French Language Proficiency Test




The TCF is a French Language Proficiency Test for non-native speakers of French who wish to evaluate and have their level of proficiency certified for professional, academic or personal

The CILEC offers one TCF session a year.

It comprises three compulsory examinations.


 Three compulsory examinations
76 questions
1 hour 25 minutes
29 questions
25 minutes
Proficiency in language structures
18 questions
15 minutes
29 questions
45 minutes


Detailed description

The three compulsory examinations (80 items)

They consist of 80 multiple-choice questions in total. Only one out of the four answers offered for each question is correct. Questions are presented with progressive difficulty, ranging from level A1 to level C2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

Oral Comprehension (30 items – 30 mins)

The questions assess the candidate’s ability to:

-        identify the essential information communicated in everyday communicative situations;

-        understand simple statements on familiar topics in messages, announcements, interviews, telephone conversations, etc. and identify the topic of a conversation;

-        understand the main points of a spoken text on familiar topics encountered in work, university, leisure;

-        understand the main ideas in complex spoken texts on a concrete or abstract topic, familiar or not encountered in the candidate’s personal, social or professional life;

-        follow a spoken text on abstract and complex topics and recognise a wide range of idiomatic expressions;

-        understand any type of spoken language delivered at fast speed. The recordings are representative of spoken communication that can be heard in France or French-speaking countries, in particular as regards excerpts from RFI (Radio France Internationale) programmes.

Use of language structures: grammar and vocabulary (20 questions, 20 minutes)

  • The questions assess the candidate’s ability to identify and select the correct wording in syntactic and lexical structures.
  • The questions are always linked with communicative situations and the context of France or French-speaking countries.

Reading comprehension (30 questions, 45 minutes)

The questions assess the candidate’s ability to:

-        identify the gist of documents used in everyday communicative situations (short messages from friends or work colleagues);

-        identify the gist of and find specific information in everyday material (advertisements, prospectuses, menus and timetables, etc.);

-        find specific information about people, facts or events (personal letters, etc.);

-        find fine points of detail and detailed information in texts written in everyday language relating to everyday life or to work;

-        understand the points of view of authors on concrete or abstract topics in articles and reports;

-        understand abstract or complex texts taken from literary or specialised works.

The documents are representative of texts that can be read in France or French-speaking countries.