FAQs on DSH
FAQs zur DSH
What is the DSH examination?
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.
Who has to take the DSH?
All prospective students who don’t have a German Abitur and who want to study a subject at FAU which requires proof of sufficient proficiency in German. Only prospective students whose first or native language is German are exempt from the DSH. Students who are studying at FAU as part of an exchange programme do not need to take the DSH.
Who can take the DSH?
All prospective students who have been offered a place at university. When applying to university, candidates have to provide proof of German skills equivalent to at least level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference.
In addition, students enrolled at FAU on international Master’s degree programmes, doctoral candidates, exchange students and those taking DSH courses can take the DSH, provided they can prove that their German is at a level equivalent to at least B2.
Can external candidates take the DSH at FAU?
No, unfortunately not.
Can you get an exemption from the DSH?
Prospective students whose first or native language is German but who did not complete their university entrance qualifications at a German Gymnasium (grammar school) can apply for an exemption from the DSH. They have to come to the FAU Language Centre in person, however, for us to check that they really are a native speaker of German. Contact: Dr. Frank Mielke
How can I register for the DSH examination?
Prospective students are sent a registration form together with their letter of acceptance to FAU. Please refer to the application form for further information. Students already enrolled at the University can request a registration form (email@example.com), those on DSH courses should ask in their courses.
Please send the registration form to:
Sprachenzentrum der FAU
Abt. Deutsch als Fremdsprache
An e-mail is sent automatically confirming that the registration has been completed successfully.
Can you pay the DSH examination fee by bank transfer?
No, that is not possible. However, you do not have to pay the fee in person. You can ask someone else to pay on your behalf.
Can I take an examination preparation course?
FAU offers four-day examination preparation courses aimed at helping students become familiar with the DSH examination. These courses have to be paid for. You can register for this course with the registration form. As the courses are always very popular, we cannot guarantee a place. You must make an effort to come and pay at the stated date and time, as this is when places are allocated.
Are there any alternatives to the DSH?
Yes. There are language certificates which are deemed equivalent to the DSH. If you have one of these you can submit it instead of the DSH when applying for a place at university. These include, for example, the TestDaf and the C2 certificate from the Goethe Institute. You can find a list of recognised certificates on the website of the Admissions Office
Is it allowed to use a dictionary for the DSH?
No. According to §13 of the examination regulations valid at FAU, the use of dictionaries and other aids is not permitted.
Which grade do I need to pass the DSH?
The results of the DSH are given in three levels: DSH 1 (from 57%), DSH 2 (from 67%) and DSH 3 (82%). The level required depends on the subject you would like to study. It is generally level DSH 2. There are some exceptions, however. Check with the university of your choice if you are unsure.
What happens if I pass the DSH?
If you pass the DSH, the department of German as a Foreign Language issues a DSH certificate, which is usually available for collection from the information desk in the Language Centre one to two days after the DSH results are announced.
How do I get my DSH certificate?
You can collect your DSH certificate from the information desk in the Language Centre one or two days after the overall results are announced. You will only be given the certificate if you can prove your identity, for example with your passport.
You can also ask another person to pick it up for you, but you have to give this person signed confirmation that they are allowed to pick up the certificate on your behalf. They must also bring a copy of your passport to compare signatures.
Is the certificate for the DSH examination sent to me by post?
Generally not, but it can be arranged. Usually you should pick the certificate up from the Language Centre (information desk).
If you want the certificate to be sent to you, please provide the Language Centre (information desk) with a correctly addressed and stamped A4 envelope.
Can I enrol at the university if I have passed the DSH but haven't yet received the certificate?
Yes. The department of German as a Foreign Language forwards the results of the DSH examination directly to the Admissions Office of the University, meaning that you can enrol even if you have not yet received your certificate. You can collect your DSH certificate from the information desk in the Language Centre one or two days after the overall results are announced.
What happens if I fail the DSH?
The DSH examination can be re-sat at FAU. However, you need a new letter of acceptance from FAU, as the offer of a place to study at FAU becomes invalid after you fail the DSH.
Anyone who is not able to start studying their chosen subject at FAU can register for a preparatory DSH course, provided enough places are available in the courses. Dates for the courses and the name of who to contact if you are interested are announced at the same time as the results of the DSH.
Confirmation that you sat the DSH but failed can be issued if so required. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Is the DSH certificate also valid for other universities?
How long is the DSH certificate valid?
A DSH certificate is valid indefinitely.
When and how often is the DSH held?
The DSH is held twice a year before the lecture period begins at the end of March / beginning of April and end of September / beginning of October.
What can I do if I lose my DSH certificate?
If you lose your DSH certificate, the Language Centre can issue a duplicate. This costs €10, however. Please contact Dr. Frank Mielke.