If you want to take the State Examination NT2, you can choose between two levels:

  • Programme 1, B1 language level
  • Programme 2, B2 language level 

The exam consists of four sections: reading, listening, writing and speaking. Each section takes one to two hours and is tested separately. If you fail one part, you only need to retake that part. You have to pass all four exam sections in order to get your certificate.

The State Examination NT2-2 is intended for people who want to work or earn a degree at higher vocational (HBO) or university level. If you want to be admitted to a university or university of applied sciences, or increase your chances of getting a job at the HBO or university level, this exam proves that your command of Dutch is good enough to be able to follow education in Dutch or work in a Dutch language environment.

The State Examination NT2-1 is directed at people who want to work or earn a degree at intermediate vocational (MBO) level.

The difference between the two exams lies in the type of texts and assignments. The texts used in programme 2 are more substantive. Also, in programme 2 more difficult words are used than in programme 1. The grammar requirements are the same for both programmes. Originally, the State Examination NT2 was not intended for integrating citizens. However, since a few years, people with a State Examination NT2 certificate are exempt from civic integration requirements.


Did you get your MVV after 1 January 2015? Then in addition to the State Examination NT2, you must also take an additional exam section in order to meet integration requirements, namely: Knowledge of the Dutch Community (KNS). This exam has two parts:

  • Knowledge of Dutch Society (KNM)
  • Orientation on the Dutch Labour Market (ONA) 

You are required to compile a portfolio which shows you have familiarised yourself with the Dutch labour market. Have you worked as a salaried employee for 48 hours a week for at least six months in the past 12 months? Then you may apply for an exemption for this exam.

For more information about these two exams, please go to our Civic Integration Exam page.

If you don’t have an integration requirement but wish to take the State Examination NT2 in order to become a Dutch citizen or obtain a permanent residence permit, you don’t have to take these two exams.

The State Examination NT2 takes place eight times a year on set dates. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, all NT2 examinations have been cancelled and will gradually be resumed in line with the loosening of government measures. Please visit www.staatsexamensnt2.nl to find out when registration is once again open.

More information

Detailed information about the NT2 state examinations can be found on www.staatsexamensnt2.nl. You can also register or download practice exams here.

For official information from the Dutch government about civic integration, please visit www.inburgeren.nl.

Training for the State Examination NT2:

Would you like help to prepare for the State Examination NT2? No matter how good your Dutch is, you are sure to benefit from examination training! Click here for further information on our regularly offered examination courses.

Costs (February 2019):

A State Exam NT2 costs EUR 45 per language skill. In total, the exam costs EUR 180.

The Knowledge of Dutch Society (KNM) exam costs EUR 40.

The Orientation on the Dutch Labour Market (ONA) exam costs EUR 40.

If you would like more information or would like to arrange an appointment, please contact us by telephone or e-mail.

February 2019, Annelies Braams, NedLes