If you want to get a Dutch resident permit or Dutch citizenship, you will probably hear the term “The Civic Integration Exam” also known as Inburgering and Inburgeringsexam.
Moving to the Netherlands from a country outside the EU requires you to learn the Dutch language and culture. In addition, you must pass the Inburgering exam within 3 years. You have the State Exams for the higher levels as well as the Basic Exam (required before applying for a long-term visa).
After you pass the Civic Integration Exam, you can intend to work or study in the Netherlands at Vocational Level or Higher Educational Level.
There are several Civic Integration exams for different levels and purposes. This can make everything quite complicated. So, we now provide you with a summary of all the various Dutch tests and their characteristics on this blog.
How to prepare for the exam?
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What is the Civic Integration Exam?
The Civic Integration Exam ensures migrants to the Netherlands have adequate Dutch language and cultural knowledge for integration. This exam comprises two different levels: the Nt2 State Exam, which has B1 and B2 proficiency levels, and the Integration Exam, which is at the A2 and A1 levels.
Immigrants from outside the EU who want to get a Dutch resident permit or apply for Dutch citizenship must have an A2 proficiency level (from 2022 it will be B1).
Non-native Dutch-speaking adults who intend to work or study at the Vocational Level in the Netherlands need a B1 certificate.
Non-native Dutch-speaking adults who intend to work or study at a Higher Educational Level or University Level in the Netherlands require a B2 diploma.
There is an important issue to note. Newcomers who started integrating after 1 January 2022 are required by law to be tested up to B1 Level. Newcomers need to create their own personal integration and participation plan with their municipality. In addition, they must complete their integration exams within three years.
What includes the Civic Integration Exam and what are the Inburgering Exam Types?
1. Basisexamen Inburgering - A1
You must first pass The Basic Civic Integration Examination Abroad (Basis examen Inburgering in het buitenland) in order to apply for an MVV (long-stay visa to live in The Netherlands with your partner or spouse).
To pass this exam, you need A1 Level Dutch knowledge. You take this exam via computer at the Dutch embassy, consulate or agency in your country of origin or prolonged stay. The total cost is about € 150,00.
The Basic Civic Integration Examination Abroad consists of three parts:
- KNS (Knowledge of the Dutch society)
It is a computer exam. You will hear the questions through a headset and you must speak your answers into the attached microphone.
2. Inburgering exam - A2
When you have a residence permit, you will need to pass the Civic Integration Exam (Inburgeringsexamen) within 3 years.
To pass this exam, you need A2 Level Dutch knowledge. This is a written & computer-based examination. You take this exam at a central exam location in The Netherlands. The total cost is about € 290,00.
Contents of the exam:
The Civic Integration Examination consists of seven parts:
- Participation Statement
- Orientation on the Dutch Labour Market (ONA)
- Reading: To take the reading exam, a computer is required. During this exam, candidates read the given texts and answer 25 multiple-choice questions within a time limit of 65 minutes. To obtain the certificate, candidates must answer at least 18 questions correctly.
- Listening: You do this exam on the computer. You listen to short videos or texts and give answers to 25 multiple-choice questions. In addition, you have to answer at least 19 questions correctly in 35 minutes.
- Writing: You use pen and paper in this section. You have 4 tasks such as texting an email or short messages, writing a short newspaper article or filling out a simple form. Also, you have 40 minutes to complete the test.
- Speaking: You should have a computer for the speaking exam. You give answers to 12 open questions and 12 multiple-choice questions. In addition, you have to answer 12 multiple-choice questions by completing the blanks of the dialogues in short videos. You have to orally answer the first 12 questions, and your responses are recorded.
- Knowledge of Dutch Society: There are 45 multiple-choice questions about Dutch customs and habits, the educational system, the health care system, etc. In order to pass the exam, you need to answer at least 26 questions in 45 minutes.
You need to be signed at the municipality for The Participation Statement. The ONA is a separate exam, including assignments and a final interview (or a 64-hour ONA course).
There are 6 central exam locations in the Netherlands to take the Inburgering Exam:
3. Staatsexamen I - B1
The State Exam NT2 I (Staatsexamen I) is the national proficiency exam at level B1, for non-native speakers who want to study or work in The Netherlands. The exam is officially recognized by the government.
Staatsexamen I is a computer-based examination placed at a central exam location in The Netherlands. The total cost is € 180,00.
Contents of the exam
The State Exam NT2 I (B1) consists of four parts:
- Reading: On the computer, you will be given the B1 Level exam. You’ll have nearly 40 multiple-choice questions about 6 texts to answer within 110 minutes. To pass the exam, you need to answer approximately 65% of the questions correctly.
- Listening: You take B1 Level on the computer. You answer about 40 multiple-choice questions related to audio texts. You have 90 minutes for this exam. In order to pass, you must give correct answers to nearly 60-65% of the questions.
- Writing: To take the B1 Writing Exam, you will need a computer. The exam includes one assignment of filling out a form, 3 writing text assignments, and 10 short assignments, mainly focusing on grammar questions. In total, there are 14 tasks that you must complete within 100 minutes.
- Speaking: A computer is also necessary for this level. You need to complete it in 25 minutes. Besides, you have two parts that consist of 8 short assignments and 8 medium assignments in the exam.
You must take the examination at one of the 6 central exam locations in the Netherlands:
4. Staatsexamen II - B2
The State Exam NT2 II (Staatsexamen II) is the national proficiency exam for people who want to find a job in the Netherlands or study in Dutch for secondary vocational education, the Dutch MBO level 3 or 4. That means working at an independent professional or vocational training (level 3) or in middle management or a specialized profession (level 4). The Staatsexamen NT2 I examines candidates at CEFR level B1.
It is also a computer-based examination placed at a central exam location in The Netherlands. The costs are € 180,00 in total.
Contents of the exam
The State Exam NT2 II (B2) consists of four parts:
- Reading: The Reading (Lezen) exam takes 100 minutes for the Staatsexamen II. Candidates read sections of text in a book and answer multiple-choice questions on the computer.
- Listening: The Listening (Luisteren) exam takes around 60 minutes. Candidates listen to sections of conversation on the computer and answer one question per section.
- Writing: The Writing (Schrijven) exam includes two sections. In the first section, candidates type responses directly into the computer, while in the second they must write their answers manually in a book. Questions require both short (one or two sentences) answers and long (up to 150 words) answers.
- Speaking: For the Speaking (Spreken) exam takes around 30 minutes, candidates must speak into the computer through the headset, responding to scenarios that are explained on the screen. Staatsexamen II includes three sections, both consisting of short and longer answers.
You must take the examination at one of the 6 central exam locations in The Netherlands:
What are the Civic Integration Exam Rules?
There are several rules to obey for both the NT2 State Exams and the Integration Exam.
Nt2 State Exam
- Make sure you have a valid ID and the call letter that you received from DUO for the exam.
- You won’t need to bring your own pen and paper, as the exam leader in the hall will provide these for you.
- During the exam, you are free to eat and drink, but please take care of the computer you use for the test.
- For the writing and reading exam, you may only use the Van Dale Pocket Dictionary Dutch. Borrowing a dictionary from other candidates during the exam is not allowed.
- Ensure that your phone and other digital devices are turned off and kept in a safe place.
- To ensure a smooth exam experience, please arrive at the exam center 30 minutes earlier.
- During the exam, it is essential to maintain a quiet environment. Additionally, please refrain from bringing your children.
- Before the exam, remember to present your valid ID for verification.
How to Register for the exam?
Register for the integration exam in Mijn Inburgering. You had better register in advance.