fees are lower for telc C1 Hochschule than for TestDaF.
  • Results for telc C1 Hochschule are issued faster than those for TestDaF.

When should I register for the TestDaF exam?

Our recommendation: Take TestDaF in February or April, if you want to start university in October. If you plan to start university in summer, take TestDaF no later than November, better in September. The reason: You will need the TestDaF certificate to enroll, and it can take the TestDaF Institut 6 to 8 weeks to send it out to you.

As fa as the registration for TestDaf goes, we can assist you with that, just come to the office on the FIRST day of your prep course. Please note: the April exam is very popular and has a very early deadline for registration; you will have to register for that specific date prior to your arrival in Berlin.

How long does the TestDaF exam take?

The TestDaF lasts a bit longer than 3 hours (plus time for breaks). Usually you will sit the exam in the morning, with the last part - speaking - being tested after lunch:

  • Reading: 60 minutes
  • Listening: 40 minutes
  • Writing: 60 minutes
  • Speaking: 30 minutes

What result do I need to pass?

TestDaF is a bit like TOEFL: you cannot fail or pass, it asseses your current level of German, and you need to reach a certain minimum level. These are the possible results:

  • TDN 5 = more than ok
  • TDN 4 = level C1, the level you need for university
  • TDN 3 = not enough, ok only for studies in music or art

What if I manage reading, but fail the oral part?

Then you will have to repeat the TestDaF exam - a very good result in "reading" does not compensate for a very bad one in "speaking". You need to reach TDN 4 in all 4 tested fields.

How often can I do TestDaF?

As often as you like, there is no limit. But you will have to pay the examination fee every time, no discounts for "frequent flyers" ...

How do I best prepare for TestDaf?

You can get ready for TestDaF by yourself, by using these self-study materials. But it definitely makes sense to take a prep course beforehand. There you´ll have a teacher, a real person, you can talk to and who can coach you. And you will have the company of others who also prepare for TestDaF, and that can be very helpful.

Why do I need level B2/C1 to do the TestDaF course?

Because the prep course is meant to "condition" you for the exam - the focus is not so much on vocabulary and grammar repetition but on the exam itself. The exam certainly is doable, but it is demanding, and the aim is to get you ready to deal with that.

Many test centers demand German on level C1 for their prep courses. GLS admits you with B2/C1, because the GLS prep courses consist of two parts: 2 lessons daily focussing exclusively on exam preparation and 4 lessons daily on general German. The general German part will help you to raise your level a bit, so that a very good B2 is ok for the TestDaF course.

When will I get the TestDaF certificate?

6 to 8 weeks after having taken the exam. To be sure please keep a waiting period of 8 weeks in mind when scheduling the exam and/or a prep course