osd German

What is ÖSD?

ÖSD is the nationally recognized examination and assessment system for German as a foreign language and German as a second language. The ÖSD German exams correspond to the levels of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages ​​(CEFR) and the German Language Profile.
The ÖSD German exam is considered internationally recognized as proof of German language skills. The German abbreviation ÖSD stands for “Österreich, Schweiz, Deutschland” (Austria, Switzerland, Germany). ÖSD promotes the concept of polycentric German and reflects the diversity of the German language in its examinations.
It means that standard variants from the German-speaking countries Austria, Switzerland, and Germany will be treated equally and appear in all exams. Reading and listening tasks use texts from these countries.


The year 1992/1993 marked the birth of ÖSD when it was established at the initiative of ÖDaF as part of a working group headed by Dr. Robert Saxer/The University of Klagenfurt is founded.
With the support of the former Austrian Foreign Ministry and the former Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Scientific Research, ÖSD became a project of the University of Vienna in 1994 as part of the German as a Foreign Language course, with Ph.D. supervision by the university professors.

ÖSD has since received the backing and support of the Board of Directors and, initially, financial support from various Austrian ministries. Board members include the Austrian ministries mentioned above, as well as related institutions such as universities, other adult education institutions, and interest groups (such as ÖDaF).

ÖSD German exams

ÖSD German exams are internationally recognized and range from levels A1 to C2 based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages ​​(CEFR). With the exception of the ÖSD integrated exams, the 2019 exams have been adapted to support a format in which modules can be completed individually or in combination with each other.

The exam consists of two modules. The ÖSD exam consists of two modules: a written exam (reading, listening, writing) and an oral exam (speaking), which can be taken individually or in combination.

The exam consists of four modules. Both exams, ÖSD Zertifikat B1 and ÖSD Zertifikat C2, consist of four modules (reading, listening, writing, and speaking) that can be completed individually or in combination with each other.