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What is the CEFR?
You often encounter the acronym CEFR nowadays. What is it exactly?
The CEFR stands for Common European Framework of Reference for languages. It was developed by the Council of Europe as a means to standardize the levels of language tests in different places so that students, educational institutions, employers and governments would be able to discuss classes and language levels meaningfully and accurately. The CEFR levels can help you understand your score and how the scoring system works.
There are six levels: A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, and C2. Each level is given a detailed description for the four main areas of language use (listening, speaking, reading and writing). General descriptions are below.
C2 Proficient (most advanced level)
The ability to deal with material that is academic or mentally demanding, using language to good effect at a very high level of performance. Many C2 level students match an average native speaker’s level.
A C1 level individual can communicate in most situations effectively and relatively easily. This person has an excellent command of the language and is a confident user in most contexts.
B2 Upper intermediate
This person would have the ability to achieve most goals and discuss a wide range of topics. Academic materials, and specialized materials may be troublesome, but common situations are within this person’s grasp.
B1 Low-intermediate to intermediate
B1 level people are able to express themselves in familiar daily situations and to deal in a general way with non-routine information as long it isn’t too demanding.
At this level, a person has the capacity to handle simple, everyday information and can express feelings in common, uncomplicated circumstances.
At this level, you have a basic ability to communicate and exchange information in a simple way. For example, you can identify colours, and say times.
How can I know my level?
There are a number of online assessments available; however, sitting for a placement test at a school is a simple and reliable means to determine your level. If you have studied French within the last year, then check with the school/university where you studied. They will normally be able to inform you as to what level the course that you studied was at.
Which test should I choose?
Unlike typical placement tests, DELF and DALF do not tell you what your level is. You need to determine your level and take the appropriate test, earning the diploma and validating your level.
You will have to choose from the DELF A1, DELF A2, DELF B1 or DELF B2 tests; each test is tailored to students at that level. Use the level of the class that you have most recently completed or the results of a school’s placement test to guide you in choice of tests. For instance, if you have recently completed an elementary level French course, then sit for the DELF A2 exam. If you are at an advanced level, then choose either DALF C1 or DALF C2. Remember that because the DELF/DALF tests are different tests so are their prices
Tips to get a good score
Some basic tips are:
- Practice (a lot)
- Manage your time and set aside regular study sessions
- Find practice exams in books or online
- Hire a tutor
If you wish to put all chances on your side, we recommand you to read we have written for you on the DELF grading system which give you the strategies you need to improve your score.
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