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The DALF stands for “Diplôme Approfondi de Langue Française” and is available in level C1 and C2 on the CEFRL, the two highest levels of language learning. At level C1 in French, this means you have in-depth knowledge of the language and you are an experienced user of French able to:

  • Understand long, complex texts
  • Understand implicit meaning
  • Express yourself fluently, clearly, and in a well-structured manner in social, work, and academic situations.

The DALF C1 is administered by the CIEP (Centre International d’Etudes Pédagogiques) to more than 450,000 candidates every year.

This article will present the structure of the DALF C1 and give some examples and tips on how best to prepare for the test online.

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Listening Comprehension

The first of the four skills tested in the DALF C1 is Listening Comprehension.

Exercise 1: long recording

You’ll hear a recording about 6 minutes long which will be played twice. The subject matter may be an interview, lecture, conference, etc. Before the recording, however, you’ll be allowed 3 minutes to look over the question, then 3 minutes will be given after the first playback to answer them, followed by the second playback, and 5 minutes to finish your answers.

Questions are either multiple-choice or open-ended. Be sure you mark your answers in the space provided separately from your listening notes!

Exercise 2: short recording

You’ll hear several short recordings, but only once. You’ll have 20 seconds prior and 50 seconds after you hear them to preview and answer the questions, respectively. The subject matter may be a news flash, advertisement, etc.

Listening Comprehension

Reading Comprehension

The next task will test your reading comprehension skills.

You’ll need to read a text of about 1,500 to 2,000 words dealing with an opinion, literature, or a news story, etc. Then, you’ll have a series of multiple-choice questions to test your comprehension of the material.

Writing task

The longest section of the DALF C1 is the Writing task. There are two exercises in this section.

Exercise 1: Summary

You’ll need to first read 2 to 3 different yet related documents and write a text of about 250 words that summarizes the main information and ideas in the texts. While you may use the keywords you find in the texts, avoid copying entire phrases and sentences.

Exercise 2: Structured Essay

You’ll be given a prompt dealing with the documents you have read previously, then you must write a structured essay of no more than 250 words.

For example, our practice test gives you a scientific outline of how the bee population is declining all over the world. You need to write an editorial in a newspaper alerting readers about the issue. This sort of opinion piece follows a well-defined structure where you need to describe the issue, support your argument using primary, secondary, and illustrative examples, and wrap it up with a strong conclusion.

Speaking section

For the Speaking section, you may choose between subject matter dealing with Humanities or the Sciences.

You’ll first have to structure a spoken argument based on the 2 or 3 documents provided, similar to the Writing part, but be prepared to plan a spoken defense of your position. You’ll be given 1 hour to prepare.

Then, some time will be given for a Q&A session with your examiners pertaining to one of the subjects brought up. Be prepared to answer on-the-spot questions, but don’t forget to have a clear idea of what you want to say beforehand!

Prepare online with GlobalExam

You should be prepared to train for your DALF C1 online, no matter what your existing level of French is at the moment! GlobalExam provides several practice DALF C1 tests so you can experience them in real conditions with timed exercises.

You’ll also have access to detailed corrections for each skill tested and you can monitor your progress in real-time so you can know your strong and weak areas for targeted revision. We also provide specific grammar and vocabulary files to boost your French level before taking the real test!

You’ll get a full practice at the DALF C1 but also at the DALF C2 Reading and Writing section and DALF C2 Listening and Speaking section by just signing up for a free trial with GlobalExam today!