CNaVT Dutch Exams PAT and PTHO For International Students in Holland

The CNaVT/Certificaat Nederlands als Vreemde Taal PAT and PTHO are the Certificate Dutch as Foreign Language to prove proficiency in Dutch language for educational and professional purposes.

This exam is recognised internationally and can be taken outside Holland in several countries. Information can be found from the official website. Students who have passed Dutch as a subject for matriculation exams such as International Baccalaureate, European Baccalaureate and GCE to name a few, can be exempt from such tests. Others must pass these Dutch exams for entrance into higher studies.
There are 2 common CNaVT exams- PTHO and PAT. 

Format, Application and Fee for PTHO and PAT CNaVT Tests

CNaVT Test For Higher Studies in Holland

Profile language proficiency higher education (PTHO)

 PTHO is a test for adults above 18 years of age or young people who are above 16 years of age at the end of secondary education in the country of origin.  This test is perfect for those who want to study in Flemish or Dutch college or university. The test assesses proficiency at level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference. 

The PTHO test assesses skills such as listening with writing, reading with writing, speaking and conduct in conjunction with interviews and reading as well.  The content of this test consists of higher education tasks such as making summaries of lectures, formulating positions, making presentations, argumentative letter writing and more. 

Profile academic language proficiency (PAT)

PAT is a test for adults who are 18 years or above. This test is for those who want to work in Holland after their studies.  This exam assesses proficiency at level C1 of the CEFR and has the following format. Students can acquire skills such as listening with writing, reading with writing, reading, speaking and model code of conduct in combination with interviews.  This includes the presentation of tasks in an academic environment and summarising information, letter writing and several other such key administrative tasks.  

Information for the fee and application deadlines for this exam can be obtained here.

Moreover, students can register for this exam in Mach each year at the CNaVT secretariat. For students who are home schooled, registration can occur through a local language institution. Recommended registration fee is €75.

Format: The exam consists of 3 parts. Part A involves the listening ability which is tested and examinees complete tasks which are based on different audio fragments. Part B involves a test of reading and writing proficiency. In Part C, students are tested for oral communication. Parts A and B are tested in a classroom setting while in Part C, examiner and examinee have one on one conversation. 

Institutions Accepting the Test Scores

These exam papers are sent to the Catholic university of Leuven for marking and results are announced in July each year. Candidates who pass the exam are awarded the certificates. Passing rate is different for each kind of exam.  PTHO had pass percentage of 62% in 2012 while PAT had a pass percentage of 39% as per a CNaVT publication. All institutions in Holland accept CNaVT exam scores.  


Those who have passed the PTHO, PAT or other such exams are exempted from language tests of integration exams such as Inburgeringsexamen or Naturalisatietoets for immigration to the Netherlands. This exam has a lot of relevance for those who want to work and study in Holland.
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