Which official French exam is best for you? (DILF, DELF, DALF, TCF)

The French language is the 3th most spoken language in Europe. The fact that the language of love is spoken by 80 million people as their native tongue and by 190 million as a second language proves that French is an international language. France itself has 60 million native French speakers, therefore is the country with the largest francophone community in the world. Besides, the French language was born in France. However, more than half of French speakers do not live in France, but in Africa.

Nothing less than 29 countries in three continents have French as an official language. Most countries in which French is spoken are former French colonies. Also, the French language is the second most important language for communication in international relations, (in the UN and the EU), according to the number of countries using it as the official language.

Which official French exam is best for you? (DILF, DELF, DALF, TCF)

In the past decades, French was the Lingua Franca in most Europe and the main language for communicating in academic and professional environments. Though it was later replaced by English as the international language, French never ceases to amaze thousands of new students every year.

If you are reading this article we guess it’s because at some point, you were also amazed by this incredible language and for some reason, you need your French to be accredited. Whether you are learning French to study at a French university or you want to boost your professional career in a French-speaking country, you are most likely required to prove your French level.

There are many French exams, though the most popular and known are those issued by the Centre international d’études pédagogiques (International Center of Pedagogical Studies) belonging to the French Ministry of Education.

These are the DILF, DALF, DELF, and TCF certificates.

DILF: Diplôme Initial de Langue  Française
Level: A1
It has no expiration date.
The certificate shows beginner-level skills.
Estimated cost: 50 € – 70 €.

– DELF: Diplôme d’études en langue française
Levels: A1 to B2
It has no expiration date.
The certificate shows beginner or high-intermediate level skills.
Estimated cost: 70 € – 150 € (depending on the level).

– DALF: Diplôme approfondi de langue française
Levels: C1 and C2
It has no expiration date.
The certificate shows proficiency-level skills.
Estimated cost: 140 € – 200 € (depending on the level)

The registration fees for DILF, DELF and DALF exams are set by the Commission Nationale (National Commission). However, it is important to remember that prices may vary depending on the country and examination center.

The three exams consist of four different parts:
– Reading
– Writing
– Speaking
– Listening

Every part receives a 0/25 score, added to get an overall score of 0/100. To pass the exam students need to obtain a minimum of 50/100 and at least 5%25 in each exam section.

TCFTest de connaissance du français

Levels: A1 to C2
Valid for 2 years.
The certificate assesses French skills for general purposes and in a concrete time.
The exam consists of two parts: one obligatory (listening, reading, grammar) and optional part (speaking, writing).
Multiple-choice questions.
Results are based on a 0/699 points scale based on the CEFRL.
Estimated cost: 100 € – 150 € (obligatory part), optional part 60 € – 80 € (each)

Post about:

Now we get to the moment in which you may be asking yourself, which official French exam to choose, then? Which one will help me more to achieve my goals? We firstly advise you to try to analyze which are your needs and specific purposes for learning French.

If you are just beginning to learn French and would like to have your A1 level accredited and give yourself extra motivation, DILF exam may be right for you. Though, the exam is not quite known and useful since it only covers beginner level, therefore unless you have a specific reason you may want to step up and prepare for DELF. DELF and DALF exams are the most widely recognized French exams, covering up from A1 to C2 levels. If you have an intermediate or high intermediate level (B1-B2), DELF may be a good choice, since it can open doors for academic and professional purposes. If you plan to study at a French University, you’ll have to aim high and pass the DELF exam (B2 level) to apply for a Bachelor’s degree or the DALF exam (C1) to apply for a Master’s degree.

Finally, if you would just like to certify your current French level or are planning to acquire French citizenship, TCF may be the best option.

Do you want to learn French and open up to new opportunities?

Prepare yourself for a French exam