All you need to know about the Reading, or 'lezen', part of the Inburgeringsexamen.


Since you are reading this post, you are considdering, or preparing, to take the Dutch civic integration exam.
In this blog we give you more practical information about the reading segment of the Dutch civic integration exam and we provide you with some hints and tips to improve your chances in passing the exam.
Should your require more general information about the inburgerings examen, click here. 

1. Level 

It is important to note that as with all other aspects mentioned in the overview, you need to be able to read at B1 level.

What does reading at B1 level mean?
To read at B1 level means that you can clearly understand general formal and semmi-formal Dutch text pertaining to everyday life. Part of this is to answer questions about the text in the correct context as the answers are usually provided in the text it's self.

Some examples of the type of texts to expect include:
User manuals for your banking app,
Documents from your 'gemeente'
General insurance related documentation company,
Letters from a school for those who have children,
Emails from your Dutch trainer,
Short newspaper articles,
Informative emails from social clubs

2. Practical information about the reading exam.

The exam is completed on a computer and  the allocated time is 65 minutes. You can expect to be presented with texts on similar topics as mentioned above, whereafter you answer a couple of multiple choice questions per text.  This is to test your comprehension. 

3. How to know when you are ready for this exam?

It is important that you understand most of the Dutch words ranked at B1 level.
You can test this yourself by reading short newspaper articles, letters, emails, and other daily texts. If you understand ¾ of the words, as well as the topics and the context of the text, you are more than likely to achieve a satisfactory score. We want you to score better than satisfactory though and prepare you accordingly.

4. How can you prepare for this exam?

A. Dutch newspapers:  Sign up with Dutch publications and newspapers like, De Telegraaf or AD . Read short articles about subjects of your interest every day,  test your ability to comprehend what is communicated therein. Do a word count on the total text and note how many you understand vs. how many you don't. The closer to 80% you get the better your chances of passing this exam becomes. 

Its important to note that when doing this, your focus should start moving from basic words to more complex words which describe to context in more detail.

B. Official correspondence: When you get official correspondence from your gemeente, school, sportclub,... read the letter, email, etc. do the same as above. After some practice, you will notice that you only have to add up the words you don't know as your vocabulary improves. It is important to get to this point as confidence is an often overlooked aspect in your preparation. We work on this as well.

C. Electronic devices: A big step and very effective way to rapidly improve your vocabulary is to change the language settings of your electronic devices to Dutch. Yes, we mean your computer, smart tv, tablets and phones. We all use these devices more and more every day, making them a very usefull aid in improving your Dutch vocabulary. By doing this you are confronted with Dutch text consistantly. Eventually your commitment is rewarded.

D. Get social: Join Dutch groups on social media, there are many, and follow a few Dutch people and celebraties.
A good way to failiarise yourself with the words is by reading the lyrics as the songs play. At first you will need to keep a notepad handy to note down the words you don't understand to look up afterwards.

F. Practice exams: You can periodically return to the practice exams to assess your abilities as well as progress. 

G. Learn Dutch Online: If you find it too challenging on your own, our beginners and intermediate courses, place a lot of emphasys with B1 level texts, specifically designed to prepare you for the exam. Your trainer guides you through it at a pace that suites your progress with your success as the top priority. Our aim is not only to prepare you for the exam but to give you usefull skills that can be applied in daily life in the Dutch world.