TEF: Test for Evaluating French (Test d’Evaluation de Francais)

The TEF - TEF: Test for Evaluating French (Test d’Evaluation de Francais) is a standardized French language test intended for non-native French speakers to demonstrate their French language proficiency. TEF is used to gain admittance to French Universities or for Canadian Immigration, or for work. TCF is administered by the CCIP (Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry).

The test comprises of three compulsory and two optional examinations, which are sub-divided into different sections. The reading, grammar, listening and vocabulary sections are compulsory to take, and must be taken together, while the writing and speaking sections are optional and can be taken separately.

TEF Examination Pattern

TEF Compulsory Examination: Includes 3 parts and lasts for 2hours and 10 minutes
  • Written Comprehension
  • Listening Comprehension
  • Vocabulary and Structures
TEF Optional Examination: Includes two parts
  • Written Expression
  • Oral Expression

Purpose of TEF

  • It evaluates a candidate’s comprehension skills in French.
  • It gives a quantitative and qualitative measure of the level of applicant's communication and linguistic skills.
  • It offers a comprehensive and personalized analysis of results.

Structure of TEF

The TEF consists of 3 compulsory sections and 2 optional sections:

TEF – Compulsory Examination
The compulsory examination comprises of multiple- choice questions, with a total of 80 questions. There are four options to each question, of which only one is correct. The questions have an increasing level of difficulty range, starting from level A1 to level C2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

Reading Comprehension

This part consists of multiple-choice/objective-type questions. The questions evaluate a candidate's ability to identify the essence of documents used in day-to-day communicative conditions and materials such as advertisements, magazines, and so on. This part requires a candidate to understand the given information about people, events, and texts written in everyday language related to everyday life or work, articles or reports, specialised or literary works, factual and abstract texts.
  • No. of questions: 50
  • Duration: 60 minutes
Language Structure: Vocabulary and Grammar
This part consists of multiple-choice questions and evaluates a candidate's ability to identify and select the correct wording in grammatical structures. The questions are generally connected with communicative events and conditions of France or French-Speaking countries.
  • No. of questions: 40
  • Duration: 30 minutes
Listening Comprehension
This part consists of multiple-choice questions and requires the candidate to identify the main information communicated in day-to-day situations; identify and understand the topic of a conversation or message, and understand the key points of a spoken text on familiar topics encountered in studies, or work, or free time.
  • No. of questions: 60
  • Duration: 40 minutes

TEF – Optional Examination

Written Expression
This section assesses a candidate's written ability to convey information, use past tenses, and express a point of view with reasoning.
  • Duration: 60 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 expresses 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 other words, 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 vocabulary.

TEF Oral Expression

This section consists of 2 brief interviews with an examiner, wherein the candidate talks about his/her point of view on a topic given by the examiner. The interview is taped and sent to CIEP for evaluation. Candidates are 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 viewpoints on any subject or theme; present a consistent line of reasoning in a manner relevant to the context; give a comprehensive and structured description of a complicated subject or issue, and end it with a conclusion.
  • Duration: 35 minutes

TEF Registration and Fees

You can download the application form as well as the payment document from the approved centres. Fill in the details in both documents and submit them to the concerned approved centre.
  • To find an approved centre of TEF, visit Francais.CCI
  • If applying online, you have to pay by credit card- Visa, MasterCard or American Express.
  • If applying in person or over the telephone, then pay by cheque or money order.
  • For more information on the registration and fees, contact  Approved TCF test centres.
  • Website: www.ciep.fr

TEF Results and Scoring

The final result is sent via email 2 to 4 weeks of the receipt of the examination papers. The TEF result is generally valid for one year from the date on which you took the test.

TEF Scoring

The TEF tests are evaluated on a scale with 7 levels, from level 0 (most basic competencies) to level 6 (complete fluency).

This scale relates to the 6 levels (A1 to C2) of the Council of Europe’s Common European Framework of Reference for Languages and to the 12 levels of the Canadian Language Benchmarks.

TEF Compulsory sections

The compulsory sections have a total score of 900, of which written Comprehension is 300, Listening Comprehension is 360 and Vocabulary & Structure is 240

TEF Optional sections

The Written Expression has a total score of 450 distributed as follows: Thematic and semantic coherence is 150
  • Ability to argue and summarize is 120
  • Structure & vocabulary is 180
The Oral Expression has a total score of 450 distributed as follows:.Understanding topics and finding apt information is 120
  • Facts explanation and argumentation is 150
  • Structure and vocabulary is 180

TEF Certificate

An official certificate of results is given to each candidate. The certificate shows the score obtained in each section and the proficiency level attained.

TEF Special Arrangements

For Special test arrangements, the candidate must take permission from the approved test centre. The special arrangements can be transferred to the next session only in case of sickness. The candidate must provide an evidence to support the request, i.e. a medical note must be mailed within the next three days of the test.
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