The CELA exam was created for non-native speakers of Spanish who want to certify their knowledge and proficiency of the Spanish language in the personal, public and academic fields. UNAM provides an official diploma, valid for different universities and institutions, which indicates the results obtained in each one of the skills evaluated.

Why take the CELA?


  • To certify your general knowledge of the Spanish language.

  • To have proof of your Spanish proficiency for working or academic purposes.

  • To have a document that certifies your Spanish skills in relation to international parameters (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages).


What are the requirements for taking the CELA?


  • Be 18 years or older.

  • Valid passport of a non-Spanish speaking country.

  • Complete the registration form to request the test.

  • Pay the exam and send the picture of your receipt.

  • Be familiar with the use of technology and the Spanish keyboard.

  • Provide two passport photos on the day of the exam.


What does the CELA measure?


  • The degree of proficiency in the Spanish language according to the CEFRL:

    • Proficient (level C1)

    • Advanced (level B2)

    • Independent (level B1)

  • It is important to request the appropriate level of the exam. Consider the level of your proficiency in the Spanish language, otherwise, with less than 69 points, you may not obtain your certificate.


What is the cost of the exam?


  • $80.00 USD


What is the calendar?


  • Any day/hour within our labor schedule. Except during the vacation periods or holidays, you can choose the day and hour you prefer if you let us know at least one week in advance.


What does the test entail?


  • The CELA is an online exam with five sections that measure your linguistic skills:

    • Linguistic competence

    • Listening comprehension

    • Reading comprehension

    • Written expression

    • Spoken interaction

  • The total duration of the exam is around 3 hours.

  • Linguistic competence, Reading comprehension & Listening comprehension are evaluated through multiple-choice questions.

  • Written expression is evaluated through essays, which are later graded by a specialist in teaching Spanish as a Second Language.

  • During the Speaking section, the candidates will be interviewed and recorded by a professor who later will send this audio to be graded.


Can I take a preparation course and improve my test result?

  • It is possible to take a preparation course to improve your score on the exam. In that case, consider three weeks in advance of the exam date at least.
  • This private course must be requested directly in the registration form of Spanish courses, in the option: "Preparación para exámenes de certificación".

  • The cost is $180 and includes the book. This is in addition to the cost of the exam.

  • But it is not necessary to take this course. You can also study and be ready for the test on your own.


What do I need the day of the exam?


  • Come at least 15 minutes before your appointment for the exam. Please bring the following original documents:

    • Valid passport

    • Receipt of payment

    • Two passport photos.


Will I get a certificate after completing the exam?


  • We provide a document that shows the candidate's proficiency level. If a student obtains more than 69 points, a certificate will be issued as well.

  • This certificate is valid for two years.