Yay, I have finished all 6 papers of Inburgering Exams a.k.a Integration Exams and I have my certificate with me now! I have finally made the decision to do the exams on four different days. Papers involved on Day 1 in August 2017 were listening (45mins), writing (35 mins) and speaking (35mins). Day 2 in September 2017 was reading (65mins), Day 3 Final Interview of Orientation of Dutch Labour Market (ONA) (45mins) in October 2017, Day 4 was Knowledge of Dutch Society (KNM) (45mins) in December 2017.
I have to admit that I don’t use Dutch often enough to keep all grammars and vocabularies inside my head. However, I did followed a very good basic Dutch course at the university for almost 1 year till Level B2, in fact that was almost 3 years ago. To be honest, you can learn something so quickly and it also applies when comes to forgetting it. So, I have used 15 days before the exam to go through all the materials again. Hectic! The book that I use for this exam is “Groene Boek” a.k.a “Nederlands voor buitenlanders”. Recommended!
My experience with the listening exam was good except that I did it too slowly and the examiner has to keep me going before I ran into trouble. Questions were slightly/ just little bit more difficult than the sample exams at inburgeren.nl, or I should say the sample exams at the inburgeren’s website are on the easy side.
Examiner gives clear instructions. 10 scenarios and in total 25 questions. You do that with the computer, earphones and mouse. Maybe 2-3 scenarios are on the difficult side, the rest are fine. The difficulty is on the listening speed. They speak quite fast, but you can rewind and rewind to listen to it till you get it right. I did that too often and almost ran out of time. But luckily I managed to finish all in time. Revise your vocabulary because you might be forgetting some after long not in-use. Score: 10/10
Personally I find writing exam was slightly better in terms of time management. 8 questions in 35 minutes. Think before you write because no scratch papers provided. You can only practice at the dedicated pages (cover page and the back of the cover page and not anywhere else, please!). Format is the same as the sample exam at inburgeren.nl. You do this with the pen and the pen is provided. Again, examiner gives clear instructions. Practices from the inburgeren.nl are important! Please make sure you do it before going for exams. Score: 9/10
Speaking exam that lasted 35 minutes. 12 speaking questions and 12 Multiple-choice questions. I did keep the time, so I had about 5 minutes to check my answers. You do this with the computer. Please listen to the instructions from the examiner before the exam. There are extra two buttons on the screen during your voice recordings and they are “Opnieuw maken” and “Luisteren”. In other words, you can redo if there is a mistake and you can also listen to your final answer. These two button do not work in the practice exams available at the inburgeren.nl website (Firefox). Again, don’t complicate things, just make simple sentences. Speaking topics are about the weather, food, tv programs, house pets, transport, school, hobby, your house structure, your country and also here in The Netherlands and etc. Practices from the inburgeren.nl are important! Please make sure you do it before going for exams. Score: 7/10
Reading exam has about 25 questions and has to be completed within 65 mins. Like speaking and listening, you will need to do it with the computer. With ample of time, you will find this is the easiest among all the previous three mentioned exams. Score: 10/10
KNM exam has about 40 questions and to be completed within 45 mins. “Welkom in Nederland” is an excellent book to prepare for this exam. While many people said it is as easy as reading exam, I find myself not quite so because there were about 5 questions that made me think which could be the right answer. I guess it is important to read the question carefully and make the right choice. Sometimes almost all options make sense as the right answer. DUO has certainly raised the difficulty for this. Limited time is also a stress factor. Score: 10/10.
ONA Exam is a 45mins interview conducted by two officers. To prepare, you need to fill in a portfolio of 8 cards then send it by post or via inburgeren.nl for approval. Wait for a few weeks for an interview date. How long to wait? Please check inburgeren.nl. During the exam, you need to explain your motivation and why you have chosen/ written your answers in those 8 cards. Please also know all in an out of all your attachments icl. vacancies’ details. Score: Pass
Note: Bring your DUO invitation letter and your ID on the exam day and also into the exam room.