Firstly, I haven’t posted anything here lately even though I’ve been meaning to. Unfortunately, I’ve had a case of paralysis by analysis, whereby I started editing and reediting posts until I finally had to move onto something else. I’d like to return to talk about this more in the long term as I’ve learnt a lot over the last few weeks but to do that now wouldn’t do justice to what I’d like to set out today. This post which is to highlight the steps I have taken towards my target: passing the DELE C2 exam by the 9th of November.

With just over a month to go, I’m going to start by highlighting some practical steps I have been taking to reach this target. Firstly, I have been taking online classes three times a week with native speakers from various different countries to practice the oral component of the exam. There are many, many different websites that allow you to find teachers, although the best one I’ve found so far is italki. There is a lot to be said for this teaching method, as you can take advantage of time zones to find a class that fits your schedule, and can also be used for learning various different languages. Depending on the teacher, the rates are quite reasonable and are certainly less than what you would pay in a one-to-one class anywhere else. Not only does it let you schedule and pay for lessons, but you can also set up free exchanges with other users.

As for the content of these classes, I’ve been largely using this book of sample papers printed by EDELSA for the oral component in class, as well as having the teachers correct the sample papers afterwards. I can’t stress enough about the need to familiarise yourself with the exam format beforehand, as many elements only become easier with practice. I personally find the oral part to be the hardest, given that you have barely fifteen minutes to prepare a presentation on an abstract topic. However, with practice with the classes, it has become much easier.

What is great about this book is that it approaches each topic in a thematic way, with plenty of guidelines, lists of vocabulary and sample answers to help you prepare. However, before you go rushing off to buy it, it’s important to bear in mind that the book stocked on Amazon follows the old format for the exam. That said, there is an edition with the new format out there somewhere, and a sample paper can be found here.

Besides the oral component of the exam, one of the most challenging aspects is the amount of advanced vocabulary required. To some extent the exam is about testing your fluency and that includes being able to work around certain words whose meanings aren’t always clear. Yet there are ways to build up your vocabulary in preparation for the exam. What has been of great use to me is the Anki flashcard program (while conceivably any program would do), which I use everyday and has forced me to remember a lot of words that I’d otherwise forget. Apart from that, I’ve been using this vocabulary builder, which although intended for A level students, has been of great help.

Finally, given that I have only a month left and complete immersion isn’t an option, I have been trying to surround myself with the language as best I can. I’ve been attending a Spanish language meetup in Dublin every week to practice speaking. I’ve also made a point of listening to podcasts and reading the news only in Spanish, mainly by listening to this program on Radio Nacional de España and reading El País online.

While I’ve outlined some steps I’ve taken here, I’d encourage anybody thinking about doing the same to find learning techniques that work for them. But most of all, I’d encourage them to be ambitious and to go for it as there’s nothing to lose. While I may not pass in November, I will have improved and will work on the areas I did badly in for next time.

If you have any tips for the DELE or comments about what worked best for you, feel free to comment below. 🙂