Wanting to prove your ability to speak, read and write in Spanish and get an official certificate for this? Both DELE (Diploma of Spanish as a Foreign Language) and SIELE (International Spanish Language Evaluation Service) are international recognized certifications that test your level of Spanish. But what are the differences? And how to choose which test to do?
In general there are two important differences:
You can fail the DELE test, you can’t fail the SIELE test. With DELE you’ll be tested on a specific level, for example A2. This means you can fail or pass the test depending on whether your score is good enough for the level you’ve been tested on. This is not the case for SIELE. When doing a SIELE test you’ll score on a scale from 0 to 1000. So without passing or failing, you just find out which level you are.
DELE has no expiration date, SIELE expires after five years. When you passed for your DELE exam it will literally last a lifetime, since the DELE certificate does not expire. The SIELE certificate, however, does expire after five year. This means that after five years you can’t use it anymore when applying for jobs or studies.
Both officially recognised Furthermore both are applicable and recognized by important institutions. SIELE and DELE both are approved by the Instituto Cervantes (a non-profit organization founded by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs that aims to spread the Spanish language worldwide). DELE is even established by Instituto Cervantes. SIELE is promoted by the University of Mexico, the University of Salamanca and the University of Buenos Aires. So? To conclude: when deciding to sign up for a SIELE or DELE exam there is no ‘bad’ choice. However when you think you might need your certificate more often to prove you’re skilled in the Spanish language (for studies or jobs or for example) we recommend to choose DELE, since this certificate has no expiration date. When it’s just for a one-off use, or just for your own sake, we recommend you to do a SIELE exam. Since you can’t fail it and it’s more an exploratory test because of this.
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