Study in Netherlands - Test Requirements, Score, Exam fee

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    Bhavya Rawal

    Study Abroad Expert

    If you are planning to pursue your higher studies in Europe, Netherlands is one of the best options. An increasing number of Indians are opting to study in the Netherlands due to the infrastructure and top-quality education system. There are a number of tests available to prove language proficiency in Dutch and English - which are the two most common languages - like IELTS, TOEFL, NT2, CNaVT. These exams are necessary to obtain a student visa to the Netherlands. There are also some tests like GMAT and GRE that you will have to write when applying to specific courses.

    Language Proficiency Tests to Study in Netherlands

    Universities in the Netherlands offer undergraduate programs in English and Dutch, while graduate programs are all in English. Depending on the kind of course you are applying for, you will need to prove your proficiency in either English or Dutch. This is to ensure that the student understands all that is being taught in the class, and can handle the language in oral and written forms.

    University IELTS Score TOEFL iBT Score CAE Requirement
    Delft University of Technology 7.0 100 176 in CAE or 180 in CPE
    University of Amsterdam 6.5 92 170 in CAE or CPE
    Eindhoven University of Technology 6.5 90 176 in CAE or 180 in CPE
    Leiden University 7.0 100 180 in CAE or CPE
    Utrecht University 6.5 83 176 in CAE or 180 in CPE

    Dutch Language Proficiency Tests to Study in Netherlands

    NT2 (Staatsexamen Nederlands als Tweede Taal)

    The State Exams Dutch as a Foreign Language, known as NT2, are proficiency exams meant specifically for non-native speakers who want to study or work in the Netherlands. The exam is of two types:

    • Program I - for people who want to study at the school level or do vocational work - B1
    • Program II - for people seeking higher education or an academic level job - B2

    The exam is in four parts - Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking. The fee is INR 4,047 for taking each part and INR 16,188 for the whole thing. The exams can only be taken by persons above the age of 17 and the centres are only five cities in the Netherlands, but the results have lifetime recognition worldwide.

    CNaVT (Certificaat Nederlands als Vreemde Taal)

    CNaVT or Certificate of Dutch as Foreign Language is recognized all over the world as proof of proficiency in Dutch. The exam is held once a year in May and costs around INR 6,739. It is available in different levels of competency, of which universities usually demand:

    • B2 - Educatief Startbekwaam (STRT)
    • C1 - Educatief Professioneel (EDUP)

    The language proficiency levels are as per Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) standards. The exam consists of three sections, that is, Listening, Reading and Writing, and Speaking.

    English Language Proficiency Tests to Study in Netherlands

    IELTS (International English Language Testing System)

    Jointly conducted by Cambridge ESOL, the British Council and IDP, IELTS is the most popular English Language test in the world, being accepted by over 140 countries. It tests candidates in Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking. The exam fee is INR 14,000 and there are test centres all over the globe. Universities in the Netherlands ask for a minimum IELTS score of 6.0.

    TOEFL (Test of English as Foreign Language)

    TOEFL is conducted by Educational Testing Services (ETS) and is as popular as IELTS as a proof of English proficiency in the Netherlands. This exam also has the same four components - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking - and the cost is INR 13,546. There are three types of TOEFL exams available, namely the computer-based test (CBT), paper-based test (PBT) and internet-based test (iBT), of which the last one is the most popular.

    Cambridge Assessment English (CAE)

    Conducted by the University of Cambridge, CAE is a certification that is also accepted by universities in the Netherlands. As proof of university-level command over the English language, students may write either of the two exams:

    • C1 Advanced, or Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE)
    • C2 Proficiency, or Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE)

    These tests also consist of four parts, i.e. Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking. Even though the fee is comparatively lower at INR 6,000-7,000, CAE scores have the benefit of having no expiry date.

    Entrance Tests to Study in Netherlands

    In most cases, you have to apply to universities in the Netherlands through the common portal called Studielink, so the documents for verification, including academic transcripts, are to be provided on the common application form itself. By double checking with your preferred university’s page, you can figure out which tests you will need to take in order to be eligible for certain courses.

    21+ Test

    Some universities conduct the 21+ Test, also known as Colloquium Doctum, for admission to Netherlands undergraduate courses. Students have to take this test in case they do not meet the eligibility criteria set by the Bachelors program for which they are seeking admission. It can only be taken in the Netherlands, and the exam will test your specific aptitude to the university program you are applying to. To be eligible for the test:

    • You must be of EEA nationality or hold a residence permit in the Netherlands.
    • You must possess an English language proficiency test score, i.e IELTS or TOEFL.

    As the name suggests, you can only write the exam if you are 21 years of age or older, and the fees vary according to the university.

    GRE (Graduate Record Examination)

    GRE is a standardized test taken by students applying for graduate programs all over the world. It costs INR 15,678 to write, and is only required by some universities in the Netherlands.The GRE General Test is meant for students applying to MBA or JD programs, but the GRE Subject Tests can be taken by those applying to programs in science, literature and maths. These exams are administered by the Educational Testing Services (ETS). The average GRE score accepted by Dutch universities is 310-330.

    GMAT (Graduate Management Aptitude Test)

    Specific to students pursuing graduate programs in management, GMAT is accepted by nearly all business colleges in the Netherlands. Students who wish to do an MBA in the Netherlands must expect a cutoff of at least 600 to get admission. It costs INR 18,300 to sit the exam, which is conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC).

    The Netherlands offers the highest number of programs in English in a non-English speaking country, so you do not have to worry about not understanding the official language Dutch. That being said, there are some programs that are offered in Dutch as well, which are recommended if you have learned, or are willing to learn, some amount of Dutch. Except for the 21+ Test, which is applicable only to specific cases, the other subject aptitude tests are the same in the Netherlands as it is in other countries.


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