What is: Het Staatsexamen NT2 – I ?

So maybe you have decided to move to the Netherlands, or you’re looking for a job in the Netherlands. Not only have you looked at the inburgeringsexam, or got confused by all these different exams, and maybe you have even passed it, but the Staatsexamen also seems important.

In this blog I will tell you everything you need to know about Het Staatsexamen NT2– Programma I (The State examination program I).

You want to study or work in the Netherlands?

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 (Regionaal Opleidingen Centrum) where Dutch is the main language, in most cases you are required to get your Staatsexamen NT2 diploma.

You can also use this diploma for your inburgering. This means that if you get your Staatsexamen NT2 certificate you don’t have to take the Inburgeringsexamen. But watch out, there are some conditions to this. So be sure to take a look at the official website.

Maybe you already work in the Netherlands for an international company. Or you did your inburgeringsexamen a long time ago and you’re already using Dutch at work. In both cases it’s always a good thing to get your diploma for the staatsexamen. It’s an official diploma that shows that you are able to work or study at a specific level, that is at B1 level.

Language level of the Staatsexamen – B1

Language level B1 means that you are an ‘independent user’ of the Dutch language. And the Staatsexamen NT2 examines you on four competences of the language: reading, listening, writing and speaking. You only get your diploma, if you pass all four parts.

Let’s see what this involves for every section.

  1. Reading: B1 level

B1 level reading means that you can understand texts that consist of frequently used everyday or job-related language. Also, you can understand descriptions of things like feelings and events in a personal letter.

  1. Reading: Staatsexamen NT2 I

In the reading part of the exam you have to read sections of texts and answer multiple choice questions. The exam takes place on a computer and takes 110 minutes. Examples of the texts are brochures from the municipality (the gemeente) or a short article about insurance.

  1. Listening: B1 level

B1 level listening means that you can understand the main points of speech on familiar matters in, for example, school and work. Also, you can understand the main point of many radio or TV programs on topics of interest when the speech is relatively clear and slow.

  1. Listening: Staatsexamen NT2 I

Every section of the listening exam starts with a few short instructions. Then you will hear a fragment of a dialogue or an announcement. The questions are multiple choice and this exam takes around 70 minutes. You can only listen once, but you can decide yourself how much time you spend on answering the questions. This exam starts when you answer the question.

  1. Writing: B1 level

B1 level writing means that you can write a simple text on a topic that is familiar or of personal interest.

  1. Writing: Staatsexamen NT2 I

The writing part of the exam consists of two parts and  is mainly focused on grammar and adequacy/comprehensibility. In part one of the exam you have to complete some sentences correctly. These are called aanvulzinnen. It is important to use conjunctions correctly in these sentences (link naar video?).

In part two of the exam the questions are more open. Besides the grammar and comprehensibility, it’s important to write a short text that is well structured and that answers the questions.

  1. Speaking: B1 level

Speaking at B1 level means that you can compose simple phrases to describe experiences and events. This also means that you can briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.

If you speak at B1 level you are able to have unprepared conversations on topics that are familiar or of personal interest.

  1. Speaking: Staatsexamen NT2 I

Like the writing exam, the speaking section of the exam consists of two parts. In part one you have to give short answers into a headphone. It should make sense and should be grammatically correct. You get twenty seconds to give your answer.

The question in part two requires a longer answer. Here your answer may sometimes have to contain arguments or longer descriptions. You get thirty seconds for these answers.

Important for students

Most schools in mbo or higher education only accept students who have this diploma. But please be aware that schools have the right to determine their own admission requirements for students. So this means that if you have the NT2 diploma, you won’t be automatically accepted.

More information

If you want to learn more about reaching B1 level: my online course (2/3) will help you to do that. Also, our summer or winter school might be interesting.

You can find more information on the official website.

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