Getting ready for the integration exams in the Netherlands is becoming more pleasant and efficient thanks to InburgeringOnline.nl, a new guided self-study platform that has quickly gained a lot of interest from exam candidates.
For many non-Dutch residents, completing the inburgering exams is the only way to get permanent residence in the Netherlands. And as you may have heard learning the Dutch language is considered as quite a big challenge by many exam candidates.
Stress-free exam preparation
However, there is good news. The online tool InburgeringOnline.nl helps students understand format of the exams and how they will be graded on theire speaking, listening, reading, writing exams and KNM exams. In the courses at InburgeringOnline.nl you will also learn Dutch to the level that is required for the exams.
The online course was published in September 2020 by Dutch language teacher and director of BN Language Academy Bart Nawijn. By now (June 1, 2021) the course has already helped over 600 students prepare for their inburgering exams.
Based on his students’ input Bart realized that the whole inburgering process is considered as confusing by many and also that a lot of exam candidates were not satisfied with the preparation courses they took in schools. They often found them too slow, boring and time-consuming.
With this feedback in mind Bart started to work on a pleasant and effective guided self-study course to guide any exam candidate to success. ‘The objective was to make an online course where people don’t need any books, school, or teacher, and where that is accessible for total beginners as well as students who already have some basic knowledge of Dutch’ he says.
Bart describes a lot of the existing material that is used to prepare for the exams as ‘old-fashioned, analogue end dry’. As for the courses given at schools he notices that there is often a big difference in the language learning ability between students which unavoidably leads to classes that are too fast for some and much too slow for others.
With InburgeringOnline.nl, with its video lessons and interactive exercises, he hopes to provide a more modern and engaging learning experience. And also the possibility for students to study at their own speed.
Something else that differentiates InburgeringOnline.nl from other courses is its focus on the exams. ‘It can be funny to learn about stroopwafels and bitterballen and other Dutch quirks, but I have noticed among my own students that when working towards an exam there is a lot of focus on things that are totally not relevant for it, this can be considered a waste of time’ Bart says.
The site also includes a lot of practical information, for example about how to register for the exam or cancel it. And it’s full of tips about how you can improve your Dutch in your daily life, which will eventually be beneficial for your performance on the exams. Students of the courses can choose as the supporting language English or Arabic as these are the most spoken languages among exam candidates. All exercises are explained in the selected supporting language and so are the lesson videos. This way also beginners and students with little knowledge of Dutch can comfortably work themselves through the course.
Accessible for beginners as well as students with a higher level of Dutch.
‘A complete beginner(A0 level) should be able to take the course, and comfortably pass the exam,’ says Bart, whose site offers a beginners’ route as well as a route for students who already have A1+ level. ‘It’s suitable to anyone’s learning speed,’ Bart says.
‘If you find a certain exercise or lesson video challenging, there’s nobody putting pressure on you to move onto the next. You can just study at your own pace. On the other hand, if there is a part of the course that is very easy for you, you can just breeze through it quickly.’
‘It was really helpful for a beginner like me,’ says Indian national Manivannan Kumar (39), an IT consultant based in Hilversum, who had difficulty with the classes offered by his municipality which were taught entirely in Dutch. He passed the reading exam after studying with InburgeringOnline.nl and has been recommending the course to friends.
Increase of exam level from A2 to B1
Not all students on Bart’s course are legally required to take the exams and integrate, some simply see the big advantages that it brings to get permanent residence or a Dutch passport. Such as greater freedom and security that the permanent residence in the Netherlands brings. Once you are integrated, you are no longer dependent on a work visa and a sponsor. So, this allows people to set up their own business or start a freelance career.
Other benefits are access to social assistance and lower tuition fees at Dutch universities. And as the government intends to increase the exam level from A2 to B1 in the near future, smart exam candidates are registering for integration exams as soon as possible.
For Tarik Mallouili (39) from Morocco, who is working for a travel company in Amsterdam and has a work permit, taking the exams is not mandatory, but as his Dutch partner was learning his languages, he decided to learn hers.
At first, he says, he was very confused by the inburgering process, having no idea about what to do or what he needed to know. Now, thanks to InburgeringOnline.nl, he has just heard that he’s passed all his exams. ‘I felt more confident,’ he says. ‘It felt like the questions I had already done with InburgeringOnline.nl.’
Tarik was ‘really impressed’ with the course and says Bart was ‘super responsive, super quick’ when he had questions. ‘It’s surprising how they understand what students are looking for,’ he says, and has recommended the course to a friend, who is ‘in love with it’.
Flexible and affordable
For Melissa Groot (50), a Malaysian-Chinese national based in The Hague, InburgeringOnline.nl offered her a much needed flexible way of learning. ‘I have a family to run, so to go to a course back-and-forth three times a week, that’s not very convenient for me,’ she says.
‘What I find really useful is that they give you the option to practise a real-time exam online. You can record your answer and listen again.’ ‘There are lots of practice exam exercises, vocabulary and grammar, and sample answers with videos,’ she explains. ‘They take you step by step, explaining in detail about what needs to be done … I went to the exam and I felt very confident and able to answer all the questions,’ she says.
Melissa also liked that the course was ‘very affordable’ and includes a seven-day money-back guarantee. Students who want see if the course suits them, or just need a quick refresh, can register for the flexible monthly course (from €14.95 per month), whereas those registering for a longer-term subscription get a reduced rate starting at €8.95 per month.
Within 45 days I passed all exams.
This is probably the best course. I am happy to inform that within 45 days I passed all exams. The best part is when KNM course was added. It helped immensely reduce the preparation time from many months to a few days. I highly recommend this course.
It's better than spending lots of money on classes.
The course is very very good, friendly to study alone. In fact it's better than spending lots of money on classes. I passed my exam and I would not have been able to without the course. Thank you guys.
Great course. The content is presented in a way that motivates you to keep going. The content and exercises are very well aimed to complete the integration exam. If you have questions, you send an email and get a very quick answer. Highly recommended!