TEF (Test d'Évaluation de Français): Everything you need to ace it

French proficiency test

The TEF is an internationally recognised qualification, marking proficiency in French, in terms of knowledge and skills. Originally created in 1998, it is awarded by CCIP, the Chambre de Commerce et d'Industrie de Paris and the results are valid for two years.

What does the TEF consist of?   

The TEF has five tests but two of the components are optional:

  1. Listening comprehension: 40 minutes – 60 questions
  2. Reading comprehension: 60 minutes – 50 questions
  3. Vocabulary and structure: 30 minutes  – 40 questions
  4. Speaking skills: 15 minutes – 2 topics
  5. Writing skills: 60 minutes – 2 topics

What TEF version should I register for?

There are five different versions today, which are officially recognized by the French Ministers of Education and of the Interior; the Canadian Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship; and Québec's Minister of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusiveness (MIDI).

TEF pour les études en France

TEF pour les études en France is specifically aimed at foreigners wishing to enter a French undergraduate program. 

  1. Reading comprehension: 60 minutes - 50 questions    
  2. Listening comprehension: 40 minutes – 60 questions
  3. Written expression: 60 minutes – 2 subjects to be covered
  4. Vocabulary and structure: 30 minutes - 40 questions 

TEF pour la naturalisation

TEF NAT tests the French skills of those wishing to immigrate to France.

  1. Reading comprehension: 45 minutes – 35 questions
  2. Listening comprehension: 25 minutes – 3 questions
  3. Written expression: 30 minutes - 1 topic to be covered
  4. Oral expression - 10 minutes - 1 topic to be covered

TEF carte de résident

TEF carte de résident acts as a confirmation of A2 level written and oral competency for purposes of obtaining a resident card from the French government.

  1. Reading comprehension: 30 minutes – 13 questions (computer-based multiple choice questions)  
  2. Listening comprehension: 10 minutes – 17 questions (computer-based multiple choice questions) 
  3. Written expression: 20 minutes – write a text
  4. Oral skills: 10 minutes – communicating orally

TEF adapté au Canada

TEF Canada evaluates the French level of skilled workers, candidates wishing to immigrate to Canada outside of Québec, and applicants for Canadian citizenship.

  1. Listening comprehension: 40 minutes – 60 questions
  2. Reading comprehension: 60 minutes – 50 questions
  3. Speaking skills: 15 minutes – 2 topics
  4. Writing skills: 60 minutes – 2 topics

TEF pour accès au Québec

TEFaQ is specifically aimed at candidates wishing to immigrate to Québec. It's primarily concerned with oral communication - the reading/writing components are optional.

  1. Listening comprehension: 40 minutes – 60 questions
  2. Speaking skills: 15 minutes – 2 topics
  3. Reading comprehension: 60 minutes – 50 questions
  4. Writing skills: 60 minutes – 2 topics

Where and when can I take the TEF?

The various TEF tests are usually offered throughout the year, depending on the test centre administering the exam.

There are numerous accredited test centres all over the world, so look for your nearest centre to confirm their specific details about test dates, registration deadlines and pricing.

How can I prepare for the TEF?

There are a few ways to prepare specifically for the TEF:

  1. Download CCIP's free training app, suitable for candidates of any version of the TEF
  2. Try an online tutorial
  3. Contact your local test centre to see if they offer TEF prep classes
  4. Practise your French daily with our ever growing library of reading, writing and listening exercises
  5. Take a look at our French test prep tips
  6. Take advantage of free online resources like the ones from our partners at Learn French with Alexa and Lawless French

How is the TEF graded?

On completion of any of the exams, you'll receive a detailed analysis of your French skills and a score from 0 to 6. Here's how that corresponds to the official CEFR scale:

1 A1
2 A2
3 B1
4 B2
5 C1
6 C2


Remember, the more you practise, the better your chances at passing the TEF.

So sign up for a free Progress with Lawless French account to get your personalised Study Plan based on your current French level and start practising daily with our kwizzes and exercises!




Related info:  Official French Tests & Diplomas | French Test Prep


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