TestAS Aptitude Test: accurately assessing the likelihood of succeeding academically on a degree programme of study.
The ‘TestAS’ (Test for Academic Studies) is an aptitude test, which assesses students from non-EU countries in order to determine the likelihood of those students completing their Degree programme of study successfully within a university in Germany. The results of this test are used differently between the various universities involved, but the end result is that they allow universities to compare the academic ability of participating students in order to determine how well they could be expected to perform within a Degree programme of study. A Degree programme of study is expected to result in a Bachelor’s Degree, Magister or Diplom.
In addition to helping universities understand potential candidates’ strengths, the results of TestAS simultaneously offer advantages to applicants. Those taking the test can see whether they are likely to perform well in a subject field that interests them, and whether their natural aptitudes are aligned with the demands of a specific study programme. They may also compare their performance against peers who have also taken the test. Finally, they can gain familiarity with the workload expected of them on the programme of study that interests them.
One main benefit of TestAS is that it disregards an applicant’s nationality, as well as the means by which that country grades its students, allowing for a system that can fairly compare all applicants without bias. This allows universities within Germany to choose students solely based on their performance within the TestAS aptitude test, as the results of TestAS allow accurate prediction of how a student is likely to perform on a degree programme, without the need for further data.
With regards to participating institutions, this varies from one university to another. Some institutions specify the undertaking of TestAS as a mandatory requirement for admission, whereas others simply recommend that students undertake the test. In any case, those who have undertaken the TestAS aptitude test and performed well may be at an advantage when compared to those who have not. It is the decision of each individual German university on how much weight they place on the results of TestAS in regards to their admission requirements.
Additionally, for those who do not possess an entrance qualification for university, obtaining a pass in TestAS may remove the need to complete a foundation course, though this applies only to certain universities and should not be assumed to be the case for all (for example, some universities in North Rhine-Westphalia and Brandenburg).
The test has three components; the Language Screening Test, Core Test, and Subject-specific Test modules. It can be taken either in English or in German, but requires no specialist knowledge to complete.
The Language Screening Test (or ‘onScreen’ test) lasts for half an hour and tests applicants on their level of proficiency in either English or German. The Core Test tests students on the general study skills that would be expected of all students studying academic courses at a university level. The Subject-specific modules assess the specific skills required to perform well and succeed when studying at degree-level, in a subject-specific area. Owing to this, students may choose from one of the following four subject-specific modules:
- Humanities, Cultural Studies and Social Sciences
- Mathematics, Computer Science and Natural Sciences
TestAS costs 80 Euros and is administered three times per year, in 281 different test centres across 76 countries.
The results of TestAS do not have an expiry and thus the test does not need to be retaken at a later date.
Note to Students Regarding Preparation
It’s important to remember that TestAS is not concerned with your level of knowledge, but rather your cognitive ability and aptitude. Therefore, preparative tasks should focus on familiarising yourself with the structure and format of the test. Sample exam questions can be located by navigating to the TestAS web page. Upon recommendation from TestAS, students are advised to study those sample exam questions as a minimum, before undertaking the test.
With regards to proficiency, students wishing to undertake the TestAS aptitude test should hold a minimum language proficiency of level B1 (please refer to the European Framework of Reference for Languages). However, please note that your desired university may have separate requirements for levels of language proficiency when studying in Germany at degree-level.