TMS - Test for Medical Studies

Scholastic aptitude test for human medicine, dental medicine and veterinary medicine

The TMS – Test for Medical Studies – is one of the most renowned subject-specific scholastic ability tests in Germany. It is coordinated and organised by the central TMS Coordination Office (“TMS-Koordinationsstelle“), which is located at the Heidelberg Medical Faculty. We are responsible for the development and evaluation of the test.

The TMS consists of nine groups of exercises which have been proven to be suitable for making a very good prediction of success in medical studies. The exercises cover competencies such as memory, reasoning and concentration.

The TMS is currently being used by 36 medical faculties in the allocation of study places in human medicine and by 28 faculties in the allocation of study places in dental medicine within the quotas “Zusätzliche Eignungsquote” and “Auswahlverfahren der Hochschulen”, which are part of the German Higher Education Act. In addition, the pharmacy in Leipzig, molecular medicine in Ulm and numerous “Landarztquoten” (Quotas for strengthening medical care in rural areas) of the federal states take the TMS into account in the admission or selection process.

The largest scholastic aptitude test in the German-speaking world

In 2020, around 13,000 participants took part on four test days of the TMS. The logistics required for this were enormous: the test material weighs a total of 10 tonnes and covers a total of more than 70,000 km on the way to and from the various test sites, all well guarded.

In 2021, the TMS will again be carried out on four test dates in May (8 and 9 May and 29 and 30 May) at more than 70 test locations throughout Germany. We expect a new record number of participants.

This makes the TMS the largest subject-specific study ability test in the German-speaking world.

Content and structure of the TMS

The Test for Medical Study Programmes (TMS) is a subject-specific study ability test consisting of nine groups of exercises. The pure processing time is just over five hours. However, with registration, admission and lunch break, the test takes around eight hours to complete.

The TMS consists of the following groups of exercises:

  • Muster zuordnen (Recognizing Patterns)
  • Medizinisch-naturwissenschaftliches Grundverständnis (Basic medical and scientific understanding)
  • Schlauchfiguren (Tube figures)
  • Quantitative und formale Probleme (Solving Quantitative Problems)
  • Konzentriertes und sorgfältiges Arbeiten (Concentrated and accurate work)
  • Merkfähigkeitstest (Figuren lernen / Fakten lernen) (Memory test (learning figures / learning facts))
  • Textverständnis (Understanding and Interpreting Texts)
  • Diagramme und Tabellen (Analysing Charts)

The examination does not cover subject-specific knowledge which is the subject of the final exam (“Abitur”) or of another examination which conveys the higher education entrance qualification.

Further information can be found on the TMS website (only available in German)

EMS - Aptitude test for medical study programmes - Adaptation of the TMS for Switzerland

In Switzerland, the aptitude test for medical study programmes (EMS), which is an adaptation of the German TMS test concept, is used in a similar way to the TMS. For the EMS, too, we primarily act as test developers, while responsibility for implementation and organisation lies with the Centre for Test Development and Diagnostics (ZTD) at the University of Fribourg (Switzerland).

The EMS is offered in German, French and Italian.