Heike Reichert

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DSH sample examination

Current DSH sample examination

Below is a sample of an examination paper for the DSH examination at the Language Centre of the University of Oldenburg as well as information on the examination procedure.
The written examination consists of four parts: Listening comprehension, reading comprehension, academic language and text production. If you pass the written examination, you may take the oral examination which takes place a few days later.
To pass the DSH examination you will need to achieve at least 57% (DSH 1). In order to be admitted to a degree programme, you usually need at least 67% (DSH 2), in exceptional cases 82% (DSH 3). Please contact the Registrar’s Office for details regarding the admission requirements for your degree programme.
The sample examination is provided for information only and may not be used for teaching purposes.

Listening comprehension

  • Duration: 85 minutes
  • Working time after listening to the text for a second time: 40 minutes
  • Authorized resources: Monolingual German as a foreign language dictionary

At the Language Centre of the University of Oldenburg, the DSH examination begins with a listening comprehension task (LC). You will listen to a lecture lasting 10-15 minutes. You will receive the task sheet after listening for the first time. After five minutes, you will listen to the lecture a second time. You will then have 40 minutes to complete the tasks. Each task specifies the form in which you should answer. The examination consists of:

  • Tasks where you need to mark the correct answer
  • Completion tasks where you need to fill in individual words
  • Tasks you need to complete in keywords
  • Tasks that must be answered in whole sentences.

Please pay attention to the examination question. If sentences are required, please answer the question in complete sentences. If only keywords are required, then please answer only in keywords. If a question states that you must reply in your own words, you must not copy the text word for word.

Listening comprehension (LC) example (Lecture)

LC task sheet

LC solutions

LC transcript of the lecture

Reading comprehension

  • Duration: 60 minutes including reading time
  • Authorized resources: Monolingual German as a foreign language dictionary

A total of 60 minutes is available for reading comprehension (RC). The examination consists of a text to read and a task sheet with questions on the text. The questions are similar to those of the listening comprehension. Please also pay close attention to the examination questions. Failure to follow the instructions carefully may result in losing points.

RC text (Title: Verheerendes Bienensterben – fleißige Helfer in Gefahr)

RC task sheet (Title: Verheerendes Bienensterben – fleißige Helfer in Gefahr)

RC solutions

Academic language

  • Duration: 30 minutes
  • Authorized resources: Monolingual German as a foreign language dictionary

The academic language (AL) task follows immediately after the reading comprehension task. A total of 30 minutes is available for this part of the examination. It consists of excerpts from the text that you need to edit. For each task, the language structure that you are required to edit is underlined.

AL task sheet

AL solutions

Argumentative text production

  • Duration: 70 minutes
  • Authorized resources: Monolingual German as a foreign language dictionary

The final component of the written examination is the text production (TP) task. The task is based on the response to a given question, claim or thesis. In the discussion of arguments for and against a certain matter, the candidate is required to consider and use information from various sources (for example, figures, expert opinions or the like). The candidate is required to state their opinion at the end of the text. Further information can be found in our information sheet (see pdf file). Candidates have 70 minutes to complete this task. We recommend that candidates use the first 10 minutes to take a close look at the material (figures and/or quotes) and tasks, to understand it and to take notes. It is important that all of the information provided in the examination question is considered carefully. The content, text structure and coherence as well as vocabulary and linguistic correctness of the response will be assessed. Candidates are expected to produce a text of approximately 250 words.

Information sheet on argumentative text production task

Title: “Sollte der Besuch einer KiTa verpflichtend sein?”

TP solutions (sample answers and analysis: version A and B)

Oral examination

  • Duration: approx. 40 minutes
  • Authorized resources: Monolingual German as a foreign language dictionary

Candidates who have achieved at least 57% (DSH 1) may take the oral examination. Taking (and passing) the oral examination (OE) is necessary to obtain a certificate.

The examination consists of preparation time (20 minutes) as well as a short presentation (approx. 5 minutes) and the examination interview (max. 15 minutes).

Information sheet on the oral examination (in German only)

Oral examination task "Fahrradhelme"

General Information (FAQ)

What documents do I need to bring? You must bring your ID (or residence permit) and your DSH registration document.

What resources am I permitted to bring to the examination? You may use a monolingual dictionary of German as a foreign language (DaF).

What other personal items can I bring with me to the examination? During the examination, you may not bring any personal items to your desk other than your dictionary and writing equipment, as well as medicines, tissues, drinks, snacks, sweets or the like. Electronic devices such as mobile phones, smartphones or smartwatches must be switched off during the test and stored at the front of the examination room together with other personal items (e.g. jackets, bags, books, booklets, notes).

Can I make annotations and notes on the text pages and task sheets? Yes, but please note that only what you enter in the appropriate answer fields on the task sheets will be assessed. Your notes will not be assessed.

What should I do if I'm sick? In the event of illness, you should not take part in the examination, also out of consideration for the other participants. In this case, please de-register for the examination by email (). Reimbursement of the examination fee is not possible in the event of short-term cancellation (one week before the start of the examination or less).

How do I find out my examination result? Just a few days after the written examination, the result and your date for the oral examination will be announced in a PDF file on the website of the Language Centre The results will be announced under your candidate ID assigned by us during the examination, not under your name! After the oral exam, a new PDF file will be published on the Language Centre website containing the results of both written and oral examinations as well as your overall result. The exact dates will be given during registration.

When does a DSH examination count as passed? The DSH is deemed to have been passed if you have passed both the written examination and the oral examination with at least 57% (= DSH 1). DSH 2 level is awarded if you have achieved at least 67% in both parts. DSH 3 is obtained by achieving 82% in each of the two parts of the examination. If you obtain a lower level in either the written or oral examination, you will also be graded at the lower level in your overall result.

Can partial results for the written or oral part of a DSH examination be credited in a subsequent DSH examination attempt? No, according to the examination regulations, both examination parts (written and oral) must be taken within the same examination period (see Section 4(1) of the examination regulations of 07/02/2013).

How do I obtain my certificate? There are three options for obtaining your certificate: 1. You may collect your certificate in person from the Language Centre secretary’s office (Room A15 0-001) upon presentation of your ID card. 2. Another person may collect your certificate by presenting a power of attorney and their identity card. 3. We can send you the certificate by post, if you provide us with a self-addressed A4 return envelope (including postage for a registered letter) Please note that we assume no responsibility for certificates lost in the post.

What happens if I lose my certificate? If you lose your certificate, we can issue you a duplicate of your certificate for an administration fee of 10 euros.


(Changed: 09 Apr 2024)  | 
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