How to obtain a DELE Spanish Diploma
The Diplomas in Spanish as a Foreign Language (DELE) certify a person’s level of competence in the Spanish language. They are official qualifications recognised by the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training of Spain.
Obtaining a DELE Spanish Diploma will open doors to many study and employment opportunities that require knowledge of Spanish.
So, what exactly are they? How do you prepare for the exam and where does it take place?
Why do I need a DELE Spanish Diploma?
The DELE Spanish Diplomas (Diplomas de Español como Lengua Extranjera) are certificates of linguistic competence.
They’re aimed at non-native Spanish speakers who wish to go to a Spanish-speaking country to study at a university, do an internship, or work.
They not only open doors in Spain, but also in other Spanish-speaking countries, both in America and Africa.
They are the only Spanish language diplomas recognised by the many Spanish-speaking countries and institutions, including the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training of Spain.
Which DELE exam should I take?
In line with the European system, there are 6 competency levels, from A1 to C2. Levels are classified as follows:
- A: Elementary level: students are able to understand and use common expressions, introduce themselves, and ask and answer simple questions.
- B: Intermediate level: students can understand texts on concrete, abstract and technical topics and can express themselves easily and clearly on general issues and issues related to their own experiences or opinions.
- C: Advanced level: students can understand long and demanding texts, can understand nuances of language and can express themselves fluently and spontaneously on complex topics.
Each level is divided into two sublevels: 1 lower level / 2 higher level.
Choose the level that’s right for you and your current Spanish level.
What are the exams like?
Each exam has a written part and an oral part taken in front of an examiner.
The exam duration and its degree of difficulty depend, of course, on the level. For example, for the A1 exam, the written part lasts 95 minutes, while for the B2 exam, it lasts 190 minutes.
The DELE exams test your reading, writing and speaking skills.
The B2 exam, for example, consists of 4 parts:
- Reading comprehension (70 minutes): the candidate answers several multiple-choice questions based on 4 texts.
- Written expression (80 minutes): the candidate must complete a written interaction task (for example a personal letter or email) and a composition (between 150 and 180 words each).
- Listening comprehension (40 minutes): the candidate answers several multiple-choice questions based on oral texts (opinions, news articles, conversations or interviews).
- Oral expression (20 minutes): following a 20-minute preparation period, the candidate presents the topics to the examiner and has an informal conversation with them.
How to prepare
We recommend that you give yourself plenty of time to prepare for the DELE and that you make a study plan.
Even if your language level is good, you can fail if you aren’t familiar with the exam format and if you’ve never practised under exam conditions. That is, with no extra help and with a time limit.
That’s why it’s advisable to give yourself 3 to 6 months, depending on how much time you have during the week and the level of certification that you want, to prepare for the exam.
However, the best way to practise the language is to immerse yourself in it by reading (newspapers, magazines, web pages, novels), listening (films, series, radio, etc.) and practising conversation (it’s usually easy to find natives to practise with on the internet).
If you don’t have any Spanish friends, join classes or conversation groups, go to places that Spanish speakers go to, or find a Spanish student to do a language exchange with.
The most important thing is to just get started and not be afraid to make mistakes (and to be corrected!).
Where can I take the DELE exam?
The DELE exams are organised by the Spanish Instituto Cervantes. However, it’s possible to take the exams in many other countries (check which is the closest exam centre to you). Each year, between February and November, there are various opportunities to take the exam.
Keep in mind that you need to sign up two or three months in advance, and registration works on a first-come, first-served basis. Therefore, you should check the calendar regularly.
Exam results can be viewed and downloaded from the internet about 3 months after the exam. Each candidate receives a user and password to be able to access the Instituto Cervantes’ information service.
Keep in mind that taking an exam can cost you between 88 euros (A1) and 160 euros (C2).
We’ve got semi-intensive and intensive courses to help you prepare. The DELE pass rate among our students is 95%!
You have the opportunity to certify your Spanish level and discover a world of study and work possibilities. Take advantage of it and contact us today!