5 useful recommendations for those who have decided to pass DELTA

Top 5 life hacks to pass DELTA Module 1

Top 5 life hacks to pass DELTA Module 1


  • Cambridge English
  • Teaching qualifications
  • Tips & Strategies
  • Methodology

DELTA is the next stage in the professional development of an English teacher after CELTA. As a rule, this qualification is obtained by those who plan to become a teacher trainer, mentor, methodologist or hold a position such as DOS.

Also DELTA, unlike CELTA, consists of three modules:

Module 1 — an exam;

Module 2 — a practical course;

Module 3 — a course paper.

Today we will talk in more detail about preparing for this exam, namely, about what you need to do to get the desired result.

Preparation for DELTA Module 1 should not only include reading a huge amount of methodological literature. There are other strategically important things that will help you pass this exam successfully. Let's talk about everything below.

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1. Learn to write quickly

DELTA Module 1 is a three-hour written exam. And all this time you will need to ...well, write. Not just to write, but to write a lot and quickly. 

Therefore, when preparing for the exam, you should not simply summarize and analyze what you've read in methodological literature. 

Preparation for DELTA Module 1 means getting ready for the paper exam. Unfortunately, a computer version has not yet been invented.

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2. Know the exam structure

This is not just advice, but one of the successful strategies for its preparation. 

For the DELTA exam, you need to clearly know and understand what each task consists of, how to answer it and how to structure your answer so as not to write too much or forget something.

For example, in the first part of the exam, you need to complete 5 tasks:

The first two tasks test knowledge of terminology. 

In Task 1, you need to read the definition and write the correct term

In Task 2, on the contrary, you need to give a full definition and an example illustrating the  terms. 

Both tasks have 6 definitions and 6 terms.

In the third task, you need to identify 5 features that a student of a certain level will need to successfully complete the task. For each feature, you need to give an example.

In Task 4, you will see an authentic text. First, you need to identify 5 features of this text that are specific to its genre. And then answer 3 questions about the form, meaning and pronunciation of the chosen language from the text.

The last task of Paper 1 is to analyze the text. It can be a written text or a script of a student's oral answer. First you need to identify 3 strengths and 3 weaknesses of the text and give examples from it. Next, you need to choose 1 weak point and justify your choice by giving 3 reasons.

Paper 2 consists of three tasks:

In Task 1, you have to analyze the weaknesses and strengths of the test (context and application are given in the task). In total, you need to highlight 6 points, and describe them based on the portrait of the student given in the task.

Task 2 is an analysis of a lesson from a printed coursebook. You have to determine the purpose of the tasks, the stages of the lesson, why the exercises are performed in this order, and what the authors' assumptions are behind this.

In Task 3 you are supposed to analyze traditional and modern views on approaches and methodologies, theories of language acquisition, resources, and the role of students and teachers. In your answer, rely on:

  • your experience and examples from your teaching practice;
  • variety of contexts;
  • your knowledge of theory and practice.

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3. Learn the phonemic chart

...if you haven't done so by now. It is also worth practicing transcribing short texts. First with the chart, then without. Next, transcribe as quickly as possible.

4. Cram the terminology

It's true, you need to know the terms by heart

In addition, for the exam, you need to give examples for each of them. Therefore, it is hardly possible not to study all these concepts and definitions. 

It is most convenient to use Quizlet and add terms there. 

⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠You can also use ready-made sets of terms. But I still recommend creating them yourself. This will help to better understand the concepts and remember them. And later — to reproduce in the exam.

Where can you find definitions and examples? I recommend two books:

  • New A to Z of ELT by Scott Thornbury & Adrian Underhill is one of the newest and most up-to-date publications.
  • Longman Dictionary of Language Teaching & Applied Linguistics — this edition contains some outdated terms, but is generally suitable for exam preparation.

5. Analyze

First, you need to learn how to analyze texts. Just take any authentic texts and learn to analyze them top to bottom. Advertisements, articles, magazine covers, candy wrappers, whatever. What are the main features of these genres? To make your life easier, use CLOGS:






It is necessary to give examples from the text.

Second, practice analyzing tests. Take sample tasks of any tests and analyze them. These can be, for example, FCE, CAE, ZNO tests, tests you give to students, etc. You need to analyze them in relation to a specific student or group of students.

Third, analyze the tasks from the coursebooks. Try to identify all the aims of certain activities at a certain stage of the lesson and the author's assumptions about learning. Take any coursebook and practice! Try to score the required number of points in the allotted time.

Fourth, analyze students' written works. What do you have to look for in them? Strengths and weaknesses, things to work on. Try to explain your choices and structure your answer in a way that the examiner can understand.

Finally, analyze the writing and speaking tasks. You need to learn to quickly determine the features a student will need to complete this or that task (vocabulary, grammar, etc. + examples).

Want to know more about teaching writing?

This is not just advice, but the coolest life hack. 

However, it is necessary not only to do the tasks, but also to carefully read the examiner's comments that justify the correct answers. If you don't do this, you won't know what to write in the exam answer and what not. It will also give you an idea of what the examiner expects to see in the answer of a candidate who wants to get different marks for the exam — Pass or Pass with Distinction.


To sum up, working on passing DELTA is definitely a challenging task. However, this is an effort that pays off with confidence and professional growth.

So, if you’ve been wondering whether you should go for it, this is your sign.

Solving previous years' tasks is not important.

It's really important to obtain a skill of very clear and precise analyzing.

Article authors & editors
  • Yulia Chorna

    Yulia Chorna


    DELTA Module 1, CELTA certified teacher of General & Business English



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