Depending on from where you graduated, the licensing authority decides which tests you’re required to take to get your professional license. In this article, we will introduce you to the recognition tests and explain what you need to know about them.
In general, there are three tests: The B2 language test, the professional language test and the professional knowledge test.
The B2 language test and the professional language test are obligatory for everyone. You are generally exempt if you have completed a university degree, school education or three years of vocational training in the German language.
Additionally, you are required to take the professional knowledge test if you’ve studied in a non-member state. This means that you didn’t study in Switzerland, in a member state of the European Union or in a member state of the European Economic Area.
Tests for professional recognition
1) Professional language test
In the professional language test, your professional language skills at German level C1 are tested.
Communication skills that are necessary for you to practice your profession are assessed. The professional language test is a 60-minute individual test and consists of three parts of 20 minutes each.
In the first part, you must demonstrate your conversational skills with patients. In the second part, your writing skills for communicating with colleagues are tested. The third part involves an interview in which your conversational skills with colleagues or healthcare professionals are assessed.
As an alternative to the professional language test, there is the Patient Communication Test (PKT)
In 2013, FIA developed the first professional language test recognized in Germany, the Patient Communication Test (PKT), which is currently recognized in the federal state of Saarland.
For degree holders from the European Union, the patient communication test is also recognized in the federal state of Hessen.
2) Professional knowledge test
In the professional knowledge test, your professional knowledge is tested.
The professional knowledge test is an individual test or a group test with a duration of 60 to 90 minutes per test. In general, you’ll be tested in the relevant subject areas and cross-sectional areas of the respective academic health profession.
Registering for the tests
The different federal states have different procedures. In principle, you can register for the professional knowledge test even if you haven’t passed the professional language test. We recommend that you take the professional language test before you take the professional knowledge test.
- Registering for the professional language test
In some federal states, you will be automatically registered for the language-specific examination with the notification. In other federal states, you must separately register in writing for a language-specific examination with the licensing authority or an accredited examination provider
- Registrering for the professional knowledge test
In all federal states, you must register separately for the professional knowledge test.
You have to pay a test fee per test for the B2 language test, the professional language test and for the knowledge test. Test fees vary from state to state and test providers.
You can repeat the B2 language test and the professional language test as many times as you like. For the professional knowledge test you have nationwide a maximum of three attempts.
Withdrawing from tests
As a rule, you can only withdraw from your test for compelling health reasons. If you are unable to take the test due to health reasons, please inform the test provider immediately and provide necessary proof. As a rule, you must submit a medical certificate. In some federal states, the certificate must be issued by a federal medical officer. Especially in the case of the professional knowledge test, you should react immediately to prevent that this test is counted as a test attempt.
Note: Current information regarding the tests that you’re required to take is available from your licensing authority.
Links to the German licensing authorities can be found at the end of the article Licensing procedure in Germany.