The DALF C1 Exam

What to expect

The DALF C1 represents the level at which you have total autonomy and have a wide experience of using French, having studied the language for 500-800 hours. It's the standard required for entry to certains grandes écoles, such as l'Institut des sciences politiques de Paris or l'École Polytechnique.

DALF C1 Test Sections


Mark out of

Comprehension questionnaires following recordings:
    - a long (approximately eight minutes) interview, lesson, conference… (played twice)
    - several short radio broadcasts (newsflashes, surveys, adverts etc) (played once)
Maximum duration of combined short recordings: 10 mins

40 minutes


Comprehension questionnaires dealing with a text of ideas (literary or journalistic), 1,500 to 2,000 words long.

50 minutes


Two-part test: 
    - Summarise several written documents totalling approximately 1,000 words 
    - Write an essay with supporting arguments on the contents of the documents 
Candidate can choose between two fields: humanities and social studies, science

2 h 30


A presentation based on a series of written documents, followed by a discussion with the examiners. 
   Candidates can choose between two fields: humanities and social studies, science

30 minutes
preparation: 1 h


Exam duration : 4 hours

* Total mark out of 100
* Overall pass mark: 50/100
* Pass mark per test: 5/25

We can help you practise your French grammar to perfection - sign up for a free account to get your personalized study program based on your French level test.


Listen to sample recordings for DALF C1 listening section to get an idea of the difficulty of each level and the sort of situations presented.

You can download a sample paper for DALF C1 here, and be sure to read over our detailed DALF C1 tips.