The Test de connaissance du francais (TCF) France

The Test de connaissance du francais-(TCF) is a standardized French language proficiency test meant for non-native speakers of French to demonstrate their French language competency. It is regulated and managed by the CIEP (Centre international d'etudes pedagogiques), a public partner of French Ministry of Education.

The TCF follows the European standards for language tests as set forth in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

The test composes of compulsory and optional sections. The compulsory section includes- reading, listening and language structures, while the optional section includes writing and speaking parts. The TCF can be taken many a times, within a gap of 60 days between the two examination sessions.


The TCF is the French language test awarded by the French Ministry of Education. TCF measures an individual’s level of French language for personal and academic purposes. The test is a proof of proficiency in French language that is accepted by:
  • Most prominent universities both in France and abroad.
  • The Canadian immigration authorities for immigration to Canada, or Quebec.

Duration of TCF

The compulsory examinations last for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
  • Listening Comprehension - 30 questions - 20 mins
  • Use of Language Structures- 20 questions - 20 mins
  • Reading Comprehension - 30 questions - 45 mins
The optional examinations last for 2 hours.

TCF Format

Compulsory Examination
The compulsory examinations comprise of 80 multiple-choice questions with an increasing difficulty level starting from level A1 to level C2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

a. Listening comprehension
This part involves a recording from a spoken text heard in France or French-speaking lands. The candidates are required to recognize and study the topic and main information and idea of the verbalized text, identify natural expressions and understand any kind of spoken language delivered at expeditious speed.
  • No. of questions: 30 questions
  • Duration: 25 minutes
Use of Language Structures: Vocabulary and Grammar
This part tests a candidate’s ability to master the language structures, i.e. grammatical structures and the vocabulary. It requires an applicant to identify lexical or language register errors and select the equivalent of an expression or a grammatical word.
  • No. of questions: 20 questions
  • Duration: 20 minutes
Reading Comprehension
This part requires a candidate to understand the familiar names, words, and sentences, and also read and understand the information and facts about people, texts written in everyday language related to everyday life or work, articles or reports, literary works, factual and literary texts.
  • No. of questions: 30 questions
  • Duration: 45 minutes
Optional Examinations
The optional examination comprises of Spoken Expression and Written Expression.

Spoken Expression
The spoken expression has a face-to-face interview. The questions are split into six levels, going from level A1 to level C2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. The interview is taped and sent to the CIEP for centralized evaluation after the test.
  • Duration: 15 minutes
The candidate is assessed on their ability to communicate and react to the cues given by the examiner. Candidates are required to describe situations, places and people; talk about their living conditions, work or studies; describe experiences; explain a plan or an idea, the plot of a book or motion-picture show, express their point of views on any subject; present a coherent line of reasoning in a way relevant to the context; give a comprehensive and structured description of a complicated subject or issue, and round off with a conclusion.

Written Expression
This test comprises of 6 exercises with varying difficulty levels corresponding to one of the six levels of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.
  • Duration: 1 hour 45 minutes
Description of the Six Exercises:
  1. Message: This is the first exercise and involves writing a clear and direct message of about 40 words
  2. Personal Letter: This exercise involves writing a personal letter of about 60 words about day-to-day situations.
  3. Report: This involves writing a report of experiences, or a story, or express your point of views on any subject, in about 80 words
  4. Explanatory or Descriptive Text: This involves writing a descriptive text of about 100 words, which produces an opinion and reasoning.
  5. Expressing Viewpoints: This involves comparing of two viewpoints and taking a stand on a universal theme. The maximum word count for this exercise is 100 to 125 words.
  6. The last exercise involves putting the main ideas or viewpoints in a different wording, with reasoning in about 100 words in a document.
In this test, candidates are evaluated on their ability to convey a message or opinion clearly and completely with a use of range of lexicon.

Registration and Fees

You can register for the TCF either Online, or by Mail or In person. You can get the registration forms from the approved TCF examination centers at your place. Fill in the details as asked in the registration form and send it along with the fees to the testing centre before the deadline. Approved TCF test centre –TCF Test Centres. For more information on the registration and fees, contact the Approved TCF test centres.

Results and Scoring

TCF scores are ranked on six levels, ranging from A1 to C2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

 Levels A1
 B1 B2
 C1 C2
 Score Range 100-199 200-299 300-399 400-499 500-599 600-699


The results of the TCF are sent to an approved test centre where the candidate took the TCF, within 2 weeks for centers in France, and within 3 weeks in other countries of receipt of the examination papers by the CIEP. Candidates are provided with a provisional mark sheet as soon as they have completed the test and afterwards they get an official certificate of results.

TCF Certificate

The TCF certificate is valid for a period of two years.

The certificate indicates the test centre name and the examination date; the candidate’s first name and surname; the candidate code; and other personal information as well.

The certificate also demonstrates the candidate's overall marks and level achieved. The scores are broken down according to proficiency level and marks. The marks acquired in the optional examinations are out of 20.

Read More: Study in France

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