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Levels for Young Learners: A1, A2/B1

Since May 2014 the Instituto Cervantes has offered A1 exams for young learners and will begin to offer A2/B1 exams for young learners starting in May 2015. These exams:

  • Are geared towards students of Spanish between 11 and 17 years old (candidates aged 18 years and above should register for the general exams).
  • Have been adapted to the specific environment, context, and situations of candidates in this age group.
  • Consist, as in the adult exams, of four tests: reading comprehension, oral comprehension, written expression and interaction, and oral expression and interaction.
  • Are, as with all DELE certificates, official certificates in Spanish, granted by the Instituto Cervantes on behalf of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport of Spain.
  • Enjoy international recognition and, once obtained, are valid indefinitely.

DELE A1 exam for young learners

The DELE A1 certificate for young learners certifies the linguistic competence necessary to understand and use common, everyday expressions and simple sentences, to address immediate needs.

What are the advantages of holding a DELE A1 certificate for young learners?

  • It is an official certification that complies with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFRE).
  • It certifies and assesses knowledge of Spanish from the first moment of contact with the language.
  • It is valid indefinitely.
  • It motivates students between 11 and 17 years old, because it is both a challenge and offers recognition of their learning at these early stages.

Exam specifications

The DELE A1 exam for young learners consists of four parts:

  • Reading comprehension test (45 min)
  • Listening comprehension test (20 min)
  • Writing expression and interaction test (25 min)
  • Oral expression and interaction test (10 min + 10 min preparation time)

For more details about exam specifications:
Specifications of the DELE A1 exam for young learners (in Spanish) (38 KB)

Exam guide

For more technical information about the different components of the exam, its structure and format, system of evaluation, or for samples of graded exams from previous candidates, download the Guide to the DELE A1 exam for young learners (in Spanish) (175 KB).

Sample exam

The Instituto Cervantes provides sample DELE A1 exams for young learners, so that candidates can familiarize themselves with the exam structure and format.

Sample DELE A1 exam for young learners (1482 KB)

DELE exam A2/B1 for young learners

Students who pass the DELE A2/B1 exam for young learners, will receive one of the following certificates:

Certificate of Spanish level A2

  • This diploma certifies that the candidate can understand commonly used, everyday phrases and expressions related to areas of experience especially relevant to them (basic information about themselves, and their families, shopping, places of interest, work, etc.).

Certificate of Spanish level B1

This certifies that the language user can:

  • Understand the gist of clear texts, in standard language, if they involve well-known topics related to work, studies or leisure.
  • Deal with most situations that occur while travelling in areas where Spanish is spoken.
  • Produce simple and coherent texts about familiar topics, or topics of personal interest.
  • Describe experiences, events, wishes and hopes, as well as to be able to briefly express opinions or explain plans.

What are the advantages of taking the DELE A2/B1 exam for young learners?

  • They offer candidates the possibility to obtain either the DELE level A2 or B1, depending on their results. In other words, it is possible to qualify for one of two levels of reference by taking a single exam.
  • As with the other DELE certification exams, candidates who pass the exam receive a DELE certificate, an official certificate in Spanish, issued by the Instituto Cervantes on behalf of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport of Spain.
  • This exam assesses and certifies candidates’ language competence at level A2 or B1 in Spanish, in accordance with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) and the Instituto Cervantes's Curriculum Plan.
  • As with the other DELE certificates, the certificate is valid indefinitely and is recognized internationally.
  • The exam recognizes and certifies, with the official DELE Certificate of Spanish certification, the Spanish language level achieved by the youngest students of this language: this exam is adapted to candidates between 11 and 17 years old (candidates aged 18 years and above should register for the general exams).

Exam specifications

The DELE A2/B1 exam for young learners consists of four parts:

  • Reading comprehension test (50 min)
  • Listening comprehension test (30 min)
  • Writing expression and interaction test (50 min)
  • Oral expression and interaction test (12 min + 12 min preparation time)

Specifications of the new DELE A2/B1 exam for young learners (in Spanish) (40 KB)

Exam guide

This exam guide is particularly useful for teachers of Spanish as a foreign language to help candidates prepare, for developers and publishers of teaching materials, and for candidates interested in more detailed information about the exam.

It includes:

  • A description of the exam structure, as well as the tests and tasks involved
  • The system of evaluation used for the exam
  • The system of evaluation for the written and oral expression and interaction tests
  • Sample written and oral expression and interaction tests from previous candidates, including their evaluations.

Guide to the DELE A2/B1 exam for young learners (in Spanish) (196 KB)

Sample exam

The Instituto Cervantes provides sample DELE A2/B1 exams for young learners, so that candidates can familiarize themselves with the exam structure and format.

Sample DELE A2/B1 exam for young learners (3716 KB)

Listening comprehension test (audio files):