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You can also check Instituto Cervantes’ website (https://examenes.cervantes.es/es/dele/que-es). 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 structure of the exam and some strategies to be successful!
Which are the characteristics of the exam?
It is divided into 4 different tests.
The reading test has 4 tasks (one more than A levels) with 36 items in total (6 items per task) and the duration is of 70 minutes. It includes authentic texts adapted to the level and their total extension is between 1750 and 1950 words.
The listening test also has 5 tasks with 30 items (6 items per task). 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 1590 and 1980 words.
The writing test has 2 tasks to be done in 80 minutes. The students has to write different texts with a total extension between 300 and 360 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 or an email based on the information given in a recording. In the second task, a graph or different tables are presented to the student who must write their thoughts about them. In this second task, the student can choose between two options.
The speaking test has 3 tasks: 2 of them focuses on expression and interaction, and 1 just on interaction. This test lasts for about 20 minutes and the student has 15 minutes to prepare for the first two tasks. For the third task, there is no preparation beforehand. In the first task, the student is presented with different proposals and they must discuss them. The second tasks focuses on the description of a situation shown in a picture. In the third task the students shall give their opinion about a survey.
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! During the listening, pay attention to details like names or jobs. It is important to identify who is each speaker and differentiate between the interviewer and the person interviewed. Another key point is the accent and the tone, don’t overlook them!
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. You will find some colloquial expressions and personal opinions; you must know how to interpret everyone’s message.
For the writing test, it is important to manage your time and remember that you have 80 minutes to complete both tasks. We recommend having some minutes at the end to review both before handing in. Use different linkers and organise clearly your text. It is also a good idea to review the punctuation, written accents and the excessive use of capital letters.
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. Don’t be afraid of interacting with the interviewers and asking them questions, instead of just answering theirs. Organise clearly your discourse using linkers. In the last task, you don’t need to know the result, don’t get obsessed with that. Just express your opinion and preferences related to the survey.
Exams: real examples
Here you have some B2 exam real examples we use to work with our students. Now you can also get ready and practice: