If you were into learning Spanish, you’d have come across the DELE Vs SIELE proficiency exams.
What is the difference between the two? Why, How, and Which one should you take — SIELE or DELE? Let’s find out all the answers.
The acquisition of different languages offers many perks.
It is not just about communicating with native speakers, traveling, overseas study, and cultural aspects, but it also boosts one’s salary involving language.
Of all the foreign language choices, Why consider learning the Spanish language?
With 20 official Spanish-speaking nations, it is far and away one of the most popular international languages.
Table of Contents
- What is the Spanish Proficiency Test?
- Types of Spanish examinations
- DELE Vs SIELE — The Key Difference
- Conclusion on DELE Vs SIELE — Which Is Better?
What is the Spanish Proficiency Test?
The Spanish language proficiency test is an evaluation of how well a person can use Spanish to communicate in real life for various purposes to accomplish linguistic tasks.
It covers a wide range of subjects, situations, and settings.
You can use the test scores as proof of competence for job applications and higher studies in Spanish-speaking countries.
Many companies and educational institutions in Europe and Latin America accept these associated certificates and diplomas as qualification and eligibility criteria.
These tests open doors to a variety of career options involving languages across the world.
There are other advantages, including gauging and verifying your Spanish competency level and boosting your confidence.
It also improves the possibilities if you intend to immigrate to one of the Hispanic countries.
Types of Spanish examinations
They enable you to qualify as a good or fluent Spanish language speaker.
A certificate in either exam is necessary if you want to study at many Latin Americans or Spanish universities or work for a Spanish employer or companies dealing with Spanish-speaking regions.
In addition to these two, TELC (The European Language Certificates), CELU (Certificate of Use of Language in Spanish), DIE (Diploma Internacional de Español), are some other global Spanish test though not widespread like DELE Vs SIELE.
Both DELE and SIELE exams share similar official statuses and follow a reference to the levels established by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).
They, however, differ from each other in one particular area.
While one adopts the old school fashion, using pen and paper, the other one is only in online mode.
Can you tell which is which?
Why DELE Is Better than SIELE?
Universities and employers highly revere the DELE exam.
Without it, you cannot study at some colleges and universities.
A DELE diploma boosts your CV, and above all, it gives you a qualification that enables you to display your Spanish skills throughout the rest of your life.
DELE also certifies your Spanish proficiency up to level C2.
Plus, the diplomas are valid permanently and never expires.
The SIELE provides similar privileges but with a limited validity of five years.
Because it is relatively new (started only in 2016), thus, not every organization all over the globe accepts it as confirmation of Spanish knowledge.
There is no near-native C2 level in SIELE.
Why SIELE is Better than DELE?
The most significant advantage of sitting for the SIELE test is that it is available throughout the year, and you don’t have to sit for a specific level.
SIELE is fast, fail-proof, and flexible exam operates on one-size-fits-everything bases where you may sit and score as many points (from 0 to 1000) as you can.
It is a single multilevel test that doesn’t have a pass or fail grade, so you can never fail.
It is like English language tests like IELTS or TOEFL.
On the other hand, if you pass any of the modules (A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, and C2) that you sat for under DELE, you will be certified accordingly.
However, if you are unsuccessful, you will get nothing.
Furthermore, DELE focuses mainly on European or Standard Spanish of Spain, especially at the lower level, whereas, SIELE is pan-Hispanic and incorporates all the linguistic diversity, dialects, and varieties of Spanish.
If you’re interested in Español de América Latina, SIELE is the best option.
DELE Vs SIELE — The Key Difference
Alright, let’s see the differences between these two Spanish examinations and lay to rest the misunderstanding between them.
1. Recognition and Importance
The DELE test began the journey in 1989, is famous across the world.
DELE is the first and most preferred Spanish ability test that comes to the mind of almost everyone that wants to learn the Spanish language.
Its lifetime certification offer makes it the most valuable Spanish exam ever.
However, SIELE appears to be catching up quickly, thanks to its online-based examination.
The exam is more straightforward for students to understand since it only measures candidates to the C1 level.
As per projection, over 600,000 people can appear for the SIELE exam by 2020, and the prospect that the numbers will increase is more likely.
To sum up, both are hugely popular and recognized all over the globe. There is not much price variation either.
2. Who Conduct The Exams?
The DELE test and diplomas conducted and awarded by the Cervantes Institute, a worldwide, well-known non-profit organization. It performs its duty on behalf of the Spanish government, as represented by the Ministry of Education, Culture, and Sports.
The Instituto Cervantes, the National Autonomous University of Mexico, the University of Salamanca, and the University of Buenos Aires promote and certify the SIELE exam.
It also recognized by CRUE, ACLES, CNCP, and the Seal of Biliteracy.
You can register for the SIELE exam online by visiting (website) to write the test. It is available all year round.
3. Exam Procedure
You can only sit for the DELE exam in block classroom/exam centers.
It is written on paper along with speaking and listening tests and takes place at limited dates and intervals in a year.
Also, the DELE examination center is limited to a few venues around the world.
Therefore, you might probably live in a place that is not qualified as a test center for the exam, or even if you do, the limited dates might not be favorable to you when you need it.
If you are experiencing the above predicament, the best thing you can do is sign up for the more flexible and convenient SIELE test.
The SIELE test is the best option since it is a complete Spanish online test, meaning you can take it anytime you chose in one of the testing centers available.
You will still have to sign up for at least 48 hours ahead of the exam.
Once you are through with your registration, feel free to select the date and easily accessible SIELE center you want to sit for the exam and the modules you wish to appear.
If you are taking the DELE test, you will have to contact authorities in the center near you and ask to know when the next exam is coming up and wait for whatever date they will give to you.
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4. DELE Vs SIELE — The Modules and Structure
The SIELE module has four different parts. These are:
- Reading Comprehension (RC) — 60 Minutes.
- Listening Comprehension (LC) — 55 Minutes.
- Written Expression and Interaction (WEI) — 50 Minutes.
- Spoken Expression and Interaction (SEI) — 15-20 Minutes.
You are free to match and mix them to decide which of the modules you think is worth testing for any particular day.
There is a 15-minute break between the WEI and SEI tests.
On second thought, you can also choose SIELE Global that will enable you to sit for all four modules for about 3 hours.
This provision shares a striking resemblance to the DELE exam.
The DELE has six levels — A1 (Breakthrough), A2 (Waystage), B1 (Threshold), B2 (Vantage), C1 (Effective Operational Proficiency), and C2 (Mastery).
It includes four facets of Spanish test — writing, speaking, reading, and listening.
Candidates are not required to test for every level.
You can skip different levels and can appear for a higher one directly.
Of a total of 100 marks, one must get a minimum of 60 overall to pass, and at least 30 in combined writing and reading, and listening and verbal sections.
5. Exam Dates
DELE exams for 2020 schedule for February 14, April 17, May 15 & 16, July 10, and September 11, October 2, and November 13 & 14.
In India, it is conducted four times in a year (April, May, July, and November).
The accredited and official SIELE center organizes the exam nearly every month.
Since it is an individual test and date varies as per the center. Therefore, you can pick the date and time at your convenience.
6. Test Centers
There are more than 900 DELE exam centers in over 100 countries worldwide.
The dates vary depending on the place. Thus, check for the closest DELE center near you.
In India, Instituto Cervantes on own, and through collaborations conducts the DELE exam in 6 cities, i.e., Chennai, Jaipur, Mumbai, Mussoorie, New Delhi, and Kolkata.
SIELE has over 80 Associated Universities in 20 countries in Central and South America.
You can select the SIELE exam by choosing one of the 1,000 test centers in 85 countries.
There are 22 SIELE test centers in India.
7. How Different Are The Questions?
Both the DELE and SIELE share many similarities in the questions they used for testing.
They have the same nature of language difficulty and exercise level.
If you’re sure about your current level, and where you stand concerning knowledge of Spanish, you can opt for either DELE or SIELE Global or independent modalities (S1 to S5).
You can conveniently prepare for both exams using the exercise books, audio lessons, and resources of SIELE for DELE and DELE for SIELE.
Besides the demo of SIELE, you can also check the sample, practice, mockup, and old question papers.
8. Exam Eligibility
Anyone can take the SIELE exam, and it’s treated as a yardstick to test the Spanish-speaking level of natives and non-natives people.
Ironically, the SIELE only tests the fluency level of candidates up to C1, not even a full-fluency level gauge.
As for DELE, beginners can take through a separate testing process, plus a version that measures fluency from A1 up to C2.
The minimum age is 16 to take DELE, whereas, for SIELE, you must be over 13 years old.
There is a separate young learner DELE exam for school-going children aged between 11 to 17 years old.
There are only two levels for Young learners, namely A1 and A2/B1.
9. How to get the Diplomas?
Language learners that sat for the DELE exams will have to wait for two to three months to see their results.
A diploma in DELE means the Spanish government recognizes your effort to learn and speak Spanish.
However, it takes quite a while for the result to show up in your mailbox.
That means, if you want a quick certification in Spanish, sitting for the DELE exam isn’t wise.
If you are in a hurry, go for the SIELE test to get a quick certification.
It takes only three weeks for the results to get to you.
Amazingly, some parts of the globe do get their SIELE result in a matter of one week.
10. Length Of Certificate Validity
How long is a SIELE and DELE certificate valid?
A SIELE Diploma gives you a five-year validity in Spanish language mastery from the moment you get your results.
The five governing bodies award the diploma all over the world.
The reason for the validity cap is that people’s language proficiency might decline over time if they do not use their newfound language.
As a result, people have to prove their fluency again after a given period.
The Spanish Ministry of Education is responsible for awarding the DELE Diploma.
The certificate is valid for a lifetime. It means you don’t have to re-sit the exam after a while to prove your fluency.
If you want to study the Spanish language to further your career, DELE has an edge.
Conclusion on DELE Vs SIELE — Which Is Better?
Looking at the two types of exams above, it is clear I cannot choose for you.
But one thing is sure; while DELE is more rigid, its ultimate reward lies in the lifetime certification it delivers.
Contrarily, SIELE is more flexible, enhancing the learning convenience that is lacking in the DELE exam. However, SIELE fluency measurement isn’t the best you can get.
So, think carefully about these differences when making up your mind on which to choose.
If you have questions about Spanish DELE vs SIELE, you can ask in the comment section below.