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ÖSD exams – an overview

The ÖSD (Österreichisches Sprachdiplom Deutsch) is a state-approved examination and assessment system for German as a Foreign Language / German as a Second Language.
ÖSD exams correspond to the levels of the “Common European Framework of Reference for Languages” (CEFR). There's a brief description of the CEFR in the FAQs area.


Our examination centres offer the following exams:

A1 Grundstufe Deutsch 1 assesses language competence in familiar, everyday situations on an elementary basis. This exam is for learners aged 14 and over and is also available as the Österreich-Variante (= Z-Variante) for migrants to Austria.

A1 Kompetenz in Deutsch 1 asseses the language competence of children and adolescents in private, school-related and semi-public situations. This exam is directed at young people aged 10 to 14.

A2 Grundstufe Deutsch 2 assesses the language competence needed to communicate in routine, everyday and professional situations on an elementary basis. It focuses on the simple and direct exchange of information on familiar issues. This exam is for learners aged 14 and over and is also offered as the Österreich-Variante (= Z-Variante) for migrants to Austria.

A2 Kompetenz in Deutsch 2 assesses the language competence of children and adolescents in private, school-related and semi-public situations. It focuses on the simple and direct exchange of information on familiar issues. This exam is directed at young people aged 10 to 14.

B1 Zertifikat Deutsch is an exam for learners aged 16 and over. It is conducted and was developed as a joint product by the ÖSD in cooperation with the Goethe Institut, telc GmbH and the Center for Language Learning and Research at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland. The exam assesses the ability of independent language use in everyday and professional situations. The emphasis is on communicative competence but attention is also paid to formal accuracy. The exam will be available from January 2014 as the ZDÖ (Zertifikat Deutsch Österreich) exam. The B1 Zertifikat Deutsch für Jugendliche (for learners between the ages of 12 and 16) corresponds to the B1 Zertifikat Deutsch and differs only in the topics that have been adapted to adolescents and young people.

Zertifikat B1 (modular) assesses the ability to use the language in familiar, everyday situations (work, school, leisure time, travel etc.). This exam is also offered as a module-based exam in which the exam modules for reading comprehension, listening comprehension, writing skills and speaking can be taken independently of each other at different points of time. The exam is offered in cooperation with the Goethe-Institut and is available to both learners aged 16 and over and young people aged 12 and over.

B2 Mittelstufe Deutsch assesses language competence in (semi-)public, professional and educational (school, university) situations, in addition to everyday situations. This exam is for learners aged 16 and over and is also available in a version for young people aged 14 and over.

C1 Oberstufe Deutsch assesses the competent use of language in complex social and professional situations, characterized by a high degree of accuracy, correctness and situation-specific appropriateness. This exam is for learners aged 16 and over and is also available in a version for young people aged 14 and over.

C2 Wirtschaftssprache Deutsch assesses both general and professional language ability in complex business and professional situations, characterized by a high degree of accuracy, correctness and situation-specific appropriateness. This exam is for learners aged 16 and over.