TestDaF and more certifications for German

March 25, 2019
All language tests and official certificates of the German language are based on the “European Reference Scheme for Languages.” The basic level is called A1, and the highest level C2, which is almost native speaker-like.

If you want to validate your language skills officially (you might need it for some job branches or for a permanent visa), there are different exams. We will explain what we consider to be the most impactful certificates: the TestDaF, TELC, and the certificates of the Goethe-Institut.

Levels A1 and A2 are the levels of basic German knowledge.

If you plan to work as an au-pair in Germany, an A1 or A2 German language certificate will help you get a Visa. 

Another important example is if you need a Visa and want to come to Germany because of your partner (“Ehegattennachzug” in German).

Once you approve levels B1 to B2, you will be allowed a permanent Visa (of course, together with several other requirements you will need to fulfill). 

If you plan to study at a German university, sometimes, you will have to revalidate your high school degree. Suppose you are from a country outside the European Union or not from other countries (like the US, Australia, Japan, or others). In that case, you will have to study a general revalidation course called “Studienkolleg.” To get admission to the Studienkolleg, you will have to prove your German knowledge. For this, levels B1 to B2 will be necessary.

The language level B1 is also required to become a German citizen (“Einbürgerung”).

The language levels C1 to C2 are advanced language skills. For many programs that are completely in German at the universities, you will need to prove level C1. This, however, depends on several factors and varies from career to career and at each university.

Language level C2 is basically as good as a German native speaker! For almost no job, you will be obliged to prove this high level of proficiency. However, it looks really great on your CV, and if you want to work as a teacher (even as a German teacher), it will help you.

What about the tests?


The exam called “TestDaf” is one of the most important language certificates. Usually, it is valid for your registration at a German university. The TestDaf exam takes up to 3 hours and includes listening comprehension, text comprehension, grammar, and writing. There are special preparation courses for the TestDaF. Many different language schools offer these courses.


The German language certification via the TELC system, the TELC test consists of two parts, a written and an oral one. The written part is about reading comprehension, grammar, and free writing. In the oral part, you will have to develop a conversation in front of the examiners. TELC C1 takes around 3 hours and 35 minutes for the written part; 20 minutes for the oral part. Do you want a tip? You can find  preparation material  here.

The exam “Telc Deutsch B2+ Beruf” takes 2 hours and 20 minutes for the written part, and 15 more minutes in the oral part. Here, you can find material for your preparation: here.

The Telc B1 exam is called “telc Deutsch B1 + Beruf”, and takes around 2 hours and 20 minutes in the written part, and 15 minutes in the oral part. Studying material: here.

If you are planning to make any of these Tests, we wish you a good look and take a look at our German Courses Section.

Cover Photo by Green Chameleon

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