Are you moving abroad for studies or career prospects? If yes, we are here to guide you through the information for the French language certification – TEF, TCF, DELF, and DALF, which are essential French language proficiency exams that you need to take to move abroad. 

With so many great options, why choose French? The real question is, why not?

With over 30 francophone countries, French is among the most widely spoken, taught, and popular foreign languages globally. French is almost becoming the second-broad language in the world after English. 

It is also one of the most essential languages, even in business. From education to jobs, French can open all the doors for you, whatever your goal is.

French Language Certifications

The French Proficiency Exam, like other language proficiency exams, offers several benefits in evaluating language abilities:

  • It provides a standardized assessment of a person’s French language skills, ensuring consistency and comparability across different individuals and contexts.
  • Successful completion of a French Proficiency Exam can lead to a certification or credential recognized by institutions, employers, and governments, demonstrating a certain level of proficiency in French.
  • Having a recognized certification in French proficiency can open up educational and career opportunities where French language skills are required or preferred.

Depending on your objectives, there are a plethora of proficiency tests available for you. Many proficiency tests are available to assess language skills in French and other languages. Some of the most well-known and widely used French proficiency exams include:

1. DELF/DALF: The Diplôme d’Études en Langue Française (DELF) and the Diplôme Approfondi de Langue Française (DALF) are official diplomas awarded by the French Ministry of Education to certify the French language skills of non-native speakers.

2. TCF: (Test de Connaissance du Français)TCF is a French proficiency test designed by the French Ministry of Education that evaluates non-native speakers’ French language skills.

3. TEF: (Test d’Évaluation de Français)TEF is an international French language proficiency test that measures the candidate’s French comprehension and expression skills.

4. DELF Prim and DELF Junior: These are versions of the DELF exam tailored for children and teenagers, respectively.

Each of these exams has its format, level of difficulty, and focus, so individuals can choose the one that best suits their needs and proficiency level.

Overview of DELF and DALF 

DELF and DALF are the two most prestigious French proficiency tests for non-native speakers. The DELF and DALF comprise six independent diplomas corresponding to the CEFRL levels (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages). 

In India, the Alliance Française network conducts these exams in New Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Kolkata, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, Bhopal, Trivandrum, Coimbatore, Goa, Pondicherry, etc. Thus, depending on your proficiency, you can register for the test of your choice.

Language Proficiency Levels

There are six levels of DELF and DALF

  • DELF A1: Breakthrough or beginner (95-100 hours of study)
  • DELF A2: Waystage or elementary (100-120 hours of study)
  • DELF B1: Threshold or intermediate( 150-180 hours of study)
  • DELF B2: Vantage or upper-intermediate (200-250 hours of study)
  • DALF C1: Effective Operational Proficiency or Advanced (250-300 hours of study)
  • DALF C2: Mastery or proficiency (Near-native) ( 300-350 hours of study)

About DELF


It is for the age group 8-11 year-olds. It assesses young learners’ language skills in French as a foreign language. Hence, it recognizes their language proficiency and can benefit educational and personal development.

DELF Junior

It is an official French proficiency diploma for teenagers aged 12 to 17, designed by the French Ministry of Education. It is a valuable certification for teenagers learning French.


It is designed for adults. The DELF exam assesses the French language skills of non-native speakers and is recognized internationally. This is the standard DELF exam.

About DALF

DALF stands for “Diplôme Approfondi de Langue Française,” which translates to “Advanced Diploma in French Language.” It is an official diploma awarded by the French Ministry of Education to certify the French language skills of non-native speakers. This exam is designed for adults and is recognized internationally. These are higher versions of French DELF examinations, each with a specific purpose. It can be beneficial for academic, professional, or personal purposes.

Exam Format For DELF and DALF

The examination consists of –

Reading comprehension: The duration is 50 minutes and contains 25 points. The candidate has to read the texts and answer the comprehension questions.

Writing expression: The duration is 120 minutes. There are two topics to complete, which contain 25 points. This section requires writing short essays or letters based on given prompts. 

Listening comprehension: The duration is 30 minutes, with 50 items that contain 25 points. This section includes listening to recordings and answering multiple-choice questions. 

Speaking expression: It has the shortest duration of 30 minutes, with two topics to be covered. Ten minutes of preparation time is given. They contain 25 points. It involves a face-to-face interview where candidates discuss various topics and complete speaking tasks.

Difference between DALF and DELF 

DELF is divided into four levels: A1, A2, B1, and B2, corresponding to the CEFR proficiency levels. DALF is divided into two levels: C1 and C2, which are the highest levels of proficiency. 

DELF primarily assesses general language skills for daily use, including listening, reading, writing, and speaking. DALF is designed to assess more advanced skills, including understanding and producing complex texts, engaging in formal discussions, and presenting arguments.

In summary, DELF is suitable for assessing basic to intermediate levels of French proficiency, while DALF is designed for assessing advanced proficiency levels.

How Long Is the Certification Valid For?

These certificates are valid for life as DELF and DALF consist of six independent certificates corresponding to the levels of CEFRL. 

DELF and DALF – Price And Dates 

Take a look at this article, The DELF & DALF Exam Dates in India for 2024, to learn details about the prices and dates of these exams.

How To Prepare For The Test

There are many ways that you can use to prepare for these exams. Some of them are- 

1. Do lots of exam practice

The most effective way to practice for an exam is… you guessed it, by doing exam practice! However, not all practice is equal. Practice does not make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect. It’s important to focus on the right kind of practice to get the most out of your study time. Utilize resources like apps, textbooks, and online courses for structured learning. Practice regularly with native speakers or language exchange partners to improve speaking and listening skills. 

2. Get a textbook designed for the DELF levels.

It helps to get a textbook specifically designed to prepare students for the language exam you are taking. It is full of handy hints for each section. There are different books for each level that you can choose.

3. Improve your speaking and listening skills 

 You can listen to French videos and audio to help you get familiar with the language and make it easier for you to recognize the sentences correctly. You can speak in front of a mirror; it will help you enhance your speaking skills.

4. Listen to newsreaders on speed

You can even speed up the news and listen to even faster versions of the news to make yourself familiar with the language even with fast speed.  

You can also watch short French stories to improve your listening skills.

You can listen to daily French conversations between people available online, and you can start learning and practicing speaking and listening to them.

La Forêt provides you with all the facilities to master this language efficiently. We provide a great online platform to learn the language and prepare you to clear TEF, DELF, DALF, and more exams. Enroll now!

About TEF (Test d’Évaluation de Français)

The TEF has been officially recognized since 2004 by the French Ministry of National Education and assesses the written and oral French language skills of all international students applying for undergraduate university enrollment in France. Especially in Canada, you must certify your level of French as part of the admission procedure. Proficiency in French is highly valued in the global job market, particularly in industries such as international business, diplomacy, tourism, and education. Employers often require TEF scores as evidence of candidates’ language skills, which can enhance job prospects and career advancement opportunities.

Language Proficiency Level

The Test d’Évaluation de Français (TEF) assesses proficiency in the French language. It categorizes proficiency into six levels:

  1. A1 – Beginner: You can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and fundamental phrases to satisfy a concrete type’s needs.
  2. A2 – Elementary: You can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters.
  3. B1 – Intermediate: You can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc.
  4. B2 – Upper Intermediate: You can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity, making regular interaction with native speakers possible without strain for either party.
  5. C1 – Advanced: You can understand various demanding, longer texts and recognize implicit meaning.
  6. C2 – Proficient: You can understand virtually everything you heard or read. Can summarize information from different spoken and written sources, reconstructing arguments and accounts in a coherent presentation.

Types of TEF exams 

The Test d’Évaluation de Français (TEF) offers several exams designed for specific purposes and proficiency levels. Here are the main types of TEF exams:

TEF Canada

This exam is recognized by Canadian immigration authorities. It assesses listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills aligned with Canadian Language Benchmarks. The TEF Canada assesses proficiency at six levels, from A1 (beginner) to C2 (advanced).

TEF Naturalisation 

This exam is required for French nationality applications and assesses general French language proficiency.

TEF Études en France 

This exam is required for those wishing to study in France and assesses French language proficiency for academic purposes.

TEF Carte de résident

This exam requires obtaining a residence permit in France and evaluates general French language proficiency.

TEF pour la naturalization

Similar to TEF Naturalisation, this exam assesses French language proficiency to acquire French nationality.

TEFAQ (Test for Access to Quebec)

The TEFAQ assesses listening, reading, speaking, and writing skills. It comprises two compulsory sections (listening and speaking) and two optional sections (reading and writing). The test is scored on a scale from 0 to 450 points, with a minimum score required for different immigration or citizenship purposes.

Exam format for TEF

 Examination consisting of:

Reading comprehension – The duration is 60 minutes and consists of 50 items. The candidate has to read the texts and answer the comprehension questions.

Writing expression – The duration is 60 minutes. There are 2 topics to complete, which contain 450 points. This section requires writing short essays or letters based on giving prompts.

Listening comprehension – The duration is 40 minutes with 60 items. This section includes listening to recordings and answering multiple-choice questions. 

Oral expression – It has the shortest duration of 15 minutes with 2 topics to complete. It involves a face-to-face interview, where candidates discuss various topics and complete speaking tasks.

How Long is The Certification Valid?

TEF certificates are valid for two years.

How to Prepare For The Test?

There are many ways that you can use to prepare for these exams. Some of them are- 

1. Take TEF Preparation Courses

If you have not yet learned the language, your first stepping stone is to start with French. Consider enrolling in TEF preparation courses offered by language schools or online platforms. These courses help you familiarise yourself with the exam format, practice relevant skills, and receive instructor feedback.

You can enroll in our TEF Preparation course from here-

2. Understand the TEF Exam Structure

Familiarise yourself with the format and sections of the TEF exam. The exam format typically consists of 4 sections- reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Each module focuses on a different aspect of the candidate’s fluency in French.

3. Assess Your Proficiency Level

You can take practice tests or assessments to determine your current proficiency level in French. This will help you identify areas of strength and weakness, allowing you to tailor your study plan accordingly. You can also refer to our Prepmyfutur self-study material and mock tests for the TEF Canada exam for enhanced practice.

4. Set Goals for Yourself

The next essential step is to set clear goals for yourself while you are preparing for TEF. Determine the score you aim to achieve and break down your study plan accordingly.

5. Consistent Practice is the Key

Dedicate time each day to practice French, whether reading articles, watching French movies or TV shows, listening to podcasts, engaging in conversations with native speakers, or writing essays. Ensure you are in touch with the language daily, as ‘Practice is the key to success.’

6. Stay Motivated and Confident

Build your confidence and believe in the process. Set aside dedicated study time each day for regular practice. Stay motivated by tracking your progress, and celebrate milestones along the way.

La Forêt provides you with all the necessary material that you will require to clear these exams. Our language experts prepare you to clear TEF, DELF, DALF, and more exams. Enrol now!

About TCF  (Test de Connaissance du Français)

The TCF is a French language proficiency test designed to assess the level of French language skills of non-native speakers. The French Ministry of Education recognizes it and can use it for various purposes, such as immigration, academic admissions, and professional purposes.

Exam Structure

There are three compulsory sections and two optional sections for TCF, whereas, for TCFQ, there are only two mandatory sections. The format is as follows – 

Listening – The multiple-choice questions are asked based on a video recording. The section tests the aspirant’s ability to understand everyday expressions and words. 30 minutes is the duration and 29 questions.

 Language structures Grammar and vocabulary are tested in this section. The questions given to learners will range from identifying the lexical errors to choosing the correct language. 20 minutes is the duration, 18 questions.

Reading- It evaluates a learner on their ability to read conversations or articles. Test taker is expected to analyse the article and answer questions based on it. Duration is 45 minutes, 29 questions.

Speaking (Optional)- As a part of the speaking test, the examiner will take your one-on-one interview for about 12 minutes. Questions asked start from the A1 level and go to the C2 level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). The examiner may ask you to discuss any place, person, experience, and more to analyse your speaking skills.

 Types of TCF exams

The TCF also follows the same pattern and style as the TEF. There are 5 types of TCF (Test de Connaissance du Français) exams:

  1. TCF – for personal, academic, or professional reasons
  2. TCF DAP (For study in France, especially as a first-year undergraduate (license 1)
  3. TCF for French nationality (to settle in France)
  4. TCF Canada (for permanent residence in Canada)
  5. TCF for Quebec (For PR in Québec province in Canada).

If you intend to live in Quebec, Canada, you must take the TCFQ (TCF pour le Québec) to test and certify your French proficiency.

How Long Is the Certification Valid For?

These certificates are valid for two years, just like the TEF.

How to Prepare For The Test?

1. Familiarise Yourself with the Exam Format

Understand the structure of the TCF exam, including the sections on listening, reading, writing, and speaking. Familiarise yourself with the types of questions asked in each section and the time allocated for each part.

2. Enrol in TCF Preparatory courses: 

TCF preparation courses provide a structured curriculum designed to comprehensively cover all exam sections. This structured approach ensures that you focus on all necessary skills and topics required for the exam. Experienced language instructors who can offer expert guidance and support throughout your preparation journey.

Check our TCF preparation courses here.

3. Improve Vocabulary and Grammar

Enhance your French vocabulary and grammar skills by studying regularly and practicing with various resources. You should also work on expanding your vocabulary and mastering essential grammar rules to ensure accuracy in your responses. Grammar is a very integral part of any language and it should be practised daily to improve your overall language skills.

4. Use Authentic Materials

You can utilise authentic French materials such as newspapers, magazines, books, podcasts, and movies to expose yourself to real-life language usage and cultural 

contexts. This will help you become familiar with different accents and writing styles.

5. Take Mock Exams

Solve a lot of practice sheets and give several mock tests under timed conditions to simulate the actual test environment. This will help you become accustomed to the exam format, improve your time management skills, and build confidence in your abilities. You can find mock tests, practice sheets, study lessons, and other materials in our Prepmyfuture self-study course.


Getting certifications for any such exams will open many doors for you in accordance with your career prospects. Today, French almost works as a bridge language after English, especially when working or studying in European countries or even francophone countries like Canada. Knowing French would be pretty beneficial for you. From business to teaching, French is becoming very popular. So, do not waste more time and start your journey with this language. Your career options will grow more and more, and you will have an immense amount of opportunities. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Which French test is easier to take? 

The difficulty of French language proficiency tests can vary depending on your proficiency level, familiarity with the test format, and comfort with the French language in different contexts. However, some people find the TCF easier than the TEF due to its focus on language skills and less on specific French cultural or regional aspects.

Ultimately, the “easier” test depends on your strengths and weaknesses in French language skills and the specific requirements of the institution or organization for which you are taking the test.

Is TEF better than DELF? 

These two tests are of different types. The TEF is often preferred for immigration purposes to Canada (TEF Canada) or Quebec (TEF Quebec) and for academic or professional purposes in France. It evaluates listening, reading, writing, and speaking proficiency and provides a detailed analysis of language skills. On the other hand, the DELF is a certification of French-language abilities for non-native speakers, similar to the TEF, but focusing on general language skills rather than specific contexts like immigration or professional needs.