How to Excel in the DELE B1 Exam

DELE exam tipsThe Spanish DELE certificate is an officially recognised qualification all over the world.

This proves your level of proficiency in Spanish and tells people that you have the knowledge and linguistic skills to communicate effectively in Spanish in a variety of everyday situations.

There are 6 different levels; A1 and A2 for beginners, B1 and B2 for intermediate learners and C1 and C2 for advanced learners.

In this blog post we will focus on helping people to prepare for the B1 exams.

What is the DELE Certificate?

Achieving the B1 certificate shows that you can:

• Understand the key points of texts related to work, study and daily life.
• You can write about past experiences, future plans.
• You can listen to spoken Spanish and follow what is being said and understand the key details.

Structure of the B1 DELE exams

The DELE exam consists of 4 parts; reading, writing, listening and speaking. You sit the reading, writing and listening together and the speaking exam separately.

Reading comprehension (70 minutes)

The reading test evaluates whether you know how to understand the main idea of a text, find specific information and to select the correct grammatical structure.

You are given 5 tasks (tareas) to do. They consist of:

1) Reading a set of short texts and match them to the correct statement.
2) Read a text and answer 6 multiple choice questions each with 3 options.
3) Read 3 texts and relate them to some statements.
4) Read a text with gaps in and slot a fragment into the right gap.
5) Read a text with 6 spaces. For each space you are given 3 options of the correct word.

Listening (40 minutes)

This tests whether the learner can understand the key points as well as pick out specific information. The test is made up of 5 tasks:

1) You hear 6 short messages and you answer 6 questions. Each has 3 options.
2) You listen to one complete monologue and answer 6 questions. Each has 3 options.
3) You listen to 6 news items and have to answer 6 questions each with 3 options.
4) You hear 6 conversations or monologues and have to match each one to the correct statement.
5) You listen to a conversation and have to match each statement to the correct person saying them.

Written interaction and expression (60 minutes)

This tests whether the candidate can write a simple, informative text as well as a slightly longer descriptive text that expresses opinions.

Task 1) The student has to write an email, a letter, a blog post or entry in a forum on a topic. It must be 100-120 words.

Task 2) You write an essay, a biography or a composition including a description or narration which includes personal opinions and information. You choose between 2 options and it must be 130-150 words.

Oral expression and interaction (15 minutes preparation + 15 minutes exam)

There are 4 tasks. You have to talk about a topic, answer questions and carry out a dialogue with the examiner.

Task 1) The student has to talk about a topic for 2 to 3 minutes from a selection of options.
Task 2) The student answers questions from the examiner and is more of a conversation.
Task 3) You are shown an image and you have to describe it and talk about it for 2 to 3 minutes.
Task 4) You carry out a dialogue with the examiner based on an everyday situation. For example, it could be arranging an excursion, deciding where to go on holiday, deciding how to travel somewhere – by bus or train.

Grading

Each of the 4 sections is worth 25 marks. They are split into 2 sections; the reading and writing sections and the listening and speaking. To pass you have to achieve a minimum of 30 out of 50 on both sections – 30 marks altogether on the reading and writing and also 30 marks out of 50 on the speaking and listening.

Tips to do well at B1

Read Spanish newspapers

To keep up to date with the latest terms in Spanish it would be a good idea to read Spanish newspapers such as El País and El Mundo. Not only for this reason but also because the DELE itself uses articles from these newspapers for its exam material especially the reading comprehension test.

Expand your vocabulary

The best way to improve your chances of achieving a top grade in the DELE exam is by learning as much vocabulary as you can. You need to know more specific words for things to describe things in more detail in your written and spoken answers.

Learn complex structures

Try to learn different ways of saying the same thing. Avoid keeping it simple and try to form a longer more difficult sentence using connectives such as; however, in spite of, although, even if, additionally, what is more and so on.

Try to include more than one tense in the same sentence. This could be a present tense verb with a future tense. A preterite tense and an imperfect tense verb.

Aim to use the subjunctive mood. This is one of the most advanced grammatical structures in Spanish and will really impress the examiner.

Learn some of the key phrases that you can use easily in a variety of situations:

Es importante que …
Quiero que …
Es probable que …
No creo que …
Es imprescindible que …

Listen to authentic Spanish material

To improve your listening the best way is to listen to Spanish more regularly! Try to listen to a variety of language including formal language with news programs and the radio as well as more informal language in You tube videos, podcasts, telenovelas (soap operas) and Spanish films.
If you have the DELE B1 exam coming up in the next few months then try to bear in mind the tips given here. ¡Suerte!

 
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