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Language proficiency test

Apply for exemption
Last updated on 17 March 2022

VU Amsterdam considers it important that you 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. The language proficiency test takes place in September.

For the language proficiency test, the following applies:

  • You do not have to register for the test.
  • You take either the Dutch or the English language proficiency test. Your study programme determines which test you have to take.
  • Check your timetable of your programme to find out when your test is scheduled. You will take the test online from home.
  • In case you miss the language proficiency test, there will be an opportunity for a resit.
  • If you do not pass the test you will have to follow the refresher course via Taalloket.
  • Students enrolled in two study programmes simultaneously (provided in the same language) take the test once. Except when you are enrolled in both a Dutch and an English study programme; then you are required to take both language tests.
  • Do you have dyslexia, a disability of a chronic illness? Then you can get extra time or an adapted workplace.
  • Only in case you have previously taken and passed the language proficiency test offered by VU Amsterdam, you can apply for an exemption until September 1 by clicking the blue button on this page. Medicine students can request an exemption via this page. You will receive confirmation of an exemption in the course of September/October (i.e. after the language proficiency test has taken place).
  • If you have already taken and passed a Dutch language proficiency test at VU Amsterdam and enrolled in an English programme, you still need to sit the English language proficiency test. 
  • Please refer to the website of Taalloket for more information.

Practical information

  • When is the language test administered?

    This academic year, the language tests will take place between Monday, 13 September and Friday, 17 September 2021. Please check your personal schedule to see when you have to take the test.

    To make sure the test is set up in your account, we ask you to perform this check between 6 and 9 September.

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

  • Online testing

    This year, all students will take the language test online. In other words, you will take the test at home. At the scheduled time, log into Testvision using your VUnet-ID and password and you will see your test.

    For some online tests, VU Amsterdam makes use of online proctoring (remote invigilation) via Proctorio. You can read all about using Proctorio in the VU Amsterdam online proctoring guide.

    To make sure you are able to take the test at home, you must perform a Testvision check between 6 and 9 September in advance.

  • Who is required to take the test?

    The language proficiency test is mandatory for all first-year bachelor’s students. 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.

    You can only apply for an exemption from the Dutch or English language proficiency test if you have taken and passed that same test in a previous year. To apply for an exemption, please fill in the VU language proficiency test exemption form on vu.nl.

  • 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 formulation. 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.

  • Score

    The scores are divided into three categories. You will receive a score of High, Medium or Low. If your score is Low (68% and below), you will have to take the Dutch or English refresher course. You will only receive your credits for the first-year course that the test is a part of once you have completed the refresher course with a pass mark. 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).

  • AUC

    There are no exceptions for Amsterdam University College (AUC).

  • 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 Amsterdam University College (AUC).

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.

Contact

Do you have any questions? Please contact the Student Desk.

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

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

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