How can I best prepare for an ÖSD test or an ÖIF test?

You know you want to take an exam, but not how to do it best? Then you’ve come to the right place! Here are your next steps.

Note: This guide works for all levels A1-C2. We introduce the exam formats ÖSD and ÖIF here. There are also other examination formats in Austria such as EPD, telc, or Goethe.

1. Taking courses

For example, if you want to take a B2 exam, the required courses would be B2.1 and B2.2. Why should you attend the courses before the exam? 

In the courses you learn the content you need for the exam.* DIALOG’s courses are structured according to the GeR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) and include all the skills and content you need for an exam at this level. What if I only want to do one part, for example B2.1?

If you only attend a part of the courses, you will only get half of the contents of the exam and are therefore not optimally prepared for it.* What if I already know the contents of B2.1 and want to do B2.2 directly?

In this case you should be sure that you know all contents from B2.1 (from a course in the past for example). The best way to make sure is to take the DIALOG placement test: If you are still not sure what is best for you, we are always happy to help and advise you in a conversation at DIALOG or on the phone!

*Attention, please note: The courses do not include specific exam preparation, no formats are discussed or model tests are taken. For more information on exam preparation, please refer to point 4 of this document: Test prep.

2. ÖIF or ÖSD?

The most frequently selected exam formats are ÖIF and ÖSD. What is the difference between the two?

ÖIF stands for Austrian Integration Fund. The ÖIF exams… ÖSD stands for Österreichisches Sprachdiplom. The  ÖSD exams…
…correspond to “Austrian German” …correspond to “Austrian German”.
…are recognized by Austrian offices, authorities and employers as official proof of language skills and for obtaining a valid residence title (citizenship, fulfilment of the Integration Agreement). …are recognized by Austrian offices, authorities and employers as official proof of language skills
…are offered at levels A1 to C1 (no C2 exams). …are offered at levels A1 to C2.
…offer two types of tests – purely linguistic and integration tests – these also contain questions on value and orientation knowledge. …offer two types of tests – purely linguistic and integration tests – these also contain questions on value and orientation knowledge.
…are offered in 9 test formats: : link to formats  …are offered modularly . This means that the tests are divided into 2 modules (written and oral examination) or 4 modules (reading, listening, writing, speaking – B1 and C2). The modules can also be taken individually. You can find them all here:

You can also find more information in the ÖIF FAQs:
You can also find more information in the ÖSD FAQs:

So now,how can you decide? If you need the certificate for an official body (office, authority, employer, university, etc.), it may be that one of the two or another examination format is specifically required. Before registering for an examination, please check with the authority, university or responsible body to see if there is a prescribed examination model.

If you need a C2-level exam, you have to choose ÖSD, as this is not offered by the ÖIF. If you need an integration exam you must choose ÖIF, as this is not offered by ÖSD. For all other levels with only language portion you have the choice.

If you can decide for yourself, learn about the formats under point 3, so that you can decide more easily. The formats are similar, but not the same.

Should you rest unsure, feel free to ask our team in the office in person or at – we are happy to advise you individually!

3. Getting to know the examination format

Here you will find model tests of both exams – both material for a language exam and an integration model tests. You can recognize these by the fact that integration may be found before the language test.  You will also find links that explain the exam formats in more detail.

All ÖIF examination formats at one glance:

All ÖIF examination formats at one glance:


You can also find more information in the ÖIF FAQs: 
You can also find more information in the ÖSD FAQs:

4. Exam prep

The model tests are of course a good start for your exam preparation. However, we recommend that you also take a few one-to-one units for exam preparation ( Why is exam preparation recommended? Here are a few reasons:

  1. Our experienced trainers are familiar with the exam formats and can explain to you exactly how the exams work so that you don’t have to waste time with understanding what is asked of you during the exam.
  2. There are tips and tricks for each exercise in the tests on how to approach the exercise most efficiently. The exams become more manageable and easier to solve if you know how to approach them.
  3. There are things you have to pay attention to in each exercise – contents that are specifically checked, e.g. in the oral part. Our trainers can help you to know exactly what you should pay attention to.
  4. Even if you practice the model tests with the solutions at home, you will not have any professional feedback like you have in a professional exam preparation. This is especially relevant when writing and speaking.
  5. In a one-to-one setting, your questions and wishes can be addressed individually – optimal preparation for your exam.
  6. The better prepared you are, the less nervous you will be – and that makes a big difference on exam day!

If you would like more information about exam preparation, please contact us at

5. Registering for your exam

Once you have chosen an exam format and are well prepared, it is time to register for the exam. Here you will find dates and locations for the exams and other helpful information:

Dates and examination centres:



The registration modalities are also different from centre to centre. In most cases, however, you will be required to show your personal ID and pay the examination fee. Please note: You often have to register a few weeks before the examination date!

Do you have any further questions or comments for us? Then write to us at We are looking forward to your message and are keeping our fingers crossed already!?