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DELE - Spanish Test

Diploma of Spanish as a Foreign Language, or DELE (In Spanish: Diplomas de Espanol como Lengua Extranjera) is an official diploma awarded by the Instituto Cervantes on behalf of the Ministry of Spanish Education to candidates who have cleared the Spanish proficiency examination. DELE examination was formed in 1988 by the Spanish Ministry of Education. The University of Salamanca and the Instituto Cervantes design the examination paper and grades the exams. This examination is conducted in over 900 centers in more than 100 countries.  The DELE examination is internationally accepted in private as well as private higher education institutions, chambers of commerce and corporate world.

The DELE examination is for those candidates who are required to demonstrate their level of proficiency in Spanish language.

The DELE diploma is valid for all time. In several countries educational institutions, Spanish language proficiency certificate is an entry requisite for non-native Spanish speakers.

The DELE exam comprises of 6 levels corresponding to a level determined by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). The levels are-
  • Breakthrough: Diploma in Spanish Level A1
  • Waystage: Diploma in Spanish Level A2
  • Threshold: Diploma in Spanish Level B1
  • Vantage: Diploma in Spanish Level B2
  • Effective operational proficiency: Diploma in Spanish Level C1
  • Mastery: Diploma in Spanish Level C2

Eligibility Conditions

  • Candidates should be a national of a country where the official language is not Spanish.
  • Candidate if resides in a country where Spanish is the medium of instruction, he/she should meet at least 2 of the given prerequisites:
    • The mother tongue of the candidate’s parents should not be Spanish
    • The foremost language learning should not be Spanish
    • The regular communication language of the candidate should not be Spanish
  • Candidate should not have studied Spanish at the school level.

DELE Exam Structure

The DELE exam has six levels equivalent to the levels of CEFR.

Diploma in Spanish Level A1 (In Spanish: Diploma de Espanol A1)

The Diploma holder of this level confirms adequate language knowledge and indicates that the candidate knows and can use linguistic expressions regularly. They are capable enough to provide personal details about themselves, and can interact on a basic level and handle everyday matters.

This level comprises 4 parts, organized in 2 groups:
  • Group 1: Includes reading comprehension, and written interaction and expression parts. This group assesses the writing and reading skills of the candidates.
  • Group 2: Encompasses oral interaction and expression, and listening comprehension. This group assesses the speaking skills of the candidates.

Reading comprehension

The candidates are required to read and understand the given informative text, to find the general meaning of the text, or choose the correct answer to the multiple-choice questions.
Duration: 45 minutes

Written Interaction and Expression

This part requires the candidates to write simple sentences or phrases about themselves or give personal information.
Duration: 25 minutes

Listening Comprehension

This part, has four tasks based on simple statements or general ideas articulated to gauge the listening ability.  Candidates are required to listen to it and select the right answer.
Duration: 20 minutes

Oral Interaction and Expression

This part comprises four tasks. In the first 2 tasks, candidates are required to give basic information about themselves. In the next 2 tasks, candidates are required to interact with the interviewer.  
Duration: 15 minutes

Diploma in Spanish Level A2 (In Spanish: Diploma de Espanol A2)

The level A2 certifies that candidate can understand everyday expressions and phrases related to the areas of experiences that are applicable to them.

This level has four components, organized in two groups:
  • Group 1: Comprises reading comprehension, and written interaction and expression parts. This group assesses the writing and reading skills of the candidates.
  • Group 2: Comprising oral interaction and expression, and listening comprehension, this group assesses the speaking skills of the candidates.

Reading Comprehension

This part has thee tasks. The first task requires the candidates to link texts with simple sentences. The second task is a brief text, and candidates are required to choose the right answer from the three given options. In the third task, candidates are required to find out the words, names or phrases, and get the general meaning of the given text.
Duration: 60 minutes

Written Interaction and Expression

This part has three tasks. The first task is to fill out forms with personal details. The second task is to write a letter related to everyday matter and your personal environment. The third task is to write a narrative or descriptive text based on the data provided.
Duration: 50 minutes

Listening Comprehension

This part has five tasks based on capturing the basic ideas of a simple statement, brief radio bits, or telephone conversations.
Duration: 35 minutes

Oral Interaction and Expression

This part has four tasks. The first two tasks require candidates to give basic information about their experiences of everyday life. In the third task, candidates must take part in a brief conversation, and the fourth task is an informal conversation.
Duration: 15 minutes

Diploma in Spanish Level B1 (In Spanish: Diploma de Espanol- Nivel Inicial B1)

This level confirms the adequate knowledge of language. It indicates that the candidates are able to handle the situations that arise due to language, understand the topics/matter related to study, work or leisure, create simple and logical texts on matters of personal interest or well-known topics, and describe events and experiences in a clear and coherent manner.

This level has four components, organized in two groups:
  • Group 1: Comprises reading comprehension, and written interaction and expression parts. This group assesses the reading and writing skills of the candidates.
  • Group 2: Comprises oral interaction and expression, and listening comprehension. This group assesses the speaking skills of the candidates.

Reading Comprehension

This part has two tasks. Candidates are required to answer multiple-choice questions based on the texts given.
Duration: 70 minutes

Written Expression and Interaction

This part requires the candidates to write a simple and coherent text, such as notice, notes, postcards, etc.
Duration: 60 minutes

Listening Comprehension

This part requires the candidates to answer questions on a recorded information or simple conversation.
Duration: 40 minutes

Oral Interaction and Expression

This part requires the candidates to talk with examiner about a photo or picture and describe it.
Duration: 15 minutes (15 minutes of preparation time is also given)

Diploma of Spanish Level B2 (In Spanish: Diploma de Espanol- Nivel Intermedio - B2)

This level accredits that the candidates can understand and communicate in the language spontaneously and fluently. It indicates that the candidate can produce a simple and coherent text on several topics, and also defend an opinion on general matters or topics.

This level comprises of four parts, organized in two groups:
  • Group 1: Comprises reading comprehension, and written interaction and expression parts. This group assesses the writing and reading of the candidates.
  • Group 2: Comprises oral interaction and expression, and listening comprehension. This group assesses the speaking skills of the candidates.

Part 1: Reading Comprehension

This part comprises of 12 multiple choice questions based on the four texts given.
Duration: 70 minutes

Written Interaction and Expression

This part requires the candidate to write an essay as well as an essay.
Duration: 80 minutes

Listening Comprehension

This part comprises four recordings. Candidates are required to listen to those recordings and answer multiple-choice questions.
Duration: 40 minutes

Oral Interaction and Expression

This part requires the candidates to talk with the examiner on the topic given and express their viewpoint. Also, they are required to describe a picture or event.
 

Diploma in Spanish Level C1 (In Spanish: Diploma de Espanol C1)

This level accredits that the candidate is proficient in communicating in Spanish language. It indicates that candidate can understand the hidden meaning of the text and generate a coherent text on any topic. The DELE C1 has 4 tests:

Use of Language and Reading Comprehension

This part comprises five tasks in which the candidate is required to answer multiple-choice questions based on the text of about 700 words, find specific information in a group of brief texts, complete the text using choices given, and choose paragraph missing from texts.
Duration: 90 minutes

Use of Language and Listening Comprehension

This part comprises four tasks. In this part, candidates are required to complete sentences taken from an oral text of four  minutes using the given choices, identify the purpose of the conversation, understand the key idea that is being said in the discussion or an interview played, and understand the sociolinguistic connotations in 10 short dialogues.
Duration: 50 minutes

Integrated Skills: Listening Comprehension and Written Interaction and Expression

This part comprises two tasks. The first task requires the candidates to write a descriptive or argumentative text 250 longs long based on an academic or professional oral text of four 4minutes. The oral text is played twice. In the second task, candidates are required to write a formal text 250 words long in an epistolary and argumentative style based on an academic document or written press.
Duration: 80 minutes

Integrated Skills: Oral Interaction and Expression and Reading Comprehension

This part comprises three tasks. The first task requires the candidates to orally sum up and present a professional or academic written text of about 800 words in a four minute monologue.  Second, task required candidates to reply to questions and comments from the examiner about the monologue from the first task, and the third task requires the candidate to come to an agreement with the examiner using graphical and instructional material given.
Duration: 20 minutes
Preparation time: 20 minutes

Diploma in Spanish Level C2 (In Spanish: Diploma de Espanol- nivel C2)

This level accredits high proficiency level in Spanish language connoting  the superior stage. The level indicates candidate can handle any situation that requires the use of language, and can communicate fluently with high level of precision.
The DELE C2 has 3 tests:

Use of the language, Listening Comprehension and Reading

This test has three listening comprehension tasks and three reading comprehension tasks.
Duration: 105 minutes

Integrated Skills: Listening and Reading comprehension, and Written Interaction and Expression

This test comprise of three subjective and writing tasks. In the first task, candidates are required to produce a text of about 450-500 words based on information obtained from the oral text of 5 minutes and written text of 1000 words. In the second task, candidates are required to modify the text, i.e. add punctuation and correct errors. In the third task, candidates are required to write a text of about 200 words prompted by a graphical material or given image.
Duration: 150 minutes

Integrated Skills: Reading Comprehension, and Oral Interaction and Expression

This test comprises three tasks. In the first task, candidates are required to produce a monologue of about 6 to 8 minutes based on 800 words text and graphs and images of a particular topic. In the second task, candidates are required to maintain a formal dialogue with an interviewer and discuss the information presented in the first task. In the third task, candidates are required to have an informal conversation on a topic that is based on news headlines.
Duration: 20 minutes
Preparation time: 30 minutes

Registration

Candidates must register for the DELE examination at the registered centers. Collect the registration form, fill it completely and submit it along with the following documents to the examination center:
  • Signed declaration of the fulfilled two eligibility conditions
  • Photocopy of a valid identity card
  • Payment receipt

Examination Centers

To know the DELE examination center, click here

Dates and Deadlines

DELE exams are held in April, May, July, October and November. To know the exact dates and deadlines of the DELE examination, click here

Fees

The examination fees vary depending on the country in which you undertake your exam and the level. To know the exact fees, click here

Scoring and Results

The results are available within 3 months of the exam.  The DELE results are published by the Instituto Cervantes on their official website, after getting the confirmation of grades/scores by the University of Salamanca.

All the tests and parts must be passed in order to clear the entire examination.

The maximum possible score in DELE exam is 100 points and in order to obtain the diploma, candidates are required to score a minimum of 60 points.

In order to get a “pass” grade a score of at least 30 is compulsory to attain in each group of tests.

For Diploma in Spanish Level C2, a score of 20 points is required for each of the three tests.

The final grade is either Pass or Fail.

Certificate awarded: Candidates who obtain an overall “Pass” grade are issued a diploma certificate by the Instituto Cervantes through their exam centre. The exam centre sends the diploma certificate to the candidates.

Test Day Essentials

  • Original and photocopy of a valid identity card: Name, date and place of birth, and nationality must be mentioned on it.
  • Stamped registration form
  • An official notice sent by the selected examination centre
To know more about the DELE exam, visit the official website of the Instituto Cervantes
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