Testing your Spanish level: language tests & diplomas

Spanish language tests

Would you like to spend a year studying in a Spanish university, land a six-month internship in Buenos Aires or a student job in Seville? To achieve these goals, you need to have sufficient Spanish language skills. In some cases, having a diploma in Spanish is essential. What are the test formats and what are the registration fees? What is the use of these exams and what abilities do they accredit? Find out how each Spanish language test works.

Studying in a Spanish-speaking country

If you are aiming to study in a higher education institution located in a Spanish-speaking country, you will need to prove you have sufficient Spanish language skills for graduate study abroad. The Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports of Spain provides Diplomas in Spanish as a Foreign Language (DELE). The Instituto Cervantes is in charge of organizing these official exams. Worldwide, the DELE Diplomas are the most renowned Spanish language certificates.

DELE: six diplomas & six levels

Each DELE diploma may be associated with one of the six levels of the Common European Framework for languages (CEFR):

  • Level-A1 DELE diploma, breakthrough level,
  • Level-A2 DELE diploma, waystage level,
  • Level-B1 DELE diploma, threshhold level,
  • Level-B2 DELE diploma, vantage level,
  • Level-C1 DELE diploma, effective operational proficiency level,
  • Level-C2 DELE diploma, mastery level.

Registration fees vary depending on the country and the diploma. For instance, in the United Kingdom, passing a DELE examination costs between GBP90 and GBP143. In Germany, you would be spending between EUR114 and EUR204.
There are more than 700 examination centers in over 100 countries.

Exam format

Each DELE diploma contains several tests organized in “groups”. The length of each test depends on the level.

  • Level-A1 & A2 DELE tests: reading comprehension, written expression and interaction, listening comprehension, listening comprehension, oral expression and interaction.
  • Level-B1 & B2 DELE tests: reading comprehension, written paper, listening comprehension, grammar and vocabulary, oral exam.
  • Level-C1 DELE tests: reading comprehension and language use, listening comprehension and language use, integrated skills – listening comprehension and written interaction.
  • Level-C2 DELE tests: use of the language, reading and listening comprehension, integrated skills – reading and listening comprehension and written expression and interaction, integrated skills – reading comprehension and oral expression and interaction.

To get a DELE diploma, a minimum score of 33 is necessary for each of the groups. The maximum possible score for all these Spanish language tests is of 100. Do you have a diploma in Spanish and an international student insurance solution? Then you are ready for studying abroad!

Gaining working experience abroad

Having a high Spanish language test score makes job or internship seeking in Spain or Latin America easier. Assess your proficiency in business Spanish and build a strong resume!

BULATS

BULATS (Business Language Testing Service) is used worldwide by individuals and companies. This test assesses your knowledge of business Spanish. EUR60 is the average registration fee and test-takers get a score on a scale of 1-100.

What is the test format?

The standard test lasts 110 minutes and is divided into two sections: listening (50 minutes), reading and language knowledge (60 minutes). There are two versions of this test: a paper-based one and a computer-based version.

Chamber of Commerce Spanish language certificates

The Spanish Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Madrid offers three Business Spanish certificates:

  • Basic Certificate in Spanish for Business (90 minutes, B2 CEFR level),
  • Advanced Certificate in Spanish for Business (135 minutes, C1 CEFR level),
  • Diploma in Spanish for Business (160 minutes, C2 CEFR level).

Registration fees depend on the country you are from.

To find out more about Spanish language tests :

To know all about the DELE diplomas, visit the Instituto Cervantes website.

Get detailed information on the Spanish Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Madrid tests.

Date of publication May 17 2013

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