Here we’re going to look at the Spanish DELE B2 reading part. The oral part of the exam is often done separately, but out of the other three parts to the DELE, the reading section is normally the first.
If you’d like to skip to any section in particular then you can use our handy contents table here.
How long does the B2 reading part take?
You will have 70 minutes to complete the reading section. As there are four different sections of the DELE, it would be useful to spend fifteen minutes on each section and then 10 minutes checking your answers.
What percentage do I need to pass the DELE?
This is where you’re in luck. The DELE pairs together the reading and writing sections, and also the listening and speaking section.
This means that you have to pass the reading and writing with a combined score. So if you lose marks in one activity, you can pick up marks in the other and still pass.
You need 60% correct to pass in both the writing and reading combined.
How many tasks are in the exam?
There are four different tasks in the reading.
Let’s have a look at each task individually:
The first task tests your comprehension skills. It consists of one large text, that is generally non fiction. After you have read the text, there are six questions to answers. The questions are multiple choice, and you have to pick the correct option between three possible answers.
Approximately 400 – 450 words
- There will be traps in the questions. Don’t just pick one because you saw the word in the text; you have to read carefully what the question asks
- Each questions normally corresponds with a paragraph, so you should be able to match each question up with a paragraph in the text
The second task consists of four small paragraphs. Each paragraph has been written by a different person about their experiences or opinions on a specific topic. There are ten sentences that summarise ideas in the four paragraphs and you have to match who said what. The point of this is task is to localise information, ideas and attitudes and match them with the corresponding idea. Part of this is your interpretation of what these people are saying. So understanding the general idea is very important.
Each of the four paragraphs has approximately 130 – 150 words.
- Try and look for synonyms. Since the same information is being written in a different way it is likely that synonyms will have been used
- If you’re not sure, try and gauge whether what the person is saying is generally negative or generally positive. This can help you eliminate if you’re unsure of the correct answer
The third task is often considered one of the most difficult tasks. In this task you have a text, usually non fiction, with six missing sentences. On the next page are eight possible sentences and you have to match the correct sentence with the correct part, with two left over.
- Look for clues like: aquella or la cual. With those you know that they are talking about something feminine
- Check the tenses match up; if the paragraph is in the imperfect tense, then the sentence you need will also probably be in the imperfect tense
- Look for connectors. For example, with ‘ademas or también’ you know new information is being added
- Read it to see if it makes sense. Is there a flow to your sentence or does it seem jammed in?
The fourth task of the DELE reading part is there to test your command of the Spanish grammar. You will read a text with words missing. For each word that is missing there are three options that you can choose from. There is only one correct answer and it is usually down to a grammatical reason.
This text is usually the most difficult thing to read in the exam, but don’t worry because here your comprehension skills aren’t getting tested, they want to know how good your Spanish grammar is. There are clues and hints in the text that will help you answer the questions even if you don’t completely understand what the text itself is saying.
This text is usually a fictional text, and the language is much more difficult.
- Don’t worry if you can’t understand that majority of the text. You can still pass this part
- If it’s a verb, look to see what preposition follows it. Usually each of the verbs given will only correspond to a certain preposition
- Look for things that trigger the subjunctive; is it a valoración? are there two subjects? is the person expressing desire?
- Look for clues that trigger the indefinido and the imperfecto
Past exam papers for the DELE B2 exam
Before the actual exam, it’s always a good idea to do some practise papers to prepare yourself. Make sure you don’t leave this until the week before the exam as this can impede your confidence rather than help it.
We would recommend starting two months in advance so as not to overwhelm yourself and to give yourself plenty of time to get used to the format of the exam.
This B2 book, available on Amazon, contains practise exam papers on a number of different themes to help you prepare for the DELE B2 exam.
Further information on the B2 DELE
If you’re the type of person who learns better with audio then we’ve selected a youtube video that might be able to explain the structure of the DELE B2 reading section for you.
If you have any other questions about the DELE exam then please let us know in the comments below. And if you’re taking the DELE exam this year then good luck. Let us know how you do in the comments!