You want to learn Dutch, you need to learn Dutch or you like to learn Dutch but what is your target?
In this blog, of September 2019, with ‘The Civic Integration Exam’ we mean the Civic Integration Exam on language level A2
But, do you know that there are two other options besides the civic integration exam? They might come in handy in case you want or need to have a higher language level than A2- which is hardly enough to keep up a simple conversation with your Dutch neighbour.
Maybe you work in English, but you have Dutch collegues and your company wants you to speak Dutch with them- level B1 is fine for social talk. So that means that you have to study more than just for the Civic Integration Exam and when you have to study anyhow, why don’t you skip the Civic Integration Exam and take part in State Exam Program I at level B1? State Exam Program I gives you the same rights: a permanent residence permit, a Dutch passport, and/or naturalisation. Besides, a diplom State Exam NT2 program I might give your cv a boost.
Third option is that you want or need an even higher language level- B2. In case the date on which your residence permit has to be renewed is not too close, you might go for State Exam NT2 Program II at level B2. Again: it is not necessary to pass the Civic Integration Exam as well: one of the three options is enough for a permanent residence permit, a passport or naturalisation.
Civic Integration Exam
Until January 1st 2021 , Civic Integration Exam requires level A2. KNM and ONA (only for those without work) can be prepared online. In order to be under the actual Law on Civic Integration, be sure to do one part of the Civic Integration Exam before January 1st 2021.
Suitcase courses: Beginners A2, duration 4 months
After January 1st 2021, Civic Integration Exam requires level B1. If you are a highly skilled worker (or otherwise exempt of Civic Integration) and you take part in the Civic Integration Exam after this date, level B1 will be required, independent of the year in which you entered the Netherlands.
Suitcase courses: Beginners A2 ( 4 months) B1( 4 months)
State Exam NT2 Programme I
State Exam NT2 Programme I (level B1) is valid for a permanent residence permit, a Dutch passport and naturalization- with some extras. Schools for Intermediate Professional Education (ROC) require level B1- to be proven in an entrance test or by Diplom State Exam NT2 program I.
Many schools of higher professional education (hbo) and universities, offer non-Dutch students with level B1 a preparatory year in which you study Dutch up to level B2. In this year you also study other subjects that are required to start with your chosen study- like study skills, English or mathematics.
Suitcase courses: Beginners A2 (4 months) B1 ( 4 months)
State Exam NT2 Programme II
State Exam NT2 Programme II is valid for a permanent residence permit, a Dutch passport and naturalization. It is the highest possible exam for Dutch as a second language and a jewel for your resume. This exam, on level B2, also permits you to study in Dutch at a Dutch university. However, many Dutch Universities offer their studies in English. For those studies either IELTS or TOEFLE are required.
Suitcase courses: Beginners A2 ( 4 months- B1 ( 4 months), B2.
After State Exam Programme II
Work-related Dutch language needs
For specific work-related Dutch language needs, private classes of Margreet Kwakernaak might be helpful. She has a long and broad experience in language teaching.