The integration examination and other examinations
To demonstrate that you have sufficient knowledge of Dutch language and Dutch society, you must pass an exam. Most people take the integration exam in the Netherlands. It is also possible to meet the integration requirement by taking the State Examination NT2 (Staatsexamen NT2), or by earning a vocational education diploma. Some people are required to start the integration process while they are still in their home country.
Integration abroad: the basis integration exam abroad
In two situations, you must pass an exam before you come to the Netherlands:
- When you come to the Netherlands to live with your partner or spouse; or
- When you are a ministerial servant (someone who has work related to a religion, church or other philosophy of life).
If this is your situation, you take the ‘basic integration exam abroad’ (‘basisexamen inburgering in het buitenland’) at the Dutch embassy or consulate in your home country. In this exam, you must show that you can read and speak Dutch at the A1 level and that you have knowledge of Dutch society.
Read more about the basis integration exam abroad >
Integration in the Netherlands: the integration exam
Most people who have an integration requirement in the Netherlands meet this requirement by taking the integration exam. This is an exam consisting of 6 sections. If you had an integration requirement before 1 January 2015, other rules apply. Then your exam consists of 5 sections. In both cases, you must pass all the sections. You can take the examinations for the different sections at separate times, or you can choose to take multiple parts in one day.
The 6 components of the integration degree are (since 2015):
- Reading: at the A2 level
- Listening: at the A2 level
- Writing: at the A2 level
- Speaking: at the A2 level
- Knowlegde Dutch Society (Kennis Nederlandse Maatschappij): this section is about how people in the Netherlands interact with each other and what the rules are in the Netherlands.
- Orientation on the Dutch Labour Market (Oriëntatie op de Nederlandse Arbeidsmarkt): this section shows that you are prepared to search for a job. This helps you to eventually find work in the Netherlands. Note: if you had an integration requirement (‘inburgeringsplicht’) before 1 January, you do not need to do this section.
The sections Reading, Listening, Speaking and Knowledge of Dutch Society are done on the computer. For example, you will watch videos and answer questions about them. All the questions are in Dutch.
The Writing section is done with pen and paper. You received assignments such as: write a letter, fill out a form or complete sentences. All the assignments are in Dutch.
The section Orientation on the Dutch Labour Market must be completed at home or at school. You must complete eight ‘Results Cards’ (‘Resultaatkaarten’, to be completed in Dutch). A Results Card presents questions about the work or profession you want to do. Each Results Card is about a different subject. For some Results Cards, you must collect evidence; you must, for example, search for relevant job openings. When you have completed all the Results Cards and have collected evidence, you send them to the Educational Services Department (Dienst Uitvoering Onderwijs, DUO, the department responsible for the integration exam). DUO checks whether the cards are completed correctly. Once the cards are correctly completed, you have an interview with DUO lasting about 40 minutes, during which you will need to speak in Dutch about the Results Cards.
There are three ways to register for exams:
- You can register for an exam via the internet. This is done via ‘Mijn Inburgering’, on DUO’s website, where you can take care of everything to do with your integration. Read more about ‘Mijn Inburgering’ in the special manual.
- You can register at the school where you are following a course. This is only possible for the sections Reading, Listening, Writing, Speaking and Knowledge of Dutch Society. You must ask at your school whether they will register you.
- You can register with a form. You can download this form from the website Inburgeren.nl.
There are 5 locations in the Netherlands where you can take the integration exam: Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Eindhoven, Zwolle and Rijswijk.
Integration in the Netherlands for higher education: the State Examination NT2 (Staatsexamen NT2)
Have you completed advanced education in your own country (for example, at a university) and can you read, listen, speak and write in Dutch at the B1 or B2 level? Then you can also integrate by taking the State Examination NT2 (Staatsexamen NT2). You then take this exam instead of the integration exam. The State Examination NT2 is a Dutch exam for people who have a different mother tongue and who learned Dutch at a later age. By passing the State Examination NT2, they can demonstrate that they master Dutch language sufficiently to work or study in the Netherlands.
The State Examinations NT2 consist of two exam programmes, one of which must be chosen:
- Programme I (B1 level): this exam programme checks whether someone can read, listen to, speak and write Dutch at the B1 level. With the diploma from this programme, you can apply for a job or follow vocational education at the MBO level (for example, training at an ROC).
- Programme II (B2 level): This exam programme checks whether someone can read, listen to, speak and write Dutch at the B2 level. With the diploma from programme II, you can apply for a job or study at the HBO or university level.
Did you become required to integrate after 1 January 2015? Then in addition to the State Examination NT2, you must also take the Knowledge of Dutch Society (Kennis Nederlandse Maatschappij, KNM) and Orientation on the Dutch Labour Market (Oriëntatie op de Nederlandse Arbeidsmarkt, ONA) sections of the integration exam.
Integrating in the Netherlands with vocational training
Do you already have sufficient mastery of Dutch, and do you want to pursue vocational education in secondary vocational education (middelbaar beroepsonderwijs, MBO)? If you take exams on the MBO level and earn a diploma, then you do not have to take an integration exam. If you have a diploma from another Dutch-language educational programme (for example, an HBO degree or a university degree), you do not have to take an integration exam.
Are you going to take the integration exam? Then it is important that you be well prepared. Read all about courses, lesson materials and practice exams on the preparation page.