Entrance Exams for Masters in Germany


Germany is a popular study-abroad destination among students wishing to pursue their higher education in top-ranked graduate programs (MS). The universities in Germany charge low tuition fees and have world-class infrastructure, and up-to-date curricula.

Notably, if you are interested in the automobile, engineering, technology, IT, healthcare, or even management program, pursuing an MS program in Germany would be a lucrative option for you. You can have access to top-ranked programs in Germany but at affordable costs.

The degrees offered by colleges and universities in Germany are recognised across the world. Additionally, Germany offers many excellent career opportunities. If you are an international student pursuing a full-time program in Germany, you can work part-time in Germany for 20 hours a week or 120 full days in an academic year.

However, before you make it to a program & university of your choice in Germany, you will need to take into account the necessary steps to complete the application process for studying MS in Germany. While the other documents will be easily accessible to you, you need to pay extra attention in preparing for the entrance exams to study an MS program in Germany.

Requirements to Study MS in Germany

To apply to any program in Germany, you will need to primarily prepare the following set of documents:

  • Valid passport
  • Proof of date of birth
  • Academic records for all levels of education
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Certificate of work experience
  • Resume
  • Motivation letter and required essays
  • Valid GMAT,GRE, TOEFL, and IELTS scores


Entrance Exams for MS in Germany

The entrance exams that you need to take to pursue a master’s in Germany largely include the English language proficiency tests and the standardized tests such as GMAT exam or GRE exam. These are mandatory aspects of the application as these tests enable the admissions committee to understand your communication, problem-solving, reasoning, and analytical skills, strengths that are crucial for pursuing research-oriented programs as well as to fare well in practical situations. Let us explore the tests one by one:


IELTS: International English Language Testing System

Valid for two years, IELTS is widely accepted by all universities in English-speaking countries. The test has four sections: Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing. You will have to book the Speaking test as per the date assigned by the testing authority while the other three tests will be conducted on the test day itself.

You will get 30 minutes to listen to four recordings and complete the Listening component; 60 minutes to complete the 40 questions in the Reading section; 60 minutes to complete two tasks in the Writing part; about 15 minutes to complete the Speaking section.

All programs in Germany accept IELTS exam scores. While you do not need to always score a 7.0 band on IELTS for applying to programs in Germany, you need to score a minimum of 6.0 -6.5 for graduate programs in Germany. For a German student visa, you must have an IELTS of 6.5 bands.


TOEFL: Test of English as a Foreign Language

This also tests your reading, speaking, listening and writing skills in English in a three-hour test format. TOEFL exam is another widely accepted test for English language proficiency and is accepted by all institutions in Germany for MS programs. For MS programs in Germany, you need to have a TOEFL score of 80 and above, and in the range of 90 – 100 for Tier 1 schools.

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TestDaF: Test Deutsch alsFremdsprache/Test of German as a Foreign Language:

You need to take the TestDaF if you are going to Germany for a German language course or the medium of instruction at your university is German. If you are taking the TestDaF, you do not need to take the IELTS. Typically, to take the TestDaF, you must have completed the intermediary level from a recognised institution teaching the German language.

This three hours 10 minutes long exam will also test your proficiency in speaking, reading, writing, and listening. To be considered eligible for a language program in Germany or receive instructions in German for your MS program in Germany, you must attempt a TDN 4 level, equivalent to a B2 or C1 level as defined by the Common European Framework of Reference for Language (CEFR).


DSH: Deutsche Sprachprüfungfür den Hochschulzugang

This is similar to the TestDaF in that this exam is needed if you are looking to pursue a course in German language or opted for German as a medium of instruction for your master’s program in Germany. To be enrolled into the program of your choice, you must obtain the DSH level 2.

However, if you fail to do so, you will have to retake the exam before enrolment. This also follows a similar pattern as the TestDaF and tests your written and oral production and comprehension skills.


GMAT: Graduate Management Admission Test

If you are applying for the MBA program in Germany, you will need to take the GMAT or the GRE. If you are taking the GMAT, you will have to complete four sections, namely, analytical writing assessment, quantitative reasoning, integrated reasoning, and verbal reasoning.

To apply to top-ranked universities in Germany, you need to target average GMAT scores of 600 and above with average section scores of 28 in Verbal Reasoning, 40 in Quantitative Reasoning, 4.6 in Integrated Reasoning, and 4.5 in Analytical Writing Assessment.


GRE: Graduate Record Examinations

While not mandated by all universities and MBA programs in Germany, a few top universities may still need you to provide either GRE or GMAT for applying to management programs in Germany. Here too, the test is divided into three sections, namely, verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and analytical writing, each with 20 questions.

The average minimum requirements for applying with a GRE to graduate programs in Germany are 160 in both quantitative and verbal reasoning and 3.5 in analytical writing. Thus, you need to obtain a total GRE score of 320 and above to be accepted to a master’s program in Germany.


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Do I need to take any entrance exams for studying in Germany?

Yes, if you are applying to any program in Germany, you will have to take standardised tests such as IELTS, TOEFL, GRE, and GMAT.

What is the minimum IELTS score requirement for applying to MS programs in Germany?

6.0 – 6.5 band overall is the minimum requirement in IELTS for applying to master’s programs in Germany. For tier 1 institutions in Germany, when it gets more competitive, you may need to target an overall band of 7.0 in IELTS.

Do I need to take the TOEFL if I am taking the TestDaF?

No. You will be taking the TestDaF if you are applying to study a German language course or you have selected your medium of instruction as German for your graduate program in Germany.

You will need to prove your proficiency in comprehending and communicating in the German language. However, a few universities may still need you to provide the TOEFL and IELTS score. Hence, do check the specific program requirements.

Which tests do I need to take to apply for an MS in Germany?

You need to take standardised tests such as the GMAT or GRE, especially if you are going for management and engineering programs in Germany. Besides, you need to provide your proficiency in English and/or German depending on the kind of program you are going for and the medium of instruction at the university. Thus, you will have to take the TOEFL, IELTS, TestDaF, or DSH tests as per requirements.

Is IELTS mandatory for studying in Germany?

Taking the English language proficiency tests for studying graduate programs in Germany is mandatory. In addition, if you are opting for a language program in German and the medium of instruction is in German, you will also have to mandatorily provide your proficiency certification through the TestDaF or DSH tests.In that case, you do not need to provide your IELTS or TOEFL scores.

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