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English language proficiency

General information

All applicants are required to submit a valid English test score which is not older than 2 years on the starting date of the programme. You need to have taken the test before the application deadline and include your score in the application form. We will start your selection procedure only if the English test score is included in your online application. Students are strongly encouraged to make early preparations for the test. Please refer to the contact details of test centres. If you're close to the deadline, please check the different tests and look for the first test date available. In case of insufficient scores applicants can do a resit as long as application deadlines are respected. 


In these cases applicants are exempted from the English test requirement:

  • you have obtained you diploma/degree in one of the following countries: The Netherlands, Australia, Canada (with the exception of Quebec), Ireland, Malta, New Zealand, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States of America.
  • you have an English proficiency test older than 2 years and you have obtained a degree from an English-taught University and your programme was completely in English
  • you have an English proficiency test older than 2 years and you have attended an exchange programme of at least six months in an English-speaking country. 

These applicants need to submit the old test score report and need to submit a proof of the language of instruction. If the language of instruction is not mentioned on the transcript or diploma, the student will need to submit a letter from their higher education institute, stating that the curriculum is completely taught in English. Applicants should upload this letter in the translation of transcript section.

International Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

There are two different types of TOEFL tests: the international test and the institutional test. Economics and Business only accepts international TOEFL test scores.

Minimum scores

  • Internet-based test: minimum total score 92, with a minimum of 22 on each separate test band.
  • Computer-based test: minimum total score 237
  • Paper-based test: minimum total score 580

TOEFL registration and reporting number

When asked for a reporting number, do not use any other number than 9011! Otherwise your test score will get lost as the University of Amsterdam is rather decentralised.

Preparing for the test
When you register for a TOEFL test, you will receive preparation materials. Samples and tutorials can also be downloaded from the TOEFL website. 

International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

IELTS is available in two formats: Academic and General Training. Economics and Business only accepts Academic test scores.

A minimum of 6.5 with a 6.0 on each component (listening, reading, writing, speaking).

Preparing for the test
Detailed information on the test is offered at the IELTS website. Samples and tutorials can also be ordered from the IELTS website.

For more information about IELTS application, test centres or costs, please visit the IELTS website. 

Cambridge English

  • Certificate in Advanced English:  170 Points Overall and in each skill
  • Certificate of Proficiency in English: 170 Points Overall and in each skill

Preparing for the test
On the website of the University of Cambridge you can find a list of publishers offering an extensive range of course books, practice tests and learning resources to help prepare candidates for Cambridge exams.

For more information about Cambridge application, test centers or costs, please visit the Cambridge English website.