What do all these exams mean? – The difference between ‘basisexamen inburgering’ – ‘basisexamen inburgering buitenland’ – ‘staatsexamen NT2 I’ – ‘staatsexamen NT2 II’

You want to move to the Netherlands and you keep coming across a lot of new and difficult words, documents, rules and regulations. Finally, it looks like you have understood it and then you see that there are all these different exams…

The list of exams and tests can be very confusing.

In this blog I will explain the difference between these exams.

Basisexamen inburgering (het inburgeringsexamen)

There’s a chance you are here because you want to become a Dutch citizen. If you’re from a country outside the EU and you want to move to the Netherlands (you want a Dutch resident permit or to apply for Dutch citizenship) you are expected to do a lot of things. One of these is that you have to take an inburgeringsexamen (a civic integration exam).

Basisexamen inburgering or het inburgeringsexamen, these two have the same concept – to test you on the Dutch language at an A2 level as well as other aspects of the Dutch culture and society.

So the inburgeringsexam is for becoming a Dutch citizen. But maybe you need to get an MVV. In this case you have to do a basisexamen inburgering Buitenland (a civic integration exam abroad).

Basisexamen inburgering Buitenland

If you want to stay in the Netherlands for longer than 90 days, you need an authorization for temporary stay, or a long-stay visa. The MVV (Machtiging tot Voorlopig Verblijf) is a provisional residence permit that allows you to enter the Netherlands as a potential resident rather than a tourist.

You can only get this MVV if you successfully finish the basisexamen inburgering Buitenland. The level of language competence in this test is A1.

Unlike the inburgeringsexamen you take this exam before you move to the Netherlands in your home country.

If you are looking for “Exam NT2”, here is some information.

Staatsexamen NT2 programma I

The Staatsexamen NT2 programma I is an exam for non-native speakers of Dutch who want to work or study in the Netherlands. If you want to study on a vocational training course (vakopleiding) like the ROC where Dutch is the main language, you are usually required to get your Staatsexamen NT2 diploma.

The level of this exam is B1. You can do this exam in order to get your inburgering. So if you have passed this test, you don’t have to do the language part of the inburgeringsexamen.

Let’s go to the next level of the NT2 exam.

Staatsexamen NT2 programma II

The Staatsexamen NT2 programma II is comparable with program I. Both exams are for non-native speakers of Dutch who want to work or study in the Netherlands. The big difference is the level of the exams. Program II is a level B2 exam.

This exam is for people who want to enter higher education (hbo) or university studies (wo) or for those who are applying for a job at an academic level.

Succes! – Good luck!

Those were the different exams. Hopefully it’s clear for you now, and you can begin to prepare.

Bart de Pau
online Dutch teacher & founder of the Dutch Summer School & Dutch Winter School