The 2011 Integration Agreement promotes the linguistic integration of migrants who want to settle permanently in Austria.
This currently applies to migrants (third country nationals, i.e. non-EU citizens) who entered the country after July 1, 2011. By signing the Integration Agreement migrants commit to acquiring sufficient German language skills within two years.
The ÖIF offers four test formats for official proof of German language skills and to fulfill the Integration Agreement:
A1 – Fit für Österreich is a standardized test with a practical approach and is oriented toward learners who would like to demonstrate their ability to handle situations in which they need to communicate, especially in very simple situations with specific needs (e.g. introductions, eating and drinking, shopping, housing). This new test format measures language skills at level A1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (GER). A1 – Fit für Österreich is a new test format, developed by the ÖIF and telc GmbH, that is oriented towards the needs of immigrants. The A1 test is recognized as proof of language skills at level A1. It is composed of a written section (80 minutes) and an oral section (15 minutes per participant).
This new test can be taken at institutes that have been certified by the ÖIF. You can sign up for the A1 test dates here.
As with the other new test formats (New ÖIF Test and DTÖ), the ÖIF will provide at least one tester to administer the test. This means that the testing institute can register for one or two ÖIF testers as needed when a test is booked.
This revised version of the ÖIF test has been available as an additional test format at level A2 since August 2011. The New ÖIF Test is officially recognized proof of German language skills at level A2 and can be taken to fulfill the 2011 Integration Agreement (Module 1). As of 01.07.2014 the New ÖIF Test completely replaced the ÖIF Test. The New ÖIF Test continues to be oriented toward immigrants’ everyday life.
The New ÖIF Test is divided into a written and oral section. The written test takes 80 minutes, the oral section 10 minutes. The oral section is largely identical to the ÖIF Test. In the writing module, a short, free writing task replaces the previous exercise of filling out a form.
The advantage of the New ÖIF Test is that the passive skills of reading and listening, which often represent a great challenge, can be evaluated together. This way the candidates have the opportunity to balance out individual weaknesses in one of the two modules with strengths in the other module.
Since July 1, 2011, the ÖIF offers a new German test for levels A2 and B1: The German Test for Austria (DTÖ). This is a German test modeled on a test from Germany that was developed by the Goethe-Institut e.V and telc GmbH and revised for Austria by telc by order of the Austrian Integration Fund (ÖIF). The tasks are designed for the special communication needs of immigrants and are practical and activity-oriented. The DTÖ considers individual language learning processes and, in doing so, allows participants to demonstrate their actual language skills through the two levels A2 and B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference (GER).
The DTÖ tests German skills in listening, reading, writing, and speaking. The entire test consists of a 100 minute written section and an oral section of about 16 minutes, which can either be done alone or in pairs.
Since November 2013 the ÖIF offers the B2 ÖIF Test. This test was developed by telc GmbH and revised for Austria. The test assesses general German skills at an advanced level: At level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference (GER) complex texts on concrete and abstract topics can be understood. The active vocabulary is large enough to be able to clearly express yourself about most topics and also to have detailed discussions about your own special field.
The B2 ÖIF test comprises a written section, which takes 2 hours and 20 minutes, and an oral section, which takes approx. 15 minutes and can be conducted with two or three candidates at the same time. The written section includes the modules reading comprehension, language elements, listening comprehension, and written expression. 20 minutes of preparation time are provided before the oral test.
In addition to the dates offered by certified course providers, the ÖIF offers additional dates for the New ÖIF Test and the German Test for Austria (DTÖ) at ÖIF sites in Austria. The current test dates at ÖIF can be found here. Here you can also sign up for a test date online.
The new test fee for the New ÖIF Test and the DTÖ is €130.00 per attempt. If you register for a date online, you will receive a request for payment. The fee must be transferred to ÖIF’s bank account at least 10 days before the test date.
On www.sprachportal.at you can find test dates throughout Austria and have the possibility to register for an ÖIF test.