- Time management
Learn to manage and plan your time. Do this right at the beginning once you have decided to sit for the TCF. Poor time management leads to ineffective studying and wasted time that can never be used again. Write a plan and plan your study sessions at regular intervals that fit with your existing schedule. Random studying or cramming is not a good way to prepare for a language exam.
- Good materials
Choose official materials and make sure that they are up-to-date. Language exams tend to change quite often, so you don’t want to spend time studying topics that are no longer assessed.
- Study buddy
Find a person that is preparing for the TCF as well. You can practice with each other, encourage each other, and this will help you. Make sure that both of you keep appointments for study sessions.
- Hire a tutor
This is useful, especially if you plan on taking the speaking section. An experienced tutor can role-play the part of an examiner and simulate the conditions of a real interview. Also, a tutor can provide feedback, while a friend or family member may not be able to do this. Be sure that your tutor knows the format of the TCF and provides feedback.
Practice and practice a lot. Cramming or casual practice don’t cut it when you are preparing for a language exam such as the TCF.
How many points in total and per section?
You can score a maximum of 699 points for each section that you sit for whether it is compulsory or optional. So, for example, the listening section has a total score of 699 points and the speaking section has a total score of 699 points as do the other sections.
To get your total score, your scores for the individual sections are added and averaged.
Here is an example:
Grammar and Vocabulary: 610
Total score 1635 points
Average score: 1635 ÷ 3 = 545 points
545 points is your overall score, which corresponds to a CEFR C1 level (advanced)
What’s the minimum to pass?
There isn’t a pass/fail with language exams. A lower score will correspond to a lower CEFR level indicating a lower capacity to use French. Conversely, a higher score will correspond to a higher level of the CEFR, indicating a greater capacity to use French.
For example, an overall score of 350 points would be in the Intermediate CEFR B1 level: 300-399 points. An overall score of 550 points would be in the Advanced CEFR C1 level: 500-599 points.
Having said the above, there will be a score that your employer, immigration department or education institution may require. Always check what your needed score is and keep it in mind as your goal. That is your ‘pass mark.’
Tips to get a good score
No one thing will be magical, but here are some general tips for the test day. A lot of people prepare quite well, but they have poor test performance due to nerves, over-confidence or not slowing down and reading carefully. Controlling your test experience will lead to better performance and a higher score.
- Arrive early and clear your mind by breathing slowly and deeply
- Before you leave home, check that you have the correct ID; it must be an official government ID. Also, make sure that you have two black pens for the answers.
- Listen carefully during the listening section as you only hear the questions once.
- Read instructions for each section and question carefully; many people make mistakes due to an incorrect understanding of the instructions.
- Use your time wisely and think about your answers. Don’t write anything that comes to mind just because you are panicking.
- If you don’t know an answer, then move on to the next question;
- Write your answer on the answer sheet. Don’t write in the test booklet.
If you take the speaking section, there are some things to keep in mind during the test that will help you achieve a better score.
- Question the examiner if you do not understood a particular point; it’s okay to do this.
- You are allowed to ask for a word or question to be repeated or clarified.
- Recall your past experiences and personal history to do the tasks.
- If you can’t think of anything, use a friend’s story or make-up something. It’s okay to do this.
- The interviewer interrupts you if the time is up. It’s normal, so don’t take it personally.
Training with GlobalExam
Do you have trouble studying? Do you tend to study randomly and then cram a couple of days before? Well, then, you have a lot of company. Most students are not good students; it isn’t a question of ability or intelligence. Success on exams comes down to training, good study habits, and planning. At Global Exam, we help you by organizing and planning your studies. Sure, you will still need to work, but with well-organized materials and a plan to follow, you will succeed.
At GlobalExam, we offer materials for the TCF that are current and focus on the skills that you need to ace the exam. Throw in the benefits of a multi-media, online platform and you will experience exam preparation in the 21st century. Don’t just download a stack of old worksheets from an old website; benefit from all that GlobalExam has to offer for the TCF:
- Vocabulary and grammar study sheets with up-to-date content
- 20 sample exercises with answers
- 23 training hours
- 3 practice tests, timed, thusly simulating real test conditions
- A study plan that is personalized for you with your exam date in mind.
- Progress tracking metrics with follow-up that let you monitor how you are progressing. Also, we send you personalized motivational messages to keep you keen and engaged.
- Multi-device solution, so you can use your smartphone, laptop, or tablet –enjoy studying anywhere and at any time.