Are my IB subjects right for me?
If you want to study at a German university, you need a so-called "university entrance qualification". This is a school leaving certificate that qualifies you for a degree. If your school leaving certificate is not sufficient for studying in Germany, you have to attend a preparatory college beforehand.
First of all, you should check whether your university entrance qualification is recognized in Germany. The DAAD's admission database will help you with this. There you enter the country in which you graduated from high school.
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You will then find out whether your degree
- is sufficient for direct general university access,
- is only sufficient for a subject-specific university entrance (i.e. within a certain subject group),
- is only sufficient in combination with proof of one or two successfully completed academic years in the home country or
- not sufficient for university admission.
If you come from an EU country or from Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland and your certificate there entitles you to university entrance, it is often sufficient in Germany as well. This also applies if you completed your Abitur at one of the more than 140 German schools abroad.
Particularly gifted people are sometimes admitted to artistic subjects without a formal university entrance qualification. Depending on the university, you have to submit work samples or pass an aptitude test.
Ask at the university!
The DAAD admissions database only gives you a rough overview. You can find more countries and degrees on Anabin. This database provides information on the evaluation of foreign educational qualifications. On Anabin you can search for your country and your degree. You will then receive all the information on whether your degree is sufficient or whether you have to meet other requirements. This website is currently only available in German.
The final decision on admission to the course is always made by the university to which you are applying. Therefore, you should always ask the international office of your chosen university beforehand whether you meet the necessary requirements!
European frame of reference
The level of language skills in Germany is specified according to the levels of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. There are three basic levels: elementary use of language (A), independent use of language (B) and proficient use of language (C). The six levels range from beginners' knowledge (A1) to almost mother tongue knowledge (C2).
If your degree is not enough
If your school leaving certificate is not recognized in Germany, your path to a German university will take you through the preparatory college. To be admitted to the preparatory college, you have to pass an entrance examination. Good knowledge of German is a prerequisite (level B1 of the European Framework of Reference).
At the end of the preparatory college, you will be tested in several subjects that are important for your subject. This test is called the assessment test. Part is also a language test.
The preparatory college usually lasts two semesters. If your performance is very good, you can also take the assessment test after one semester. At a preparatory college, you have 28 to 32 hours of lessons per week.
Lessons are free at almost all preparatory colleges. As a course participant, however, you pay the semester fee that all students have to pay.
Are you unsure whether you can cope with the requirements of German universities? You can check this with the test for foreign students (TestAS). It is a mixture of language test, technical questions and testing of your cognitive abilities. The test result can also help you decide on a particular course of study. In any case, after the test you will be able to assess your prospects of successful studies more realistically.
A successfully completed TestAS can improve your chances of admission to the university of your choice. Ask if your university requires the TestAS and what advantages it brings for you. You can take the TestAS three times a year at a test center of the TestDaF Institute, possibly also in your home country. There is an exam fee for taking the TestAS. Information on the test centers and model tasks can be found on the TestAS website.
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