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TCF (Test de Connaissance du Français): Everything you need to ace it

French proficiency test

The TCF (Test de connaissance du français) is an official French language test awarded by the French Ministry of Education. Unlike DELF and DALF, which have multiple levels, the TCF is a single test which evaluates your ability to use French for general purposes, grading your French proficiency from A1 to C2 according to the CEFR standard.

It's one of the requisites when applying to a French university, for French nationality, or for permanent residence in Québec.

Types of TCF exams and their structure

The TCF is available in different versions to meet specific needs or purposes.

TCF "tout public"

For anyone who wishes to have their French language skills assessed for personal, academic, or professional reasons. It is the most commonly taken version of the TCF exam and measures your proficiency in listening, reading, writing, and speaking according to the CEFR levels.

The structure of the TCF "tout public" is:

  • Listening comprehension (29 questions, 25 minutes)
  • Reading comprehension (29 questions, 45 minutes)
  • Speaking expression (12 minutes, 3 tasks)
  • Writing expression (1 hour, 2 tasks)
The speaking and writing sections are optional in the TCF "tout public", though many institutions may require all skills.

TCF - Canada

Specifically tailored for those who plan to immigrate to Canada and need to prove their French language proficiency as part of the immigration process. The TCF for Canada is recognized by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and follows the same structure as the TCF "tout public." However, the scoring system is adapted to the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB).

The structure for the TCF - Canada is the same as the TCF "tout public", with the only difference that all four sections are obligatory, as they are required for Canadian immigration purposes.

TCF - Integration, Residence, and Nationality

For individuals applying for French citizenship or a residence permit in France. It consists of two compulsory sections: listening and speaking. The minimum required level for French nationality applications is B1, while for residence permits, the minimum level is A2.

The structure of the TCF - Integration, Residence, and Nationality is:

  • Listening comprehension (29 questions, 25 minutes)
  • Speaking expression (12 minutes, 3 tasks)
This version only includes these two mandatory sections, given that these are the minimum requirements for French nationality applications (B1 level) and residence permits (A2 level).

TCF Scoring and CEFR Levels

As mentioned before, all three versions of the TCF exam are scored based on the CEFR Standard. However, the TCF Canada results are converted to the CLB levels for immigration purposes.

It's not possible to fail the TCF. You can take it as many times as you like but you must leave 60 days between takes.

How to Register for the TCF Exam

The first step to registering for your TCF exam is to find an authorised test centre close to you, they are available in many countries. Just pop over to the official CIEP website, where you can find a list of accredited centres. Don't forget to pick the right one based on the specific TCF exam you're aiming for.

Once you've found a test centre, the next step is to register for the exam. The registration process may vary slightly depending on the centre, but it typically involves filling out a registration form and paying the required fees.

Exam fees can differ based on the version of the TCF exam you're taking and the test centre's pricing policy, so it's a good idea to check with your chosen centre for the exact fee details. Remember to register well in advance to secure your place for the exam!

How can I prepare for the TCF?

There are no specific ways to prepare for the TCF, as it tests your general ability, so any and all practice is good.

We suggest you take a look at our ever growing library of reading, writing and listening exercises and dedicate some time every day to practise specific areas you might need some work on. If you already know which area you'd like to focus on today, take a look at:

Take advantage of free online resources like the ones from our partners at Learn French with Alexa and Lawless French, you might also find TV5Monde's TCF strategies helpful.

Other TCF Resources



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

So sign up for a free Kwiziq 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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