FAQs — Frequently asked questions

What is the ÖSD?

The ÖSD is a non-profit organisation who develop internationally recognized exams for German as a foreign or second language. “ÖSD” stands for “Österreichisches Sprachdiplom Deutsch” as well as “Österreich, Schweiz, Deutschland” (Austria, Switzerland, Germany). Our exams are communicative- and pluricentric-oriented, cover all levels (A1–C2) corresponding to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) and incorporate different standard variations of the German language.

Where can I sit for an exam?

ÖSD exams are available worldwide. You can find a list of all licensed ÖSD exam centres here.

When can I sit for an ÖSD exam?

Exam dates can be found here. For more detailed information and registration requirements, please contact the exam centre of your choice directly.

Where and when can I register for an exam?

Simply choose an exam centre and register with them directly to receive all information pertaining to the exam and registration period.

What do I need to register for an exam?

A valid identity document (passport, identity card, etc.) is required for registration. For further information, please contact your respective ÖSD exam centre.

Can I sit for an exam as a person with special needs?

Depending upon the type and level of impairment (e.g. reading, writing, visual or hearing difficulties), the ÖSD head office offers individual measures that enable a fair and barrier-free sitting of the exam.

Information for candidates with special needs can be found here. For specific questions, please contact the exam centre of your choice or the ÖSD head office directly.

Which exam should I take?

Our free online sample tests will assist you in finding the particular level best fitting your abilities. After registering, the exam centre of your choice will offer advice and guidance on exam preparation.

Do I have to take a course to be able to sit for an ÖSD exam?

ÖSD exams are course-independent, which means you can sit for an exam even if you have not attended a course before.

How much does the exam cost?

Exam fees vary, depending upon the level of the exam, the country where you wish to take the exam and the exam centre. Please contact your exam centre directly to find out about individual fees.

How can I prepare for an ÖSD exam?

In any case, you should familiarize yourself with the respective exam and the corresponding tasks. Many ÖSD examination centers offer targeted preparation courses for individual exams. In addition, ÖSD offers you further tools to prepare for your exam:


  • Take a look at the respective sample tests before you sit for the exam. This will give you a first impression of how an ÖSD exam is structured.
  • We also recommend our practice materials. In addition to our existing sample tests containing solutions, these provide further practice tests, comments on the exams with advice on solving them, general information on the exams and an audio CD with listening texts.
  • Test-Training digital gives you an insight into our exams. In addition, you can also try them online.
  • Finally, ÖSD offers the possibility of taking a mock exam, where your performance will be evaluated by our ÖSD experts just like in a real exam. You will not only receive a grade, but also detailed feedback on your performance and experience an authentic exam situation.

Does ÖSD offer preparation courses?

If you wish to attend a preparation course, please contact the respective exam centre. You will receive detailed information on preparation courses and exam dates there.

Does ÖSD offer German language courses?

ÖSD does not offer any German courses. Your exam centre will gladly inform you about its current courses.

Am I allowed to use a dictionary during the exam?

Dictionaries are not allowed for the A1, A2 and B1 exam levels. A monolingual or bilingual dictionary is allowed for the B2 exam. For the C1 and C2 exams, a monolingual dictionary (to prepare for both the written and oral parts of the exam) is allowed. Electronic dictionaries, computers with voice synthesizers or similar devices are strictly forbidden.

When do I receive my module completion certificates?

A full completion certificate is issued once all modules of an exam are passed, whether it is done on the same date or over the course of one year (if taken at the same exam centre). When only an individual module is passed, a certificate for each successfully completed module is issued. There are no certificates for failed exams and modules.

Do I have to complete all modules of an exam within one year?

No, you can take the individual modules at any time. You will receive a certificate for each successfully completed module.

How often can I take or repeat an exam?

You can take each exam or module any number of times. For exams with two modules, the written component (reading, listening, writing) must be repeated as a whole. In the case of a failed exam, we recommend a minimum of four weeks before retaking the exam.

Where and when do I get my ÖSD certificate?

Your exam centre will provide all information regarding your ÖSD certificate.

How long is my certificate valid for?

In principle, ÖSD certificates are valid for an unlimited period of time. However, authorities sometimes demand certificates that are no more than two years old.

I lost my certificate, what can I do?

Please contact the ÖSD exam centre where the exam took place. After receiving a written declaration, your exam centre can request a duplicate from ÖSD. In exceptional cases (if your exam centre no longer exists), contact the ÖSD directly. Please include a written declaration of loss with all relevant information added under the subject “Bitte um Duplikat” via email to duplikat@osd.at.

The issuing of a duplicate is subject to postage and handling charges. Please note that a duplicate can only be requested within five years after original issue.

Which ÖSD certificate do I need to study in Austria?

ÖSD certificates are recognized as proof of German language competence by all Austrian and many German universities. The level required (B2, C1, C2) depends on the respective university, as well as the study program you choose. Your university admissions office is the best point of contact for the level of certification required.

Is the ÖSD Zertifikat C2 / Wirtschaftssprache Deutsch equivalent to an economic education?

No, ÖSD Zertifikat C2 / Wirtschaftssprache Deutsch is merely proof of language competence to the level C2. The „Wirtschaftssprache Deutsch“ exam assesses the professional and economic language competence necessary for business-related professions. Please note, economic knowhow is not subject matter of the exam.

I took an ÖSD exam and have a question regarding the assessment. Who do I contact?

If you have questions regarding the assessment of your exam, please contact your ÖSD exam center directly. You are entitled to view the rating sheet within a period of four weeks from the date of issue of the certificates/results. If necessary, your exam center will request the respective sheet from the ÖSD. Please note that an inspection of classified exam documents is not possible.

Within a period of four weeks from the date of issue of the certificate (or announcement of the result), appeals against the assessment can also be submitted directly with ÖSD Headquarters. For this purpose, please use the contact form and select the subject “Appeal”. Please note that a processing fee of 35 euros will be charged for the submission. If the appeal is allowed, the processing fees will be refunded to you.

Objections to the administration of the exam can only be raised immediately after the exam has taken place. The objection must be made in writing and directed to the head of the exam center where the exam was taken.

How can I become an ÖSD examiner?

In order to become an ÖSD examiner, you have to fit the profile requirements for an ÖSD examiner and participate in ÖSD examiner training. The training consists of an introductory presentation, as well as one exam and level-specific training. Two trial assessments for each exam/level must be submitted within two months of the training. Upon successful completion of this initial qualification, you will receive an ÖSD examiner licence and are thereby permitted to conduct examinations. To extend the validity of your examiner licence, regular requalification is required.

Does ÖSD offer training courses to become a teacher of German as a foreign language / German as a second language?

ÖSD does not offer any training courses to become a teacher of German as a foreign language / German as a second language. Please enquire at a university or college of education or at one of the recognized educational institutions (such as VÖV or the Goethe Institute) who offer certificate courses.