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English Language Proficiency Exam

The English Language Proficiency Exam is a mandatory part of the application process for undergraduate programs in the University of Freiburg’s English Department. Applicants must take and pass this exam, which is free of charge, in order for their application to be considered. The sole exception is for those who have already passed certain internationally recognized English tests (see below for more info).

The English Language Proficiency Exam is generally held in late July (and late January, for those applying to begin a minor in the summer semester).

The next exam dates are July 20 and 21, 2020

All applicants must take the exam on one of these two days – no exceptions (not even in the case of illness or hospitalization). If you are late or do not show up for the exam, you will not be able to reschedule and your application will be considered incomplete.

Note that applicants unable to pass the English Language Proficiency Exam on the first attempt may re-register for the exam only once more in a subsequent application period; retakes within the same application period are not possible. Taking the exam a third time is not permitted!

Please make sure you have submitted your application packet to the university by the deadline; otherwise, you will not be permitted to take this exam.

Important: Passing the exam does not guarantee your acceptance into an undergraduate program. For more information regarding selection criteria, please click here.


Exam Registration

You must register for the English Language Proficiency Exam between June 1 and July 15, 2020, using the online registration form. Please note that this page can only be accessed during the designated registration period.

  • If you do not already have a HISinOne account, you will have to set up an applicant account; you can find more info at the bottom of the exam registration form.
  • You will be asked to rank at least 10 exam time slots from highest to lowest preference.
  • Exam time slots will be assigned on Thursday, July 16, 2020. You will receive the date and time of your exam by email.
  • If you experience any problems, please send an email to Sissy Bräuer:


Important: you must have a valid email address in order to register for the English Language Proficiency Exam. If you do not have a personal email address, please set one up before registering.


About the Exam

The exam is computer-based and applicants are given 60 minutes to complete it. The focus is on areas of grammar which are usually considered problematic for native German speakers. This includes tag questions, relative pronouns, modal verbs, subordinate clause structures, use of idiomatic expressions, word order, tense and aspect.

No prior studying is required, but for those interested in preparing for the exam, the best way is to read newspaper and magazine articles, paying special attention to the use of the elements mentioned above.

Applicants must score above 60% in order to pass the exam. Any grade lower than this is insufficient to study at the University of Freiburg’s English Department. The exam grade makes up 1/3 of the admission index score and secondary school grades make up the other 2/3.


Mock Exam

You can familiarize yourself with the format of the exam by doing the mock exam. The types of exercises are only an excerpt of those found on the official exam, and the content is not necessarily the same, but you get a rough idea of what kinds of questions to expect. Click here to start the mock exam.


Exam Location

The English Language Proficiency Exam takes place in the university’s IT services building (Universitätsrechenzentrum) at Hermann-Herder-Str. 10. Click here for directions.

Those travelling from far away should plan to arrive in Freiburg well before their exam time slot, allowing extra time in case of delay or difficulty finding the testing location.


Information Sessions

On each of the exam days, Dr. Gert Fehlner, our Head of Administration, will host an information session about English studies at the University of Freiburg.

July 20, 2020tbatba
July 21, 2020tbatba


Further info sessions for first-year students will be held during orientation week (the week before classes start).


TOEFL / IELTS / PTE Academic

The only alternatives to the English Department’s English Language Proficiency Exam are either TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), IELTS (International English Language Testing System) or PTE Academic (Pearson Test of Academic English). Any other certificates, such as the Cambridge ESOL, CAE, or BEC, will not be recognized.

In order for us to accept a TOEFL / IELTS / PTE Academic score in place of the English Language Proficiency Exam, the test may not have been taken more than one year prior to the application deadline. Please include a copy of your TOEFL / IELTS / PTE Academic certificate in your application packet.

Further information about the TOEFL, IELTS and PTE Academic tests, including fees, locations and exam dates, can be found here:

Applicants who do not take the English Department’s exam or have not taken the TOEFL, IELTS or PTE Academic cannot be considered for admission to one of the English Department’s undergraduate programs.

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