Examinations for K-12 Education in the Netherlands

There are 3 major kinds of exams in the Netherlands. These occur at the end of primary, as well as lower and upper secondary school. Following completion of primary school, students at age 12 may take up the Cito Examination and the National plus School Examination which served as a path to secondary education. 

Test Format and Pattern for K-12 Exams

The Cito Exam is scored on  scale of 500 to 550 and the scores of 536 or below indicate a student should go in for vocational secondary education. Scores of 545 or above lead to admission to academic secondary school. Students between these scores can opt for general secondary school. Overall academic performance in primary school as well as goals and interests determine success in secondary school as well. Students who complete the HAVO or general secondary and VWO of Academic secondary courses must complete the school examination and national exams towards the end of their studies. The school examination is usually in form of a student portfolio where students present their work to evaluators. Schools also determine the nature of the exam requirement as well as results for influencing admission to higher education. 

Students who opt for vocational secondary education follow an additional path towards the end of the first two years of the course. Written as well as task based exams can be taken up. Students can end their education with basic qualification or continue on the path of upper secondary vocational education. All secondary vocational schemes have national examinations.

The national examination comprises tests with open or multiple choice question as well as a practical component in certain cases. For certain subjects, there is only a school exam. 

Application Deadlines for the Dutch K-12 Exams

The national examinations can be written during three sessions in the school year namely May, June and August. All the examinees appear in May for exams. The June and August sessions are for those who could not earlier pass or appear for the exam. The national exams are the responsibility of the Dutch Ministry of Education and they are  monitored and created by Cito or Dutch national Institute for Educational Measurement. These exams are marked by the own teachers of pupils and checked by teachers from the other schools. Three national examinations as well as school examinations are therefore prevalent in the Dutch secondary school system. The examinations are for pupils of the following ages. For the students who are aged 16, there is a pre-vocational secondary education or VMBO with three sub levels. At age 17, senior general secondary education or HAVO, the national exams are also conducted. Finally for VWO or pre university education students aged 18, the exams are conducted for entrance into colleges and higher education as well.

Fee and List of Institutions For Dutch K-12 Exams

The fee for these exams is charged as per the mandated value from the Ministry of Science, Education and Culture in Holland (Website: https://www.government.nl/ministries/ministry-of-education-culture-and-science). The examination fees is included in school fees in most cases. All educational institutions which are recognized by the Dutch Education Ministry accept the scores of these examinations.
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