Doing the DELE exam can be difficult, but they’re definitely worth while, and to make these examinations as easy as possible for you, you need to prepare.
You can prepare in lots of ways; class, reading, watching movies, talking to people in real life, but one of the ways you’re probably going to want to practise is by using Spanish textbooks. Which is why we wanted to write our recommendations of the best Spanish textbooks for the DELE exam.
These are the textbooks we would recommend you use to prepare for the DELE exams. In this list we have broken our recommendations down by level and we have also recommended a textbook to learn grammar and then a different textbook to help you work through past papers. We hope this list is useful to you.
The two book recommendations we are giving you are for grammar and past papers. So if you don’t want to read our tips in between, you can just scroll down to these two headings.
DELE Practise Paper Textbooks
Why are DELE practise papers important?
Practise papers are important because they give you a feel of what the actual DELE exam is going to be like.
You may be confident with your grammar, you may be able to watch television with subtitles or hold a conversation, but unless you practise the skills that are going to come up in the exams, you’re just not going to be prepared for the real thing.
How should I use these DELE textbooks?
- Don’t leave them until right before your exam. I would start trying past papers a few weeks or months before the actual exam. This way you give yourself the time that you need.
- If you’re working and you can only fit in one a week then that’s fine, as long as you give yourself enough time before the actual exam. If you start two months before you could get through eight practise exams and you would be really prepared.
- Do try and do the past papers under exam conditions. This means try and time yourself so you take as long as you would in the actual exam, and don’t look up words you don’t know in a dictionary while you’re doing the practise paper.
- Once you’ve finished, by all means go back and check out the new vocabulary but don’t do it while you’re doing the practise, because the whole point is to get you used to exam conditions and if you don’t know a word in the actual exam, you won’t be able to look it up.
- Instead, you’ll have to infer it’s meaning from what’s written in the rest of the text.
These are the best textbooks we would recommend for doing past papers.
What’s in these DELE textbooks?
In these textbooks, you will find past papers for:
Of course, with writing and speaking you won’t be able to do them alone.
But if you have a Spanish teacher, you can ask them to help you with the speaking sections or to take a look at your written work.
Each textbook should also contain a CD, but check the descriptions on the product before you buy.
A1 Practise Paper Exam Textbook
This Spanish A1 textbook has practise papers that you can do before the exam to check you understand the process and to see if you’re ready or not to take the Spanish A1 exam.
A2 Practise Paper Textbook
This Spanish A2 textbook contains a series of practise papers to help you practise the four components of the DELE exam.
B1 Practise Paper Textbook
To pass the B1, a Spanish B1 textbook full of past papers for the four different components of the exam is exactly what you need.
B2 Practise Paper Textbook
This B2 Spanish textbook consists of a series of past exams to help you practise your listening, speaking, reading and writing for the B2.
C1 Practise Paper Textbook
As the exams are becoming so much more difficult at this level, a Spanish C1 textbook is vital to help you prepare for the C1 exam.
C2 Practise Paper Textbook
Finally, if you’re going to take the C2 exam then you’re definitely going to need a Spanish C2 textbook full of past papers to help you adequately prepare for the exam.
Important! These textbooks don’t include the answer keys at the back which can be really frustrating if you finish an exam, flick to the back page and find that the answers aren’t there. You can often find PDFs of the answer books online but if you can’t they do tend to be cheaper than the past exam paper books.
What we would recommend is to buy the answer book with a friend who is also on the course. That way you save some money and you can take it in turns to use the answer book whenever one of you has answered a question. At the end of the exam period you can sell the book and split the money with your friend.
Best Spanish Grammar Books
Yes, there are other skills you need for the exams, but a lot of that you don’t need the textbook for.
Grammar is one of the things I would definitely recommend buying the textbook for and practising because it’s a lot more difficult to practise in the real world than other skills.
Now on a lot of sites, you’ll find the books broken down into best A1 grammar, best A2 grammar etc. Which is fine, there are books dedicated to each level. But we have found that these grammar books that cover A, B and C are the most comprehensive and user friendly ones available, making them in our opinion the best Spanish textbooks currently our there.
They are laid out so that the left page of the book explains the grammar point and then the right paid contains exercises.
The information is never too much before you are given a chance to practise it yourself, and the answers are in the back of the book so you can check it yourself when you’re done.
A1 – A2 Spanish Grammar Textbook
The A1-A2 Spanish textbook is a great way to get you started. You’re at the basics of Spanish and you’re ready to get stuck into the grammar.
As I mentioned before, the book gives you grammar information in bite size pieces. You have an explanation, followed by exercises, so you always have a chance to practise what you’ve learned.
The one recommendation I would make with this book is although I think it is useful and would recommend it, don’t get stuck just using the textbook. When you’re starting out, it’s quite common to find speaking a bit scary and to bury yourself in textbooks instead, but a textbook won’t help you learn a language alone.
You need to speak it, and interact with the language too.
B1 – B2 Spanish Grammar Textbook
After you’ve completed the B1-B2 Spanish grammar book you’ll feel like you know the subjunctive inside out. This one starts out with relatively easy grammar if you’ve just come from A1-A2, but takes you all the way through the subjunctive.
And the great thing is, the change is so gradual, you don’t see the book suddenly getting difficult, instead it builds your confidence to a point that each time you encounter a new grammar structure you feel ready to take it on.
C1 – C2 Spanish Grammar Textbook
If you’ve gotten to the stage where you need this Spanish C1 textbook then I would like to congratulate you. You’ve really stuck to learning Spanish and it’s clearly paid off. This book is laid out just the same as the two previous ones; one on side you have explanations of grammar and then on the other page you have practise exercises.
Even though you’re at a higher level, the creators of the book understand that you still need practise so they don’t overwhelm you before they give you more information to take in.
If you have worked your way to the end of this book please let us know in the comments below! The team will definitely be impressed with that achievement.
And these are our best Spanish textbooks for the DELE exam.
Why take the DELE exam?
We’d be surprised if you’d read our article on best textbooks for the DELE exam but you weren’t convinced whether the exam was for you or not.
There are lots of reasons that you could take the DELE exam.
It is the most recognised Spanish language exam currently available and it is necessary to take if you want to:
- Study in a Spanish speaking country
- Get citizenship in a Spanish speaking country
- Work in a Spanish speaking country (in a job that isn’t something like an English teacher, where Spanish obviously isn’t as needed).
If you still want to look into why you should take the DELE exam, you can read our detailed article here about reasons why you should consider it.
DELE Textbook FAQ
These are some of the most commonly aksed questions regarding the DELE exam and textbook use.
Is the DELE exam difficult?
How difficult the DELE exam is to you will depend on how well you have prepared, but yes the exam is meant to be challenging as it is testing your current Spanish level.
What is the DELE test?
The DELE test is the official Spanish proficiency exam that can be used to study and work in Spanish speaking countries.
How long does it take to get DELE results?
DELE results will take approximately three months to arrive, however this can vary throughout the year and may be affected by busier and quieter periods.
How many DELE are there?
There are six levels to the DELE: A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2. A1 being the easiest and C2 being the most advanced.
Final Thoughts On DELE Textbooks
We hope you’ve found our best textbooks for the DELE exam useful!
There are other DELE textbooks that you can use, but these are the ones that we think are most relevant or most useful. Please read around before making your decision, but the one thing I would recommend is don’t buy too many. Choose one and give it a go, if it doesn’t work for you then buy another one.
I find when you go out and buy all the books, it’s harder to pick one and get started. But if you choose one and start working your way through it, it’s a lot easier to stick to and you’ll probably find you end up doing a lot more that way.
If you have any experience with DELE examinations, or if you have other books that you would recommend please let us know in the comment section below. We always want to hear about your experiences, and if there’s a better book available then we want to know about it! But we truly believe that these are the best textbooks for the DELE exam.
The DELE exam is difficult, but with enough preparation and practise you should be fine. If you want to get an insider’s view on the DELE exam then you can read Leah’s experience here about taking the DELE A2 exam. She talks about why she decided to take it, how she prepared for it, how she studied and how she felt it went.
And if you are planning on doing the exam sometime soon then we really do wish you the best of luck, and just make sure that you’re prepared and you do some of those past exams!