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An ultimate guide to learn French for TEF

an ultimate guide to tef

All immigrants with French ability must prove their proficiency in French through a valid language test known as TEF to satisfy various goals.

Join us as we provide you with an ultimate guide to learning French for this language proficiency exam to chase your international dreams.

tef preparation

What is TEF

The TEF (Test d’Evaluation de Français) exam sets a benchmark to measure your knowledge and skills in French. It is intended for non-native French speakers and is recognized by diverse French-speaking countries like Canada, France, and Switzerland.

It is an exam administered by the Paris Chamber of Commerce wherein the goal is to evaluate the candidates on a scale of 7 levels starting from basic skills to advanced.

The total duration of the test is around 3 hours. It measures your French skills in five core areas: listening comprehension, speaking, reading, writing, and grammar. The test sections may vary depending on the country and goal.

The TEF score is valid for a period of two years. You can rewrite the exam as many times as you want with a waiting period of 60 days between successive tests.

The level obtained on the TEF test is used for immigration, professional, and educational purposes. You become eligible to travel, work, and study with a successful score.

Different versions of the TEF exam

There are different types of TEF exams to meet different goals. So, choose accordingly based on your objective to earn those extra points during your application process.

1. TEF Études

The TEF Études is specifically aimed at immigrant students who wish to enroll in a French undergraduate program. This exam serves as proof of your linguistic ability to study any degree or course in France.

  • Listening comprehension: 40 minutes(60 questions)
  • Reading comprehension: 60 minutes (50 questions)
  • Written expression: 60 minutes (2 topics)
  • Vocabulary and structure: 30 minutes (40 questions)

2. TEF IRN (Integration, Residence, and Nationality)

The TEF Naturalisation and TEF Carte de résident are combined together into a single test called the TEF IRN. This test is designed to obtain a resident card and acquire citizenship in France.

This exam measures your competency in French to prove that you have attained at least level B1 for a nationality application and validates you at an A2 level in writing and speaking for a resident card application. 

  • Listening: 10 minutes (17 questions)
  • Speaking: 10 minutes (2 topics)
  • Reading: 30 minutes (13 questions)
  • Writing: 30 minutes (2 topics)

3. TEF Canada

If you want to study in Canada or move to Canada as a permanent resident, you must certify your language level in French or English. English speakers choose between CELPIP or IELTS while candidates with French ability prosper with the TEF Canada.

  • Listening comprehension: 40 minutes (60 questions)
  • Speaking skills: 15 minutes (2 topics)
  • Reading comprehension: 60 minutes (50 questions)
  • Writing skills: 60 minutes (2 topics)

4. TEF Québec/TEFAQ

This version of TEF is recognized by Quebec’s Ministry for Immigration, Diversity, and Inclusion (MIDI) standards and is essential for an official immigration application to Quebec.

  • Listening comprehension: 40 minutes (60 questions)
  • Speaking skills: 15 minutes (2 topics)
  • Reading comprehension(optional): 60 minutes (50 questions)
  • Writing skills(optional): 60 minutes (2 topics)

How to prepare for TEF

There is no set rule to determine the exact procedure or method for TEF preparation. However, it demands a good amount of hard work, patience, and consistency. Here are a few essential tips to include in your schedule.

1. Practice sample papers

One of the important steps in the preparation process is getting an overview of the exam pattern. Sample papers give you an idea about the type of questions, the time allocated to each part, and the number of questions in each section.

It helps in analyzing your strengths and weaknesses to prepare well for the exam. In this case, you can focus more on the weak areas to improve your results.

practice sample papers

2. Online resources

The internet is a large library filled with unlimited resources. There are multiple tutorials and online courses to support students in their TEF preparation. These targeted resources expose students to different learning approaches and methods to suit different learning styles.

You can also utilize Français 3.0, a mobile application to train you for TEF. Additionally, you can register for an online program with PrepMyFuture and familiarize yourself with tutorials to improve your speaking skills.

online resources

3. Get help from books

If you are someone who prefers books to e-learning as it takes you on a fulfilling reading experience accompanied with an in-depth understanding and detailed explanation, then here are two of the most popular books used to study TEF:

  • TEF Test d’Evaluation de Francais (French Edition) by Sylvie Pons
  • Test d’Evaluation De Francais (French Edition) by Hachette Livre

get help from books

4. Find a mentor

Find a partner to indulge in discussions, clear doubts, and reduce the burden of tackling everything on your own. You can also find a mentor who has already gone through the entire process to gain professional experience.

Moreover, you get the opportunity to share the things you have learned and communicate with someone in French every day. You get to save a lot of time by jumping hurdles from their tips and avoiding the mistakes that they have made.

find a mentor

5. Be spontaneous

The TEF exam prepares you to face the French world so prepare yourself to be spontaneous by taking part in unplanned conversations and interactions with friends and language communities to speak confidently on the exam.

Ace it at your own pace

Tedious hours of practice and thick-bound books can leave a daunting effect on the TEF, but it doesn’t have to be. I hope the above suggestions can be accompanied by fun things that arouse your interest to ease the pressure. Set realistic goals and prepare for the challenging journey ahead to succeed at your own pace.

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