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Study in Netherlands - Test Requirements, Score, Exam fee

Mansi Topa Mansi Topa
Content Curator

In the Netherlands, bachelors programs are offered in both English and Dutch while all graduate programs are taught in English. It is mandatory for students to demonstrate proficiency in the language he/she chooses to study the program in. International students do not need to take any other test for bachelors programs.

Besides language proficiency test, students may also need to present GRE score for a few masters program and GMAT for MBA programs.

Language Proficiency Test

Dutch Language Proficiency Test (NT2)

Only undergraduate programs are offered in Dutch. An international student is required to take Staatsexamen Nederlands als tweede taal(State Examination of Dutch as a Second Language), commonly called NT2.

There are two types of NT2 test -

  • Program I - for people who want to work and study at the school level.
  • Program II - for people seeking higher education and employment

Both the test -

  • Assess proficiency in 4 separate parts of the language - reading, writing, speaking and listening.
  • Valid indefinitely
  • Accepted worldwide as a proof of proficiency in Dutch
  • Costs 45 EUR per part and 180 EUR for all four
  • Cannot be taken by people under 17 years of age
  • Only conducted in five cities in Netherlands

To check more details related to NT2, visit the official website at

English Language Proficiency Tests

The Netherlands offers the highest number of programs offered in English in a non-English speaking country. A total of 1874 programs are offered in English at undergraduate and graduate level.

All the universities in the Netherlands accept IELTS and TOEFL as a proof of proficiency in the English language. A few of them also accept Cambridge English Assessment for the purpose.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

  • Jointly conducted by Cambridge ESOL, the British Council and IDP: IELTS Australia
  • Tests candidates on four components for English - reading, writing, speaking and listening
  • Accepted in more than 140 countries as a proof of proficiency in English
  • Available 48 times in a year and costs between $215-$240
  • Minimum IELTS score accepted at Dutch universities - 6.5

Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL)

  • Organized and conducted by Educational Testing Services (ETS), USA.
  • Test candidates on four components for English - reading, writing, speaking and listening
  • Accepted at more than 10,000 institutions across 130 countries in the world
  • Available more than 50 times a year in online and offline mode. It costs between $160 – $250
  • Minimum acceptable TOEFL score at Dutch universities -
    • TOEFL CBT - 230
    • TOEFL PBT - 570
    • TOEFL iBT - 90

Cambridge English - C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency

  • Conducted by Cambridge Assessment English
  • Test candidates on four components for English - reading, writing, speaking and listening
  • Accepted at more than 8,000 institutions and organisations across 130 countries in the world
  • Available at least once a month every year.
  • C1 Advanced costs 156 pounds and C2 Proficiency costs around 150 pounds
  • Minimum acceptable Cambridge English score at Dutch universities -
    • C1 Advanced - B+
    • C2 Proficiency - B

Entrance Exams

21+ Test

A few universities in the Netherlands conduct 21+ test for admission into the bachelors program. If a student fails to fulfill the admission criteria for the program of his/her choice, he/she can take the 21+ test. The test can only be taken in the Netherlands and costs between 180-200 EUR.

The test is conducted to verify that even though a student does not possess the required diploma documents, he/she has adequate skills and knowledge to be accepted for the university program.

To be eligible for 21+ test, a student must -

  • Be at least 21 years of age
  • Be of EEA-nationality or holds a residence permit for the Netherlands
  • Possess english language proficiency test score - IELTS or TOEFL

Graduate Record Examination (GRE) 

  • International standardized test conducted for admission into graduate programs in universities across the world.
  • Conducted by Education Testing Services (ETS)
  • Required by some universities in the Netherlands for admissions in graduate programs..
  • Held throughout the year and costs between $205 – $230
  • Average GRE score accepted at Dutch universities is 310-330

Graduate Management Aptitude Test (GMAT) 

  • International exam for admissions into MBA programs accepted by 7,100 universities across the world
  • Conducted by Graduate Management Admission Council(GMAC)
  • Required for admission into MBA programs at all the Dutch universities
  • Available throughout the year and costs USD 250
  • Average GMAT score accepted at Dutch universities is 600-650
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