Aptitude Test: Assessing your chances of academic success more realistically

With the Test for Foreign Students (TestAS), you can realistically assess your chances of completing your degree programme successfully. The TestAS is a standardised exam which allows universities to compare the scholastic aptitude of their prospective students. Each university recognises the test results differently. If you’re registered as a refugee, the DAAD will cover the cost of the testing fees.

by the Editors

Student taking a test © Hagenguth/DAAD
Student taking a test . © Hagenguth/DAAD

The TestAS is intended for international students who wish to apply for admission to an undergraduate degree programme at a Germany university. An undergraduate programme is a degree programme which concludes with the first academic qualification, such as the bachelor’s degree, “Magister”, “Diplom” or State Examination. It measures the applicant’s general and subject-related aptitude necessary for completing such a programme successfully. You don’t require any specific knowledge or expertise about your subject of study when you take the test.


Advantages for students

The test results can identify your strengths and help you choose a field of study which matches your abilities. Following the test, you gain a more realistic perspective of your chances of earning a degree in your desired subject area. You can also compare how well you did with others who took the test. And you become familiar with the typical demands of your desired degree programme.

Advantages for universities

The TestAS offers universities a standardised method for comparing the scholastic aptitude of their applicants. The test evaluates the applicants’ suitability for their desired degree programme regardless of their country of origin or its grading system. Each university can then select those students which possess the necessary prerequisites for the degree programme in question. It is possible to accurately predict academic progress on the basis of the TestAS results.


TestAS recognition varies from university to university. While the TestAS is an obligatory prerequisite for admission to some universities, others do not require it, but may recommend it.

The TestAS offers you advantages at some 40 universities throughout Germany. At six universities in North Rhine-Westphalia, the test serves as an admission examination for applicants who have not gained a university entrance qualification (e.g. Abitur). After passing the TestAS, you are no longer required to attend a foundation course. Several universities in Brandenburg also offer similar individualised admission procedures.

Facts and figures

- Testing: You can find a list of upcoming testing dates here. The universities can arrange alternative testing dates for groups of refugees. If you are already in contact with a university, you can ask them about this possibility.
- Costs: If you’re a registered refugee, the DAAD will pay the testing fee once, otherwise the test costs 80 euros.
- Languages: German, English and Arabic
- Testing centres: 281 locations in 76 countries (various testing centres in Germany)
- Registration: If you are officially registered as a refugee, please register here for the TestAS online. During the registration process, you will be asked to provide proof of your refugee status. You can meet this requirement by holding one of the following residence titles:

  • Persons with a BüMA/Proof of Arrival (asylum-seeker registration certificate prior to application in accordance with §63a AsylG)
  • Asylum seekers (process pending - temporary residence permit in accordance with §55 AsylVfG)
  • Tolerated persons (temporary suspension of deportation - tolerance permit in accordance with §60a AufenthG)
  • Refugees with right to asylum in accordance with Art. 16a GG/ GFK (residence permit in accordance with §25 par. 1 AufenthG)
  • Recognised refugees in accordance with § 3 AsylVfG (residence permit in accordance with §25 par.2 S.1/1. AufenthG)
  • Persons granted subsidiary protection in accordance with § 4 AsylVfG (residence permit in accordance with §25 par.2 S.1/2. AufenthG)
  • Persons granted deportation protection in accordance with § 60 par. 5 and 7 AufenthG (residence permit in accordance with §25 par.3 AufenthG)
  • Persons with a residence permit in accordance with § 22 S. 1 and 2, §23 par. 1 and 2, § 24 and § 25 par. 5 AufenthG
    Family members (parents, children, spouses), who have joined recognised refugees or asylum seekers as defined under the Geneva Convention or those granted subsidiary protection, may also participate in the free review process if they can provide proof that the “principal” person (the first to be granted refugee status) has a residence permit  

You can prove your status with a copy of your certificate of arrival, your temporary or standard residence permit, or soon with a copy of your refugee ID card.

The TestAS certificate is recognised by German universities which have integrated the TestAS into their admission policies. Each university is permitted to determine how heavily to weight the TestAS results. Please inquire at the university (or faculty) of your choice as to whether the TestAS is considered in the admission decision.


You can take the TestAS in either English, Germany or Arab. The test is comprised of three components: the “onScreen” language test, the Core Test, and the “subject-specific test modules”. The onScreen Test is no part of the "TestAS for Refugees".

The Core Test assesses the general skills required in all academic courses. The subject-specific test modules evaluate the skills you will need to successfully complete a degree programme in a specific subject area.

You may select one of four subject-specific modules:

The TestAS certificate is valid indefinitely.

Structure of the TestAS

Preparation and requirements

The TestAS is not a measure of how much you know, but rather is an assessment of your cognitive skills. No specific knowledge is tested. The best way to prepare for the test is to become familiar with the TestAS format. You will find sample questions on the TestAS website. The TestAS Institute strongly recommends that all applicants complete these sample questions before taking the test.

To pass the language component of the TestAS, your language skills should be equivalent to level B1 of the European Framework of Reference for Languages. Please keep in mind, however, that B1 is below the level required if you wish to study in Germany.

Important! The TestAS is not the same as the TestDaF! The TestDaF is a language examination that assesses your German language skills, while the TestAS measures cognitive skills that are necessary for university study. To test your German language skills, you can take the onSET-Deutsch (formerly onDaF) language placement test, or for English, the onSET-English, both of which are free of charge for refugees.

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