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onSET-Deutsch Placement Test

Students are assigned to the different German language courses offered by the Language Center at Freie Universität Berlin based on the computer-aided onSET-Deutsch placement test. Participation in the test is free of charge. You will need to take this placement test if you would like to attend a German course at the Language Center.



  • students participating in a mobility or exchange program (such as Erasmus+, Direct Exchange etc.)
  • students taking degree programs conducted in English
  • doctoral candidates
  • postdocs
  • research associates

who are enrolled/working at Freie Universität Berlin and would like to attend a German course at the Language Center for the first time during the semester have to take this test.

Students who attended a German course at the Language Center of Freie Universität in previous semesters do not have to take the onSET-Deutsch placement test.

You can register for a course here: > Registration

The onSET-Deutsch placement test is a prerequisite for participating in a German course. It helps us to determine your level of German so that we can put you in the right course for you.

The placement test is not an examination and is not graded.

No – we only offer the OnSET-Deutsch placement test to students of our university.

There are a number of other language schools in Berlin where you can take the onSET-Deutsch placement test for a fee.

You can find more information about onSET-Deutsch test centers in Berlin online.

An online registration form for German language courses will be made available to new students as of September 18, 2023. Please fill out this registration form if you would like to attend a German course during winter semester 2023/24.

You will receive all the information you need for the placement test and the following course registration as soon as we have processed the registrations (on October 6 at the latest). Please refrain from inquiries until that date.

> Registration form I: Registration form for students who have never attended a German course at the Freie Universität Berlin Language Center

(Students who are registered in the Vorkurs Deutsch from September 4 to October 13, 2023 should also use this form!)

Deadline for filling out the registration form: October 5, 2023, 09:00 a.m.

Important: If you are a regular student (not an exchange student) in a bachelor's or master's degree program conducted in English, kindly note that our capacities at the lower course levels are very limited and demand exceeds the number of places. We can therefore not guarantee a place in a course.

The onSET-Deutsch placement test is a cloze test, which is a scientifically designed tool for assessing language proficiency. It is a written cloze test, consisting of eight short gap texts on a variety of topics and at different levels of difficulty. You have precisely five minutes to complete each gap text, so the entire test takes a maximum of 40 minutes.

There are twenty gaps in each text. At the beginning and end of each text, there are complete sentences without gaps, which are intended to help in solving the task. In the remaining sentences, the second half of every second word has been deleted, so the missing letters have to be provided. It is important to determine the grammatically correct form within the context of the entire text.

For example, if you see a word for which two letters are given, such as Bu___, then 2 or a maximum of 3 letters are missing. Possible answers here could be Buch, Burg, Busse, or Bulle. Each gap has exactly as many letters as are already given, or a maximum of one additional letter. For the word Mei___, 3 or 4 letters are missing. In this case Meilen (3 + 3) or Meinung (3 + 4) could be right. The correct answer depends on the context.



In Sachen Kommunikation heißen die Zauberwörter E-Mail und Handy. Die Deut______ lieben ih_____ Mobiltelefone. Ab_____ natürlich wi_____ auch no_____ ganz nor_____ telefoniert – u_____ Briefe bri_____ auch im_____ noch d_____ Postbote. …

Solution:   … Die Deutschen lieben ihre Mobiltelefone. Aber natürlich wird auch noch ganz normal telefoniert – und Briefe bringt auch immer noch der Postbote. …

You can find a sample test here: www.onset.de.