Do you need a certificate of your Spanish level?

Is your university or employer requesting an official certificate that accredits your Spanish level? There are two official certificates: DELE and SIELE

The DELE certificate is generally more widely recognized as it was established earlier. Still, the SIELE exam is gaining in popularity among Spanish and Latin-American universities. Therefore, the first step is to check with your employer or university if they require the DELE, the SIELE, or they would accept either one. You will also need to know the grade or score needed in either the DELE or SIELE.

Both exams are based on the CFER framework that evaluates a person’s Spanish proficiency from A1 to C2 (A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2). Nevertheless, one of the most significant advantages of the SIELE exam is that you do not have to decide beforehand which exam level, from A1 to C2, you wish to sit. You simply sit the SIELE exam, and the result will indicate your level of proficiency on the scale of A1 to C2. Whereas if you sit a DELE exam, you must choose the level of exam (A1 to C2) you wish to sit, and then the result will indicate if you met or did not meet the required level.

Another big advantage of the SIELE exam is that the exam is available every week in educative centres worldwide that are destined for this purpose. In contrast, the DELE exam can only be sat on 7 different dates per year, which were set the year before by the Cervantes Institute. For example, if you click this link you will see the next dates available for the SIELE exam in the US.

What happens if the university requires a B2 level, but I´m currently a beginner, and I haven´t completed B2?

Obviously, you shouldn´t sit the B2 DELE exam until you are sure you are proficient at a B2 level, and you should also have finished the levels below, i.e., A1, A2, and B1. If you are a total beginner, it also does not make sense to sit the SIELE exam.  However, if you have intermediate knowledge of the Spanish language, but you are unsure whether to choose the A2, B1, or B2 exam, then the SIELE would be ideal.

What to do if they require a B2 certificate but I am a beginner?

Before sitting the exam, you need to have completed the A1, A2,B1, and B2 levels. Currently, the fastest way to complete these levels is via an online course that is a mix of group classes and assignments tutored by a teacher plus a smaller or larger number of additional private classes depending on each particular case. The online Spanish courses generally offered by Cervantes Escuela Internacional are currently the best option on the market to achieve this goal. Also, once all levels have been completed, it is highly recommended to add a specific DELE B2 exam preparation course that is also offered online by Cervantes Escuela Internacional and where you will practice with exercises from the actual exams.

In summary, accrediting a B2 level DELE or SIELE for B2 is, in general, the minimum proficiency that a Spanish university or company will require. If you already have a B2 level and your employer or university allows you to present a SIELE certificate, then the SIELE is the faster and more flexible option. If you do not have a B2 level, then you should complete the levels needed to reach B2 using the online general Spanish courses offered by Cervantes Escuela Internacional.

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