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How to pass my French Citizenship Test and Interview

Applying for French Citizenship? Keep reading to learn about what your French Citizenship Test and Interview will consist of and to get some helpful, practical tips to ace them!

 

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How to get French Citizenship

Obtaining French citizenship is a long and involved process that requires everything from official translations of personal documents like birth and marriage certificates to a set of precisely sized photographs.

You will also need to pass a French proficiency test as well as demonstrate your knowledge of French history and culture.

For an overview of the requirements and procedures involved in applying for French citizenship, take a look at this official video tutorial created by the French government.

Comment demander la nationalité française, 1re partie

Comment demander la nationalité française, 2e partie

We have turned this video into a two-part listening and reading comprehension exercise to help you get the facts AND practise your French at the same time!

For additional information about the conditions and requirements of obtaining French citizenship, see the official site of the Ministère de l'Intérieur.

French Proficiency Test and Citizenship Interview

In order to obtain French citizenship, you need to prove your French proficiency by either passing a test or meeting certain criteria (e.g., having a degree from a French university).

The most daunting part of the citizenship process, however, may be the interview, during which you need to demonstrate your knowledge of French history and culture. The official source of this information, the Livret du citoyen, is available as a PDF download or can be consulted at any Préfecture.

Our very own Shui Ng went through this process a few years ago and shared her experiences and thoughts for our new bilingual Reader: L'Entretien de Naturalisation française de Shui.

French citizenship: Language proficiency test

The French language level test includes both listening and speaking sections, but there’s a chance you might be eligible to be exempted from it.

"There are many ways to be exempted from the language test, such as having studied in a French-speaking country for example. I have two degrees from a French university, so I didn't have to take this test," said Shui when talking to us about her experience.

Another way to prove your French proficiency level and be exempted from the language test is by getting an official diploma or certificate to prove you have reached at least B1 level in all four competencies: listening, reading, writing and speaking. It must have been issued within the last two years.

 

There are several official tests and diplomas accepted by the French Government that will be considered valid proof of your French level. Some of them are:

If you didn’t study in a French university and cannot get an official diploma or certificate, you’ll need to prove your French level with the language proficiency test, which should take place at your local préfecture.

This part of the French citizenship process focuses on measuring your ability to handle normal communication challenges while living in France and dealing with everyday situations. It won't focus much on your grammar or accent, but rather show that you are able to communicate well enough to navigate French society.

French citizenship: History and Culture test

This is the time to demonstrate your knowledge of French history and culture. As mentioned above, you can take a look at the PDF download of the Livret du citoyen to see the official source of the information you'll need.

In our chat, Shui mentioned some examples of the questions she got asked in her interview.

"Among the questions I was asked, there was: 'What year was the loi de laïcité (law on secularity) passed?' and 'Who elects the Senate?' There were also questions about the European Union, such as: 'How many countries are in the EU?' My interviewer asked me specific questions about where I live: 'Who is your mayor?,' 'What will be the next big event in Paris?' (the Olympics), 'In what year?' (2024)," Shui told us.

You are expected to know about things like key dates in French history, French values, important symbols and governmental organisation, among other topics.

The citizenship interview should feel like a normal conversation to you. The French government's website states the purpose of the interview is to verify that you have sufficient knowledge of French history, culture and society.

In general, there are 5 main topics that will get covered in your interview:

  1. Laws / History

  2. Regional

  3. Arts / Literature

  4. Travel / France / Culture

  5. Volunteering / Community

You might get questions about your holiday travels in and out of France. It's a good idea to mention where you have travelled in France (for any reason) to demonstrate your knowledge of and interest in the country.

There will be other questions to assess whether you are integrated into the French community, like about your hobbies and volunteering activities. You'll also want to mention if you like to read in French, watch French TV shows or go to the cinema or theatre. This will indicate that you enjoy a variety of French cultural activities.

How can Kwiziq French help me prepare for my French proficiency test and citizenship interview?

The French resources offered throughout Kwiziq French will help you steadily improve your language skills. We also have a series of French kwizzes based specifically on the content from the Livret du citoyen so that you can put your French to the test while simultaneously learning this essential information.

  1. Level A1 - Les symboles de la République française

  2. Level A2 - Quelques répères historiques

  3. Level B1 - Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité

  4. Level B2 - La place de la France

In addition to the facts and figures from the Livret du citoyen, you'll also need to demonstrate knowledge of and an appreciation for French culture. Kwiziq has a huge body of content related to everything from art to sports that you can use to learn more about the richness of French history and culture.

 

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Create your free Kwiziq French account here to get your French level and start practising your reading and listening skills while learning about all the topics you’ll need for your French citizenship test and interview.

 
 
 

 

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