If you want to study in undergraduate programs in Germany, another concept you will encounter in your research is the TestAS Exam. While some universities in Germany do not conduct a separate exam based on the VPD grade (see What is VPD?), some universities may interview students separately. Some universities, especially in some programs where foreign students apply intensively and have limited quotas, may ask students to take the “University Entrance Proficiency Test for Foreign Students” TestAS exam instead of or in addition to the VPD grade, or they may give bonus points to increase their NC scores for students who score high on this exam. (For example, Hamburg uni. can increase your NC score by 0.6 points)
For an up-to-date list of schools that accept TestAs and use it as an additional assessment criterion, see Universities that accept TestAS.
It is important to check on the program’s website whether the program you are applying to requires the TestAS exam or whether there is a bonus for TestAS scores. The test is given in two different languages, German or English. Students usually choose to take these exams in grade 12, but they often choose to take them more than once and report the highest score.
The TestAS exam is held on the same dates all over the world and is also held in a few centers in Turkey. (Not every center may open an exam in every exam period, you should check the TestAS website). As of 2022, the exam can be taken digitally in addition to the paper-based classical test. The digital TestAS is prepared in a different format than the paper-based one and contains different question types. The structure of the paper-based TestAS is as follows:
- Core Test: A test that measures the skills required for all fields of study, questioning more basic cognitive abilities, Numerical Series, Completing Patterns, Inferring Relations, Solving Quantitative Problems, etc. ( 88 Questions 110 min )
- Specific Test Modules : In addition to the Core Test, you can think of it as the second stage where the skills specific to the undergraduate programs you want are tested. You can choose one of the four subjects according to the program you will apply for:
- Humanities, Cultural Studies and Social Sciences Module: A test that questions skills in text reading and comprehension, figure and graph interpretation, presentation and language structures (66 questions 150 min)
- Engineering Module : This test module tests skills in basic physics concepts and analysis of technical visuals and three-dimensional shapes. ( 68 Questions 150 min )
- Mathematics, Computer Science and Natural Sciences Module : It is a test that measures basic skills in each field (physics, chemistry and biology and computer algorithms). (66 Questions 145 min)
- Economics Module : Module in which financial statements and graphs are analyzed as well as process diagrams and relationships are tested. (44 Questions 150 min)
I have already written that the “Digital TestAS” is different from the paper-based one. The Digital TestAS is computer-based and no paper/pencil is allowed to be used even for notes. The exam consists of Core Test and Module Test as in the paper-based test, but the question types are different. As such, I think it might be more difficult. The structure is as follows:
- Core Test:
- “Figure Sequences” (20 Questions – 25 min ), This question type is a question type in which the movements and colors of various shapes in a 4×4 matrix are defined by certain patterns. You will be given the first four matrices of the array and asked to guess the remaining 2 in order to understand the pattern. Some questions can be very simple, while others are difficult to recognize at first glance.
- “Mathematical Equations” (20 Questions – 25 min ), It is one of the most familiar question types from the high school curriculum. You will be asked to solve multiple equations with one, two, three or four unknowns. However, the questions tend to be easy.
- “Latin Squares” (20 Questions – 25 min ), It is like a sudoku puzzle where you are given a 5×5 matrix with letters from A to E. Some squares of the matrix will be filled and you will be asked to find the letter that should go in the square given with a question mark. Some of the questions here can be really difficult.
- Module Test: As in the paper-based version, each student chooses a subject-specific module related to the prescribed bachelor’s degree course. In contrast, the number of subject modules has been increased in the Digital TestAS. The test is a 90-minute exam with a variety of tasks, each task containing multiple questions. The modules are as follows:
- Humanities, Cultural Studies and Social Sciences
- Life Sciences
- Mathematics, Computer Science and Natural Sciences
Check their website thoroughly to see which specific test module is required by the program you are applying for.
How do I take the TestAS?
I mentioned that the TestAS exam is held on the same date all over the world. It is held three times a year. You can check the current dates on the TestAS website. You create a free account on the website. You apply by selecting the test center where you can take the exam on the announced application date. The exam fee is 135 Euros and is paid online. The most important thing to keep in mind here is that the exam quotas are limited and the number of applications is high. You must register as soon as the application opens, otherwise you have almost no chance of finding a place. Let me give you a tip, if you have not found a place, keep checking from time to time, as long as there are cancelations, a place for one or two people opens up. It is my own experience.
Since the exam is not very similar to the exams you are used to, you may get a low score on your first attempt. There are books for preparation and they can be found on the internet. If you have a dream and goal of Germany, I would say take it more than once. You choose which exam result the universities can see. (It doesn’t matter how many times you take the exam, universities only see one exam result when they make an inquiry) The maximum score you can get in the exam is 130, usually 110 can be considered as a threshold. Most schools that accept TestAS results will ask you to score over 110 anyway. But a score above 118 will move you up in the rankings. Good luck in advance. You can find my article about preparing for the exam in my article “Preparing for the TestAS Exam”.
I hope it was useful. For your questions, you can reach me via recep[at]recepdayi.com.tr e-mail address and social media.