8 essential tips for passing the DELE exam

Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to a guest of honor: Aina Rodriguez, creator of Aina Spanish Teacher, who talks to us about the benefits of preparing you for the DELE.

The advantages of having a DELE diploma are well known: giving a close to your course with a feeling of achievement, improving your curriculum and accessing opportunities.

In addition, if you take a preparatory course for the DELE exam, not only will you obtain a diploma when you pass the exam, but you will also acquire a good training appropriate to your level, preferences and needs.

Have you thought about this?

Here’s why.

The DELE exam tasks are based on the didactic model called the communicative approach, currently applied by many language teachers in order to achieve a very important objective:

  • to enable the student to communicate with other speakers of the language they are studying.

All the DELE exam tasks present real-life communicative situations in different fields (professional, personal, public and educational) so that the candidate finds himself in circumstances similar to those of his own life and carries out activities that are natural in relation to what native people would do with texts in the real world.

The candidate for the DELE exam has to listen to radio news, read newspaper articles, participate in forums, respond to invitations, participate in conversations…

Therefore, the test presents the four communicative skills (reading, writing, listening, and speaking) whose work is fundamental to learning a language well.

In addition, in real communication situations, these skills are usually combined, and in the DELE exam, we can find several examples of this reality with tasks such as preparing an oral presentation on a subject from a reading, answering an e-mail…

On the other hand, the communicative approach relies on the use of as much authentic material as possible, because in this way the learning of the language will always be in accordance with the context in which it is used.

The DELE exam presents texts that really exist in society (news, biographies, articles, catalogs…) or adaptations conditioned on the level of the exam so that grammatical structures and vocabulary are accessible to the candidate.

This authenticity of the texts can also be appreciated by perceiving in the auditions accents of people from different Spanish-speaking countries.

Finally, following the communicative approach I mentioned, the DELE exam does not present grammatical activities in which the student has to demonstrate mastery of the rules. Those difficult grammar and vocabulary exercises disappeared.

I think this is a positive aspect, but it does not mean that in the preparatory courses this type of content should not be worked on since their knowledge is very important to have a good performance on the day of the exam.

What has been my experience as a DELE teacher?

I have been teaching Spanish for 10 years. I have worked as a teacher at the Instituto Cervantes in Salvador de Bahía (Brazil) and as a Spanish lecturer at the Universidade Estadual da Paraíba (Brazil).

From this university, I was responsible for the DELE exam in the city of Campina Grande, so I organized and taught preparatory courses for the exam and had the opportunity to participate in the application of the tests as a chief examiner in several calls.

As my students were of Brazilian nationality and did not present so many difficulties in the comprehension parts (due to the similarities between the two languages) I dedicated more time to expression and interaction and also to those aspects of grammar that I considered more difficult to fix at each level.

I consider it very important to carry out a great variety of simulations of oral exams in which all the parts that compose them are treated in order to analyze the candidate’s performance and correct his mistakes (which must be explained once the simulation is finished, because I think it is better not to interrupt the student).

We must not forget the grammatical contents. The students must carry out activities and continue practicing outside the classroom in order to fix those aspects that are more difficult to acquire.

As far as the written expression and interaction part is concerned, the candidate has to do a lot of writing at home, which will be corrected by the teacher, who can write down the most frequent errors of the level and explain them on the blackboard.

Many of my students were candidates for the Ciência sem Fonteiras international mobility program and had to present a diploma to prove their mastery of the language.

Some encountered difficulties because they had not studied Spanish before and did not have much time to prepare.

However, through effort and dedication, both inside and outside the classroom, with the activities I have mentioned and by asking me many questions, they managed to obtain a satisfactory result.

Now from Vigo, my city, I continue to prepare students for the DELE because I know that they are going to achieve two objectives:

  1. to obtain an official diploma that will open doors to them at academic and work level, and 2. to obtain an official diploma that will open doors to them at academic and work level; and 3. to obtain an official diploma that will open doors to them at academic and work level.
  2. to improve their level of Spanish in order to develop adequately in a situation of linguistic immersion.

8 essential tips for passing the DELE exam

  1. Check that you really have the level required to pass the DELE exam you have chosen. I recommend that you take a level test and that you do the reading and listening tasks of previous exams, as you will be able to correct them and then evaluate your level of difficulty.
  2. Familiarize yourself well with the entire exam. You should know well the structure and tasks of each part, the time you have to complete them, the answer sheets and how to complete them… Although all this will be explained on the day of the exam, it will make you feel more confident and you will perform better.
  3. You need to practice all parts of the exam; in the final stage of your study, focus on those parts where you tend to make the most mistakes. For expression and interaction, both oral and written, it will be very helpful to use a qualified teacher to guide and correct you.
  4. Write a lot. With the essays based on the tasks of the exams, you will gain fluency, increase your general vocabulary and the specific one for each topic and task, and you will also make fewer and fewer mistakes, which will make you feel more confident. Remember that we learn a lot from our mistakes, so don’t get frustrated with them.
  5. Don’t forget to measure the time when you practice each of the parts of the exam. Use a watch or stopwatch If you do, you won’t be overwhelmed with this topic on the day of the exam because you’ve gotten used to it.
  6. Reinforce the grammar and vocabulary of the exam level. Find out what the grammar content is and use grammars with activities that will also allow you to practice. A good grammatical and lexical base will allow you to perform better in the tasks of expression and interaction.
  7. If you have decided to prepare yourself, you can study with manuals dedicated to exam preparation. I recommend Edinumen’s Chronometer because it presents test models with explanations of their main points and also grammar activities.
  8. Memorize well those discursive structures, expressions or connectors that you will surely use in the tasks of expression and interaction. It will help you to control your nerves.


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