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TCF : Test de Connaissance du Français

Évaluer vos connaissances, accéder à l'université, carte de séjour et nationalité, immigration au Québec ... le TCF est l'examen qu'il vous faut.

The different TCF


It comprises three compulsory examinations and two supplementary examinations

Three compulsory examinations Two optional examinations
76 questions
1 hour 25 minutes
29 questions
25 minutes
1 hour 12 minutes
Speaking12 minutes

Proficiency in language structures
18 questions
15 minutes


60 minutes

29 questions
45 minutes

The three compulsory examinations (76 questions *)

*  The computer version of the test comprises 91 questions. The 15 additional question of the computer version will not be counted when calculating the final score. They enable the CIEP to analyse the validity of questions. The time given to take this computerised examination is essentially the same as for the paper version (ten additional minutes).

Questions are multiple choice, comprising 76 questions in total. Only one out of the four answers offered for each question is correct. questions are presented in order of increasing difficulty, ranging from level A1 to level C2 in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

Listening (29 questions, 25 minutes)

The questions enable evaluation of your ability to understand spoken French, in particular:

  • current words and expressions in daily communication (dialogues, interviews, discussions, speaking on the telephone, etc.);
  • the essentials in messages and public announcements;
  • information on people, facts or events on radio or television programmes related to the news or on personal, professional or educational subjects;
  • reports on tangible or abstract topics;
  • all kinds of dialogue delivered in a standard flow.

The recordings are representative of oral communication such as you may hear in France or francophone countries, particularly involving extracts from the Radio France Internationale (RFI) station(link is external).

Proficiency in language structures: grammar and vocabulary (18 questions, 15 minutes)

  • The questions assess your ability to identify and select the correct wording in syntactic and lexical structures..
  • The questions are always associated with communication situations and French or francophone contexts.

Reading (29 questions, 45 minutes)

The questions test your abilities to understand:

  • very simple familiar nouns, words and phrases used in communication situations (friendly or administrative messages and letters);
  • information contained in common documents (classified ads, prospectus, menus and timetables, etc.);
  • information on people, facts or events (personal letters);
  • texts in common language that is relevant to daily life or work;
  • articles and reports in which the authors take a stand on concrete or abstract subjects;
  • long and complex factual or literary texts from academic articles; abstract texts or complex extracts from works, academic articles, literary works.

The documents are representative of those you may read in France or in francophone countries.

Tips and tricks for taking this examination:
  • arrive 30 to 45 minutes before the test begins;
  • don’t forget your form of identity and a black pen;
  • listen carefully to the invigilator’s instructions;
  • listen carefully to aural documents and questions as you will hear them just once;
  • read the instructions carefully;
  • read the questions carefully and use the time available to you to think about your answers. Don’t just write anything down;
  • if you hesitate too long, move on to the next question; write your answer on the answer sheet. Never write on the booklet.

The two optional examinations

Speaking (interview lasting a maximum of 12 minutes)

The speaking examination is taken individually and is in the form of a face-to-face interview with an examiner.

  • This examination comprises 3 tasks, and you will have time to prepare for one of these .
  • These 3 tasks evaluate the candidate on the six levels of the scale on the Common European Framework of Reference (from level A1 to level C2).
  • The interview is recorded, assessed a first time by the examiner, then sent to the CIEP for a second evaluation. Each recording always undergoes a double marking.
Description of the tasks:
  • Task 1 – Interview given without preparation.
    The exchange lasts: 2 minutes
    Objective of the task: the candidate must prove that they can have an exchange with a person that they do not know (the examiner).
  • Task 2 – Exercise in interaction with preparation.
    Duration: 5 minutes 30 seconds (of which 2 minutes are given to preparation time, during which the candidate is permitted to take short notes)
    Objective of the task: the candidate must prove their ability to obtain information in a situation in modern daily life . The roles of the examiner and the candidate are specified in the instructions.
  • Task 3 – Expression of a point of view without preparation.
    The exchange lasts: 4 minutes 30 seconds
    Objective of the task: the candidate must prove their ability to speak in a spontaneous, continuous and convincing manner when answering a question asked by the examiner.
The candidate is assessed on their ability to:
  • talk about themselves, their surroundings, family and job;
  • ask questions related to the given communication situation;
  • give their opinion and explain the advantages and disadvantages of a project, express their agreement and disagreement;
  • present a clear and structured argument in a style appropriate to the context;
  • present complex subjects in a detailed and structured manner, develop them and conclude them.

Writing (60 minutes)

This examination comprises three tasks presented in an increasing order of difficulty.

Description of the tasks:
  • Task 1: writing a message to describe, recount and/or explain, addressed to one or several recipients, whose role was specified in the instructions
    Number of words expected: minimum 60 words/maximum 120 words.
  • Task 2: Writing an article, a letter, a note, etc. intended for several recipients to report on an experience or tell a story. Reports and accounts will be accompanied by commentaries, opinions or arguments, depending on the objective (e.g.: to claim, to reconcile, etc.).
    Number of words expected: minimum 120 words/maximum 150 words.
  • Task 3: writing a text (for a newspaper, website, colleague, manager, etc.) that compares two points of view on a social reality, expressed in two short and simple documents of approximately 90 words each. The candidate takes a stand on the topic highlighted in the two documents.
    Number of words expected: minimum 120 words/maximum 180 words. I.e., between 40 and 60 words for the 1st part of the task and between 80 and 120 words for the 2nd part of the task.
Candidates are assessed on their ability to:
  • communicate a message clearly;
  • provide the information requested;
  • describe, recount, and explain;
  • justify a choice, position, decision, etc.;
  • link ideas and exercise consistency in discourse;
  • compare two points of view;
  • express their opinion and argue it;
  • use vocabulary and structures adapted to the relevant task;
  • be capable of summarizing and rewording.

Le TCF-DAP (access to university)

TCF for preliminary admission application 2017/2018

New writing task

The writing task of the TCF pour la demande d’admission préalable (DAP) has changed. The new 60-minute-long writing task is composed of 3 exercises.

More information.


If you wish to apply, in France, as a first year undergraduate (L1) or as an architecture school student and you do not have the DELF B2 or DALF, you must apply for a TCF specific to the preliminary admission application, called “TCF for DAP”.


If you wish to take the TCF to apply for a licence 2, licence 3, master 1, master 2, Sciences Po, college or business school, only question 2 applies to you; please go to the TCF page.


We advise you to read this entire page for information related to the TCF for DAP.

Le TCF-ANF (access to French nationality)

TCF for French nationality (ANF)

Audience: candidates wishing to acquire French nationality through marriage or naturalisation.

Offered since January 2012, the TCF for French nationality (TCF ANF) was specifically designed to comply with the new measures introduced by the French Ministry of the Interior (decree 2011-1265 of 11 October 2011) set at oral level B1 (oral comprehension and expression examinations), the level of French required for candidates for French nationality.

As an exception, the French authorities recognise comparability statements from the TCF for the general public complete with an oral expression examination, and from the TCF for Quebec (with a minimum of oral expression and comprehension examinations) from level B1.

DELF B1, B2 or DALF C1, C2 qualification holders are also exempt from the test.

We advise you to read this entire page to find out more about the TCF for French nationality (ANF).

Le TCF pour carte de résident en France

Public : toute personne étrangère de moins de 65 ans sollicitant pour la première fois la délivrance d’une carte de résident de longue durée (valable 10 ans) ou d’une carte portant la mention « résident de longue durée – UE »

Le TCF pour la carte de résident en France répondra aux nouvelles dispositions introduites par le ministère français de l’intérieur (Décret no 2016-1456 du 28 octobre 2016 et Arrêté du 21 février 2018) fixant au niveau A2 (épreuves de compréhension et d’expression orales et écrites) le niveau requis en français pour les postulants à l’obtention de la carte de résident de longue durée.

Les autorités françaises reconnaissent, également, les attestations et diplômes d’un niveau A2 minimum suivants :

  • TCF tout public (TCF TP) comprenant obligatoirement les épreuves d’expression écrite et orale ;
  • TCF pour le Québec (comprenant obligatoirement les épreuves de compréhension orale, compréhension écrite, expression orale et expression écrite) ;
  • DELF A2, B1, B2 ou du DALF C1, C2 (toutes déclinaisons).

Pour obtenir les informations relatives au TCF pour pour la carte de résident en France, nous vous conseillons de lire l’intégralité de la Foire Aux Questions (FAQ).

Format du nouveau TCF carte de résident : 4 épreuves obligatoires

Compréhension orale (20 questions)
épreuve collective

Durée :
15 minutes

Compréhension écrite (20 questions)
épreuve  collective

Durée :
20 minutes

Expression écrite (3 tâches)
épreuve collective

Durée :
30 minutes

Expression orale (3 tâches)
épreuve individuelle

Durée :
10 minutes*

*Temps d’interaction effectif (hors explication des consignes et évaluation du candidat).

Durée totale du TCF Carte de résident


INSCRIPTION AU TCF pour carte de résident en France =>


Infographie TCF résident

Le TCF Québec

Public: anyone, regardless of their nationality and native language, who wishes to begin permanent immigration procedures with the Quebec Ministry of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusion.

The TCF for Quebec has been designed to meet the demands of Quebecoise authorities, which make taking the tests and standardised French examinations obligatory and systematic within the context of procedures for obtaining the Certificat de Sélection du Québec (CSQ) (Quebec Selection Certificate) leading to the issuance of a permanent visa. French and francophone people are also affected by this.

The Quebecoise authorities also recognize, as an exemption, the complete TCF tout public with the speaking expression as well as DELF and DALF diplomas (subject to obtaining a minimum score in the oral comprehension and oral expression examinations and a validity of less than 2 years).

From 1 August 2013, the Quebecoise authorities require a minimum B2 level to issue a maximum of 16 points for this linguistic evaluation.


We advise you to read this entire page for information related to the TCF for Quebec.