28 May DELE exam: my personal experience
Centro MundoLengua regularly offers preparation courses for the DELE exams. Offered by the Cervantes Institute, DELE (Diploma de Español como Lengua Extranjera) allows individuals who are learning Spanish as a foreign language to take an exam at their level of proficiency. The benefits of being awarded the certificate are abundant, such as strengthening your job application. I wanted to take advantage of the countless opportunities so I took the DELE exam on the level B2. Now I would like to share my experience with the DELE exam with you.
What to expect on DELE exam day
I still remember, my exam day was the 13th may 2017. I had registered for the DELE exam with two of my classmates. Before I knew it, I was standing there, in front of this building at the School in Aarau in Switzerland.
We entered the classroom to take a seat at our chairs indicated by a name tag. There was a pen and a pencil, which means we had to leave our cases in our bags. My classmate was sitting three meters away and the supervisors were already bombarding us with information – in Spanish.
The exam consisted of four parts. First, as a group we listened to an audio recording and answered a series of questions. After, we did reading comprehension which led into the third part which consisted of examining our writing skills. Lastly, we had to prove our oral language proficiency. The time of the exam and subtasks are dependent upon the level that you are testing in.
Spanish or Greek
After a bell sounded, different voices started to pour through the loudspeakers. Then, the second bell sounded. We could listen to the listening comprehension three times, but I kept asking myself if what I was hearing was Spanish or Greek. I was worried that the money I had saved for this DELE exam was all for nothing.
40 minutes later, the listening part ended and we had to do the reading comprehension section. We had a short break before we ended the morning of the exam, writing two essays. I was glad I sat by the window so I could stare mundanely at the birds in the schoolyard when I had writer’s block- much better than seeing the other students write their essays.
The listening comprehension was a bit difficult for me and the texts of the reading part felt at times like unconnected words than an actual story. Due to my nerves, I somehow wrote three essays instead of the required two as the first one I had written was horrible so I erased it. As a result of this third essay and my writer’s block, I was pressed on time to finish two good essays.
Nevertheless, it took a load off my mind when the morning of the DELE exam was over. All this may sound pretty scary, but believe me I was just freaking out in this stress situation thinking that none of my answers were correct.
My preparation for the DELE exam
How did I prepare myself for the DELE exam? I was studying Spanish at my home school in Switzerland, getting extra help from my Spanish teacher, using a textbook to practice my reading and listening comprehension skills, and doing vocabulary exercises. I practiced the oral section of the exam by practicing with my Spanish teacher and attended Spanish classes three times a week.
I was lucky and unlucky at the same time, because the DELE exam was taking place just two days before my Matura final exams in school. With the preparation of the DELE exam, I could kill two birds with one stone because it wasn’t necessary anymore to prepare for my Matura final exams. However, I was also under time pressure because there were so many different subjects to study.
To make things worse, I never practiced listening comprehension because my CD had a defect, but that’s probably why the listening part at the DELE exam was a little bit more difficult to me, as listening comprehensions are just a matter of practice.
The preparation for the DELE exam is very important, not only for the exam itself but also for you personally. With good preparation you will feel safer, less nervous, and it will provide confidence when taking the DELE exam. Moreover, you are concentrating on the Spanish language during the preparation, which will overall strengthen and improve your Spanish skills. The best preparation is to study with Spanish speaking people, for example taking advantage of the DELE preparation courses that Centro MundoLengua offers in Spain. Studying in Spain versus studying in your home country will provide you with the extra needed total immersion to confidently pass the DELE exam.
The speaking exam was a breeze
In the afternoon, we continued with the oral exams. I could choose between two papers and they gave me 15 minutes to prepare the chosen subject. The second subject was presented during the exam and I had to respond spontaneously. To avoid unfair assessment, there was another person in the room listening to our conversation in addition to the examiner. I felt that this was my strongest part of the DELE exam and that the 20 minutes flew by;I even thought it was fun to chat with my examiner.
One day during the summer break I got a confirmation that I passed the DELE exam successfully. I was really happy about it, although they sent me the DELE certificate only in fall. Altogether the DELE exam was a great experience. It is because of this exam that my Spanish skills immensely improved. The exam was motivation and a great way for me to prepare for my Matura final exams and other exams in the future. Furthermore, it is an upgrade in my job application and has me opened doors to new possibilities. After I passed the Matura final exams in summer, I was working in Spain, in Málaga. And now, I am sitting in the office of Centro MundoLengua in Sevilla, doing an internship.
To register for the DELE exam, find more information here!