Do you want to formalize your Spanish language skills and obtain a globally recognized qualification? SIELE and DELE are the two official certifications that assess the level of competence and mastery of the Spanish language.
Both certifications are recognized by Instituto Cervantes, which is the institution responsible for promoting the Spanish language and culture abroad.
These qualifications can open many professional and personal opportunities for you, whether you want to enhance your resume, pursue international employment, study at a Spanish university, or establish a residency in Spain. But what are the differences between them? Which one is more suitable for you?
The DELE (Diploma of Spanish as a Foreign Language) is a qualification issued by the Spanish Ministry of Education. It assesses Spanish language proficiency levels from A1 to C2 through an examination conducted by the Cervantes Institute.
The DELE diploma has indefinite validity, and international recognition within regulated educational systems, and is administered at official examination centres during specific international exam sessions.
The SIELE (International Spanish Language Evaluation Service) certificate is a language proficiency accreditation promoted by various entities, including the Cervantes Institute, the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), the University of Salamanca (USAL), and the University of Buenos Aires (UBA), from different countries.
The SIELE certificate is valid for five years and is widely recognized by professional institutions and universities in Spain and Latin America. It can be taken in-person or online through authorized examination centers.
Key Differences between DELE and SIELE
The main difference between DELE and SIELE is their validity: the DELE diploma recognizes your Spanish language skills indefinitely, while the SIELE certificate is valid for five years.
Moreover, the DELE diploma assesses overall Spanish language proficiency within the CEFR levels (A1-C2), whereas the SIELE certificate provides a score-based evaluation with equivalent levels to CEFR (A1-C1).
In terms of the test structure, the components are similar, including Reading Comprehension, Listening Comprehension, Written Expression and Interaction, and Spoken Expression and Interaction.
However, for the DELE exam, all components are mandatory, whereas for the SIELE exam, you can choose between the « complete » or « partial » format (selecting specific sections).
Regarding proficiency levels, DELE offers six exams for adult learners (A1-C2) and two exams for school-age students (A1-A2/B1).
SIELE has a single exam for adult learners that integrates tasks from A1 to C1.
The scoring system
To obtain the DELE diploma, you need to pass all sections and achieve a passing score corresponding to the level you are examined on.
In the case of the SIELE exam, you receive a level certificate (for the complete exam) or an individual report (for specific sections) based on a thousand-point scale, which correlates to CEFR levels.
In other words, the SIELE exam does not have a pass or fail outcome; instead, you receive a score.
Which one is more suitable for you?
It depends on your personal circumstances.
Both DELE and SIELE are official exams with international recognition, but they have different evaluation methods.
In general, SIELE is considered more flexible and dynamic due to the variety of competencies assessed and the adaptability of each individual learner.
In fact, with SIELE, you can choose the exam date that suits you best and even select which competencies you want to evaluate. DELE exams have specific dates that can be consulted here.
Based on our experience, if you want/need to obtain a quick level certificate to access university, pursue a master’s degree, or identify areas for improvement in your Spanish language skills, we recommend taking the SIELE exam.
We also recommend the SIELE exam if you prefer to gradually assess and achieve a comprehensive level or focus on improving specific language skills that interest you.
DELE and SIELE exams preparation
At Taronja Spanish School, we offer the opportunity to enroll in our private classes (in person or online) specifically designed to prepare for the official DELE and SIELE exams.
We can arrange your SIELE exam with a 48-hour notice. Our school will provide you with detailed explanations and assist you with all technical aspects. Additionally, you can take the SIELE exam online from the comfort of your home.
Feel free to request more information from us without any commitment.