HowTo: Improving your chance of admission!

There are many courses of study in Germany that you can choose from. However, for some of these courses there are minimum requirements for applicants. But did you know that you can also increase your chances of applying?

Students from many different countries come to Germany to study here. However, school-leaving qualifications and university courses vary from country to country. For this reason, there are different requirements for students to be admitted to university.


Try to improve your chances with some simple steps.

Do you have doubts about getting admitted to university?

In this article you will find some ways to improve your overall rating.

But please note: Universities have their own selection criteria. The information on this page only gives a few basic answers!

Different scenarios:

The admission requirements for non-medical courses of study are divided into two groups:

  • Admission with good minimum marks (restricted admission) and
  • Admission without minimum marks (not restricted).

If your studies are restricted to admission, you must have a certain average grade (NC) to be able to study in Germany.

However, if your studies are not restricted to admission, you only need to meet the formal criteria. These are mostly specific to the course of study.


Restricted Admission: Admission is only possible with good grades.

Numerus Clausus (NC)Average final grade after school, similar to the concept of GPA (Grade Point Average).

Admission restricted study programmes – also:”with numerus clausus”.

There are many admission-free courses of study in Germany.

How do I increase my chances of being admitted to higher education in Germany?

There are five typical ways to increase your chances of admission to the study program:

  1. Passed language exam with grade “good” or “very good”
  2. Bonus points for participation in TestAS
  3. Assessment test at a Studienkolleg
  4. Participation in a preparatory semester for applicants (provisional semester)
  5. Letter of recommendation from a charitable foundation or social commitment.

Sometimes a voluntary social year is also awarded with bonus points. But this is rather the exception than a rule.

More about the letter of recommendation: How do I get a letter of recommendation?

What are the main evaluation criteria for applying to the study programme?

There are different categories of rating scales and bonus points.

Often these are:

  • Rating according to good grades (Numerus Clausus)
  • Rating according to good grades with relevance for the study programme
  • Evaluation according to suitability test (e. g. TestAS)
  • Bonus points for practical experience
  • Bonus points for voluntary work

What are good grades for studying in Germany?

There is no general answer to this question. Universities have different assessment systems for foreign applicants. Universities can set their priorities differently and thus offer a wide range of study programmes.

Do I have to pass an entrance test?

Maybe. Whether you have to take an admission test depends on which university and course of study you are applying for. There are universities that require a university entrance qualification test. However, there are also many universities that only require an admission test for a few courses of study. If you apply for one of these courses of study, then an admission test is mandatory for you.

However, there are often bonus points for a positive admission test when applying. By taking a test, you can sometimes earn a lot of bonus points and improve your chances considerably.

How does the entrance test work? What skills do I need to have?

The entrance test is adapted to the contents of your studies. If you want to study science or engineering, you are expected to have completely different skills than applicants interested in history or theology.

If you are suitable for a course of study, there is no need to fear the test!

What is TestAS?

TestAS is a widely used qualification test in Germany, which is used by many universities in Germany to assess the ability to study a certain programme.

TestAS: Do I have to come to Germany to take the test?

No. If you have a look at the TestAS website, you will surely find an examination centre near you.

Countries and test centres: TestAS Examinations (extern)

TestAS: How can I prepare for an exam

At TestAS there are a number of different tasks. The best thing to do is take a look at some sample tasks and try to understand them:

Preparation and test tasks: TestAS Exercises with solutions (extern)

TestAS: Do I have to pass the proficiency test TestAS in German?

The test is currently offered in German and English.

Admission-free study programmes for foreign students

For many technical courses of study in Germany, foreign students do not need any special admission requirements.

Admission-free study programmes – Without numerus clausus

If you decide to study for a degree without compulsory minimum grades, you don’t need to worry about applying if other internal university requirements are fully met.

It is important that a general or subject-specific admission to higher education exists.

A general admission permit allows you to apply for every course of study in Germany. If you meet the general study qualification requirements and apply for an admission-free course of study, you usually have a very good chance of admission.

Check admission requirements: How to check your chances of admission

Guide: Application

Finding a Study Programme
Prepare your Application
Apply to your Studies

Arrival to your Studies

Visa Organization
Prepare your Arrival
Arrive Successfully

Begin your Studies!

Goal: Enrollment
Support: Important Steps
|| Last change: 26-05-2018