The Test de connaissance du français (TCF) is an exam, which evaluates your French language abilities. The TCF is used for a variety of purposes such as immigration, citizenship requirements and for employment. It is an internationally recognized exam with hundreds of test centers in more than 140 nations. 

The TCF assesses different everyday abilities such as conveying a message clearly, giving information, or describing, and explaining something. There are more challenging topics as well such as justifying a choice, joining ideas and comparing/contrasting viewpoints.

The TCF scoring corresponds to the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for languages) levels. The lowest level is A1 and the highest level is C2. All scoring for the TCF is done at CIEP by trained staff, not by the people who administer the exam to you. Each exam is assessed by two people to ensure consistent marking. 

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Overall presentation

There are compulsory and optional sections in the TCF. The compulsory sections are listening, reading and grammar, while the optional sections are speaking and writing. Additional fees are charged for the optional section.

The compulsory exams have eighty multiple-choice questions. Questions range from the easy CEFR level A1 and progress up to the difficult CEFR level C2. It takes about 90 minutes for the compulsory parts, around 12-15 minutes for the speaking section, and around 60 minutes for the writing section. 

The compulsory parts only have multiple choice questions.

  • Listening comprehension

29 questions (25 minutes) – recordings from spoken text on everyday situations in the French speaking world.

  • Grammar and vocabulary

18 questions (15 minutes) – questions test the ability of candidates’ to identify and select correct words and phrases to complete sentences or paragraphs.

  • Reading comprehension

29 questions (45 minutes) – in this section, test takers are assessed on a wide variety of texts ranging from ads to literary works.

The format for the optional parts differs from the compulsory sections format. The price of the TCF may therefore vary depending on the options you choose.

  • Speaking 

A one-on-one interview with an examiner that is about 12-15 minutes long. The interview questions range from the A1 level to the C2 level of the CEFR. Topics do not require any specialized knowledge.

  • Writing

There are three tasks that you must complete that last about 60 minutes. Tasks range from writing 60-120 words up to 120-180 words Topics will not require any specialized knowledge.

Different versions of the TCF

  • TCF tout public – is a French language proficiency exam that is oriented toward non-native speakers of French that want to assess their level of proficiency, and get certified for professional requirements, academic purposes or personal reasons
  • TCF DAP (Test de Connaissance du Français pour la demande d’admission préalable) – is a French language proficiency exam that is intended for students, who are entering a French language university at the undergraduate level.
  • TCF ANF (Test de Connaissance du Français pour l’accès à la nationalité française) – is a French language proficiency exam that is meant for persons who desire French nationality and must verify their level of spoken and written French as required by the French Ministry of the Interior.
  • TCF Québec – is a French language proficiency exam intended for those persons who want to emigrate to Québec. The exam differs somewhat from the TCF ANF to meet the requirements of the Ministry of Immigration and Cultural Communities of Québec.

Which version to choose?

It all depends on what you intend to do. Consider the following points:

  • If you plan on applying for French nationality, then the TCF ANF is the exam to sit for.
  • If you are applying for admission to a French language college or university, the TCF DAP is the exam that you need.
  • If you need certification of your French language level for work or personal reasons, then sit for the TCF tout public.
  • If you plan on emigrating to Québec, then the TCF Québec is the exam for you.

Depending on what your goal is for taking the exam (TCF), you will have a different version to sit for. Learn how to register yourself for the TCF test that suits you best.

Train with us at GlobalExam

Getting ready for an important language exam isn’t about cramming or some special trick. It’s about well-managed time, good materials, good study habits, practice and maintaining motivation. These are things that a lot of people aren’t really good at. Don’t worry. That’s where GlobalExam can step in and assist you. We are language preparation experts. We know what you need to succeed on the TCF, and we know how to present these things effectively.

We remove the guesswork and confusion from your exam preparation through our well-designed, personalized study plans, current and relevant study materials, an excellent online, multi-media study platform and helpful, encouraging support staff. With GlobalExam, you will get the result you need on the TCF.

The premium plans all include the following features:

  • Vocabulary and grammar study sheets – updated and focused on the skill sets that you will need for exceling on the TCF.
  • 20 sample exercises, based on important exam topics.
  • 23 training hours and 1300 questions that have answers provided, so you can check yourself.
  • 3 timed practice tests – an invaluable training tool to help simulate actual exam day conditions.
  •  Your study plan, organized according to your exam date and level.
  • Progress tracking that will let you know how well you are doing, and what you must get better at.
  • Personalized motivational messages sent by our staff to encourage you and maintain your drive to success.
  • A multi-device solution, allowing you to access our platform through a smartphone, laptop, or tablet. Enjoy the flexibility of studying from anyplace at any time.

You can try our free TCF materials first if you are not sure about signing up for a premium plan. Our free materials include the following: three sample exercises, and vocabulary and grammar study materials. We feel that once you have tried out what we have to offer, you will want to sign up for a premium plan.

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