The DELF B2 will test you on the four French skills: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Keep reading for info about the different parts of the test and how you can prepare for it.
Reading comprehension / Compréhension des écrits
1 hour / 25 points
You'll be given two documents along with various questions to test your comprehension. One text will be informational, such as a news brief or an article about an aspect of francophone culture. The other will be on a controversial topic.
Reading test tips
Read the article carefully, then study the questions. Be sure you understand them before reading the article again. Keep an eye out for multi-part questions and word play. Answer the questions completely but succinctly - a sentence or two should do it, just enough to demonstrate your comprehension.
The best way to prepare for the reading test is to read a variety of materials. Here at Progress with Lawless French, we publish French articles and transcripts on a variety of topics in our Bilingual Reader, where you can read the French and click any phrase to see the English translation as well as related grammar lessons:
B2: Upper intermediate French reading exercises
Regular reading of newspapers and magazines will help you improve your comprehension of the issues of the day, grammar, and vocabulary, which will augment your other language skills as well.
Writing skills / Production écrite
1 hour / 25 points
You'll be given a document such as a letter, article, or review and asked to take a stand: make and support an argument, state and justify an opinion, etc., in approximately 250 words.
Writing test tips
Be sure to read the document very carefully and make sure you understand the task given to you. Consider your intended audience: there's a difference between writing a letter of complaint and a movie critique. Think about what you should say in your introduction, the different points you want to make, and how to draw everything together into a conclusion. It will probably help to make an outline before you begin writing.
Progress with Lawless French publishes self-corrected writing challenges for Premium subscribers every Friday:
B2: Upper intermediate French writing challenges
Reading regularly is, once again, an excellent way to improve your knowledge of French structure, grammar, and vocabulary. Read things like opinion pieces, book reviews, and letters to the editor to see the types of connecting and transitional phrases that are commonly used. Try writing a short opinion piece and posting it on an online forum such as Lang-8 to request comments and corrections from native French speakers. Let them know you'd appreciate an in-depth proofread so that you can improve as much as possible.
Listening comprehension / Compréhension de l'oral
30 minutes / 25 points
You'll listen to two different recordings:
- Short (2-3 minutes, played once) consisting of an informational piece like an interview or news broadcast, and a multiple-choice questionnaire.
- Long (up to 8 minutes, played twice) speech, radio or TV show, documentary, etc., with multiple-choice and essay questions.
Listening test tips
Take advantage of the short time you're given to read over the questions so that you know what to listen for. Answer the questions accurately and don't worry about writing in perfect French: you're being graded here on comprehension, not production.
You can and should practice for at least a few minutes every day: listen to the radio, watch TV and movies, talk to people.
The Progress with Lawless French reading exercises mentioned above also include videos or audio files so that you can work on your listening comprehension too:
B2: Upper intermediate French listening exercises
Be sure to try one of our amazing dictées which let you practice listening comprehension and writing skills at the same time. Here's a free sample of this Premium feature: Au restaurant de la plage
Speaking skills / Production orale
50 minutes / 25 points
You'll have 30 minutes to prepare a 10-minute oral presentation based on a short document. Then you'll discuss your presentation with two examiners for 10 minutes.
Speaking test tips
Read the document thoroughly, several times. Think very carefully about what it says and implies, and how you can put your own spin on it. You can agree or argue with the document's premise, but either way you'll want to use short quotations from the text and examples from current events to support your point of view.
Obviously, you should practice with native speakers as much as possible - and preferably not the same two or three all the time. By speaking with a variety of people, you'll get more comfortable with different speaking styles, speeds, and accents - which will help your listening comprehension as well.
- Practice speaking French, whether or not you're in France
- Online speaking practice
- Solo speaking practice
Beyond the four skills
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