If you’re thinking about taking the DELE or SIELE exam and don’t know exactly what features each one has or what their main advantages are, just keep reading to clear up your doubts.
Each candidate has different reasons for taking the exam. That’s why we’ve analyzed five points to consider before you sign up for the test. Let’s begin!
1. What it is and type of diploma
The DELEs are Diplomas for Spanish as a Foreign Language and are issued by the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training. These provide you with a diploma at the specific level of the exam you take. Meanwhile, the SIELE is the International Spanish Language Evaluation Service. As such, the diploma you receive is a certificate of the level of proficiency you have in Spanish right now.
Both exams give you a diploma with international validity, endorsed by the Instituto Cervantes. But be careful, this is where there’s a big difference. The DELEs are valid indefinitely. That is, once you get your diploma you won’t have to take that level exam ever again. It never expires. The SIELE is valid for five years, as it is a certificate of your current level. This means you’re looking to demonstrate the level of Spanish you have right now.
Do you want to obtain the official certification of your level of Spanish?
Have a look at the exam preparation courses at Estudio Sampere!
Both the DELE and the SIELE are internationally recognized. This means you can brag about your Spanish level wherever you go. However, if you want to validate your Spanish skills, you should choose to take the DELE exam. That’s because in addition to being valid for companies and private institutions, just like the SIELE, it is also recognized by official educational systems in other countries. This advantage is very appealing if you want to access international programs, civil service positions, or scholarships, and grants from the Spanish-speaking country where you’re planning to live.
4. What the test is like
Here you can see that they are completely different and you’ll see why. The DELE exams are made up of four tests, and you have to take the entire exam. It is not possible to only take one part. This advantage is indeed available with the SIELE, where you can choose the exam modality that interests you based on the skills you want to certify. For example, if you have scored low on a skill, you can always repeat just that test. There’s no need to sign up for the rest of the exam. Furthermore, the DELE is always done on paper, while the SIELE is done by computer (even the oral test, so long shyness!). Both tests last about three hours (the DELE lasts a little longer, as your oral test is more extensive than with the SIELE).
5. Exam dates and results
Attention! This is very important if you are in a hurry to be certified. The DELEs have specific dates (about seven exams per year). They are done at the same time at all testing centers globally, so you have to choose very carefully where you plan to take the exam. The SIELE is much more flexible. This is because each center chooses the dates and number of sessions (they can set several every day!). What about the results? This is one of the most important questions, as it’s the reward you get after all your hard work, right? Well, the DELE takes about two to three months to give you the results (electronically) and send the diploma (on paper) to your home. SIELE is very fast. You’ll be notified and have the results sent (electronically) in a period of two to three weeks.
As you can see, although both exams certify how much you know about Spanish and how you’ve mastered the language, each one is structured and managed very differently. If you’d like to take an official test but still have some questions, please write to us so we can help you decide and register for the best exam for you.
Have a look at other contributions of Vicky López: Should you be interested in getting a DELE in 2020?