Before foreign students can enroll in German universities, they need to prove their German language proficiency is at a high enough level to study. One way to do this is by taking the TestDaF. This exam tests students in four areas (Reading, Listening, Writing, Speaking)
Upon completion, evaluators grade test-takers on a five point scale. For most programs, a "4" or better on all sections is required for admittance, although some do require a "5".
If students are able to pass the test successfully with a "4" or better (TDN4), they are judged to have "effective proficiency," or a C1 level on the Common European Framework for Languages.
American students planning to take the test don't need to travel to Germany to take the test, and can instead choose from several testing sites throughout the country.
There are 6 sittings for the exam every year. Be sure to sign up early, because space is limited. These are the testing dates and registration deadlines for 2016.
June 9 (May 12)
July 19 (June 21)
September 20 (August 23)
November 8 (October 11)
Results from the test aren't available until six weeks ater each sitting, so be sure to plan ahead so that you have your results for your applications. And if you don't get the result you were hoping for, don't worry. Because the test is offered 6 times every year, you won't have to wait long for another shot.