HK’s Spanish Exam Specialists

This is our page for the official Spanish exams for kids, as well as the SIELE exam.  If you’re an adult interested in taking the DELE exam please click here:

DELE EXAM (For Adults)

Spanish World Hong Kong has a proven track record helping students achieve their top results in the key Spanish exams recognized by international schools and Universities.

Getting a 6-7 for IB Spanish, or A-A* for IGCSE, is a realistic and achievable goal, and our experienced teachers can help.  In fact, 90% of Spanish World students go on to score within the top 10% of their respective exams.

Read more about the specific exams here:





Spanish Lessons for Kids
Our teen Spanish students getting their certificates.

International Baccalaureate Spanish (IB):


Students generally take this exam in Year 12 or 13, between the ages of 16 and 19.  Hong Kong students tend to choose between two Spanish options for their IB Diploma: Language B, or Ab Initio.  (The third option, Language A, would be taken by either native speakers or uncommonly gifted language learners.)


Language B: Spanish


Language B refers to a Diploma Program in language acquisition for students with some previous experience of the target language.

Spanish B entails a high level of Spanish, for students with four to five years of learning experience.  It is further divided into students taking High Level (HL), or Standard Level (SL).  HL students are expected to employ more complex language structures while demonstrating the ability to perform high-order thinking skills in Spanish.

Since 2020, both HL and SL students have been assessed on listening comprehension.  It’s expected that they’ll be familiar with some different Hispanic accents and linguistic variations.

Further, an expression paper will demonstrate writing skills and test for conceptual understanding.  On this front, our teachers can help provide great “blueprints” for the different styles and written-tones that the student will be called to produce for the exam.

HL students are also expected to have read two literary works in Spanish, and to have their comprehension, interpretation, and inferences assessed in an oral exam.  This is one of the most valuable aspects of having a native, private tutor, as the student becomes comfortable conversing on a wide range of topics – learning about the kind of questions on the exam while improving pronunciation and raising their self-confidence.

Our expert Spanish advisors can help assess your child’s current proficiency and provide further guidance on the learning path.  Please book a session or contact us to learn more.

In order to qualify for Language A or Language B, the student should have demonstrated sound knowledge of the language.  Many students sit the IGCSE, or DELE Escolar, in order to prove that they’re at an adequate level to take the Language B exam.  Getting to this level of Spanish is realistic for students attending regular classes, either at their school, or at a dedicated language center like Spanish World.



Spanish Ab Initio


This test is for students who are comparatively new to Spanish, having studied Spanish for two years before enrolling in University.  Among the IB exams, it tests for the most basic level of Spanish (it is comparable to the IGCSE Spanish level), but Spanish Ab Initio also tests for comprehension and receptive skill befitting older test takers.


Spanish Ab Initio students require extensive exposure to Spanish if they want to excel on the final test of this Diploma Program.  Their comfort level employing Spanish in “real-world” contexts, and their ability to respond to spoken Spanish on the spot, are key factors in scoring a 6 or 7.  As the timeframe is shorter for Ab Initio students, we encourage parents to get in touch with Spanish World as soon as the decision has been made to take this exam, to ensure the student has a solid foundation, well before the time to take the test.

Spanish for the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE):

Students studying in the British curriculum will take this official exam in year 11, when they finish key stage 4 (Form 4 in local schools).  In Hong Kong, and around the world, many international schools will combine the British secondary education until year 11, with the Diploma Programme (DP) of the International Baccalaureate in years 12 and 13.  In local schools, it would be combined with the final two years towards their Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) in Form 5 and Form 6.

Because of the wide, global recognition of the IGCSE, many HK students decide to take it even while following the local school curriculum, and this is an area where Spanish World can be of particular help.

Getting a good result on the IGCSE will be a tremendous leg up for the rest of a student’s Spanish scholastic career, whether in IB DP, A levels, or HKDSE.  This exam is the first examination that universities will consider, so a strong result is a good marker of an aptitude for language acquisition.

The Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority (HKEAA) offers local students the opportunity to take IGCSE of the Edexcel board.  Many secondary schools, especially international schools, offer to take IGCSE internally, with the Cambridge International Examination board.  These exam boards guarantee the impartiality of the assessment and the validity of the results worldwide.

The main differences between taking the exam with one board or another arise in relation to the structure of each paper they design and the types of questions used in the oral exam.  For this reason – however you decide is best for your child’s IGCSE prep – it’s important that the teacher demonstrates a solid grasp of the assessment criteria published in official sources.

It is also worth mentioning that the IGCSE is graded on a curve, meaning that a good grade can only be obtained by outperforming the majority of other test-takers.  This added competitiveness makes seeking outside help even more necessary for students who want to showcase their Spanish abilities in future admissions to schools and universities.

Our long experience in IGCSE Spanish training has helped us to develop a great library of resources specifically for this exam.  Our wide selection of past papers is available to students and, when combined with the expert advice of one of our IGCSE specialists, these resources combined with our exam strategies can form a very solid foundation for success on the exam.

International Service of Evaluation of the Spanish Language (SIELE):

Our partner school Hong Kong Spanish Institute is only examination centre in Hong Kong for Servicio Internacional de Evaluación de la Lengua Española (SIELE). SIELE is the most comprehensive, versatile and prestigious system for assessing and certifying Spanish language proficiency. It is an International Assessment Service for the Spanish Language promoted by the Instituto Cervantes, the Universidad Autónoma de México, the Universidad de Salamanca and the Universidad de Buenos Aires.

Exams are held throughout the year, upon confirmation of registration. For inscription, you should drop by our school and provide us with any form of identification (exp. Passport or ID).

SIELE exams are a great opportunity for those who are thinking of obtaining an official certificate of Spanish, and we hope that this article will help you make that decision. SIELE or International Service for the Evaluation of the Spanish Language guarantees different varieties of the use of Spanish as it is promoted by Cervantes Institute, the National Autonomous University of Mexico, the University of Salamanca and the University of Buenos Aires. 

SIELE exams take as a reference the levels of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) and certify Spanish proficiency through four tests: Reading comprehension, Listening comprehension, Written expression and interaction, and Oral expression and interaction. 

Unlike other certifications, SIELE offers the possibility to choose between two different exam modalities, in this way each student can choose, freely and voluntarily, the one that best suits their needs. The first model of exam is a multilevel type that allows to know the domain of Spanish on a global basis, and the second model in which to choose between five independent modalities that are based on the combination of the different tests mentioned above. 

If you are thinking about certifying your Spanish level do not discard any of the options that SIELE has to offer. Learning Spanish is in your hand, certifying your level too.

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