Test for medical courses

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The test for medical courses ( TMS , colloquially also medical test ) is a specific study aptitude test or study aptitude test for the study of medicine , which was carried out on behalf of the German Conference of Ministers of Education of the Länder von Trost et al. (1978) was developed with the stipulation that the dimensions of aptitude to study should be recorded as representative as possible and, in addition to the Abitur grade , another reliable admission criterion within the numerus clausus could be used. From 1986 to 1996 and new since 2007, it has been in use in Germany .


The aim was and is to assess the individual aptitude for studying medicine as objectively and reliably as possible with a subject-specific aptitude test . The use of the Abitur grade as an admission criterion is associated with the problem that differences in assessment criteria between countries, educational pathways, the sexes, etc. can lead to distortions. The use of a compensation key because of the different grade averages in the various federal states can only correct this to a limited extent. The test is independent of such differences and ensures an improvement in equal opportunities for admission.

The TMS was routinely used in the years 1986 to 1996 when selecting applicants for a study place in medicine and was continuously updated; a new test version was used every year. The test was abolished when the number of applicants in medicine was no longer significantly higher than the number of study places and the high cost of this test no longer seemed justified.

Current application

The test application (development, implementation, evaluation and evaluation) is now in the hands of ITB Consulting GmbH, the successor to the Institute for Test and Talent Research, Bonn.

The University of Heidelberg acts as the TMS coordination office, where you can register for the test. All persons who have not yet completed the TMS in Germany and who already have a general, special or subject-specific university entrance qualification (former high school graduates), as well as all persons who will acquire it in the current or the following school year, are eligible to participate.

Since the number of applications to study has risen sharply again, the medical test was relaunched in Baden-Württemberg in the 2007/08 winter semester . These were the four Baden-Württemberg universities with a medical faculty ( Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg , University of Heidelberg (medical faculties Heidelberg and Mannheim), University of Tübingen and University of Ulm ). Other faculties then decided to include the TMS in the selection process. Currently these are the following:

Human medicine

  • Bochum - Erlangen-Nuremberg - Frankfurt - Freiburg - Gießen - Göttingen - Halle (Saale) - Heidelberg - Heidelberg-Mannheim - Kassel - Kiel - Cologne - Leipzig - Lübeck - Mainz - Marburg - Munich - Oldenburg - Regensburg - Rostock - Tübingen - Ulm - Würzburg


  • Erlangen-Nuremberg - Frankfurt - Freiburg - Gießen - Göttingen - Halle (Saale) - Heidelberg - Kiel - Cologne - Leipzig - Mainz - Regensburg - Rostock - Tübingen - Ulm - Würzburg

The medical test is only taken once a year, on a Saturday in the first half of May. Registration for this date runs until January 15 of each year via the central TMS website.

Participation in the TMS is basically voluntary. It can improve the chances in the quota selection process of the universities . The test result is offset against the Abitur grade and, for this purpose, converted into a comparable scale. The basic principle of this conversion is that, on the basis of the test value, which is normally distributed, one is classified in the distribution of the average Abitur grades of the people who last applied for a place in medicine at the respective university.

Each university determines what the weighting looks like (usually 49% test, 51% high school diploma). A TMS result that does not improve will not be considered. You can practically not deteriorate compared to the Abitur average. Failure to take part in the TMS therefore harbors the risk of being overtaken in the admission procedure by people with good test results but poorer Abitur average.

Structure of the TMS

The test for medical courses consists of a total of nine sub-tests, each of which is intended to test different skills. It is not a knowledge test that one can prepare for by memorizing a knowledge catalog.

The sequence of the individual subtests in the TMS is defined. There are a total of 204 questions, with each problem being worth a point if solved correctly. It should be noted that there are so-called litter tasks that are not rated. It is therefore possible to achieve a maximum of 178 points. The following nine subtests are checked:

Task group Number of tasks and duration description Sample task
Assign pattern 24 tasks, 22 minutes Test of visual structuring ability
Basic medical and scientific understanding 24 tasks, 60 minutes Scientific reasoning test
Hose figures 24 tasks, 15 minutes mental rotation test of spatial skills
Quantitative and Formal Problems 24 tasks, 60 minutes Test on math skills in a scientific context
Concentrated and careful work Sheet with 1600 characters, 8 minutes Attention Load Test
Break 60 minutes
Learn characters 20 tasks, 4 minutes to learn Test of figural memory
Learn facts 20 tasks, 6 minutes to learn Test of verbal memory and associative memory formation
Text comprehension 24 tasks, 60 minutes Reading comprehension test in a scientific context
Reproductive phase
  • Learn figures: 5 minutes;
  • Learning facts 7 minutes
Diagrams and tables 24 tasks, 60 minutes Test for understanding and interpreting diagrams and tables
Sample task EMS DuT.png

Related project

In Switzerland (since 1998) and in Austria (Vienna and Innsbruck from 2006 to 2012), a further development is or has been used as an aptitude test for medical studies (EMS), which is carried out in cooperation with the authors of the TMS from the Center for Test Development and Diagnostics the Swiss University of Friborg . There are differences in a sub-test (the concentration test has been modified), the order of the sub-tests and the possibility of taking the test in French and Italian in Switzerland. For this purpose, equivalent test forms are developed annually in all three languages. Many of the research results on EMS, especially for predicting study success or meaningful and less meaningful preparation, are also helpful for assessing the TMS.

see also aptitude test for medical studies

Trainability of the TMS

The structure of the sub-tests in the TMS and aptitude test for medical studies (EMS) are largely identical. This means that a possible trainability of the aptitude test for medical studies (EMS) should apply to the same extent to the TMS.

  • In principle, it is true that the experienced have an advantage over the inexperienced. However, practicing for more than 45 hours has no advantage over those who have only trained for a maximum of 45 hours.
  • Preparation in a group seems to be superior to only autodidactic preparation.
  • What is important is a "dress rehearsal" under real time pressure.
  • To train the test, it was reconstructed several times in the original by Hans-Werner Gessmann . These training versions are published under the title Ü-TMS.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. On the history of the Institute for Test and Talent Research and ITB Consulting GmbH
  2. ^ Portal of the TMS coordination office in Heideberg
  3. Participating universities - currently at tms-info.org
  4. Example of accounting for the University of Bochum (p. 4) (PDF; 70 kB)
  5. FAQ on TMS
  6. About the TMS - structure of the German test on cip.dmed.uni-heidelberg.de
  7. Structure of the EMS on unifr.ch
  8. Preparation report 2005 (PDF file; 345 kB)
  9. Preparation report 2004 (PDF file; 213 kB)
  10. Preparation report 2003 (PDF file; 159 kB)
  11. Exercise textbook for the psychological test for the study of medicine, dentistry and veterinary medicine. (Ü-PTM 14). Jungjohann Verlag, Neckarsulm 1981.