German certification: all you need to know about the DSD

Administered by the Conference of Ministers of Education of the Federal Republic of Germany in partnership with the Ministry of Education, the DSD (Deutsches Sprachdiplom) is a non-compulsory examination for German secondary school students to certify their level of German.

The DSD is internationally recognized and valid for life. 

What is the test’s purpose?

The DSD offers two diplomas, the DSD1 and DSD2, which certify different levels of German on the CEFR scale. It enables students to continue their studies at a public educational establishment in Germany and increases their chances of obtaining an internship or a job in structures requiring a minimum level of German (in Europe or in a German-speaking country).

The DSD test can only be taken if the candidate can prove they have been learning German for several years.

What does the test involve?

The DSD is divided into four modules in both diplomas:

  • Reading: the candidate answers 24 multiple choice questions after reading a press article or an interview.
  • Listening: the candidate listens to an audio clip and answers 24 multiple choice questions.
  • Writing: the candidate writes an essay on a topical issue.
  • Speaking: the candidate must pass a short oral exam.

How long does the test take?

The DSD1 and DSD2 both take 2 hours and 55 minutes:

  • Reading: 65 minutes 
  • Listening: 35 minutes
  • Writing: 60 minutes 
  • Speaking: 15 minutes 

Which levels does the DSD assess?

The DSD exams are aimed at candidates with a level of A2, B1, B2 or C1 on the CEFR scale. 

  • The DSD1 corresponds to levels A2 and B1 of the CEFR, and is intended for students in the first two years of secondary school (high school). This diploma attests to a sufficient level of education to study at a German college.
  • The DSD2 covers the B2 and C1 levels of the CEFR and is intended for students in the last two years of secondary school. It certifies an advanced level and gives students the possibility of studying at a German university.

Gymglish is a training organization that offers short, personalized, fun online language lessons. At the end of the training, students receive a personalized learning report with a set of statistics for their level. This report not only includes information on the student’s level in various areas, but also charts progress in terms of learning and revision, participation, training time, lessons covered, etc.

Gymglish creates short, fun, personalized online language courses. Our goal: your motivation, participation and progress


What grading system does the DSD use?

The DSD exams are marked out of 24 points. To obtain the DSD1, a candidate must get a minimum score of 8/24 in each section of the test. For the DSD2, a candidate must get a minimum of 14/24 in listening and reading and 12/24 in speaking and writing.

The DSD exam is passed if the candidate obtains the minimum score in all four sections. If they do not pass all portions of the exam, they can obtain a partial achievement certificate signed by the academic authority. 

How much does the test cost? Where can you take it?

Unlike other German language diplomas, the DSD exams are free of charge and can be taken in over 1,100 schools worldwide.

The DSD at a glance

PublisherConference of Ministers of Education of the Federal Republic of Germany (KMK) in partnership with the Ministry of EducationWunderbla (by Gymglish)
Name of certificate/ diplomaDSD1 and DSD2Wunderbla learning report  
Validity periodLifetimeLifetime
Language skills testedReading, listening, writing, speakingReading, listening, writing 
Target level(s)A2 to C1All levels, except beginners (A2 to C2)
PriceFreeFrom €21 /month
Duration2 hrs 55 minTraining for 6, 12, 24 or 36 months
Face-to-face / RemoteAt college/high schoolRemote / online


Wunderbla (by Gymglish) issues a learning report at the end of the course (minimum 6 months) which includes statistics on the student’s level, progress and participation. This document not only includes information on the student’s level in various areas at the end of the learning period, but also charts progress in terms of learning and revision, participation, training time, lessons covered, etc.



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