8 tests and diplomas to prove your French language skills

Do you intend to study in France ? Did you learn French and want to boost your resume? Or maybe you are about to request French citizenship… To reach your goals, you will need to prove you can speak Molière’s language. There are many French language diplomas and certificates which allow you to assess your level of proficiency. In some cases, you must make sure you pick the right test… Take a look at 8 different French language tests !

1. DELF: to assess French language proficiency from the age of 8

The DELF (Diplôme d’Études en Langue Française) diplomas, which are offered by the CIEP (Centre International d’ Études Pédagogiques) are designed both for children and teenagers or for adults. These French language tests allow you to find out what your level of proficiency is, according to the six CEFR (Common European Framework for languages) levels:

  • Standard DELF or junior version: CEFR A1 level up to CEFR B2 level,
  • DELF Prim: CEFR A1 and A2 levels.

You can register for the DELF in 164 countries. There are 1 000 examination centers.

What is the test format?
All DELF exams are divided into four sections: listening, reading, writing and speaking. Tests scores are on a scale of 0-100 and the diploma has no validity limit.

2. TCF: to assess French language proficiency from the age of 16

The TCF (Test de Connaissance du Français) may be taken by any non native French speaker over 16 years old. This exam is one of the many tests organized by the CIEP. To register, you must get in touch with the nearest approved examination center. There are more than 700 centers worldwide.

What is the test format?
There are five parts to the TCF test: three are compulsory (listening comprehension, use of language structures, reading comprehension) and two are optional (spoken expression, written expression). TCF scores remain valid for two years.

3. TEF: to assess French language proficiency from the age of 16

The TEF (Test d’Évaluation de Français) is organized by the Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIP) for all non native French speakers over 16 years old. The test is available in a paper format and an online format and measures test takers’ French language abilities, placing them on a scale of 7 levels. To take the TEF exam, you must contact the closest approved test center.

What is the test format?
The TCF is divided into three series of multiple-choice questions (written comprehension, oral comprehension, vocabulary and structure) and two open-ended modules (written and oral expression).

4. TFI: to study, land an internship or a job in France

The TFI (Test de Français International) measures French proficiency in business and academic environments and is available worldwide. This French language test is designed for beginner to advanced learners (A1 to C1 CEFR levels).

What is the test format?
The TFI contains two sections of 90 multiple-choice questions: listening and reading. Test takers receive a total TFI score ranging from 10 to 990, which is valid for two years.

5. TCF DAP: to study in France

For first-year enrollment in Licence (L1) or in a school of architecture in France, many foreign students must pass the TCF DAP (TCF pour la pour la Demande d’Admission Préalable), an exam organized by the CIEP. Only holders of DELF level B2 and DALF certificates are systematically exempt from taking the test. 630 test centers offer the TCF DAP worldwide.

What is the test format?
The TCF DAP is divided into three parts: listening comprehension, use of language structures, reading comprehension.

6. DALF: to assess high French language proficiency

DALF (Diplôme Approfondi de Langue Française) C1 and C2 diplomas are designed for people who already have a good knowledge of the French language. There are 900 DALF test centers in 154 countries.

What is the test format?
The DALF contains listening, reading, writing and speaking tests. To get the diploma, a minimum score of 50 out of 100 is required.

7. DFP: to work in a French speaking environment

The 11 DFP (Diplôme de Français Professionnel) diplomas, administrated by the Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry, measure test taker’s ability to use French in various professional fields. Thus, there are business, medical, science and technology, tourism, hotels and restaurants, fashion or law DFPs. To pass one of the diplomas, contact the closest authorized examination center.

What is the test format?
Each DFP is made up of a series of written and oral tests. These diplomas have no validity limit.

8. TCF ANF: to get French citizenship

Administrated by the CIEP, this test is specially designed for people applying for French citizenship, either through marriage or through naturalization. To register, get in touch with the nearest approved test center.

What is the test format?
The exam consists in a listening comprehension test and a speaking test. To get French citizenship, a CEFR B2 level is required.

To find out more about French language tests:

Take a look at the CIEP website.

Date of publication Apr 10 2014

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