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Language proficiency test

Last updated on 2 May 2024
Here you can find all the relevant information for the VU Language Proficiency test.

VU Amsterdam considers it important for you to have a good command of the language of your study programme. That is why all first-year Bachelor students are required to take either a Dutch or an English language proficiency test at the start of their studies. The test you are required to take depends on whether your Bachelor’s programme is taught in Dutch or in English. 

This year the test will be held between the 9th and 13th of September. You can find the exact time and date in your personal schedule. 

Please note:

  • The Educational Office of your faculty will register you for the language proficiency test.
  • The language proficiency test is a mandatory test required to graduate for your bachelor.
  • If you do not pass the test you will have to take part in the mandatory refresher course provided by the Taalloket (see document on the right-hand side). 
  • If you have a disability or a chronic illness, an adapted workplace can be arranged. 
  • Please refer to the Taalloket website for more information.

Missed the language test?

If you have missed the language test, you can participate in the catch up-session. You will be registered by your Educational Office. The registrations will be visible in your schedule from the end of October onwards. Please note! The catch up-session is limited to students who did not participate in the first session. In case you have already taken the language test but did not pass, the Taalloket will invite you for refresher course. 

Practical information

  • When is the language test administered?

    The language proficiency test is in the second academic week of September. Please check your personal schedule to see when you have to take the test.

    The Educational Office will register you for the test. In the meantime, you can also look at the timetable of your programme to find the time and date of your test.

    Voor informatie in het Nederlands wissel je bovenaan deze pagina van taal.

  • Who is required to take the test?

    The language proficiency test is mandatory for all first-year bachelor’s students. Are you a second or later- year bachelor student and you have not taken the test yet? Please contact your Educational Office.

    Students enrolled in two programmes taught in the same language only need to take the corresponding test once. Students enrolled in both a Dutch-taught programme and an English-taught programme need to take both tests.

    Have you already taken the language test? Please go to the header "Language test already taken/request for exemption" for more information.

  • What if I have already taken an English language proficiency test, such as the TOEFL or the IELTS?

    Even if you have already taken a language proficiency test to gain admission to VU Amsterdam, you are still required to take the university’s own test. The English language proficiency test at VU Amsterdam has a different purpose: it is a compulsory part of every Bachelor's degree programme, designed to determine whether you need extra support with your language skills.

  • What can I expect from the test?

    Both language proficiency tests contain 200 closed questions and cover the following topics: grammar, spelling and punctuation, structure, vocabulary/usage and phrasing. The English language proficiency test also includes reading comprehension, pronunciation and classroom English. The test takes most students 1,5-2 hours to complete.

    You do not need to prepare for this test. The test gauges your language proficiency based on the level that a high school graduate should possess prior to embarking on an academic career.

  • Language test already taken/request for exemption

    The language test is compulsory for all students in the first year of a bachelor's degree programme at VU Amsterdam. You can only get an exemption if you have already passed the language test or the refresher course at the VU in a previous academic year. The exemption will be provided automatically, you do not have to take any action for this. The exemption will be registered from the end of August until the second week of the new academic year. You will not receive a notification of the registration of your exemption, rather in your Results Overview in your Dashboard are you able to see of the exemption has been registered (VRS). Regardless of your exemption, the Language Test will still be visible in your scheduele.

    Please note! The exemption is only valid for the same language in which you already have taken the test. Have previously taken the English language test and you are now following a study programme with Dutch as main language or vice versa? In that case you will have to take the language test.

  • Score

    The language proficiency test results in a total score and a number of subscores. Each score falls into a category: High, Average or Low. If your total score is Low (67% and below), you will have to take the Dutch or English refresher course. You will need to complete the refresher course in order to receive your credits for the first-year course that the test is a part of. Participation in the refresher course is by no means optional.

  • What should I bring?

    It is important to remember your VUnet ID and associated password. You need this information to log into the test. Tip: use this link to choose a password that is easy to remember.

    Also, make sure you have your proof of identity and your student ID to hand when you take the test.

  • Do you have dyslexia, a disability or a chronic illness?

    If needed, we will take care of a customized workspace.

    • The language proficiency test has no time limit, meaning you don't have to arrange extra test time.
    • If you need a customized workspace during the language proficiency test, please send an email to taalloket@taalcentrum-vu.nl.

    For more information about studying with a disability, please go to this page

  • Contact

    For more information about the VU language proficiency test and the refresher course, please go to www.taalloket.nl or send an email to taalloket@taalcentrum-vu.nl.

Language test per faculty

The additional conditions with regard to the language test may differ per faculty.

  • ACTA

    There are no exceptions for the Faculty of Dentistry (ACTA).

  • BETA

    There are no exceptions for the Faculty of Science.

  • FBMS

    There are no exceptions for the Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences.

  • FRT

    There are no exceptions for the Faculty of Religion and Theology.

  • FSS

    There are no exceptions for the Faculty of Social Sciences.

  • HUM

    There are no exceptions for the Faculty of Humanities.

  • LAW

    There are exceptions for the Faculty of Law.

    For the Bachelor's programmes Law (Rechtsgeleerdheid) and Notarial Law (Notarieel Recht) students are required to pass the Refresher course with a score of at least 70%. If this is not the case, an extra assignment is necessary.

  • MED

    There are no exceptions for the Faculty of Medicine.

  • SBE

    There are no exceptions for the School of Business and Economics.

There are no exceptions for the Faculty of Dentistry (ACTA).

There are no exceptions for the Faculty of Science.

There are no exceptions for the Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences.

There are no exceptions for the Faculty of Religion and Theology.

There are no exceptions for the Faculty of Social Sciences.

There are no exceptions for the Faculty of Humanities.

There are exceptions for the Faculty of Law.

For the Bachelor's programmes Law (Rechtsgeleerdheid) and Notarial Law (Notarieel Recht) students are required to pass the Refresher course with a score of at least 70%. If this is not the case, an extra assignment is necessary.

There are no exceptions for the Faculty of Medicine.

There are no exceptions for the School of Business and Economics.

Do you have any questions?

Please contact the Student Desk.

If you have questions about the tuition fee, Studielink or your personal dashboard on VU.nl, please contact the Student Desk: studentdesk@vu.nl, stating your student number.

Send a message via online chat (Mon – Fri: 10:30 – 12:30 and 14:00 – 16:00). 

Call +31 (0)20 59 85020 (Mon – Fri: 10:30 – 12:30 and 14:00 – 16:00). 

Are you currently a VU student? Ask your question via the question form (log in with your VUnetID)