Frequently Asked Questions


Who can take onSET for Refugees?

From 01.01.2020, onSET for Refugees is used only for groups at universities. For more precise information about the procedure, please enquire using the Contact form.

Can the test be taken on a tablet or smartphone?

No. Participation in onSET is only possible on a computer or laptop.

How much does onSET cost?

Participation in onSET continues to be free of charge for refugees registered at universities in Germany.

How often can you take the onSET test?

onSET should be taken a maximum of once within six months. Participants should therefore make themselves familiar with the test format in advance. There is an sample test for this.

How can the test be taken at universities?

From 01.01.2020, the registration process is no longer available via this website. Universities can register their participants in groups. A group must consist of at least 5 people. Please use the Contact form for your enquiry.

How many tasks are there in onSET? How long does the test last?

onSET contains six tasks. Each task consists of a gap-filling test with 20 gaps. Participants have five minutes for each gap-filling text. Overall, the test takes a maximum of 30 minutes.

How can I prepare for the test beforehand?

Before participants take onSET, they should familiarise themselves with the test format. There is an sample test for this with four gap-filling tests. These texts look just like those in onSET German and/or onSET English.

Are good computer skills required to take the onSET?

No. Participants need only know how to operate the keyboard and mouse.
IMPORTANT: You need a keyboard with the Latin alphabet.

How are the gaps to be filled?

All gaps are to be filled with correct language. Only one filler may be written in each gap. If one gap has two or more fillers (for example two fillers that are separated with a slash or a space), it is assessed as incorrect.

How can the German umlauts (“ä”, “ö” or “ü”) and “ß” be entered, if these characters are required?

The German umlauts may not be written as the combinations “ae”, “oe” or “ue”. If the keyboard does not have the umlauts or “ß”, you can select them from the line beneath the gap-filling test. Participants click with the left mouse button on the character they need and it is entered in the desired place.

Are different standard versions of English assessed as correct?

Yes. If a participant chooses for example the British or American spelling of a word, it does not affect the assessment. Only the correct spelling of the word is important.

How are accidental errors such as double letters or swapped letters assessed?

All deviations from the correct spelling of a word are assessed as errors. Usually, there is sufficient time to correct these typos. It is not possible to return to texts that have already been completed.

Technical Requirements
Which browser settings are required for participation in onSET?

The correct setting of the internet browser (allowing pop-up windows, cookies and JavaScript) is tested automatically before the start of the test. If changes are needed, this is indicated.

Which browser should be used for taking the test?

We recommend the current version of Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome. A stable test can be ensured using these browsers.

What happens if the computer crashes during the test (e.g. if there is a power cut)?

If the computer crashes during the test, participants can restart onSET from the beginning. To do this, simply log in again using the user name and password.

Result and certification
Can I view the answers after the test?

No. The answers can no longer be viewed later. During the test, too, only the text currently being worked on is shown.

How are the answers assessed?

For each correct answer, i.e. for each correct filling of a gap, participants receive one point. The total of all points is the onSET total score. It can be between 0 points and 120 points. Using the achieved total score, the performance is placed into one of the categories “below A2”, “A2”, “B1” or “B2 (or higher)” using the global scale of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

Can more precise placement be made using the results?

The placement in onSET for Refugees is made using the CEFR levels A2 to B2. More precise placement, such as to B1.1 or B1.2 and/or “below level B1” or “above level B1” is not accounted for. If special practical requirements make placements within a level necessary, universities can be guided by the following core areas:
– for onSET German: A2: 39 to 43 points, B1: 59 to 63 points and B2: 82 to 86 points.
– for onSET English: A2: 41 to 45 points, B1: 61 to 65 points and B2: 87 to 91 points.
According to this, A2 placement with 35 points in onSET German could be considered as lower-level A2, B1 placement with 69 points as the upper-level B1 etc. For onSET English, A2 placement with 49 points can be considered to be upper-level A2 and B2 placement with 80 points as lower-level B2.

Can the authenticity of the result certificate be checked?

Yes. The authenticity of every placement can be verified. The internet address for verification is on the certificate.