The DELE ® is the ultimate official Spanish certification for everyone. It certifies your linguistic skill level and mastery of Cervantes’ language. The examinee doesn’t have to be a native Spanish-speaker to pass the test.
This Spanish exam, recognized internationally, can open the door to Spanish-speaking countries and allow examinees to progress further.
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7 key information to remember
The DELE (Diploma de Español como Lengua Extranjera or Spanish Diploma as a Foreign Language) is a Spanish diploma which is very well-recognized worldwide. It assesses candidates' skills in Spanish, both written and spoken, and is specially dedicated to non-Spanish speakers. DELE is divided into 6 levels corresponding to the CEFR scale. Therefore, it makes it possible to attest to a certain level of linguistic skills.
Every year, in close collaboration with the University of Salamanca, the Cervantes Institute organizes and administers the DELE exams. The Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports then awards the diplomas to the awardees. DELE is officially recognized by the French Ministry of Education. This diploma is intended for any individual for whom Spanish is not the mother tongue, but wishing to attest their skills to later evolve in a Spanish-speaking environment.
DELE is divided into 6 skill levels
DELE is made up of 6 levels (from A1 to C2) which are passed separately. Each of the 6 DELE forms is different from the others and gives the right to a diploma attesting a certain level of competence in Spanish.
DELE exams vary according to the level which is being assessed, but in the 6 DELE version, we find the same structure and the same course:
The duration of the test increases as the level rises. The higher the level assessed, the longer the test lasts. The C2 DELE test is therefore the longest of all, while the DELE A1 test is the shortest
The content of the DELE tests according to the levels
Regardless of the level which is assessed, DELE is always scored on 100 points. To pass the exam, you must obtain at least 60 points but also obtain the minimum score required for each of the test groups
A minimum score for DELE for each section
There isn’t actually a good DELE score, the goal is to certify a Spanish level which is chosen in advance. To validate a level, you must obtain 60% of correct answers on all the tests. But careful: you must also obtain a minimum score for each section. The aim is to verify that the level of the candidate is consistent. These minimum scores vary slightly, depending on the level of the exam.
Example of the minimum score required per test for the DELE level A1 to B2:
|DELE A1 to B2||Maximum score||Minimum score required|
|Written comprehension||25 points||30 points|
|Written expression||25 points|
|Oral comprehension||25 points||30 points|
|Oral expression||25 points|
If the candidate passes the level for which he has registered, he receives the mention "apto" “apt”. His mastery of the language shall then be officially recognized and he will be able to mention so on his CV.
On the other hand, if the candidate does not pass the level for which he has been registered, he receives the mention "no apto" (not apt). Depending on the score which has been obtained, the candidate will then have to choose to pass the lower level or to train more to retake the level for which he failed.
How long does it take to obtain results ?
DELE results are available and published online approximately two months after taking the exam. The scores can be viewed on the Instituto Cervantes website
If successful, the official diploma can then be obtained at the examination center where the test was taken ( only the establishments authorized to issue the diplomas), or sent by post. The detail of the score is not specified on the diploma. It is only indicated that the candidate has the required level in Spanish, while mentioning the official level of the CEFR.
How to obtain a good score on the DELE ?
To maximize your chances of succeeding at the DELE and getting the best possible score, the key is the preparation phase. Ideally, a preparation of 2 to 3 months before the test is recommended. It is important to plan your revisions properly and to use all the resources at your disposal to progress. Revision sheets, standard exercises online or via books, watching films and series in Spanish, mock exams ... It is as important to improve your linguistic skills to get familiarized with the instructions and structure of DELE. Through this, the mock exams and standard exercises are key, since they will allow you to gain speed and fluidity.
To register for the DELE, it is necessary to go to one of the examination centers who are authorized to organize sessions. There are several examination centers all around the globe. You can find these centers in major cities like Paris, New York, Los Angeles. You can also choose to register online via the Instituto Cervantes website. Your invitation will then be sent to you by email.
Generally speaking, all language exams have special features (instructions, structure, time limit, etc.) and therefore require careful preparation in advance. Your Spanish level will of course be an important criterion for your success, but if you don’t have good knowledge on the instructions for each test, you risk losing a lot of time on D-Day.
All this to say that it is important not to rest on one's laurels. Even if you have a good level of Spanish, the DELE exams formats are peculiar and the exercises are timed. It is therefore essential to train several weeks in advance to comply with the instructions, so that one doesn’t discover elements on the day of the exam and risk failure. It would be a pity not planning a preparation phase before taking the DELE, given that the instructions are known and you can easily get familiarized with them, due to several resources
Our GlobalExam platform offers training for each language level with its DELE preparation formula
GlobalExam also gives you details of the corrections and the monitoring of your progress in the “Statistics and corrections” section. You can follow your progress and identify any lacks you may have, to move faster. According to us, these elements favor proper training.
At GlobalExam, the first 100% e-learning platform dedicated to language exams, we also provide candidates with various revision sheets to improve their grammar and vocabulary. These sheets are also invaluable tools to familiarize oneself with the test and know the various levels in detail..
With these sheets, you can learn or review key grammatical and lexical concepts, while learning to master the logic of the test. You will be well prepared and know what to expect on the day you pass the DELE.
Last but not least, you can also find many publications on the course of the DELE test on our blog, not to mention practical information on the registration procedures, the cost of the test, tips for finding an examination center or understanding how the score is calculated.