What is the DELF exam?
DEFL means Diplôme d’Etudes en Langue Française. This is an official qualification awarded by the French Ministry of Education to ensure that, as a non-French native speaker, you have learnt French and can communicate in this language up to a certain level.
The structure of the DELF exam is made of four separate tests regrouping:
- A listening assignment
- A reading assignment
- A written skill assessment
- A speaking assessment
The writing section is the third of the three sat exams taking place back to back to test the candidates written skills and obviously varies in subjects according to the targeted level (see table below).
Similarly to other DELF sections, the difficulty of the pieces of writing and the associated questions augments with each level. Because a suitable overall scoring is around 50 and 100 points with a homogeneous marking between all assessments (or else you will not be awarded) we highly recommend you to carefully choose the level that mirrors your aptitudes to understand French. In case you are wondering where you stand, practice and pick the lowest level to guarantee a pass.
What to expect for the DELF writing section?
The structure of the DELF writing exam is detailed in the table below:
|Prerequisite length of writing
|A1||First, fill in a document with mandatory personal information. |
Second, write a simple text about daily life.
|A2||First, describe a short event/experience. |
Second, write a text for an invitation, applications, or to give information…
|45||60 to 80 words
|B1||Write a text to express your personal viewpoint in a given situation through an essay, a letter or an article.||45||160 to 180 words
|B2||Similar to B1 level, write a text to express your personal viewpoint along an argumentation in a justified application, essay, letter…||60||A minimum of 250 words
Why should you take the DELF?
The DELF exam is available to everyone because its complexity is tailored to match the language requirements of either primary school students, secondary school students or adults (common or business level). Structurally, this exam covers the first four levels of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (from level A1 to level B2) and is divided into four independent sections.
Today the DELF accounts for 400 000 new registrations per year in 1186 certified centres and 174 countries worldwide assess one’s French level based on his/her DELF results.
Thus, no need to ensure you DELF is THE exam to pass if you want to enter a French university or to apply to French jobs.
Exercises and associated correction
Let’s consider the kind of exercises per level you may get when taking the DELF writing exam
Level A1 – Targets applicants who just comprehend French.
First, you will have to fill a questionnaire for instance for a new passport as illustrated in the example below, wherein you will have to answer questions such as your name, surname, date and place of birth, nationality (… ).
Then, you will have to write a short letter to a friend (40 to 50 words) to tell him where you are and what you are up to.
Here is a suggested answer: “Hi Christophe! I am in Montpellier on vacation, it’s a truly beautiful city! I am visiting every monument (the cathedral, the castle… ) and also its whereabouts like Sétes and its quiet beach. The weather is really warm and sunny and the seawater is at 20°C, which is perfect to swim. Talk to you soon”
Level A2 – Targets applicants who understand simple sentences and can converse to describe simple things. You will be asked to describe a memorable personal experience (60 to 80 words).
For instance, you are just back from a weeklong stay in Athen. Describe it to your friend with your personal thoughts.
Here is a suggested answer: “I really enjoyed Greece, Athens is a wonderful and quite amazing city especially with the Parthenon that is overlooking the whole city. Also the temple of Zeus is just magnificent… Then, I went to visit Epidaure, which offers a theater and the famous Greek Islands of Mykonos and Delos. Greeks are very talkative but friendly and cultivated (…).”
Level B1 – Targets applicants who can interact and converse about broad subjects without too much difficulty and give an opinion. You will be asked to write a 160 word essay about everyday life with personal point of view:
For instance, you are back from Canada. You were there on a business trip for a few weeks and stayed on a foster family. You write an email to a friend to tell him about your recent trip.
Here is a suggested answer:
“Hi Lucas, Hope you are doing well? I stayed two weeks in Montreal where I had an amazing time in a foster family. We did a lot of different activities every day and was very impressed with all the opportunities and things to do there. After a few miles on the road you reach crazy landscapes: the family I stayed with has a cabin in the woods next to a lac and they brought me there many times (…)
So I really enjoyed my stay and I will tell you more about it when we see each other
Level B2 – Targets applicants at ease to converse in French, comprehend long speeches and can express an opinion. You will be asked to write a 250 word essay about everyday situation and give an argument with your point of view:
For instance, many pupils are bullied in your son’s high school. As a parent, you write a letter to the headmaster to explain the problem, express your concerns and worries and ask her to take immediate action.
Here is a suggested answer:
“To the headmaster,
I am writing to you regarding a very uneasy and worrying situation occurring in your high school. Since the beginning of the year many pupils are the victims of bullies. Some of them received verbal harassment due to their way of dressings or because of their religious beliefs. There is even some cyber harassment occurring.
This kind of behaviour is unacceptable; especially in a public school. (…). This is so bad that some parents argue that their children may not want to go back to school.
This situation cannot persist and you surely understand that you need to take immediate action. (…). I also suggest you take some preventive action and organise a meeting with all the protagonists to inform them and punish the culprits.
Also, I request an appointment with you so we can further discuss this matter.
Thanking you in advance for your understanding, I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Tips for the DELF writing sections
To pass the writing DELF exam, our first advice is give your text a structure. Make sure you use simple, well articulate sentences. Also, always allow some time to read and correct your text and do not forget to include salutations. Finally, stay focused and as previously mentioned practice as much as possible!
How you can practice with GlobalExam
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