One of the most important requirements for obtaining Spanish citizenship is passing two different tests: the DELE A2 and the CCSE. In this article we will teach you everything you need to know to pass them successfully. Duration of the tests, structure, and number of questions, how to study for them, cost, where to register, and much more!
The DELE A2 and CCSE are the two nationality tests that any foreigner must pass in order to be granted nationality in Spain.
They are two different exams that will define whether or not you are eligible for a Spanish passport, based on your level of Spanish (language) and knowledge of the country.
Although there are certain situations that make it unnecessary to take them, they are an indispensable requirement during the process of obtaining Spanish citizenship.
How long does the Spanish nationality test takes?
The Spanish nationality test (CSSE) lasts a total of 45 minutes. Below we will see in greater detail how is this time distributed; but as you see, it is quite short.
However, as we have mentioned, there is also the language exam or DELE A2, which lasts longer: about two and a half.
How many questions does it have?
The CSSE consists of 25 different questions, divided into true or false and multiple-choice questions.
In order to pass, you must get a minimum of 60% right.
In the case of the language exam, we will detail each and every one of its questions later in this article.
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How much do you need to pay in order to take the citizenship test?
The registration fee for the exam in 2020 is 85 euros. This price will allow you to take the exam twice.
That is, if you fail the first time or do not reach the minimum of right answers that are required, you will have another chance without any extra cost.
This second opportunity will also be granted to you in case you were not able to attend the initial call.
If you fail again on the second attempt, you will have to pay the same € 85 again.
How and where can I pay?
Payment for registration for the socio-cultural exam is made on the website of the Cervantes Institute, the entity that organizes them.
And you can pay either by debit or credit card.
Let’s see, first of all, everything you need to know about the Spanish culture and society exam.
As we have mentioned, it consists of a total of 25 questions, of which you must get a 60% right.
Not answering a given question right won’t subtract any point.
What is the society and cultural exam exactly about?
The CCSE is divided into two different parts, making up a total of 5 subsections.
Common knowledge: culture, history, and Spanish society
The first part of the exam, which represents 40%, deals with the culture and society of Spain. It is divided into the following two sections:
a) Firstly, questions regarding general cultural knowledge, traditions, and history of Spain. In this section, there are 3 multiple-choice questions.
b) The second part, consisting of 7 multiple choice questions, deals with knowledge of different aspects of daily life in Spain and societal behavior. This includes, among others, knowledge about relevant administrative procedures.
Politics and geography
Then, we move on to the remaining 60% of the exam. It is again divided again into two different sections:
a) Firstly, you will find questions regarding the Spanish government and its powers, institutions of the country, legislation, and mechanisms for citizen participation. It has two tasks, one with 10 multiple choice questions; and a second with 3 true or false questions.
b) Finally, 2 multiple choice questions on the territorial, geographical and political organization of Spain.
When is it NOT necessary to take the CCSE?
There are few cases in which you can avoid taking the CCSE, as it is more common to be able to avoid the language one than the cultural one.
However, as long as you have studied ESO (school) or Bachillerato (high school) in Spain, it is not necessary to pass this exam to obtain nationality.
You will also face the Spanish language exam, the DELE A2. This test serves to certify that you have a sufficient level of Spanish so to understand and communicate clearly by using this language.
This exam was reformed in 2020 and presents important differences in relation to what we have seen until now.
Below we detail its current structure, which came into force in February 2020.
Language test structure
The DELE is divided into 4 different parts.
- First, a reading comprehension test, which lasts 60 minutes.
- Then, a listening comprehension test, which lasts 40 minutes.
- Test 3 is for written expression, with two tasks lasting 45 minutes in total.
- Finally, test 4 is for oral expression. This consists of 3 tasks.
*Between tests 2 and 3 there is a break, so as you can see, it roughly takes about 3 hours.
First part: Reading
The first test has 4 tasks. These tasks are related to your daily life and the environment in which you live.
There are 25 questions of which you must get at least 60% of the answers.
- The first task consists of reading an e-mail, about 250 words long, and answering 5 questions (a, b or c).
- Task number 2 consists of 8 announcements/job offers, and you will have to answer one question from each one.
- In task 3 you will find 6 questions. You will have to read 3 texts and relate each of them to 6 different statements.
- Finally, the last task in this section consists of a slightly longer text, about 350-400 words, that creates 6 questions to be answered (a, b or c).
Second Part: Listening
The listening test is also divided into 25 questions divided into 4 different tasks. Again, you should get a 60% right (minimum).
Each audio is played twice. And you will always listen to an example first so that you can understand the mechanics.
- Task 1 consists of 6 short, informal conversations and 3 pictures. You will have to relate each conversation to the 3 pictures.
- Task 2 consists of 6 short announcements, with 3 possible answers.
- In task 3, you will listen to a conversation. You have 6 statements, and you need to answer questions about the interlocutors of that conversation.
- Finally, in task number 4 you will hear 7 messages, and you must relate them to 10 statements, out of which 3 won’t be selected (you must discard them).
Third Part: Writing
This writing test, which used to have 3 tasks, is now reduced to just 2. It consists of writing two different texts for 45 minutes.
- The first text to be written is a letter, between 60 and 70 words. You will have to read what someone writes to you, and answer him or her trough your letter, including everything that is asked in the statement.
- In the second part you can choose between two different options. Option A is an everyday text, in which you have to write about yourself. Option B is a narrative text, in which you have to talk about events or an anecdote. Here the text should be 70 or 80 words long.
Fourth Part: Speaking
Finally, the most feared part for many: oral expression and interaction.
It consists of 3 tasks that you will prepare in a preparation room for 12 minutes.
Afterwards, you will carry out each of them with the examiner.
- Task 1 consists of a 2 or 3-minute monologue on a topic, from two options to choose from.
- In Task 2 you will choose from 2 pictures. You will prepare a description of the photo you have chosen.
- Finally, task 3 is related to the previous one. It is an informal conversation between you and the examiner in which you will discuss the chosen photo.
When is it NOT necessary to take the DELE?
As long as you come from a Latin American country or can prove a level of Spanish higher than A2, it is not necessary to take this exam.
Where and when are the exams taking place?
The Cervantes Institute has centers all over the world, so you can find one very close to you.
Moreover, their website makes it very easy for you.
You basically need to enter here, select your country and region, and the exam you want to take. You will see a list of all the locations and available dates you can register for.
The best way to practice for the nationality test
Generally speaking, you can easily pass both exams provided you study and prepare properly.
Take as many of the exams published online as possible. After all, this is the only way to understand the kind of questions you will be asked and get to know how to answer them.
In the case of the CCSE, for example, the exam is fed by a battery of 300 questions which you can find on the Instituto Cervantes website. So answering them all is the best way to practice.
And if you need specialized help to prepare for each test or to obtain nationality, do not hesitate to contact us. Our team of lawyers will be happy to help you!