Request a subject exemption in secondary education

Are following a course in VMBO, HAVO or VWO education? Then in some cases you can apply for an exemption for 1 or more subjects. This means that you do not have to attend classes nor sit an exam for these subjects.

Last updated on 11 October 2022

Lees deze informatie in het Nederlands

Conditions for subject exemptions in secondary education

You can get exemption for some subjects if you meet certain conditions. For example, if you are unable to participate in gym classes due to a physical disability. Or if you already have sufficient knowledge and skills from education attained elsewhere. The school decides whether you will be granted the exemption.

No exams

If you receive an exemption for a subject, you do not have to take the exam for that subject. Sometimes, however, you will have to take another subject in its place and sit the exam for that subject.

Applying for an exemption for a subject in secondary education

You can apply for an exemption for 1 or more subjects at your school.

Secondary education in the Netherlands consists of:

  • voorbereidend middelbaar beroepsonderwijs – VMBO (pre-vocational secondary education)
  • hoger algemeen voortgezet onderwijs – HAVO (higher general secondary education)
  • voorbereidend wetenschappelijk onderwijs – VWO (pre-academic education)

Laws and regulations (in Dutch)

Wet voortgezet onderwijs 2020, artikelen 2.18, 2.33, 2.37 en 2.53

Uitvoeringsbesluit WVO 2020, artikelen 2.3, 2.4, 2.9, 2.33 en 3.8

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