4 Vote

¿Cómo se sabe el nivel de español? I've been wondering, how you can know your Spanish level/proficiency? I'm pretty sure that for now, and probably still for awhile, I will continue being a beginner. But I would like to be able to advance to intermediate, or maybe even advanced (ojalá smile) before I go into 12th grade next year, and definitely I would like to see my level progress ahead before college. So, I just want to know how the level can be found out. Thanks for all y'all's help!

Also, if anyone knows of ways to help with spoken-Spanish learning and comprehension, could you let me know? Thanks!

18 Answers

7 Vote

I always use this site.

It is the most in-depth scale I have found yet.

It will tell you what your level is in:

  • Reading

  • Speaking

  • Listening

  • Writing

  • Translation Performance

  • Interpretation Performance

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It gives descriptions of where the person should be at each level.

Now, if you want to take an actual test, I would check this site out.

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They keep it simple, but it will give you a good idea of where you are... at least with grammar. =)

  • thank you very much! I'll see how this works out - Himself12794 Jan 5, 2012 flag
  • You're welcome! Hope it helps... =) - NikkiLR Jan 5, 2012 flag
6 Vote

Truth is, there are two ways to look at this.

One, you want an academic measure of your progress. Well, as others have pointed out, there are tests you can take to measure academic progress.

The other measurement is how well you communicate with people, which may not match your so-called academic level. If you can speak and make yourself understood and be able to understand what people say back to you, I'd say your Spanish is pretty good. Initially this will be hard, but as it becomes easier, you'll automatically know you're progressing This is the true measure of your progress and actual abilities, IMO.

I know people who academically rate pretty high, but can't ask for a glass of water in real life. What good is it to be at any type of "advanced" academic level if you can't even hold a decent conversation?

Just my two cents.

  • I probably fall into this category. I can read and write quite a bit, and I can speak some but I never hear anyone talking, so I can't converse. - Himself12794 Jan 6, 2012 flag
  • Obviously visiting a Spanish-speaking country is not an option for me right now. - Himself12794 Jan 6, 2012 flag
3 Vote


Learning a new language is like learning to dance. At first, each step is labourious. But with practice, they become easy. When dancing you go to the next figure when you feel it's necesary to improve your style. It's the same when you learn any language. When you are ready to proceed to a new level, you feel it, like someone looking for a new chalenge.

And with time, what looked like "work" is sought as a "pleasure".

Reading books is also a good path to improve your skill .

2 Vote

At this site "www.practicaespanol.com"you can take a test to find at which level you are.It's a wonderful site by the way.

2 Vote

This is what my government posted with regards to knowing if you're good enough to work as a consular officer in a foreign country. It's pretty detailed, and useful.

Oral Proficiency Rating Scale

Reading Proficiency Rating Scale

Written Proficiency Rating Scale

2 Vote

¡Hola, Himself! I don't have much to add to the excellent advice already given.

I just wanted to say Happy Belated Birthday, from another resident of the great state of North Carolina! We have one more thing in common. December 7 is my birthdate as well... only mine was about 40 yrs earlier than yours wink. I think your command of Spanish is very impressive and I wish you continued success in your efforts to master this wonderful language. ¡Bien hecho, joven!

2 Vote

I am a huge advocate of testing and analyzing academic performance. Let's face it, most people who are academically proficient in their own language also sound intelligent when they speak in their language.

One of your commentors, however, raises an extremely good point. In learning a second language, it is very possible to be academically brilliant and to not be able to speak a word in real life.

Testing is a good way to check your progress, particularly if you are interested in using the second language as part of your future career -- it will not be enough to simply claim on your resume that you are proficient -- but don't get so hung up on perfect sentence structure that you fail to say a word when given the opportunity to use what you have learned.

Good luck.

  • I never meet anyone who speaks Spanish, so for now the understanding spoken Spanish part will have to wait. - Himself12794 Jan 6, 2012 flag
2 Vote

The problem is they never do a good job. I did the Cervantas level test online which includes listening reading and grammar and they told me I had a C1 / C2 level, then I went into a B1 class in reality and was struggling. ( the bottom level is A1 and the top one is C2)

  • Rabbit, I can sustain a conversation, in the present, for some time, but I cannot write a thing int he present subjunctive. as for the past, I pass out.. - annierats Jan 6, 2012 flag
  • Tests depend entirely on what you test for.. - annierats Jan 6, 2012 flag
  • I've actually spent considerable time time studying the subjunctive. Though I am in no way perfect, I can feel confident when I do use it. May I suggest studying up on the English subjunctive? This is something I did that gave me a mental breakthrough! - Himself12794 Jan 6, 2012 flag
  • Right, a lot of the times I find if you rephrase the English sentence it can be subjunctive as well.. Of course being an English teacher helps! - rabbitwho Jan 6, 2012 flag
  • But the past tenses! Los odio! - rabbitwho Jan 6, 2012 flag
2 Vote

So, my reading comprehension and writing of Spanish is so-so, but as for the understanding Spanish I need much-much more work because there are no Spanish speakers around here. Therefore that part of my learning will have to wait.

  • Why not watch some of your favorite movies / shows in Spanish? =D - NikkiLR Jan 6, 2012 flag
2 Vote

Dear God, I just guessed that as I was not a total beginner but had not even heard of the subjunctive I was probably intermediate. This method seems as good as any to me... Although ,I have noticed, on this very site, people with 50.000 K or so, describing themselves as beginners.. It's probably very subjective at the end of the day and should be handled in the subjunctive... LOL, just keep going!

  • I consider myself a beginner and I know all the tenses (but not perfectly) =( But yeah, you need to just keep going!! =D - NikkiLR Jan 6, 2012 flag
  • Yes, I think that's the main thing, to keep improving. - annierats Jan 6, 2012 flag
  • Well officially A1 - A2 is Beginner B1 - B2 is intermediate and C1 - C2 is advanced. There are grammar and vocabulary areas you're supposed to know at each level and you're supposed to be able to use them in listening, speaking, reading, writing - rabbitwho Jan 6, 2012 flag
  • That's according to the European Union, but you see books for A2 being called "advanced" because publishers sell more that way it seems, so we can all call ourselves whatever we want! - rabbitwho Jan 6, 2012 flag
  • Don't worry. I guessed that I was intermediate a couple of years ago. Recently, I've considered changing my status to beginner! Even though I've learned a lot, I've also learned what I D O N ' T know! - MLucie Jan 6, 2012 flag
2 Vote

So, my reading comprehension and writing of Spanish is so-so, but as for the understanding Spanish I need much-much more work because there are no Spanish speakers around here. Therefore that part of my learning will have to wait.

This is a challenge faced by many of us outside of Spanish-speaking countries, and you'll have to be creative and very determined to overcome it. Fortunately you have some options. There are many, many threads on SpanishDict about developing listening skills by watching Spanish language media. Lots of threads = lots of good ideas. Movies, songs, TV shows, soap operas, radio shows, YouTube (my favorite) and language learning sites all have a huge array of audio media presentations in Spanish. Do a search and dive in! You will find something that appeals to you.

That said, if you remain a passive listener you won't progress very far in speaking. You'll have to take the initiative and "talk" - talk back to the screen, talk to yourself, talk to anyone who will listen. Listen to the songs you like and sing along. Until you find a real Spanish friend, you'll have to settle for the imaginary kind wink. Eventually you will find a Spanish speaker who will be willing to converse with you. If you have access to Skype, you may be able to connect with folks in another part of the world who will talk to you. I don't know where you are in NC, but there are many native speakers in the state. If you keep up with your studies and don't get discouraged, you will be ready to strike up a conversation when the opportunity arises. You never know when that might be! ¡Buena suerte!

  • thank you! I actually do talk to myself all the time in Spanish, but it still isn't the same as talking to someone and the excitement when you understand them and they understand you! - Himself12794 Jan 6, 2012 flag
  • I live in Fayetteville. - Himself12794 Jan 6, 2012 flag
  • Yes, I know what you mean. Fayetteville has it's share of Latinos, as does my town of Pittsboro. But still, it's hard to find the right person and then to strike up a conversation. - ajaks Jan 6, 2012 flag
2 Vote

How can I get some of the movies in Spanish? I only have one movie in Spanish, but it was hard to come by. Can you suggest some movies?

Good question! Many rental movies have a Spanish language option, with the Spanish dubbed to the English original. If you have access to Netflix, they have some movies from Spanish speaking countries where the original movie was done in Spanish. Beware of subtitles though, they are not word for word translations of the script and personally I find them somewhat frustrating.

I prefer YouTube videos. There is a wealth of material on there, from cartoons in Spanish, learning sites, music concerts, home-made videos, and lots of TV shows from around the world. I hope this helps!

  • usually if I am able to watch a movie in Spanish I do ignore the subtitles. I believe they are the way they are because when the dubb a video, they try to make the words close to how the speaker's lips are formed and, match with the timing of the spoken. - Himself12794 Jan 6, 2012 flag
  • with some very well dubbed movies, (mostly computered animate ones at least) I can't even notive that it has been dubbed! - Himself12794 Jan 6, 2012 flag
  • Podcasts - http://www.spanishdict.com/answers/218689/podcasts-that-you-might-like - ajaks Jan 6, 2012 flag
  • YouTube (this is a hoot!) - http://www.spanishdict.com/answers/218659/mi-nombre-es-chiles-next-idol-just-amazing - ajaks Jan 6, 2012 flag
  • Lists of media & and learning sites - http://www.spanishdict.com/answers/100000/spanishdict-reference-guide - ajaks Jan 6, 2012 flag
2 Vote

I don't know if this will be possible for you right now, but I have a suggestion. If you think it's a good idea, you should first talk it over with your parents, of course.

Do some research in your community and try to find some volunteer work that will put you in touch with Spanish speakers. It could be Habitat for Humanity, a community food bank, church groups, a library or a community college. Look for English speakers who learned Spanish so they could communicate at their work for a non-profit. Explain that you would like some opportunities to learn from fluent or native speakers and see what they say. Keep in mind that their first obligation is to do their job, and not to chat with you, so you will have to patient.

You may be able to find a learning or reading program for Latinos who are learning English. You could help out, or even be an English tutor, and you may meet someone who is willing to spend time helping you out with your Spanish in return. Some of these programs are intended for immersion English, so your Spanish may or may not be a asset when applying.

Anyway, just a thought. Now I should go and practice more of what I've been preaching! lol

Did you see this thread?

1 Vote

How can I get some of the movies in Spanish? I only have one movie in Spanish, but it was hard to come by. Can you suggest some movies?

1 Vote

The way it is, I don't feel like I could change my level until I've had quite a few successful conversations with native speakers.

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