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Diplomas of Spanish as a Foreign Language

DELE- Diplomas of Spanish as a Foreign Language (In Spanish:  Diplomas de Espanol como Lengua Extranjera), is an official qualification confirming the level of proficiency of Spanish and is issued by the Spanish Instituto Cervantes on behalf of the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport of Spain.

DELE is internationally acknowledged and accepted among public and private universities and agencies and also in the corporate world and chambers of commerce. The diplomas issued are valid for all time. Examinations are conducted in April, May, July, October and November. The DELE exam has six levels, each corresponding to a certain level defined by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. The levels are-
  • Diploma in Spanish Level A1
  • Diploma in Spanish Level A2
  • Diploma in Spanish Level B1
  • Diploma in Spanish Level B2
  • Diploma in Spanish Level C1
  • Diploma in Spanish Level C2
A DELE exam level B2 certificate is used for admittance to universities in Spain. For medical training, a DELF C1 or C2 certificate is required.  
The University of Salamanca in partnership with Instituto Cervantes design the test papers and grades the exams thereby awarding Spanish Diplomas.

Eligibility Criteria

Following candidates are eligible to apply for the DELE exam-

The Candidate must be a citizen of a country in which Spanish is not an official language

Citizens of Spanish-speaking countries resident in countries where Spanish is not an official language are eligible for DELE exam if they satisfy at least 2 of the following conditions:
  • Spanish is not the mother tongue of one of the candidate's parents.
  • Spanish was not the first language learned.
  • Spanish is not the candidate's regular/everyday language of communication.
  • The candidate has not studied all or portion of their primary or secondary education in Spanish.
The candidates must give in writing that they satisfy at least 2 of the above mentioned conditions. They should submit the declaration along with the necessary documents. Click here to get the declaration form. 

Format of DELE Examinations

DELE exam comprises of six level each corresponding to a certain level defined by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

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

This level exam confirms that the candidates are capable enough to use the elementary Spanish language in communication settings that involves day-to-day situations/matters. 
The Level A1 exam comprises of 2 sections-
  • Section 1: Reading and Writing
  • Section 2: Speaking

Section 1- Reading and Writing

In this section, candidate reading and writing skills are assessed. It involves 2 tasks-

Reading Comprehension: In this a text is given and candidates are required to read and understand the text and answer questions based on it.
  • Duration: 45 minutes
Written Expression and Interaction: Candidates are required to write on the topic given. The vocabulary and writing skills are tested.
  • Duration: 25 minutes

Section 2: Speaking

In this section the speaking skills of the candidates are checked. It comprise of 2 parts-

Listening Comprehension: It tests the candidate ability to comprehend the meaning of words/sentences they hear.
  • Duration: 20 minutes
Oral Expression and Interaction: This part requires candidates to express themselves or their point of view on the topic given clearly and completely. It tests the candidate’s ability to express their ideas while speaking so that others understand the message. 
  • Duration: 15 minutes

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

This level exam confirms the candidates’ ability to comprehend the daily commonly used phrases or terms related to the basic information about themselves, their interest, profession, and so on.
This level comprises of 2 parts-
  • Part 1: Reading and Writing
  • Part 2: Speaking

Part 1: Reading and Writing

This part tests the candidate’s reading and writing skills and abilities. This involves two tasks- 

Reading comprehension: In this a passage is given and based on the understanding of it you are required to answer the questions.
  • Duration: 60 minutes
Written Expression and Interaction: In this candidate are required to express their opinions in writing clearly, completely and concretely.
  • Duration: 50 minutes

Part 2: Speaking

This part tests the speaking skills of the candidates by two tasks-

Listening Comprehension that lasts for 35 minutes and Oral expression and interaction that lasts for 15 minutes

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

This level confirms that the candidate is capable to use and understand the language, deal with different situations in which Spanish is used, and produce text or describe incidents/events in a simple and coherent manner.
This level comprises of 4 parts-

Reading Comprehension test whose total duration is 70 minutes. Tests the reading skills and abilities of the candidates.

Written expression and Interaction test whose total duration is 60 minutes. Tests the writing skills of the candidates.

Listening Comprehension test- This test is about 40 minutes and tests the listening skills and understanding power of the candidates. An audio is played and based on that candidates are required to perform the task.

Oral Expression and Interaction- This test is of 15 minutes wherein the candidates are required to express their thoughts and ideas using appropriate semantics and syntax. Besides, 15 minutes are given to prepare for this part. 

Diploma in Spanish Level B2 (In Spanish: Diploma de Espanol- nivel B2)

This level confirms the candidate’s language ability to understand the essence of the text presented, communicate with fluency and spontaneity, and create a readable and complete text on various issues/topics along with stating their point of views with appropriate reasoning.
This test is split into 2 groups, and there are two sections in each part-

In the first group, candidates are required to finish a reading comprehension test that is of 70 minutes and a written expression and interaction test that is about 80 minutes.

In the second group, candidates are required to complete a listening comprehension test and an oral expression and interaction test. The duration of the listening comprehension tests is 40 minutes while the oral expression and interaction test is 20 minutes. Besides, a preparation time of 20 minutes is also given for the oral expression tests. 

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

This level confirms that the candidate is able to communicate fluently and spontaneously in Spanish language, understands the hidden meaning of text given, use it in all spheres- social, academic and professional, and produce a clear and organized text on any topic/issue.
This level comprises of 2 groups that encompasses 2 tests each-

In the first group, candidates are required to finish a reading comprehension and use of language test that is of 90 minutes and a listening comprehension and written expression and interaction test that is about 80 minutes.

In the second group, candidates are required to complete a listening comprehension and use of language test and a reading comprehension with an oral expression and interaction test. The duration of the listening comprehension tests is 50 minutes while the reading comprehension and oral expression and interaction test is 20 minutes. Besides, a preparation time of 20 minutes is also given for the oral expression tests. 

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

This is the highest and advanced level that confirms the level of proficiency. This level confirms that the candidate is able and proficient in the language. 
This level comprises of 3 tests-

Test 1: Use of language, reading and listening comprehension- This test is of 105 minutes
Test 2: Listening and reading comprehension, and written expression and interaction- This test is of 105 minutes
Test 3: Reading comprehension and oral expression and interaction- This test is of 20 minutes and 30 minutes for preparation are given. 

DELE Levels-At a Glance

 DELE Diploma in SpanishFramework of Reference Level 
 Diploma in Spanish Level A1 A1 Breakthrough
  Diploma in Spanish Level A2 A2 Waystage
  Diploma in Spanish Level B1 B1 Threshold
  Diploma in Spanish Level B2 B2 Vantage
  Diploma in Spanish Level C1 C1 Effective Operational Proficiency
  Diploma in Spanish Level C2 C2 Mastery

Examination Centres

The DELE examinations are carried out at over 900 centres in 100 countries. To know about the examination centres, click here 

Registration

To register for DELE tests, fill out a registration form that can be taken from the examination centre or click here to get it. Submit the form along with the signed declaration of the satisfied two eligibility conditions, payment receipt and photocopy of ID to the DELE examination centre

Fees

Registration fees for DELE vary depending upon the level of the test and examination country. To know about the registration fee, contact the DELE examination centre of the country where you would sit for the test. Required Documentation

Scoring and Results

The results are published 3 months after the test by the Instituto Cervantes on their website, upon the approval of grades by the University of Salamanca. 
All the groups and their sub-parts/sections must be cleared in order to pass the entire exam. 

The maximum possible score is 100 points and you’re required to get at least 60 points to receive a diploma. 
In order to get a “pass” grade at least a score of 30 is mandatory to achieve each group of tests.

For Diploma in Spanish Level C2 (In Spanish: Diploma de Espanol- nivel C2), a score of 20 points is needed for each of the 3 test.

The final grade is either Pass or Fail. Candidates who have received an overall “Pass” grade are issued a diploma by the Instituto Cervantes through their examination centre. The examination centre sends the diploma to the candidates. The results are valid for all time.

Test Day Essentials

The candidates are required to get the following items while appearing for the exam-
  • A stamped copy of the registration form
  • Valid Passport or ID submitted in the registration procedure
  • An Official notice that has been sent by the examination centre chosen by you
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