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Your experience with DELE

 Language Learning Forum : Immersion, Schools & Certificates Post Reply
Maikl
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Germany
Joined 4417 days ago

121 posts - 145 votes 
Speaks: German*, Dutch, English, Spanish
Studies: Turkish

 
 Message 1 of 6
23 March 2015 at 8:55pm | IP Logged 
Hello,

I'm about to register for a DELE Spanish exam, C1, I think.
It will be in May so the next eight weeks will be a tough routine, as far as "tough" goes for something that you like!
I looked at some sample exercises and I think that writing and speaking appropriately and basically correct in grammar and style will be a challenge indeed, even in English it would be hard! This is why I won't try a C2 and go for a C1 instead. Only when it's over will I know if I'm up to the C level at all.
The listening part doesn't scare me, not saying it's easy.

On no website did I find what time they start, not before 10 AM I hope, the exam is on a Saturday. Do they provide food and coffee? Are you allowed to use dictionaries?

What's your experience with DELE exams?

3 persons have voted this message useful



Cavesa
Triglot
Senior Member
Czech Republic
Joined 3201 days ago

3277 posts - 6778 votes 
Speaks: Czech*, FrenchC2, EnglishC1
Studies: Spanish, German, Italian

 
 Message 2 of 6
24 March 2015 at 2:01pm | IP Logged 
Hi, I wish you the best of luck even though I am not of much help as I suppose you
already read the official website where this guide is:
http://diplomas.cervantes.es/informacion/guias/materiales/c1 /guia_examen_dele_c1.pdf
and I have no direct experience with DELE so far.

I tried to search on the site and google and so on, and there is no information on the
dictionary anywhere I looked, so it is probably not permitted. However, it is not
sure. I hadn't known about being allowed to use a monolingual dictionary during my
French exam until I entered the classroom and found it on the desk.

Coffee is unlikely, I have yet to hear about anyone getting refreshments during any
exam of this type (which is quite a shame, considering the fees :-D at least some
water and/or hot beverage wouln't ruin them). And the exact time will be on your
invitation letter.

Would you mind sharing your preparation routine, please? And your experience once
you'll have sat the exam? I would like to try a DELE as well, in a year or so even
though I don't know which level will I aspire to by then, and I'd be very interested
in your experience.

I wish you lots of energy for your preparation and good luck at the exam!
1 person has voted this message useful



ashleys
Diglot
Pro Member
United States
Joined 2538 days ago

7 posts - 14 votes
Speaks: English*, Spanish
Studies: Mandarin, French
Personal Language Map

 
 Message 3 of 6
24 March 2015 at 2:08pm | IP Logged 
I took the DELE C1 a year ago. My goal was to level up my Spanish, having been solidly C1 in 2008 and then dropping down a bit in the subsequent years. I thought revising for the DELE would help motivate me to quickly get back up to C1. I prepared by taking about 30 lessons via iTalki with a teacher (who I strongly recommend, despite my results, which I will discuss in a bit). My teacher gave me many practice exams to do and we reviewed some advanced grammar and vocab concepts (the subjunctive, idioms). I also started up a weekly intercambio with a native speaker from South America, as I am more comfortable with accents from Spain.

Ultimately, I didn't pass the C1 exam. I came very close and actually after I took the exam, I felt very confident about the result. I actually thought my speaking section went really well but ultimately that was the section that caused me not to pass. Incidentally, it's also the section you can't appeal, as it's not recorded and the marking is subjective. I thought the listening section would have been my worst result, as one of the largest sections was based on an audio file that was poor quality and featured an interview with an old Argentinian man with an extremely hoarse voice. It would have been difficult for me to understand in English, too.

If I was going to take the exam again, I'd basically do everything the same, just more. More writing, more intercambios, more reading, listening to podcasts, and watching tv/films in Spanish. I did some of all of those things every week. If I was doing it over, I'd make a point to do almost all of those every single day for the month before the exam.

In terms of the actual exam, it's a lot like other standardized tests--the more familiar you are with the structure of the test, the easier it will be. I can't remember exactly what time my exam started, I want to say 9 or 10am. I had to go back the next day for the speaking exam. There was no food or coffee provided at my test center (Instituto Cervantes in London). No dictionaries allowed.
5 persons have voted this message useful



Maikl
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Germany
Joined 4417 days ago

121 posts - 145 votes 
Speaks: German*, Dutch, English, Spanish
Studies: Turkish

 
 Message 4 of 6
24 March 2015 at 8:16pm | IP Logged 
Thank you, I'll surely need a bit of luck in order to pass.
At the moment I'm working with this list:
http://cvc.cervantes.es/ensenanza/biblioteca_ele/plan_curric ular/indice.htm, writing down on memory cards anything that I think may be useful, which is a monks' work as the Dutch would say. I will not try to learn all these linguistic terms.

Not sure what to do about the writing and speaking parts of the exam, the best practice will be...writing and speaking. Will probably try out skype or something.

Today I had the inscription forms printed out and my ID card copied, which may or may not be verboten in Germany. On Thursday I'm going to the bank to get the payment receipt, 210€, a bit on the hefty side at the moment, have a not exactly attractive fulltime job and I will need to make sure that this job won't be holding me back too much regarding motivation and fitness (too lazy to start a thread like this in Spanish), two hours of Spanish practice during weekday evenings will be the maximum.
However, it's a win-win, I need a challenge, something to go for...and making an effort always pays off in the end.
These exams seem to take six, seven hours, and the location, a university will probably be a very deserted place on a Saturday with every cafeteria closed, and I don't want to be under-caffeinated on top of of everything...    


Edited by Maikl on 24 March 2015 at 9:07pm

1 person has voted this message useful



ashleys
Diglot
Pro Member
United States
Joined 2538 days ago

7 posts - 14 votes
Speaks: English*, Spanish
Studies: Mandarin, French
Personal Language Map

 
 Message 5 of 6
24 March 2015 at 9:07pm | IP Logged 
Yes, the DELE is very expensive! One thing my teacher warned me about when I first started studying for the exam, is that the DELE and the DELE preparation courses are big money makers for the Instituto Cervantes. She said her impression is that they are out to make as much money as possible from each student and that in her experience, students who take the Instituto's own prep classes (for lots of money) tend to pass on the first try, while students who prepare another way tend to not pass until the second time. It's a business and they want their money out of you!

I thought (and still sort of think) that this sounds a bit too cynical and conspiracy-theory-ish, but then I also thought I did great on the speaking section and then came up a few tenths of a point short of passing on the only section whose mark you can't appeal. So who knows? I do think just the act of preparing for the exam was very valuable in terms of maintaining and improving my Spanish level. I would be tempted to repeat the process again some day if it were cheaper.

I found several language partners on italki.com, which in general is one of my favorite websites for speaking and writing practice. Good luck!
3 persons have voted this message useful



Maikl
Tetraglot
Senior Member
Germany
Joined 4417 days ago

121 posts - 145 votes 
Speaks: German*, Dutch, English, Spanish
Studies: Turkish

 
 Message 6 of 6
24 March 2015 at 9:46pm | IP Logged 
Thank you, I think the same it's definitely worth a try, ¡viva la preparación!
It may be a tip of the scale sort of thing, having gone gone to and paid for the prep courses or just dropping by on exam day...
I'll check out italki .

I'm listening to this radio programme now, but I need to focus 100% otherwise it's just background babble. I do know the answer to the podcast's title, though haha.


Edited by Maikl on 24 March 2015 at 9:46pm



1 person has voted this message useful



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