Do I have to pass a French competency test to study in France?

Is it mandatory to pass a French skills examination to study in France?

In order to achieve your study goal in France it is important to master the French language. The French Language Diploma (“Diplôme d’Etudes en Langue Française”, DELF) and the Advanced French Language Diploma (“Diplôme Approfondi en Langue Française”, DALF) are the two official diplomas recognised by the French Ministry of Education to certify the proficiency in French of foreign applicants’. For information on Delf/Dalf

The French competency test (“Test de Connaissance du Français”, TCF) designed by the CIEP is to assess your French language proficiency.

The TCF-DAP is compulsory for future students as part of the DAP (Demande d’Admission Préalable, or preliminary admission application) for admission on first and second year university degree courses and for Architecture students.

The TCF is systematically required by higher education institutes for any student that wishes to apply for final year undergraduate study or postgraduate study (Final year of Degree course, first and second year of Masters programmes and PhD students) at any higher education institute and the French Grandes Ecoles.

The French higher education institutions have full authority to determine the level of French required for applicants. It is strongly recommended that you ask for the level of French required and which tests and diplomas it recognised as well.

In general, the French higher education institutions requires the level 4 with the TCF or the level B2 with the DELF which are equivalent to the French language ability of “Independent User” on the basis of Common European Framework of References for Languages (CECR). The Conférence des Présidents d’Université (CPU) acknowledges only the TCF, DELF and DALF.

In order to register for a test or a course in preparation for obtaining a diploma, please contact one of the certified centres in Canada.

DELF/DALF examination in Canada

TCF-DAP examination in Canada

 Please note: to register for a TCF-DAP session, complete the entire DAP procedure before January 22.

The TCF is the French Ministry of Education’s official language test. It is recognized by all French universities.
The advisor who will review and process your application may be able to exempt you if you fall under one of these categories:

  -you have passed the DALF level C1 or C2 (Diplôme Approfondi de Langue Française);

  -you hold a French baccalaureat (awarded by the French Ministry of Education)

  -you have pursued the totality of your secondary education in a francophone institution (immersion schools do not fall into that category);

  -you are a national of a country where French is the official language: Benin, Burkina Faso, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Guinea-Conakry, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Togo. Please note that the only official language of Algeria, Lebanon, Morocco and Tunisia is Arabic. French is only a language with special status. Candidates from these four countries must therefore take the TCF-DAP.

Important instructions for TCF-DAP candidates:

1. All candidates must arrive 20 minutes prior to the exam starting time. Access to examination rooms will be prohibited once the exam has begun.

2. Upon arrival, candidates must present their notification of examination and their I.D.

3. All cellular phones must be turned off during the exam.

4. All participants must bring a writing utensil. All test answers must be written in black ink and on the answer sheet. Scratch paper will be provided.

5. Participants are asked to not fold, wrinkle or damage their answer sheets; if so, they will not be corrected.

6. In accordance with the French examination regulation, all candidates need to know the following information:

  • scratch paper is never corrected and should, therefore, not be attached to the answer sheet;
  • answers completed in pencil will not be graded; and, at the end of the exam, candidates must hand in their answer sheet upon the proctor’s request;
  • additional time will not be granted.

7. In the case of cheating or an attempt to cheat, such as using a cellular phone, books or a dictionary, candidates will be forced to leave the room.