Are you taking a DELE exam?

Do you know how to do the DELE to pass?

What do the examiners look at?

How to get a pass in the DELE?

If you take an exam at the Cervantes Institute and you don’t know how to do the DELE to get an APTO, this article will interest you. I will tell you about the points that examiners and correctors pay attention to and how we evaluate the DELE exam tests.

How are the DELE exams evaluated?

It is one of the most frequent questions asked by students who take a DELE exam, and it is very important to know these evaluation criteria. When you know how the DELE exams are evaluated, you can better focus on how, what to study, what to include and why in your exam, and what part you need to improve to get an APTO.

After learning about the structure of the DELE exams, this point is one that I think is the most important. Knowing how DELE exams are evaluated will help you focus on this other aspect. And here we go!

If you do not know what the DELE exam you want to take is like, you can see these other articles:

Exam A1-A2
B1 exam
B2 exam
C1 exam


The first thing you should know is that there are two types of evaluations in the DELE exam, one automatic and the other human.

All exams have a part of reading comprehension, listening and written and oral expression and interaction, well, the reading and listening comprehension parts are evaluated automatically, by a machine. This machine detects the correct results from the incorrect ones

On the answer sheet that they give you on the day of your DELE exam, you have to mark your options in some boxes, the machine will detect the “read” ones and that is how it detects the correct answers from the incorrect ones.

That’s why it’s vital that you check the boxes correctly!!

It is not enough with a simple cross or a tick, you have to fill in the gap of your answer completely. I leave you the image so you can see how you should or should not fill them.

Hoja de Respuestas. CarmEle Español Online
Ejemplo de respuestas Examen DELE

On the other hand, the written and oral expression and interaction tests are corrected by people. In this case a double correction is made. Each test, written or oral, is corrected by two people, this is to guarantee the reliability of the correction. One fixer does a more exhaustive fix and the other does a more general fix, but both must match. In the case of not agreeing on the assessment, a third evaluation will be chosen.

In addition to this double evaluation, the Cervantes Institute establishes correction criteria for each level. All examiners and raters use the same criteria!

Once the exams are finished, they are sent to Madrid and there they are corrected by graders, they are the people who are qualified to correct these texts.

This is why DELE notes take so long!

Imagine the number of exams they have to correct.

To the question you ask me about How to pass the DELE exam, I answer:

“You have to take into account how we evaluate the examiners.”

How to take the DELE exam:

To take a good DELE exam you must know and follow the criteria used by the raters to evaluate your exam and get a pass. The qualifiers have appropriate descriptors for each level, in which points are established that the student must meet to obtain a pass in the test they are taking.

Here we must differentiate between the lowest levels and the levels from B1. We cannot evaluate an A2 or a C1 in the same way, so the criteria have some differences.

Likewise, each descriptor is divided into four levels (0,1,2,3) this is the score that the qualifiers will give to the tests. Scores 0 and 1 would correspond to an unsuitable test and scores 2 and 3 to Pass.

I will leave you some examples of apt descriptors in the following explanations.

In this article I am going to focus on the most exhaustive evaluation, the one we call Analytics, since it is the one that can give us the most information to correct the possible mistakes you make.

How to do Written expression and interaction (A1-A2):

You must take into account the two criteria that the directors use, the use of the language and the fulfillment of the task. In other words, on the one hand, how you use the language is evaluated; the vocabulary, the verbs, connectors to express yourself and on the other hand if you answer adequately to the points that they ask you in the exam. In the image you can see what they take into account to consider your written expression and interaction test APTA, that is, to have an APTO your written task has to meet the requirements shown in the image below.

Descriptores A1-A2 escrita
Descriptores de la prueba A1-A2 examen DELE

How to do Written Expression and Interaction (B1-C):

At these levels the descriptors are more specific and are as follows:

I will explain what each descriptor consists of. The images are from level B1. If you apply to other levels, you can go to the Instituto Cervantes website or ask your instructor.

  • Adaptation to the discursive genre: From B1 you will have to write different types of texts, formal and informal, the raters will assess that the texts are appropriate to what is asked of you, for example, if it is a letter, say hello, say goodbye appropriately and speak of all the points that are asked of you. Attention is also paid to whether you comply with all the points indicated and whether or not you expand information.

Pay attention to what is asked of you in the exam instructions!

Descriptores B1
Descriptores B1: Adecuación al género
  • Coherence: When we talk about coherence we refer to the clarity and order of the text, for this reason I am so heavy with the connectors with my students! The ideal is that you use connectors appropriate to your level, do not limit yourself to and, also, because… from a B1 you have to add more structures.

If you need help with the connectors I recommend this article


Descriptores B1: Coherencia
  • Correction: Of course the correction of the text is important, this does not mean that the text you write is perfect. No! But you must show good control of the structures you use. Spelling begins to matter.
Descriptores B1: Corrección
Descriptores B1: Corrección
  • Scope: Here the vocabulary and expressions you use are valued. It is important that you start using specific vocabulary of the topic you are going to write about and do not limit yourself to using the most general words. One thing you can do to improve your lexicon is to read, and do it on different topics so that you have a good vocabulary repertoire.
Descriptores B1: Alcance
Descriptores B1: Alcance

Remember that the descriptors have 4 levels, 0-1 are NO APTO and 2-3 APTO



That is all for today! I hope that it has been useful to you, I sincerely believe that it is important that you know how the correctors evaluate because that way you will know how to take a DELE APTO exam.

In the following article I will talk to you about the oral tests of the DELE exams of the Cervantes Institute. We will see the descriptors and how the correction of your oral test is produced.

Are you interested in the topic?

leave me your comment

What experience have you had with your DELE exam?

What difficulties?

I would be glad to help you


I collaborate in the DELEANDO POR EL MUNDO podcast, where we talk about issues related to DELE exams. In this video we talk about the evaluation of the DELE exams


How to take the DELE exame

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