In About the Spanish Language

Learning a second language is hard work. And what better way to celebrate all that hard work, than to have tangible proof of your achievement! Whether for your own satisfaction or to beef up your resume, you may want to consider getting your Dimploma in Spanish as a Foreign Language by taking the DELE exam.

What is the DELE?

The DELE (Los Diplomas de Español como Lengua Extranjera) is the internationally recognized exam certifying your Spanish competency level. Additional institutions and examinations exist, though in Spain and around most of the world, the DELE is the most recognized*.  The test is administered by Instituto Cervantes which also collaborates with the renowned University of Salamanca in Spain for designing and grading the exams.

*Other less well known tests include the CELU (Certificado de Español: Lengua y Uso) recognized in Argentina, China, and Brazil.

Where can I take the test?

DELE testing centers can be found around the world (specifically in 850 centers throughout more than 100 countries).  In the U.S. the test can be taken in 21 different cities including San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York, as well as 13 different cities in the United Kingdom.

What is the test format?

There is a single test for each of the six levels (A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2) as specified by the Common European Framework of Reference for Foreign Languages (CERF). Rather than one test that determines your level, you must choose the level at which you believe you can pass the test.  If you fail, you are not awarded a diploma for a lower level.

The format includes sections on reading comprehension, listening, writing, and an oral portion.  Sample tests are available on Instituto Cervantes website.

When is the test given?

The DELE is offered in April, May, July, October, and November (a welcomed increase from the prior 2 times per year schedule).  However, keep in mind that not all levels are available for testing on all dates.  Be sure to check the schedule for the exams offered.  Generally the testing dates in July and October don’t offer A1 or A2 level testing. Also, don’t forget about the registration deadlines which close typically a month before the test is administered.

How much does it cost?

Fees can vary depending on the level and the country where the test will be taken.  On average, they range between $80 and $180, with the price increasing at the higher testing levels.  A list of pricing by country and level is available here.

How do I sign up?

You must first choose your examination center.  Registration is carried out through each center.  Generally you will need to fill out a registration form, provide a copy of your photo id, payment, and an attestation that you are not a native speaker or born in a Spanish speaking country.

So set a date thereby increasing your motivation to study, and then study hard to pass your DELE exam to become a certified Spanish speaker!

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