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Inburgering Placement Exam

Today I took my placement exam for my inburgering classes. I arrived at an old office building to take my foretold four hour exam at 12:45pm. I joined some other girls who were also there to take the exam, a mix of Nederlands and English was spoken between them, since I am still feeling sick, I didn't join in. I gathered however, that some people had been in The Netherlands for a very long time and one girl had been here a month, but she had incredible Dutch! I am not quite sure what her story was. We were then greeted by a very friendly proctor. We went into a tiny room with cubes and then sat in our respective cubicles. I noticed that the girl next to me was given different instructions then the rest of us for her exam. ( I would later find out that it was because she had been here longer and the first test is strictly for newbies.) 
For our first exam we had 30 minutes. Mostly it was reading comprehension with some really elementary writing thrown in. I finished with over 10 minutes left to go in the exam, the first one as always, I've never been a second guesser! It was a lot easier than I was expecting because if you read carefully, you could find the answers elsewhere in the exam.  Because I don't have an extensive vocabulary, I was a tad nervous that I didn't answer some of the questions correctly. I was then instructed to begin my IQ test while the others were still finishing their initial exam. The IQ test is to ensure that a person possesses the cognitive power to learn a new language quickly. It was the easiest test I have ever taken! All sequences and analogies. It took me 10 minutes. Then the proctor asked to speak with me privately... I was a little nervous, convinced she was going to tell me that I am horrible at Dutch and have no hope of ever learning it!  To my astonishment, she told me she was quite surprised with my results since I had told her I never had a Dutch lesson in my life. But she wanted to know if I had a reading comprehension problem. They way she asked made me think that I did bad because I didn't understand what the questions were asking me. I felt super defensive for a second because well, I don't speak Dutch yet! I thought I was here to learn! She then told me that if my comprehension of Nederlands was an issue then I would have trouble with the rest of the exams and wanted to know if I wanted to continue. Determined to prove myself, I told her that I wanted to at least try the rest! She then informed me that I got three 3's on the first test, but didn't explain what that meant. I was allowed to go get some coffee while the others continued working. 
After chugging my coffee, I came back in the room while the others were still working on their IQ tests. I was then told to begin the written part of the exam. It wasn't too terribly tough, I understood the directions, but because of my limited vocab I am sure I did not do amazing. I finished in 15mins. Then came the listening. I was hooked up to a headset and told to listen to t the scenarios and answer the questions. You are not allowed to pause or repeat the tape. During this exam, everyone else finished their IQ test and proceeded to talk loudly while the proctor was in the restroom.  I missed about 6 of the questions right away because I couldn't hear over them . Next came the reading exam, about halfway through the proctor came for a chat and asked if I understood what I was reading or if I was just looking for the words that matched in the questions. I was honest and said it was about 50/50 and was told I could stop if I wanted to because since I am so new, only the first test was actually required of me. Determined to see the end of the tests, I continued. Finally, it was time for the speaking. I only got halfway through, I kept on saying "Ik heb geen idee", so she allowed me to stop. Again, limited vocab will out. The proctor then told me that I impressed her by scoring three 3's on the first exam because people who have been here as long as I have shouldn't score that high. You are graded on 3 parts and 3 is the highest you can get in each category. Combining that with getting every question correct on the IQ test,  she was very interested in what I would get on the other not required for me exams. Only a few of the original group tested as long as I did, because if you don't get a good enough score on the first test, you don't take any tests past the IQ. After verifying that my Gemeente contact put me on the Staatsexamen II trajectory, she told me again how impressed she was with my scores so far and sent me on my way.
I am sure that my first score was a fluke, only passable because if you looked hard you could find the answers or correct spelling for things later on in the test. I will admit however, that being told I was impressive was something I needed to hear after 11 rejection letters for jobs here in The Netherlands! Let's hope my continued success on the multitude of things that I will be evolved in the next few months. 
I am not sure if my experience is typical for every Gementee or testing facility. This will be my last inburgering post until I get my results back and have my second talk with my Gemeente contact. 
Was your testing experience like mine? I would happily answer any questions you might have. Apologies if this post doesn't make an sort of sense, I should really be in bed! 
hinnamsaisuy / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Comments

That seems so Dutch; giving you compliments but some how manging to be very patronising at the same time.

I guess because you came from US, with english as mother language, they don't ask you to learn Dutch before.
I came from Indonesia, eventhough I speak English (not too good hehehe), when I applied for MVV, one of the requirement is that i should be able to speak dutch at level 2.
So i have to take Dutch lesson in the Dutch consulate in my home town in Indonesia before I able to come here.
That's why probably some of the people speak more Dutch at the test.