DSH is an abbreviation for “Deutsche Sprachprüfung für den Hochschulzugang ausländischer Studienbewerber” which could be roughly translated as German language exam for university admission of foreign students.
DSH is accepted by many German universities as proof of German language proficiency. DSH is run by certain German universities.
Although there are some efforts to make DSH more consistent, DSH is not a standardized exam as for example TestDaF. That means form, content and difficulty of DSH can vary considerably between different universities.
The DSH exam
In many universities DSH exam covers two parts: written and oral examination. The written part often comprises the three resp. four sub-tests reading comprehension and grammar, listening comprehension and writing (text production).
Results of DSH are usually expressed as a percentage, which is mapped to a so called “DSH-level” (DSH-1, DSH-2 or DSH-3).
For example DSH-1 means that at least 57% of the requirements were met in both the written and oral examinations. DSH-2 means that at least 67% of the requirements were met and DSH-3 means that at least 82% of the requirements were met.
In many universities DSH-1 offers only limited access to some courses, while DSH-2 and DSH-3 guarantee access to all courses.
How much does DSH cost?
Examination fees for DSH differ from university to university, but usually the prices are oriented on the price of TestDaF in Germany, which is 175 Euro at the moment. (July 2015)
As I said above DSH is run by German universities. Therefor DSH usually is not open to everyone but only to prospective students of the university, that offers DSH. Registration has to be done in the local university department, that is responsible for DSH exam.