The State Exams for Dutch as a Second Language, better known as NT2, have been cancelled for the time being due to questions being leaked online.
Translation by Traci White
The Dutch National Board of Exams and Evaluations (CvTE) announced on Monday that the language proficiency exams scheduled from the 14th of November through at least the end of 2018 have been cancelled. “Descriptions of the test questions have been shared in private social media groups”, the CvTE wrote on their website. “That means that candidates who have had access to those descriptions would have an unfair advantage.”
DutchNews.nl reports that 4,000 exam candidates will be impacted by the postponement. Education minister Ingrid van Engelshoven informed Members of Parliament on Monday that the ministry had gotten word in October that test questions for all components of both levels of the exam were circulating online. Engelshoven also told MPs that questions from the naturalisation test about Dutch society had been leaked, but that there are enough other questions in that test that no delays were expected.
The CvTE writes that they understand how frustrating and disappointing the announcement is. “Exam candidates will receive a letter from DUO in a couple of weeks with information about exam dates in 2019.” Newly formulated exams will be given to candidates in 2019 in order to avoid any prior exposure to the questions. Starting in 2019, exam dates will also be cut back from being offered on a weekly basis to only a couple of times a year.
As for what the delay means for people nearing the end of their allotted integration or naturalisation period, “an extension period will be granted”, according to a briefing from minister Engelshoven. The CvTE writes, “DUO [which administers the tests] will take this delay into account, and candidates in this position will receive a separate letter from DUO with more information.”
The Nt2 exam is mandatory for non-EU long term foreign residents with a residence permit who are over the age of 18 and either integrating or naturalising in the Netherlands. Residents from Iceland, Croatia, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland are also exempt. The test costs 180 euros and consists of four components: reading, writing, listening and speaking. Residents have three years to take the test after officially registering in the Netherlands.
The exam is also required for people who intend to enrol in Dutch-language courses at the vocational, applied sciences or research levels of university and do not have an official diploma from a Dutch-language programme. Those candidates whose admission to academic programmes are dependent on the test results are encouraged to contact DUO directly.