Here’s how to smash the Dutch integration exam, stress-free

The Dutch integration exam: feared, made fun of, and heavily debated. However, the time might come when you have to confront this colossus of an examination — and pass it!

But before the exam anxiety kicks in, let’s bust a few myths about the integration exam in the Netherlands: 

Namely, preparation doesn’t have to take years, you don’t have to follow a strict curriculum and buy expensive books, and you definitely do not have to sit in a classroom to learn Dutch! 

…At least not if you prepare with InburgeringOnline, but more about that below. 😉

Inburger…what?

The Dutch integration exam (het inburgeringsexamen) is the Netherlands’ way of ensuring that you become a fully-fledged member of Dutch society who can contribute to and benefit from everything the country has to offer.

If you are inburgeringsplichtig (have a legal requirement to integrate), you’ll receive a letter from the DUO (Dienst Uitvoering Onderwijs), the Dutch education implementation service, granting you a three year preparation period for your official integration — plenty of prep time!

This letter will come swooshing through your post if you’re from outside the EU, Lichtenstein, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, or Turkey and do not meet any of the exemptions

Perhaps you’re thinking “well, I’m not inburgeringsplichtig so why should I read on?” but stay with us for just a second more because many people who take the Dutch inburgeringsexamen aren’t actually required to do so — what?! 

Yup, although taking exams voluntarily might seem like a strange idea, passing the inburgeringsexamen can bring you greater freedom and security during your time in the Netherlands, no matter where you’re from. (We’ll talk more about the ways in which official integration can level up your Dutch life later 👇).

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Ready, set, write (in Dutch)! Image: Wavebreakmedia/Depositphotos

The Dutch (civic) integration exam explained

So what is this exam that the Dutch government has so carefully crafted?

The inburgeringsexamen consists of seven parts. The first three are about learning the values of Dutch society, finding work in the Netherlands, and being familiar with Dutch traditions, customs, and current events. This will be tested through:

  • A participation statement
  • Orientation on the Dutch Labour Market
  • Knowledge of Dutch Society

The last four parts of the exam are all about Dutch language learning. 🙊 You’ll be tested on:

  • Reading
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Writing

The reading, listening, and speaking exams are done electronically at one of DUO’s seven locations. They all involve reading, watching, or listening to short texts or films and subsequently answer questions either orally or in writing to show that you’ve understood the content of the texts or films. 

The writing exam is the only one taken the good old fashioned way. ✍ For that, you’ll be required to write four short assignments that all have a practical goal in mind, such as filling out a form correctly or writing a letter. 

After completing the exams, you’ll have to wait patiently (or not) until you receive your results by post. 

Latest news about the ‘new’ integration exam

Currently, the language component of the inburgeringsexamen requires an A2 level proficiency in Dutch. That means basic reading, writing, speaking, and listening, skills. 👌 

However, a new piece of integration legislation called Wet Inburgering means that exam candidates will be tested up to a B1 level — as of January 2022. The B1 level, which will apply to internationals starting the integration process after January 2022, is intermediate Dutch so you might want to start studying! 

Let op! Although it still needs to be confirmed by the IND (Immigration and Naturalisation Services) it’s expected that people who’ve already started their integration process before January 2022 can take the exams at the previous A2 level.

If you want to get a headstart on all the changes, we recommend signing up for the self-access courses with InburgeringOnline.nl!

Learning Dutch with InburgeringOnline.nl

Finding time to study next to daily responsibilities such as a job, study, or family, can be challenging. That’s why we’re happy to introduce you to InburgeringOnline.nl:

InburgeringOnline.nl is an online learning platform, designed by experienced Dutch language teachers to help you pass the language proponent of the inburgeringsexamen with flying colours. 🙌 

It was founded by Dutch teacher Bart Nawijn who recognised the need for a new approach to studying, to help exam candidates deal with the main struggles they were facing when preparing for the Dutch language exams.  

Consequently, InburgeringOnline.nl is tailored to busy internationals (like you!) so people can study in their own time and speed without investing heaps of money and time, receive quality guidance, and practice using study materials that are 100% focused on the inburgeringsexamen

“I felt more confident and the exam felt like the questions I’d already practised. It’s impressive how InburgeringOnline.nl knows what students are looking for.”

Tarik Mallouili (39)
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Customised so you can smash the Dutch integration exam stress-free! Image: InburgeringOnline.nl/Supplied.

Are Inburgering Online.nl’s courses suitable for me?

InburgeringOnline.nl has offers for beginners, as well as those that already speak een beetje Nederlands (a little Dutch), and all the courses (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) include study plans to fit your level of Dutch.

What if you’ve watched a lot of Dutch TV and don’t feel like you need to study for the listening part? Or have practised speaking Dutch with your colleagues and are confident you’ll nail that exam? With subscription-based courses, you have ultimate flexibility and control over your own study journey. You can take as many or as few courses as you want and focus on what you find the most challenging. 

Study at your own pace

Perhaps the most unique thing about InburgeringOnline.nl is that you customize your own learning experience. 

In the user-friendly online environment, you have total control over when and for how long you want to study: Want to watch lessons at 2 AM, do a practice exam during your daily commute, or practice the most common vocabulary before breakfast? You got it!

“I have a family to run, so to go back-and-forth TO A COURSE three times a week, that’s not very convenient for me. Inburgeringonline.nl’s courses gave me the flexibility I needed and I liked their affordable prices.”

Melissa Groot (50)
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From vocab and grammar to practice exams. With a glance, you’ll know everything it takes to prepare for your inburgering. Image: InburgeringOnline/Supplied.

Level up your Dutch life

Aside from the practical concern of being able to stay in the Netherlands, there are multiple reasons why taking (and passing) the Inburgeringsexamen is a good idea. ✔️

Not only will you be able to speak basic Dutch and know about the society and culture that you find yourself in, but passing the inburgeringsexamen will ultimately give you greater freedom while staying in the Netherlands: 

You’ll be less dependent on a work visa or sponsor, be able to set up your own company or kick-start your freelance career and have reduced tuition fees at Dutch universities. Moreover, you’ll have greater access to social assistance. 

It was really helpful for a beginner like me. I passed the reading exam after studying with InburgeringOnline.nl and have been recommending it to friends ever since.

Manivannan Kumar (39), IT consultant, Hilversum.

Ready to level up your Dutch life? Check out InburgeringOnline.nl to learn more about their quality courses and how they can be tailored to you! You can also contact them with any questions by shooting an email to info@inburgeringonline.nl.

Succes met jouw examen! (Good luck with your exams!). However, if you study with InburgeringOnline.nl’s flexible plans, we’re sure you won’t need any luck. 🤓 

Are you preparing for the Dutch integration exam? Or have you already taken it? Tell us about your experiences in the comments!

Feature Image: fizkes/Depositphotos

Christine Stein Hededam 🇩🇰
A Dane with a special place in her heart for Minnesota, Christine is now falling in love with everything Dutch. Between finishing her bachelor’s degree, learning Dutch, and doing yoga teacher training, you will find her wandering about the Hague. Always up for visiting new places, she loves to explore the Netherlands with friends and takes pride in scoping out cute cafés (wherein to discuss books, big plans, and food).

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