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DSH

DSH (German Language Examination for Admission to University)

The DSH is an examination testing the German skills of prospective students from abroad who intend studying at a German university and have to prove that they are sufficiently proficient in German.

You can only sign up for the DSH in Erlangen if you have been offered a place at Freidrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) or are already registered at the University (e.g. as an exchange student).

DSH dates

DSH examination (written):

  • Date: Tuesday, 31 March 2020
  • Time: 9am to 3:30pm
  • Room: H5 TeamBank lecture hall, Lange Gasse 20, 90403 Nürnberg

DSH examination (oral):

  • Date: Wednesday, 08 April 2020
  • Time: individual appointments from 9 am
  • Room: Language Centre, Bismarckstr. 10, 91054 Erlangen, Room SZ 00.213

Payment of examination fee (80 euros):

  • Date: Monday, 30 March 2020
  • Time: 2 pm to 4 pm
  • Room: Language Centre, Bismarckstr. 10, 91054 Erlangen, Room SZ 00.213

Payment mus be made in cash. The examination fee cannot be paid by bank transfer.

General information

You have to register for DSH by 1 March for spring and by 1 September for autumn.

  • Prospective students are sent a registration form together with their letter of acceptance to FAU.
  • Students already enrolled at the University can request a registration form (sz-daf-dsh@fau.de).
  • Students taking a DSH course should ask in their courses.

Registration forms should be sent by post to:

Sprachenzentrum der FAU; Abt. Deutsch als Fremdsprache
Bismarckstr. 10
91054 Erlangen

An e-mail is sent automatically confirming that the registration has been completed successfully.

At present, the examination fee is 80 euros. This must be paid in cash before the examination on the day indicated on the registration form. It cannot be paid by bank transfer. You can ask someone else to pay on your behalf, however.

The results of the written examination are published anonymously no later than one week after the examination on this website and posted on the notice board in the Language Centre. Results are listed according to examination number. The dates for the oral examination are announced together with the results. More specific information will be given during the examination.

The overall results of the examination are published anonymously no later than one week after the oral examination on this website and posted on the notice board in the Language Centre. Results are listed according to examination number. More specific information will be given during the examination.

You can collect your DSH certificate from the information desk in the Language Centre one or two days after the overall results are announced. Please note our opening times. More specific information will be given during the examination.

The DSH examinations are always held shortly before the semester begins, i.e. in March/April and September/October, and generally require that students have already applied to FAU. Students who are already enrolled at FAU and students taking preparatory courses can also sit the DSH if they can prove that they have completed level B2. No-one else is allowed to sit the DSH at FAU.

Requirements for applying to FAU are listed on the website of the Admissions Office.

If you cannot provide proof of the required proficiency in German but can prove that you have German skills of at least level A2, you can apply for a place on a preparatory German course at FAU. These courses have to be paid for, however.

A four-day long DSH examination preparation course is held before the DSH. You can register for the course at the same time as registering for the DSH.

The examination consists of a written and an oral examination.

The written examination consists of the following components:

  • Reading comprehension: understanding a written text and answering questions on it
  • Grammar: completing tasks on language-related structures taken from the reading comprehension text
  • Listening comprehension: understanding and processing a listening text
  • Text production: producing a text for a certain task

The oral examination is held after the written examination and lasts approx. 15–20 minutes. Candidates receive a short text which they should read and then discuss with the examiners. The oral examination is compulsory.

The PDF files available for download here give examples of DSH examinations which have been held in previous years at FAU.

Notes on reading comprehension: candidates are given the reading comprehension text and the tasks at the beginning. The tasks are split into questions relating to the text and grammar exercises. We recommend taking approximately 60 minutes to read the text and complete the tasks on the content of the text and approximately 30 minutes for the grammar exercises.

Notes on listening comprehension: the question sheet is handed out. Everyone has a short time to look at the questions and think about how to answer them. Then the listening comprehension text is read out for the first time. It is better not to try and answer the questions the first time you hear the text. It makes more sense to concentrate on listening, and maybe just take one or two notes. This gives you an overall impression of the entire text, which makes it much easier to understand the text the second time round. It also makes it easier to understand the questions, and means that you can focus much more on the crucial information when you hear the text for the second time.

Notes on text production: no marks are given for anything written on your draft paper. You should therefore avoid first writing an entire text on your draft paper and then copying it neatly onto the examination paper. 70 minutes is nowhere near enough time for that. The draft or scrap paper should be used to draw up a brief plan, and maybe to try out one or two ideas for phrases. Nothing else.

  • Oral expression: task

Notes on oral examination: the examination consists of a discussion with two examiners. First of all, candidates are given the opportunity to give their opinion on the given topic. This should not take any longer than five minutes. The examiners may then pick up on one or two points and ask about them in more detail. The idea is to generate a discussion which shows that you are able to conduct a spontaneous conversation, reacting appropriately to statements made by others.