Taking the Spanish DELE C2 exam - Part 2 - Reading Comprehension

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s_allard
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Taking the Spanish DELE C2 exam - Part 2 - Reading Comprehension

Postby s_allard » Wed Nov 29, 2017 2:18 pm

This I felt was a fairly easy part of the test. Let me say in passing that the test format was identical to the various sample materials that are to be found on the internet. So no surprises here. The three tasks seem to have a kind of logical progression. Although I don't remember the exact subjects, the three given texts were all light scientific or technical-sounding materials. Nothing literary or fictional.
In the first task, you are given a text in which each paragraph has a line has with a word missing. Each blank is numbered. At the end of the text, for each number there are three words of which one is the correct answer. On a separate answer sheet one has to select the right word.
Obviously, the point here is selecting the word with the right fit. In some cases, the grammatical form was a clue but the main issue was understanding how the word related to the entire sentence. In a couple of cases, there words were so similar in meaning that I had to really think about the nuances of context.
In the second task, a similar idea but with entire sentences missing. And then in the last task, you are asked to match short paragraphs with entire paragraphs in the given text.
Let me emphasize once again the importance of the time constraint for the whole exam. You have to be quick, and this is where the challenge lies. You can't spend much time thinking about shades of meaning. The right selection has to kind of jump out at you. And this can only happen if you know your stuff well.

This leads me to a pet topic of mine. I really dislike the use of the terms passive and active when referring globally to describe language skills (e.g. vocabulary). I prefer receptive and productive. More specifically, here is how I use these terms.
Passive: what I can recognize because I may have seen it before and can guess its meaning
Receptive: what I truly understand
Active: what I believe I can use properly
Productive: what I have used in the recent past or use regularly for real communication.

This is a debate for another thread but the point I want to stress is the difference between believing what one can do and actually being able to do it.

In the case of the test at hand, we are looking at receptive skills. There is nothing passive here. As you can well imagine, the test designers have made most of the answers so similar that you really have to think hard about overall meaning of the entire paragraph to see how things fit together. In the second task where one has to fit an entire sentence into a paragraph, the most difficult situation was a blank at the beginning of a paragraph. Unlike all the other paragraphs where the text leads to the blank and the reader can sort of see what comes next, here there is no clue and you have to see how the entire paragraph comes after the lead sentence. (Tarvos, watch out for this.)

In terms of preparing for this task, I would emphasize reading light science or essay materials. Definitely nothing literary.
Last edited by s_allard on Thu Nov 30, 2017 1:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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tarvos
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Re: Taking the Spanish DELE C2 exam - Part 2 - Reading Comprehension

Postby tarvos » Wed Nov 29, 2017 2:53 pm

I've already practiced some mock exams. I'll be okay ;)
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