University of Heidelberg

Placement Test for the Kolleg für deutsche Sprache und Kultur (KSK)
and Entrance Examination for the Studienkolleg

1. Basic information

Please note:

  • Before attending the German language courses at the Kolleg für deutsche Sprache und Kultur, students take a written placement test.
  • Admission to the subject-specific core courses ("Schwerpunktkurse") at the Studienkolleg is regulated by means of a written entrance examination.
  • The placement test and the entrance examination are identical. Both exams are mandatory.

2. What is the exam format?

Part I: Grammar (grammatical structures, 45 min)
  The grammar tasks are typically arranged in levels of ascending difficulty: basic level (A1, A2) → intermediate level (B1, B2) → advanced level (C1). You may be asked to fill in missing word parts or sentence elements, do transformation tasks, and syntax exercises
  Sample Exam: Grammar (PDF document)
Part II: Either Listening Comprehension (30 min for completing the tasks, not including listening time) or Writing (guided written expression, 45 min)

The second part of the exam will be either (A) a listening comprehension or (B) a writing test. You cannot choose between the two variants.

Variant A: Listening Comprehension
A non-fictional text comprising approximately 30 lines which does not require subject-specific background knowledge will be read aloud twice while students may take notes. The individual tasks will require you to answer questions on the text and/or give an account of the most important facts.

Variant B: Writing
You will be asked to express yourself coherently and independently about a given topic by way of description, comparison, or comment. The task may be based on an illustration or a graph.

  Sample Exam: Writing (PDF document)

3. How is the exam assessed?

  • Parts I and II of the exam count equally (50/50).
  • The placement test for the German language courses at the KSK will be assessed following a specific grading points system. You will be assigned to the course level (A1 to C1) matching your test performance.
  • The number of students in the different subject-specific core courses ("Schwerpunktkurse") at the Studienkolleg is generally restricted to 20 each. Admission to these courses requires German language skills at a level of B2/C1.
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