Free participation in TestAS for refugees


The decision to waive testing fees for refugees taking the Aptitude Test for Academic Studies (TestAS) represents another step towards helping refugees gain access to higher education at a German university. An overview of the process.

On 1 March 2016, the application fee for determining university entrance qualification was waived for registered refugees.

1. Funding requirements

In order to gain access to all of the programmes and measures of the DAAD, the applicant must hold one of the following residence titles:

  • Persons with a BüMA/Proof of Arrival (asylum-seeker registration certificate prior to application in accordance with §63a AsylG)
  • Asylum seekers (process pending - temporary residence permit in accordance with §55 AsylVfG)•    Tolerated persons (temporary suspension of deportation - tolerance permit in accordance with §60a AufenthG)
  • Refugees with right to asylum in accordance with Art. 16a GG/ GFK (residence permit in accordance with §25 par. 1 AufenthG)
  • Recognised refugees in accordance with § 3 AsylVfG (residence permit in accordance with §25 par.2 S.1/1. AufenthG)
  • Persons granted subsidiary protection in accordance with § 4 AsylVfG (residence permit in accordance with §25 par.2 S.1/2. AufenthG)
  • Persons granted deportation protection in accordance with § 60 par. 5 and 7 AufenthG (residence permit in accordance with §25 par.3 AufenthG)
  • Persons with a residence permit in accordance with § 22 S. 1 and 2, §23 par. 1, 2 and 4, § 24 and § 25 par. 5 AufenthG
  • Family members (parents, children, spouses), who have joined recognised refugees or asylum seekers as defined under the Geneva Convention or those granted subsidiary protection, may also participate in the free review process if they can provide proof that the “principal” person (the first to be granted refugee status) has a residence permit.

II. Aptitude Test for Academic Studies (TestAS)

The TestAS is a central, standardised test which measures the candidate’s academic aptitude. It assesses cognitive skills which are particularly important for studying. The TestAS was designed for student applicants who wish to enrol in an undergraduate degree programme at a university in Germany.

What are the advantages of TestAS?

  • On the basis of the TestAS results, universities can select those students who meet the requirements for admission to the degree programme in question.
  • As for the candidates, the TestAS introduces them to the typical requirements of their desired degree programme.
  • The results enable prospective students to realistically assess whether they are capable of completing a course of study at a German university.

The universities are free to decide how to use the TestAS results in their programmes according to their own needs. TestAS provides differentiated results which can be applied to different areas (e.g. deciding whether to offer the candidate direct admission to a degree programme or participation in a propaedeutic course, preparatory college or language course). The TestDaF Institute can offer consultation in this matter.

The TestAS certificate is a prerequisite for receiving the application fee waiver from uni-assist.

IIa. Information on the TestAS testing procedures

The TestAS can be taking in Arabic, German or English on all the testing dates. The TestDaF Institute, responsible for administering the TestAS, is expanding its capacities at existing testing centres and will be acquiring new testing centres shortly. In cooperation with the g.a.s.t/TestDaF Institute, individual universities are also permitted to request special testing dates. The tests are initially administered as needed, and then later offered on a regular schedule.

IIb. TestAS registration

Candidates are required to register on special online registration platform which ensures the testing fees are automatically covered by the DAAD. During registration, the candidate must provide evidence of their refugee status by uploading one of the documents listed above. Alternatively, universities can contact the g.a.s.t./TestDaF Institute directly to arrange an individual testing date at their university for a group of refugees.

In this case, the universities are required to provide documentation of residence status (see above) for each participant.

Visit the TestAS website for upcoming testing dates.

Please contact the TestDaF Insitute directly to arrange individual testing dates at your university, or if the university wishes to establish a testing centre, or if you have questions about how to evaluate the TestAS certificates.

Candidates may download their TestAS certificates from the participant database approximately 14 days after taking the test. Universities can verify the TestAS certificates online as well. We ask university employees to register with the TestDaF Institute to access the TestAS university portal.

Contact partners at the g.a.s.t./TestDaF Institute

If you have any questions about these procedures, the following contact partners would be happy to assist you.

Amin Ahmed

Project coordinator TestAS for refugees

Dr. Hans-Joachim Althaus

Managing director
Tel.: +49 (234) 32 29 730

More information

For more information, visit the TestAS website.