You’ve reached the top. Goethe-Zertifikat C2: GDS

Beginning 01.01.2012 the Goethe-Zertifikat C2: Großes Deutsches Sprachdiplom will replace three exams currently in use: the Goethe-Zertifikat: Zentrale Oberstufenprüfung (ZOP), the Kleines Deutsches Sprachdiplom (KDS) and the Großes Deutsches Sprachdiplom (GDS).

The Goethe-Zertifikat C2: Großes Deutsches Sprachdiplom requires extremely advanced language skills and documents the sixth and highest level – C2 – on the six-level competency scale described in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

By passing this exam you demonstrate you can, for example,

  • understand everything in German that you read and hear effortlessly
  • summarize information presented to you from a variety of sources, written and spoken, and, in doing so, synthesize correlating arguments as well as explanations
  • organically express yourself in a fluent and precise manner and articulate the finer nuances of complex arguments.


The Goethe-Institut’s certificates are recognized worldwide and are highly regarded by employers and further-education institutions as proof of language competancy.

The Goethe-Zertifikat C2: GDS – as with the three exams for level C2 used up until now - allows foreign students to be admitted to colleges and universities in Germany.
Download SymbolRahmenordnung über Deutsche Sprachprüfungen für das Studium an deutschen Hochschulen (RO-DT) PDF, 4 Mb

The examination is recognized as official proof of language competence for teachers throughout Germany. Further information can be provided by accredited institutions in each German state, such as the Ministry of Education and Cultural Affairs, the Office for Teacher Training, the District Council, or the Senate Committee.

Locations, Prices, Appointments and Registration

You can find information concerning the Goethe-Institut or our exam partners in your area as well as locations, prices, appointments and registration here.
Exam locations

The exam will be supervised and organized onsite by the exam center: they make the exam appointments.

Under Frequently Asked Questions you can find general answers to questions concerning the Goethe-Institut’s exams.


The Goethe-Zertifikat C2: GDS was developed by the Goethe-Institut e.V. The exercises in the writing module are bound to literature and were drafted with the cooperation of the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München. The modules are written by qualified individuals with teaching and testing experience. The editing takes place at the headquarters of the Goethe-Institute in Munich.

    Accessible exam training materials

    Online practice exam for those interested in a German exam for beginners to advanced (A1 – C2) – fully accessible and therefore especially suited for people with disabilities