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WHAT YOU MUST KNOW ABOUT DELF AND DALF (FRENCH EXAMS)



What are DELF ?

The DELF, or Diplôme d’études en langue française is the test that will concern most French learners, as it tests levels from A1 through B2, covering beginner and intermediate learners. Within the DELF category of tests are four different exams. When opting to take the DELF, you will have to choose amongst the DELF A1, DELF A2, DELF B1 or DELF B2 tests, as each test is specially tailored to students of that level.

The DELF is one of the most useful diplomas to have, particularly when applying to French jobs or for French university degrees. Most undergraduate and graduate programs require a B2 diploma, though some undergraduate programs accept B1. B1 and B2 are also the levels that most French workplaces require if your job is going to include a moderate amount of French.


Why Take a Test?

These diplomas are quite useful for European employers and schools who want new hires/students to have a certain level in any foreign language, as the tests are regulated and conform across Europe.

A B2 speaker of French, Spanish or Italian will have approximately the same proficiency in each language, and writing on your CV or resume that you have a B2 diploma is quite a bit clearer than saying “intermediate,” for example.


Exam format

The DELF is a qualification under the authority of the CIEP (Centre International d’Études Pédagogiques). The 4 diplomas that make up the DELF are completely independent. Candidates register directly for the examination of their choice, based on their level. At each level, four skills are evaluated: listening, speaking, reading and writing.


DELF A1

This level recognises basic knowledge. It is the most basic level at which a language is used, called the "discovery" stage. At this level you must be able to introduce yourself, ask and answer questions about personal details such as where you live, people you know and things you have. 

Total duration of all tests: 1 hour 20 - Total mark out of 100 - Overall pass mark: 50/100 - Pass mark per test: 5/25


DELF A2 

It’s based on the same principle: it recognises the linguistic competency of a basic user, considered as a social actor. The candidate can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring the most common polite phrases and exchanges of information.

Total duration of all tests: 1 hour 40 - Total mark out of 100 - Overall pass mark: 50/100 - Pass mark per test: 5/25


DELF B1

At this level, you are considered an independent user, capable of maintaining familiar situations encountered in work, school, leisure etc. You will also be able to maintain interaction, understand and maintain a discussion and give your opinion as well as dealing with situations likely to arise in daily life.

Total duration of all tests: 1 hour 45 - Total mark out of 100 - Overall pass mark: 50/100 - Pass mark per test: 5/25


DELF B2

A DELF B2 level is French for professional or study purposes. As a B2 level user, you will have a degree of independence that allows you to construct arguments to defend your opinion, explain your viewpoint and negotiate with a degree of fluency and spontaneity in regular interactions and to be capable of correcting your own mistakes. This level fulfils French Language entrance requirements by the French Universities.

Total duration of all tests: 2 h 30 - Total mark out of 100 - Overall pass mark: 50/100 - Pass mark per test: 5/25


Today French is an official language in almost 50 countries, including Canada. It is spoken by more than 200 million people on five continents. It is also an official language of the United Nations, the Red Cross, and many other international organisations. By taking a DELF exam you will be Recognised internationally by francophone postsecondary institutions, including a growing number in Canada and you will be able to enter into a university in France (B2 or higher level).


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