The DELE (Diploma de Español como Lengua Extranjera) is the official qualification certifying the degree of competence and mastery of the Spanish language. Issued by the Cervantes Institute, it is internationally recognised by private companies, chambers of commerce and public and private education systems. In some countries, the DELE certificates have been adopted by education authorities and educational institutions as a complement to their own assessment programmes.


The DELE certificates are also a means of personal promotion in the academic and professional fields and an essential requirement for access to education in Spain.

The DELE certificates are valid for life.

On the DELE official website, you can find further information on these certificates (in Spanish and English).

Levels and exams

The DELE certifies the level of language proficiency achieved by the candidate regardless of where and when he/she has studied. This certification does not expire and is divided into six levels, which correspond to those indicated by the Council of Europe in the Common European Framework (see image on the right).

The Cervantes Institute offers two types of exams:

  • Six general exams: for candidates aged 16 and over, covering all levels (A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2). Anybody can register, regardless of age, education, or nationality.
  • Two exams for young learners: for students aged between 11 and 17. The DELE A1 exam for young learners enables you to obtain the DELE A1 certificate, while the DELE A2/B1 exam for young learners is a progress test in that, in the event of a positive result and depending on one’s language level, the candidate may obtain either the DELE A2 certificate or the DELE B1 certificate. Candidates wishing to sit the exam for students must not be older than 20 years on the day of the written exam. The DELE certificates obtained through these exams certify language proficiency in exactly the same way as the DELE general exams and therefore do not report any additional expression on the certificate.

There is no specific test for determining which level is the most suitable, but this level test may be useful. However, this test does not assess written or oral production skills. The test results are therefore only indicative and should be treated carefully. In any case, we recommend that you consult the materials available for the different levels: models and exam guidelines and recommended bibliography.

The Cervantes Institute helps candidates with special needs. These candidates must follow a special registration procedure.



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