Spanish 2023 DELE Exam Guide

Want to know your current Spanish ability? Take the 2023 DELE exam, the most famous Spanish test.

Do you want to know how well you speak Spanish? If so, get an accurate level by taking the 2023 DELE test, the most famous Spanish language proficiency exam worldwide.

Recently, there has been a surge in demand for Spanish language learners. So naturally, this has increased the popularity of DELE.

Using this Spanish test, you can measure your knowledge and identify your level. As you progress, you learn and improve.

This post will provide you with all information you need about DELE. It includes benefits, test centers, dates, eligibility, levels, fee, test structure, scoring system, how to prepare, and much more.

Let’s get started!


What is the DELE Test?

DELE is an acronym for Diplomas de Español como Lengua Extranjera. In English, it refers to “Diploma of Spanish as a Foreign Language”.

This standard exam measures the European Spanish ability of non-native candidates. By passing the test, you’ll receive an official diploma that certifies your degree of competence in the language.

DELE ensures that you have reached a certain level of Spanish skill.

Who conducts the exam?

To promote the study and teaching of the Spanish language and culture, the government of Spain started DELE in 1991. Since then, there has been an outstanding turnaround.

DELE examination

Instituto Cervantes, an international non-profit organization, conducts the DELE Spanish diploma tests. It also awards the certification.

They operate on behalf of the Ministry of Education, Culture, and Sports of the government of Spain.

The University of Salamanca in Spain designed DELE. They are also responsible for correcting exams and evaluating them in the end.

Recognition & Acceptance

The DELE exam is the most reputed, extensively used, and famous Spanish proficiency test globally. It is an official diploma certifying the student’s mastery and competence in Spanish.

The Spanish government institutions award and officially recognize different variants of DELE. Over the last 3 decades, it has become the world’s most famous Spanish language ability test for non-natives.

As an outcome, nearly all government agencies, businesses, and educational institutions accept and trust the DELE certification.

DELE exam

Importance and Benefits of taking DELE

There are many advantages of the DELE examinations. Let’s explore this in detail.

If you have been learning Spanish for a while, you may wonder which level you might be at now. Knowing your ability, even a rough idea, can help you pinpoint your weakness.

You can then focus on your shortcomings, study, and improve for the next Spanish language test. It boosts your self-confidence and makes you feel accomplished and proud. It also motivates you to continue learning Spanish.

DELE is linked with CEFR language guideline levels, A1 to C2, making it easier to interpret. Also, Spanish Diplomas are officially recognized and prestigious globally. So, widely accepted by almost all businesses and organizations.

It helps prove your Spanish language fluency. Thus, your résumé will look great with the certificate and enhance your employment prospects.

Do you want to study, work, or settle abroad in Spanish-speaking countries?

While DELE isn’t required in all cases, it can still be highly beneficial.

You can get extra points or increase your chances of getting a study visa or work permit. For example, university admission, getting a job involving Spanish or moving to Hispanic places like Spain. And since it never expires, once pass, use it forever!

The DELE test is worth your time and hard work since it has many incentives. Honestly, there isn’t a single reason you shouldn’t take it. It has only pros and no cons!

In short, yes, go for it; it’s incredible!

Everything About Spanish DELE

There are many Spanish exams. Yet, of all the options, DELE is the most sought-after test for non-native Spanish across the globe.

Let’s find out everything about it!

Spanish DELE test

What are the DELE levels?

DELE follows the guidelines of CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages). So, it has six levels, from A1 to C2.

  • Level A1 – Breakthrough or Beginner
  • Level A2 – Waystage or Elementary
  • Level B1 – Threshold or Lower Intermediate
  • Level B2 – Vantage or Upper-Intermediate
  • Level C1 – Effective Operational Proficiency or Advanced
  • Level C2 – Mastery or Near-Native
DELE levels

What are the syllabus and outline?

  • Levels A1 and A2: This test covers basic and lets you show communication skills on day-to-day issues. The personal, family, study, work, shopping, beginner-level talks, and reading. Also, other straightforward general activities are part of these 2 levels.
  • Levels B1 and B2: These are a tad more complex. It checks your writing ability on moderate or intermediate subjects. You will understand texts and navigate situations in various real-life scenarios. It also measures a person’s skill in expressing opinions on diverse topics.
  • Levels C1 and C2: The test certifies the candidate is competent in the language and has advanced skills. The tests assess your capability to understand complex texts and communicate fluently. You can also read and write about complex topics in various fields.

Can I take any level?

The answer is yes. For higher-level exams, you don’t need a lower-level diploma.

For instance, if you feel ready for B1, you can take this test directly. You do not need to have appeared or passed A1 or A2 before.

Types of DELE exam

There are two kinds of DELE (Diplomas de Español como Lengua Extranjera). Here are:

(i) DELE for all

This is the standard DELE test developed for all types of learners, irrespective of level, purpose, and age. But candidates need to have a minimum age of 16.

There are six levels, from A1 to C2.

(ii) DELE for young learners

For schoolchildren, there are also DELE examinations for young learners. Children between the ages of 11 and 17 are eligible to take the test.

As far as levels are concerned, there are only two, namely A1 and A2/B1.

Test structure

You can apply for different DELE levels corresponding to the CEFRL: A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, and C2.

You should know the exam structure for each level before sitting for the exam. Let’s find out!

DELE test structure

This test requires what skills?

The DELE exam comprises four essential sections, and the number of tasks, duration, and difficulty level varies. The four mandatory skill sets are:

  1. Reading comprehension
  2. Listening comprehension
  3. Oral expression and interaction
  4. Written expression and interaction

Breakdown of each level and duration

The section will show the breakdown of every level’s tasks, the number of questions, and times.

Level 1 (A1) — (i) Reading comprehension (45 mins, 4 tasks). (ii) Written expression & interaction (25 mins, 2 tasks). (iii) Listening comprehension (20 minutes, 4 tasks). (iv) Oral expression and interaction (15 minutes).

Level 2 (A2) — (i) Reading comprehension (60 mins, 5 tasks). (ii) Written expression & interaction (50 mins, 2 tasks). (iii) Listening comprehension (35 mins, 5 tasks). (iv) Oral expression and interaction (15 minutes).

Level 3 (B1) — (i) Reading comprehension (70 mins, 5 tasks). (ii) Written expression & interaction (60 mins, 2 tasks). (iii) Listening comprehension (40 mins, 5 tasks). (iv) Oral expression and interaction (15 mins + 15 mins for preparation).

Level 4 (B2) — (i) Reading comprehension (70 mins, 4 tasks). (ii) Written expression & interaction (80 mins, 2 tasks). (iii) Listening comprehension (40 mins, 5 tasks) (iv) Oral expression and interaction (20 minutes + 20 minutes for preparation).

Level 5 (C1) — (i) Reading comprehension (90 mins, 5 tasks). (ii) Listening comprehension (50 mins, 5 tasks). (iii) Listening comprehension, written expression & interaction (80 mins, 2 tasks). (iv) Reading comprehension, oral expression & interaction (20 minutes + 20 minutes for preparation).

Level 6 (C2) — (i) Use of language, listening, and reading comprehension (105 mins, 6 tasks). (ii) Listening and reading comprehension, written expression, and interaction (150 mins, 3 tasks). (iii) Oral expression, Reading comprehension & interaction (20 mins + 30 mins for preparation).

Syllabus & Curriculum

It is pretty vast, and it requires extensive study. But do not worry. You can crack and achieve a higher level with a proper study plan and guidance.

You can check the entire curriculum level-wise on the official site. Here is the link to the whole syllabus.

DELE test centers

The scoring system & passing mark

It is mandatory to get a “passing” grade on each test during the same exam session.

Group 1 comprises (reading and writing) and group 2 (listening and speaking). Each section has 25 marks each and 50 for a group. So, there is a maximum score of 100 points.

It is necessary to score at least 30 in each group of 50 marks to receive an overall “passing” grade. This is for A1, A2, B1, B2, and C1.

C2 has 3 parts. Thus, 60% on each test. A minimum score of 20 is necessary for every three tests.

There is either a PASS or a FAIL grade at the end.

When do you get your results and certificate?

You usually receive the DELE scores and results 2-3 months from the day of the test. So, for example, let’s say you took the test in the 1st week of July so that you will get it in September or October.

You can access your results online by entering your birthdate and inscription code. You will also get an email confirming the same.

All examinees in each level receive a score report. Also, they sent the diploma to the address you mentioned at registration, which may take 6 months or more.

Validity of the DELE

Unlike SIELE, which has a validity of five years, the DELE certification never expires. Once you pass, you can use it for a lifetime with no restrictions.

This is an advantage if you want to learn Spanish to advance your career or long-term goal. So, you don’t need to retake to prove your language competency.

While the DELE diploma is valid for life, some companies or universities may have their own set of rules.

For instance, some ask for recent ones, like in the last 2-5 years, to be officially counted. Here, you may need to give the test again.

But the good news is that most consider DELE scores and credentials no matter when you pass the test.

DELE Test Dates

They conduct DELE exams throughout the year at several centers, and the dates are the same at every test center.

Every exam date does not include all levels. Also, many centers only offer tests a few times a year, not all the time.

One month before the exam date is the expected last date for signing up for the exam.

Test DatesLevels offeredRegistration Deadlines
February 17Adults: A2January 11, 2023
April 14Adults: A1, A2, B1, B2, C1February 15, 2023
May 12Young learners: A1, A2/B1March 15, 2023
May 13Adults: A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2March 15, 2023
July 7Adults: A2, B1, B2, C1May 10, 2023
September 8Adults: A2July 12, 2023
October 13Adults: A2, B1, B2September 6, 2023
November 17Young learners: A1, A2/B1October 11, 2023
November 18Adults: A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2October 11, 2023

DELE Test Dates 2023 in India

In India, except in February and September, the exam and registration dates are the same.

DELE Test centers around the world

As of January 2023, Instituto Cervantes and its partner network conduct the DELE exam in over 1000 testing centers in more than 100 countries.

Besides Instituto Cervantes, hundreds of universities, embassies, academies, and learning centers work as official DELE exam centers.

DELE Test centers in India

Cervantes organizes the DELE exam independently or in cooperation with other institutions.

They conduct the tests in five Indian cities – Chennai, Jaipur, Mumbai, New Delhi, and Kolkata.

DELE exam in India

DELE examination Fee

DELE exam prices vary depending on the diploma level and country you choose to register and take the DELE exam.

The applicants can check the cost of the selected diploma at the DELE test center in the nation where they expect to take the exam.

For example, the price is $105 to $180 in the USA. But on the other hand, it ranges from Php 2,900 to Php 6,100 in the Philippines.

DELE fee in India

There is a range of INR 500 to 8500 for DELE Exams in India for 2023. 

For instance, ₹ 5,000 – A1, ₹ 5,500 – A2, ₹ 6,000 – B1, ₹ 7,500 – B2, 8,000 – C1 and ₹ 8,500 – C2.

DELE exam dates

What are the eligibility criteria?

There are no particular conditions. You can take DELE exams if you are a citizen of a country where Spanish is not the official language.

There are some age restrictions, and it depends on which DELE version you sign up for.

For example, the minimum age is 16 to take DELE. In contrast, 11 to 17 for school-going children interested in DELE young learners.

Registration Process

Registration is easy and can be done online.

In most countries, Instituto Cervantes and affiliated centers administer the DELE examinations. The embassy of Spain also facilitates the process.

Candidates must register for the test at the approved DELE centre within the time specified for each test schedule. Once the deadline is over, you cannot apply. So, keep track of dates.

Instituto Cervantes and its partner centers conduct the DELE exam in India. Therefore, you can contact your nearest center, and they can assist you in completing the registration process.

Fill out the registration form online or in person with all the correct information like personal details, address, level, etc. You can check the sample form in the image below.

DELE registration form

Submit the fee or transfer to the mentioned bank account of the center you take the test. Then, finally, fill out the application form and submit it!

How to prepare for the DELE test?

Spanish is among the most far-reaching, taught, and favorite languages worldwide. That is why you can find abundant resources like apps, books, audio lessons, podcasts, and videos. The list goes on.

Although there are many easily accessible study materials, some are also useful to some extent. Yet, you still need discipline, direction, motivation, and a proper plan to study, prepare and pass various levels of DELE.

There are no magic wands to quickly fit endless tenses, vocabularies, connectors, irregular verbs, and tricky dialects into your brain.

The best way to learn Spanish is through a teacher. You can take lessons from a tutor or enroll in any institute near you. With a growing demand for Spanish studies, many options are available everywhere.

To enhance your learning approach, combine formal Spanish classes with other resources. For example, read books, listen to podcasts, watch TV series and moves to improve your Spanish.

To prepare better and ensure you ace the DELE exam, check official websites to get sample papers and previous year’s questions! Plus, you have many tailor-made books to assist in your preparation.

If you’re looking for quality and result-oriented classes, check Instituto Hispania‘s Spanish courses. Our programs fit all age groups, levels, and needs, and we have offline and online modes.

We cover and prepare for other Spanish tests like DELE, SIELE, Telc, etc. In fact, we are the authorized test centers for SIELE and D.I.E. in India.

Should you take the Spanish DELE exam?

You may want to find out how much you studied and your current Spanish ability. Perhaps you require a specific level for a visa application in Spain for study or work.

You may like to show interviewers how well you know the language. So, you desire to improve your Spanish skills for career prospects.

Whatever your reasons for learning Spanish, the DELE test can add incredible value to your C.V. to edge out other contenders.

With widespread test centers, regular exam schedules, lifetime validity, and helpful diplomas accepted globally, it is beneficial to take DELE.

It is fruitful to make this effort to accomplish more in your personal, academic, and professional lives.

Are you planning to take the DELE exam?

Do you have any questions for me to answer? I’d love to hear what you have to say in the comments!

Most Common Frequently Asked Questions

Spanish DELE syllabus
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