DELE Exam: B1 Level

Today, in our review of the different DELE exams, we will have a look at B1 level.

You can also check Instituto Cervantes’ website
On it, you can find all the information you need about these exams including dates, exam centres or how to register. We are going to summarise the most important aspects of the exam and its characteristics to help any student who wants to get a DELE certificate.

Which are the characteristics of the exam?

It is divided into 4 different tests.

The reading test has 5 tasks (one more than A levels) with 30 items in total (distributed as follows: 7-5-6-6-6) and the duration is of 70 minutes. It includes authentic texts adapted to the level and their total extension is between 1490 and 1820 words.

The listening test also has 5 tasks with 30 items (7-6-6-6-5). In this case, the test takes 40 minutes. Each recording is played twice and the student has time before and after each recording to read the questions and answer them. The texts simulate real language and their total extension is between 1540 and 1930 words.

The writing test has 2 tasks to be done in 60 minutes. The students has to write different texts with a total extension between 230 and 270 words. Both tasks have the same value. They are corrected separately and the final mark is the mean of both of them. The first task is writing a letter, and email or a message in a forum or blog. The second tasks consists of a composition in which the student has to give an opinion about a given topic. In this second task, the student can choose between two options.

The speaking test has 4 tasks: 1 of them focuses on expression, 2 on interaction and the last one focuses on both aspects (expression and interaction). This test lasts for about 15 minutes and the student has another 15 minutes to prepare for the first two tasks. Tasks 3 and 4 (description of an image and conversation, and dialogue of a simulated situation) are not prepared beforehand.

Getting prepared for the exam.

There are many manuals about DELE exams. We recommend practising the following strategies for each test.

A key issue is to manage your time. If you have extra time after finishing a listening task, read the questions and the answers for the next one. Listening to the radio or watching TV can be a good training for this!

For the tests that focus on comprehension (listening and reading), it is very useful to pay attention to the linkers used and reading twice the written text. Do not worry if you do not understand every word, the key point is to understand the general meaning of the text.

For the writing test, it is important to manage your time and remember that you have 60 minutes to complete both tasks. We recommend having some minutes at the end to review both before handing in.

For the speaking test and the second task of the writing, choose the topic wisely. You should ask yourself if you know more vocabulary about any of the topics and which one you can discuss more about. It is also important to justify why you have chosen that topic. During the speaking, avoid answering monosyllables. You should explain and justify your answers.

Here you have some B1 exam real examples we use to work with our students. Now you can also get ready and practice:
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