Language Tests and Language Certificates for Studying Abroad

Successful completion of a language test is a prerequisite for application at most foreign universities. Most of the language tests and language certificates for studying abroad are standardised and the assessment is based on points or levels. The required minimum score is different at each university, although the requirements generally increase with the level of study.

Accordingly, it is often necessary to prove a higher language level for Master’s and PhD programmes than for Bachelor’s programmes.

At some universities, the language tests and language certificates for studying abroad also differ depending on the subject area: after all, there are courses of study in which the use of language plays an important role. This is the case, for example, in linguistics and social sciences, but also in law. In engineering and natural sciences, on the other hand, universities often only require basic knowledge.

For the English language, TOEFL and IELTS are the most common tests. Many universities also accept the CAE and CPE language certificates from Cambridge English Language Assessment as proof of language proficiency.

The DAAD language certificate is often sufficient as proof for semester stays. Most German universities and universities of applied sciences exhibit this. Some institutions of higher education also accept alternative evidence that shows the language level in accordance with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

In order to complete their studies at Spanish speaking universities, international applicants must normally take the DELE exam.

Due to the different requirements, it is always advisable to obtain good information before applying:

  • Which language test do I have to take?
  • Are there any possible alternatives?
  • What is the minimum number of points/level I need to achieve?
  • How is the test actually constructed and how can
  • I prepare myself optimally for it?

On the following pages you will find detailed information about the most important language tests and language certificates for studying abroad.