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My Experience and Tips - Inburgering Examen

Posted: Fri Aug 24, 2012 8:16 pm
by Lynn
I was inspired to write this after reading JDJazz's post on the Staatsexamen I which helped me with tips and pointers for the exam. I will now attempt to write one based on my experience with the Inburgering exam a few months ago, which I passed.

Firstly I would say based on personal experience, the level of Dutch required for this exam is a barely there threshold level. You need only some semblance of communication. Grammar is ignored at this point.

I was exempted from the Toets Gesproken Nederlands (TGN) because I had already achieved the minimum grade (A2) in the exams taken in the embassy before arriving in the Netherlands.

Assessments :
I chose to do all four "Assessments". I gathered that it would be easier to orally answer questions and do basic official form filling required for the "Assessments" as opposed to gathering various receipts/documentation from automated bank tellers, grocery stores, city councils etc to prove that one is capable of living an independent life in the Netherlands. Not only that, the personnel in the bank, city council etc has to determine and comment on your level of Dutch. If their comment is unfavourable, then you would fail and have to start all over again - this time albeit with better Dutch!

The plus point for the "Portfolios" is however that you could always try and try again - the attempts that you can make are unlimited. In that way, you can never "fail" a "Portfolio". Chances are higher that one fails an "Assessment" by giving the wrong answer and filling in the forms wrongly; all right in front of the curious eyes of the examiner and with only one chance to hit bull's eye.

I think that if you are confident of speaking Dutch, then you should go for the "Assessments". If you are the type to panic when answering questions in front of the examiner, then it is advisable to do the "Portfolios".

You do not have to understand everything that the examiner says or asks. I had a play-acting job interview. Common sense will tell you what sort of questions that are likely to arise from a job interview among others. Nor do you have to answer in full, but it is advised to answer in complete sentences. Grammar is negligible. My teacher told me that the Inburgering exam places no emphasis on grammar.

Kennis Nederlandse Samenleving (KNS) :-

This was more difficult for me compared to the "Assessments". It was not that I did not know what the answers were, but rather I could not understand some questions as the level of Dutch is higher compared to the "Assessments". It did not help that the computer reads out all multiple choices ranging from A-D/E for you. I found it irritating because it read really slowly and I could read it for myself. It was just that I did not understand!

Basically this part is not about learning Dutch at all. Rather it is about your knowledge on the Netherlands and how well, you , as a foreigner can integrate into society by doing what the Dutch do. The questions I got where on job hunting, buying houses, education, culture, history, weather (yes indeed...) and the social behaviour of the Dutch.

The questions are largely aimed at Middle Eastern societies as the questions emphasize the difference between Dutch and Muslim beliefs/practices. For example in Holland, as a parent, you cannot force your 16 year old daughter to get married; it is acceptable to go naked on the beach; you can kiss in public; Dutch society accepts same-sex relationships etc.

I guess I developed a knack for choosing the right answer because I already knew the answers. I then had to assume what the questions were!

This is based on my personal experience. In the end I was glad to have it done over with. My level of Dutch is somewhere between A2-B1 I think. The plus point of the Inburgering is that you know more about Dutch society - it is all about Integration - hence the name of the exam itself. I believe that the Staatsexamen is a better choice for those who purely want the language without the fuss of integration!

I was actually given a choice between these two exams upon my arrival in the Netherlands. At that point, I heard people say how easy it was to pass the Inburgering compared to the Staatsexamen, and hence I took the Inburgering in my stride. I do not regret as I have much more knowledge of Dutch society than my Dutch husband :) but my Dutch level could be much improved!

Re: My Experience and Tips - Inburgering Examen

Posted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:33 pm
by shinshin24
Hi Lyn!

Thank you so much for posting this- it`s confidence boosting! :D

I`m planning to take the Inburgeringsexamen on Jan/Feb- when do they usually conduct it and what are the requirements and costs?(i know i can just go to them and ask, but with my demanding work, i cant set a time to go to Brussels(Dutch Embassy in Belgium) for info.
-Can u give me some pointers? Which part to take seriously in studying and familiarizing??? Thanks!

I`m planning to get married to my Dutch bf next year, and before anything else, i need to take the exam and ace it- i did basic dutch courses while i was in Holland and now, self studying..;i`m keeping everything crossed here for a positive result soon!


Re: My Experience and Tips - Inburgering Examen

Posted: Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:08 pm
by Lynn
Hi Shinshin,

In my case the Inburgering Exam was subsidized by the City Council. I think it would depend on the individual regional gemeente (city councils). Regulations change every year and some years they allocate subsidies and some years they do not. For the Assessments, I was allowed to do it in my town, but for the computer exams (KNS), I had to go to Amsterdam to do it.

I think there is no specific book to read about general knowledge in Dutch society. It could be anything under the sun. The main thing is that the grasp of the language is sufficient to answer questions about Dutch society.

For Dutch language, I found the starters Dutch for dummies useful as they have a pronunciation guide in English for Dutch words.

For the General Knowledge part, I used the Welkom in Nederland series published by Coutinho Publishers.

Good luck with your exam!

Re: My Experience and Tips - Inburgering Examen

Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:18 am
by adappel
Welkom in Nederland (Coutinho) is the best book for KNS and EPE - if you can read and understand this book then you will be well prepared for both these central exams.

For TGN you can use my book and site

Or use the app: ... Id=1449142 (apple) ... F0LnRnbiJd (android-google)

The exam will change in 2013. No more portfolio/assessments. Only central exam - KNS and TGN will remain the ame - three other central exams will appear from 1-1-2013.

If you need more advice please contact me through mail. I will guide you through the exam in the most effective way (short term preparation)

Re: My Experience and Tips - Inburgering Examen

Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 8:35 pm
by shinshin24
Thank you sooo much for these replies!

I`m planning to take the Inburgeringsexamen in the Dutch embassy in BRUSSELS,Belgium. I have no idea about the possible dates for the exam though, but hopefully get to it soon.

Re: My Experience and Tips - Inburgering Examen

Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 9:16 pm
by Bert
Veel succes. :)

Re: My Experience and Tips - Inburgering Examen

Posted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 1:29 am
by Vilmos
Ook van mij veel succes! :)

Re: My Experience and Tips - Inburgering Examen

Posted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 2:53 pm
by twinklewinkel
Hallo Lynn,

You wrote that you were exempted from the Toets Gesproken Nederlands (TGN) because you had already achieved the minimum grade (A2) in the exams taken in the embassy before arriving in the Netherlands. Do you have any idea if the exemption is still allowed for now?

Hope to hear from you soon.

Thank you!


Re: My Experience and Tips - Inburgering Examen

Posted: Thu Sep 25, 2014 8:20 am
by leaandre1
Hi lyn,
Can you help me about exemption in TGN here in Nl please...what should I do to be exempted in TGN, do I have to send email to DUO or the school where I do my cursus have to do that? Thanks in advance

Re: My Experience and Tips - Inburgering Examen

Posted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 2:46 pm
by melodypearl

I just want to be prepared for my inburgering basisexamen. What should I do. Ih hard that the curriculum/rules was been change from this December. I would be greatfull if this site can help me.
thank you!

Re: My Experience and Tips - Inburgering Examen

Posted: Wed Jan 28, 2015 5:14 pm
by annapollock
I was in a similar situation as Lynn and Leandre1's and had the oral exemption prior to coming to the Netherlands. I informed the school. In turn the school informed DUO about my exemption. In any case, I think it does not matter whether the student or the school informs DUO - which is the ultimate organizer of the exam which should be informed. What matters is that you provide your exemption letter (the one stating you already have a minimum of A2 level) to them.