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GDS (Grosses Deutsches Sprachdiplom)

The GDS diploma is the highest level of the Goethe Insitute exams and makes official having a level of German which is close to mother-tongue level.

The GDS is the most prestigious "German as a foreign language" diploma that you can get outside of a university course in interpreting or translating. The GDS enjoys wide international renown. The GDS is recognised throughout the world and is appreciated by employers of both the private and public sectors.

Like the ZOP and the KDS, the GDS diploma exempts students who enrol in German universities from the German language entrance exams. In some Länder, the GDS is recognised as written proof, showing the required language level for teachers coming from other EU countries who wish to work in Germany.

Choose the GDS exam if :

  • You have a level of German which is close to that of your mother tongue
  • You are considering going to work or going to study in a higher-level institution or university in a German-speaking country

What does the GDS exam consist of ?

1. Written exam (5 hours)
You will need to be able to write a coherent text on a general subject, and to show your understanding of the overall content and details of a demanding text taken from literature or from the social sciences domain (recognising writing techniques such as irony, metaphor, etc.). You will also be tested on your knowledge of grammar, spelling and vocabulary.

2. Oral exam (25 minutes)

You will be asked to read a prepared text aloud and to make a presentation on the subject of your choice (3 subjects proposed). For this exam, you have 40 minutes' preparation time during which you are not authorised to use a dictionary.

For further information on the GDS exam, refer to the official Goethe Institute website.