TestDaF stands for Test Deutsch als Fremdsprache, i.e. Test of German as a Foreign Language. German is the language of instruction in most universities in Germany. Hence, non-German speaking students need to complete a test to demonstrate their language skills, to be admitted to the course. Students taking admission for courses taught in the English language are not required to take this test. However, some universities do ask students to provide certificates to prove that they have basic knowledge of German as it would be required for the students’ day to day lives in Germany. TestDaF is one such language test, centrally developed and rated by the TestDaF Institute, for international students who wish to study in Germany. The pattern for TestDaF is similar to that of other language tests and contains four parts, i.e. reading, listening, writing and speaking. The only difference is the test is conducted in the German language.
TestDaF Exam Pattern Consists of Four Parts :
1. Reading comprehension
In this section, you must read three texts which contain thirty questions. You must demonstrate your ability to understand written texts related to higher education. Each of the three texts varies in levels of difficulty. The types of texts and tasks too vary. You can expect short texts on everyday life at university, extracted from a university prospectus. There could also be journalistic texts on scientific or socio-political topics from newspapers and magazines, or text in scientific language from a specialist or university publication. You may be asked to identify whether a statement is correct or incorrect. You must complete the Reading section within 60 minutes.
2. Listening comprehension
You need to illustrate your ability of listening comprehension by understanding three spoken texts with twenty five items related to higher education. Just like Reading comprehension, the three texts are of different levels of difficulty. You get approximately 40 minutes to complete this section. The audio could be a dialogue of everyday life at university, a radio interview involving multiple speakers, and a short lecture or an interview with an expert. You may be asked to answer questions associated with what you heard or to identify whether specific statements are true or false.
3. Written production
You will be given one task, which you have to complete within 60 minutes. You must write well-structured text about a specific topic. With the help of the topic, guide points and statistical data given, you must draft a logical text. You must also state your opinion on a specific question for discussion related to the text.
4. Oral production
You have approximately 35 minutes to complete this section. You must prove your ability to speak German language in different situations you may encounter when you are at a university in Germany. There are seven tasks at varying levels of difficulty. You would be asked to respond to situations in university, like discussions with fellow students, describing a diagram, expressing your opinion on a specific topic, or forming hypotheses.
Under this pattern of TestDaF you receive one point for each correct answer in the Reading comprehension and listening comprehension modules. All questions in these sections are either in multiple choice or true/false format. However, the Written and Oral production sections are assessed by trained and experienced specialists, who would evaluate and score you on the basis of a grid.