German language test for university entry (DSH)

Table of contents


In order to study in Germany, you need to have sufficient knowledge of the German language. You can prove your knowledge of the language by passing the Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang (German language test for university entry – DSH). The DSH is an advanced-level examination that demonstrates the ability of students to use the language in university-related contexts. Before taking this examination, students are required to have completed 800 to 1,000 study hours of German.


The DSH is subject to fees. An examination fee of 130 euros will be charged upon registration.


The DSH consists of:

  • a written examination that takes approx. 4.5 hours and encompasses the following tasks which can be combined together:
    • Understanding and answering questions about an audio text
    • Producing a written text as instructed
    • Understanding and answering questions about a written text
    • Working with academic linguistic structures
  • an oral examination that takes 40 minutes (20 minutes of preparation, 20 minutes of discussion) during which your linguistic proficiency is assessed. The examination takes the form of a discussion. It is based on a text about a topic with which you are familiar. You are expected to present the key points of the text in a coherent and appropriate manner, to support and supplement this with examples and to demonstrate that you are capable of querying, counter-arguing and hypothesising.

Further information about the various sections can be obtained during an
individual discussion to prepare you for the DSH. The contact person for
the DSH is Kamilla Raffo. 

Examination results

All sections of the examination are equally weighted. According to the grades you achieve in the individual sections, you will be awarded a DSH-1, DSH-2 or DSH-3 certificate (57 percent, 67 percent and 82 percent). DSH-2 and DSH-3 fulfil the admission requirements for studying at HTW Berlin. The DSH can be repeated once, at the earliest after a period of one semester.

Registration and examination dates

The DSH examination is held in March and September before the beginning of the semester. Only students applying to study at HTW Berlin are entitled to take the examination. Registration for the DSH is therefore conducted via the Admissions Office. The contact person for applicants with a foreign higher education entry qualification is Julia Cadete La O. Information about the exact registration deadline and the DSH examination date is stated on the DSH application form.