general information

Logo der DSH

The DSH qualification certifies that applicants have sufficient knowledge of the German language in order to be able to study at a German university.
Knowledge relevant to academic study is required, e.g. the ability

  •  to take lecture notes, to understand the lecture content and to continue processing this information
  • to understand and process study-related texts
  • to express oneself both orally and in writng on study-related subjects

Summary of the examination procedure

Within the framework of the "Deutschen Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang" you can attain the following three levels:

DSH 1 (a final result of 57% or above)

DSH 2 (a final result of 67% or above)

DSH 3 (a final result of 82% or above)

A certificate confirming a final result of DSH 2 is usually required for study programmes at the University of Kassel. The "Studierendensekretariat" (Admissions Office) and the department responsible for your desired study programme here at the University of Kassel will provide you with further information.


The written DSH examination consists of four different parts:

1.  Listening Comprehension

A text (as an example "Schmerzen mit Musik bekämpfen" / "Pain relief through music") is read to you twice. You are allowed to make notes and are then required to answer questions on the text after the second listening (the time allowed for answering the questions is 40 minutes). A German-German dictionary can be used.

2.  Reading Comprehension

In this part of the examination you will be presented with a text (as an example "Frauen zwischen Kindern und Beruf" / "Women trapped between children and profession") which you are expected to answer questions on (the time allowed for answering the questions is 45 minutes). You are also allowed to use a German-German dictionary for this part.

3.  Structures of academic/scientific language

In this part you are asked to fill in the missing words of a text. Your answers should be grammtically correct (time allowed 45 minutes). The text is based on the reading comprehension text. You are also allowed to use a German-German dictionary for this task.

4.  Controlled text production

In this section you are asked to write a free text stating your own opinion while responding to certain questions/tasks based on a predetermined subject (time allowed 70 minutes). The text should be about 250 words long.
 Oral Examination:

All parts of the examination carry the same weight. If you attain a minimum of level DSH 1 (57%), you will be admitted to the oral examination. You will not be invited to take the oral examination if your result in the written examination is clearly unsatisfactory.

During the oral examination you should demonstrate that you can express your views on various subjects and that you can make yourself understood. You should be prepared to answer questions about your chosen programme of study. You may be given a short text, a picture or a chart or diagram as preparation material.  

 Final result:

You receive a certificate if you achieve at least level DSH 1 (57%). Your overall result is always based on the result from the part of the examination with your lowest result.
Example 1:
Written section: DSH 1
Oral section: DSH 2
Overall result: DSH 1
Example 2:
Written Section: DSH 3
Oral Section: DSH 2
Overall result: DSH 2


You would like to prepare for the DSH?

If you do not pass the DSH or wish to sit the examination at a later date, you can take a placement test (Listening Comprehension – Reading Comprehension – Grammar) for the preparatory course for the next DSH examination. Teaching time is approximately 20 hours / week and takes place during the semester. In the semester break a three-week intensive course is usually offered.

Oral Examination

The oral examination consists of three phases:

  1. Preparation Time: First of all, the candidate is given 15 to a maximum of 20 minutes to prepare for the oral examination. Texts, diagrams, charts etc. based on the candidate's chosen programme of study form the basis of the examination. A single language dictionary may be used.

  2. The oral examination takes a maximum of 20 minutes. The examination consists of a short presentation, a maximum of 5 minutes long. The examination is based on the text, picture, chart or diagram the candidate receives as preparation material. The examinee's conversational competence and ability to take part in a discussion is determined.

  3. Notification of Results: Following the oral examination the candidate will be informed of the results. 

Training / Courses

Training/Intensive Courses

A three week intensive course comprising 60 lessons/hours takes place in the semester break. This is a preparatory course for the DSH examination, i.e. you will be familiarised with the format of the examination.
The courses focus on the following skills: Listening Comprehension, Reading Comprehension, Academic/Scientific linguistic structures, controlled text production and oral expression.
Participants should have a good intermediate level of German, i.e. they consider themselves to have sufficient abilities in the German language to be able to sit the DSH examination without more thorough training (see Preparatory Courses).

Participants should be in possession of a letter of admission to the University of Kassel at the time of registration. If the participant is not in posession of a letter of admission at the beginning of the course, he/she must be in possession of such a letter at the time of the DSH examination at the latest. Participants in the intensive course are not automatically entitled to take the DSH examination.
The course fee is expected to be € 320 (incl. DSH exam).

Registration and Payment of course fees is made online.


DSH Departmental Office / DSH-Geschäftszimmer

Heike Schill

Room 2023

Office hours: Mondays to Thursdays 9.00-11.00 am

Tel. +49 561 804 7049