Diplomas in Spanish as a Foreign Language (DELE)

Introduction to DELE exam

Sometimes is not enough to have a certain knowledge regarding a certain subject, but to be able to prove that knowledge with an official Diploma.

The University of the Basque Country in its Campus of Alava, as an official examination centre of the Instituto Cervantes, provides its students, as well as the rest of people interested, the opportunity of taking the DELE exam in B1, B2 and C1 levels in the ordinary exam session of April.

The Secretary of Language Courses for Foreign Students of the University of the Basque Country is in charge of all the information tasks for the people interested in taking the DELE exam in the city of Vitoria-Gasteiz.

Frequently Asked Questions about DELE

Who can enter the tests for the Diplomas in Spanish?

Pursuant to Royal Decree 1004/2015, of 6 November, the scope of those eligible to obtain the DELE Diplomas in Spanish has been made universal. Thus, the DELEs may be obtained by any candidate who passes the official examinations, without differentiation.

What are the Diplomas in Spanish useful for?

The Diplomas in Spanish are the only officially accredited qualifications in Spanish as a Foreign Language and Second Language at the corresponding levels and are recognized internationally by private companies, chambers of commerce and public and private educational systems.

The Diplomas in Spanish as a Foreign Language (DELE) will be regarded as sufficient accreditation of competence in Spanish for the purposes of undertaking professional or academic activities in Spain for which knowledge of the language is required.

Diplomas are issued by the Instituto Cervantes on behalf of the Ministry for Education, Social Policies and Sport, and are therefore officially recognized in a number of countries where bilateral agreements on education have been subscribed. They contribute to the goal of achieving a greater projection of a multilingual Europe that fosters cooperation and mobility among citizens, promoting better recognition of qualifications and educational stages, as well as a quantitative and qualitative improvement in learning the languages of the European Union.

Some educational institutions have adopted the Diplomas in Spanish as a solution for their assessment needs and for the purposes of academic accreditation. In other cases, the Diplomas have had considerable impact on the design and planning of courses and teaching materials for Spanish as a second language. The Diplomas in Spanish are complementary certifications to the programs of statutory education of foreign languages in many countries and institutions, and they are also instrumental in aiding personal promotion in academic and professional spheres. The Instituto Cervantes further undertakes to carry out negotiations geared towards increasing the international recognition of the Diplomas in Spanish.

Which is the validity of the DELE?

The Diplomas in Spanish do not expire and it is not necessary to retake the exams in order to prove again the Spanish language competence acquired.

General specifications for each exam level offered by the UPV/EHU

Please remember that the UPV/EHU only offers the opportunity to take part in the B1, B2 and C1

Diploma de Español Nivel B1: This qualification validates language users´ capacity to understand the gist of clear texts in standard language, if they involve well-known topics related to work, studies or leisure. Deal with most of the situations that may arise during a trip to where the language is used; produce simple, coherent texts about well-known topics or issues of personal interest as well as describe experiences, events, wishes and hopes or justify opinions or explain plans in a brief way.

Diploma de Español Nivel B2: This qualification validates sufficient linguistic ability to get by in average day-to-day situations in normal communication circumstances, which do not require specialized use of the language.

Level-B2 DELE examination provides candidates with the certainty that they have reached an advanced level of Spanish which enables them to communicate successfully both orally and in writing.

Diploma de Español Nivel C1: At this level, users are expected to be able to use the structures of a language with ease and fluency. Users are able to adapt their language use to a variety of social situations, and express opinions or take part in discussions and arguments in a culturally acceptable way.

The DELE C1 guarantees that the progress of the student in the language has been a success, and certifies more than an advanced level of Spanish.

Examination format

Exams structure and duration


The level B1 examination has four parts:

Group 1

  • Reading comprehension test (70 minutes)
  • Listening comprehension test (40 minutes)

Group 2

  • Written expression and interaction test (60 minutes)
  • Spoken expression and interaction test (15 minutes to prepare + 15 minutes exam)

To obtain a diploma you must get a minimum of 60 points out of 100 in the examination, provided that you get at least 30 points out of 50 in each group of tests.

For more information about B1.


The level B2 examination has four parts:

Group 1

  • Reading comprehension test (70 minutes)
  • Listening comprehension test (40 minutes)

Group 2

  • Written expression and interaction test (80 minutes)
  • Spoken expression and interaction test (15 minutes to prepare + 15 minutes exam)

To obtain a diploma you must get a minimum of 60 points out of 100 in the examination, provided that you get at least 30 points out of 50 in each group of tests.

For more information about B2.


The DELE C1 examination consists of four tests, classified in two groups (Group 1: Test 1 and test 3. Group: 2: Test 2 and test 4):

  • Test 1: Reading comprehension and use of language (90 minutes).
  • Test 2: Listening comprehension and use of language (50 minutes).
  • Test 3: Integrated skills. Listening comprehension and written expression and interaction (80 minutes).
  • Test 4: Integrated skills. Reading comprehension and oral expression and interaction (20 minutes to prepare + 20 minutes exam).

From August 2013 examinations, a minimum score of 30 is necessary for each of the two groups in order to receive an overall "passing" grade.

More information about C1.

General remarks:

The final grade is either PASS or FAIL.

IMPORTANT: In the writing test, you must follow the instructions strictly given in the statement of the test, about number of words and text format.

According to the level applied for, each proof will have a fixed length.

When and where can I take the exams in the University of the Basque Country? Registration deadlines and fees for 2018

The exams are held in the Campus of Alava of the University of the Basque Country, located in the city of Vitoria-Gasteiz, in the session of April.

Registration periods and examination dates: 

  • April 2018: Until the 14th February 2018.
  • Exam: Friday, 6th April 2018

How can I register for the exams?

The registration and payment of the DELE exam must be done online through the following website: https://examenes.cervantes.es

People interested must sign up in the site to be able to register.

The candidate will receive at the time of the registration a copy of it as a proof of the payment that will have to keep and take to the Examination Centre the day of the exam.

Results notification and Diploma expedition

The Instituto Cervantes will notify candidates of the results obtained approximately within two-three months from the date on which the examinations took place.

The Instituto Cervantes will inform all candidates of the date of publication of the results through the e-mail address specified at the time of their registration. Candidates will have access to their official grades certification in their restricted access of the Instituto Cervantes site.

The certificate of grades DELE is signed electronically by the Instituto Cervantes and has a secure code of verification that will allow institutions or organizations to authenticate that the copy in paper is valid.

Candidates having a global qualification of “APTO”(pass) will receive the corresponding Diploma issued by the Instituto Cervantes through the Examination Centre where they took the exam. It is the candidates´ responsibility to keep their postal details updated at their Examination Centre until they have received all the exam documents.

For more information check: https://examenes.cervantes.es/es/dele/calificaciones

Preparation for the DELE exam

A complete sample of examination papers that were administered in previous dates is available in the web site of the Instituto Cervantes.

Candidates will be able to download these sample exam papers in the following web site: 

Also you can try interactive sample of the exams, which includes reinforcement exercises, in the section under Centro Virtual Cervantes:

For further information please contact

In the UPV/EHU

Secretaría de los Cursos de Lenguas para Estudiantes Visitantes
Vicerrectorado de Coordinación y Relaciones Internacionales
Vicerrectorado del Campus de Álava - Planta baja, despacho 3
C/ Comandante Izarduy 2  CP: 01006  Vitoria-Gasteiz
Contact person: María Carpintero
E-mail: cursosidiomas@ehu.eus
Phone number: (0034) 945 013356
Web site: www.ehu.eus/nazioarteko-harremanak

Instituto Cervantes

Departamento DELE
C/ Alcalá 49  CP: 28014 Madrid
E-mail: infodele@cervantes.es
Phone number: (0034) 91 5870074
Web site: https://examenes.cervantes.es/es/dele/que-es