Language proficiency test at the start of your studies

Since September of 2018, all first-year students are required to take a language proficiency test in either Dutch or English. The Dutch language proficiency test has been around for years, while the English test is new as of this year. The test you will be required to take will depend on your Bachelor’s programme.

When is the language test administered?

The assessment will take place in week 37 and 38, between Monday, 9 September and Wednesday, 18 September 2019. Check your programme’s schedule to see when you have to take the test. Students enrolled in two programmes will of course only need to take the test once.
Which version you have to take is decided by your programme. The test is compulsory: you have to take either the Dutch or the English language proficiency test.

Missed the test in September?

If you missed the language test in September, you can participate in the catch-up session on Wednesday 20 November 2019, from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. The catch-up session is your last opportunity to take the language proficiency test during the 2019-2020 academic year. You can sign up using the Catch-up session Dutch and English language proficiency test form.
During the catch-up session, you can either take the Dutch or the English language proficiency test. Both tests will be held simultaneously, at the DigiTenT exam hall.

Please note: the catch-up session is NOT a resit. You may only participate if you have not taken the language proficiency test yet.

Who is required to take the test?

The language proficiency test is for all first-year bachelor’s students. You can only apply for an exemption from the Dutch language proficiency test if you have taken and passed it in a previous year. You can apply for an exemption by filling in the Exemption 2019 language proficiency test form (VUnet/Login).

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?

The test is fully computerized and will take about two hours to complete. It contains 200 closed questions on 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. 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.


The scores are divided into three categories. You receive a score of High, Medium or Low. If your score is Low, 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 very important to remember your VUnet ID and associated password. You need this information to log into the test. Tip: use this link to change your password and choose a password that is easy to remember.

Please bring an identification document to the test. You will also be asked to fill in your student number at the beginning of the test.

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

Students who have dyslexia, a disability, or a chronic illness may get extra time or a customized workspace.
• If VU has granted you extra time on your tests, you will automatically get extra time on the language proficiency test as well (30 minutes).
• If you need a customized workspace during the VU language proficiency test, please send an email to [email protected].
For more information about studying with a disability, please go to or send an email to the Studying with a Disability Team at [email protected].


For more information about the language proficiency test and the refresher course, please go to or send an email to [email protected].

Information in Dutch