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What is the TCF?

TCF (Test de Connaissance du Français) is a standardised language exam designed to assess the candidate’s level and skills in French. It is aimed at individuals for whom French is not a native language, and especially at people who do not live in France. In France, this test has recently become recognised as a reliable and accurate tool, used mainly by businesses and universities to determine the level of French of foreign applicants. Those who pass the test receive a certificate of their level, valid for 2 years.

Key information


Total duration: 2h30

Evaluates your listening, reading, speaking and writing skills

Certification valid for 2 years

Scored out of 699 points

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TCF: don't forget!

The TCF (French knowledge test) is a standardized language exam, designed to assess the level and skills of candidates in French. It is aimed at individuals whose mother tongue is not French, and mainly for people who do not live in France. The TCF is administered by the CIEP (Centre International d’Etudes Pédagogiques), which reports directly to the French Ministries of National Education, Higher Education and Research. In France, this test has recently turned into a tool which is reliable and precise, mainly used by companies and universities in order to know the French level for foreign applicants. After passing the test, candidates who succeed at the exam receive a certificate level which is valid for 2 years. Unlike the DELF, the TCF does not issue a language diploma but a temporary certification for the linguistic abilities of a candidate, at a time T.

There are several reasons why you should pass the TCF. This test has the peculiarity of being available in several versions, depending on the various needs and target audiences:

  • TCF general public is aimed at all non-French-speaking individuals, regardless of their nationality and who wish to certify their French level
  • TCF ANF (Access French Nationality) is aimed, as its name suggests, for people who need to have a certain language level validated, to carry out their immigration procedure
  • TCF DAP (Request for prior admission) is aimed at foreign students who to certify their French level, in order to study in higher establishments in the country
  • TCF Quebec is aimed at individuals who need to validate their French level, as part of the procedures for obtaining the Quebec selection certificate (CSQ) leading to a permanent visa

The objective of the French Knowledge Test (TCF) is to assess your skills at a time "t". Therefore, there is no bad or good result. It all depends on the goal you have set for yourself.

For example, if you wish to study in French universities or schools, the score requested is at least 400, generally speaking. This score corresponds to the B2 equivalence of the CEFR. If you take the TCF ANF to obtain the French nationality, you will then be asked for a B1 level in oral.

After passing your exam, a certificate will then be issued to certify your level and will be valid for 2 years.

To get a good TCF score, it’s important to prepare several weeks in advance. The goal is not only to revise your grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation in French, but also to get familiarized with the TCF format, its instructions and standard exercises while learning to manage your time. A good preparation phase will allow you to be more efficient and less stressed on D-Day.

To register for the TCF, you need to contact the closest approved examination center . You need to register for one of their future sessions. You will find the list of all the approved centers for the TCF on the CIEP website. In France, there is at least one examination center per department (mainly in Lille, Marseille, Lyon, Paris, Montpellier, etc.). You can also pass the TCF from Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco or Canada.

Generally speaking, all language exams have special features and must be prepared sincerely in advance. It goes without saying, your French level when you take the test will be a determining criterion for your success. However, be careful, don't rest on your laurels.

Like many language tests, the TCF exam has its own test format, each exercise in each section needs to be finished in a limited time. If you do not train properly and follow the instructions to get familiarized with the test rules, you may fail on the day of the exam. tHis could be a shame since these instructions are known and therefore one can prepare well!

GlobalExam is the first 100% e-learning platform, which is dedicated to language testing. In its training formula, it offers two types of TCF preparations, in order to allow a global and complete preparation for the test. This preparation method includes :

  • A “training mode” (or training mode) including standard exercises in keeping with all sections of the TCF test.
  • A “exam mode” (or Exam mode) with mock TCF topics which will allow you to prepare for the test in real exam conditions.

It should be noted that GlobalExam only offers training for the common core of the French Knowledge Test (i.e the 3 compulsory parts).

All the content available on our platform is created by a team of competent teachers. This quality content aims at making you understand the structure of the exercises properly, not to mention the exam in general. Dueto GlobalExam, you can also benefit from the answers for all the exercises and follow your progress statistics. These last elements are important tools to progress quickly and properly, during your preparation with GlobalExam

To succeed at the test and get to know it in its entirety, one of the best things to do in addition to the exercises and mock topics is to use our ready-made revision sheets. These sheets present the test and the various levels of TCF in detail. Due to these revision sheets, you will understand the logic of the test and know what to expect on the D-Day. You will be able to anticipate certain answers, avoid traps and save time. The more you become familiar with the TCF test, the more effective your training and coaching will be and definitely reap rewards.

For each level of the TCF, you have a list of vocabulary which you must absolutely know. Find these vocabulary lists on GlobalExam, in your study-sheets which are classified by level.