While you’re on the journey towards mastering your Spanish, there comes a point where it’s not enough to just be able to communicate. If you’re serious about your learning, at some point, you want to make it official. You want to have a piece of paper that tells the world your Spanish is great and no one needs to ask any questions. Much like a university degree, there are Spanish language exams like the DELE and SIELE that give you an official diploma that certifies to the world your abilities with this language. These exams are complex, though (the degree wouldn’t be worth much if they weren’t), so you’ll need to take a prep course in order to pass comfortably. Are those hours of studying worth your time and money? Without question. Let us tell you why.
- The Degree is Recognized Worldwide
Spanish language exams like DELE and SIELE are issued by important government entities which means every country in the world recognizes their value. The DELE test is made by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport of Spain and accredited by the Cervantes Institute, the largest organization in the world dedicated to promoting the study of the Spanish language. The fact that your diploma is backed by these important entities means nobody, not a friend nor a potential employer, will question your Spanish abilities with your DELE exam on hand. This makes taking these exams hugely worthwhile, especially when all you need to be ready for the big day is a short and hands-on prep course.
- You Don’t Need to Renew It, Ever
Once you pass your DELE exam, it doesn’t expire. Ever. Same with SIELE, and with most language exams. This means the lifetime benefits of having an official diploma that certifies your Spanish largely outweigh the time you spend preparing for the exam and the relatively cheap expense it costs to apply for it. Plus, anyone can take it. The only requirement to apply is that Spanish isn’t your native tongue, and you didn’t go to primary or secondary school in Spanish. That’s it. There’s no barriers, and no risk. If you fail (which you won’t, if you do a prep course), you just take it again the following year.
- It looks Great on your Resume
The fact that this exam is issued by the Spanish government, recognized worldwide and doesn’t expire, as we’ve covered, means it’s an essential addition to any resume. It’s not the same for employers, not even close, to read “fluency in Spanish”, than to see the words DELE and Cervantes Institute. Not only are the names themselves important, employers know you’ve been tested on all aspects of the language (reading, writing, listening – more on that below) and have handled yourself. If you’re applying for a Spanish teaching position in your home country, these language exams on their own will allow you to negotiate a better salary. You can also get into university programs that require a high Spanish level. What employers look for varies with the times and alongside job demands, but official certifications have always added weight to a candidate’s abilities and always will.
- It Covers Every Aspect of the Language
The big entities that back language exams are important, but perhaps the biggest reason they carry so much weight is the fact they test applicants meticulously on all aspects of the Spanish language. DELE and SIELE, for instance, test you on your use of Spanish (proper verb forms, forming sentences), your vocabulary (difficult words), your listening, your speaking and your writing. This means all bases are covered. After a thorough prep course and passing the exam, you will know with certainty you can write anything from an email to an essay, you can understand people in TV and radio and you can carry out complex conversations without getting lost.
- It Boosts your Confidence in your Spanish
This is the least tangible benefit of taking a language exam but also arguably the most important. Learning a new language is a complicated and long-term process. One can often feel like, even though there is clear improvement, that it’s not enough, that your Spanish abilities are still not acute enough. The DELE exam takes an abstract approach to learning and makes it concrete, quantifiable. There are official levels, from A1 (Beginner), to C2 (Advanced), and you know where you stand. You can rest easy knowing your Spanish was approved by the highest authorities. And that this recognition is for life This might not seem like a lot, but it’s huge for your confidence. The diploma means you never have to doubt your abilities again.
With your Spanish language exam on hand, you’re ready to take on the foreign world. You’re ready to travel the world, to work in an international company, and even to watch Spanish Netflix shows without subtitles. Any way you look at it, the benefits of having a lifetime diploma like the DELE exam largely outweigh the time investment. You’ll spend 8 weeks studying in the prep course, and just one day taking the exam (there are three dates a year where it can be taken). It’s undoubtedly a worthwhile investment – a one-time exam for a lifetime of foreign language fluency.