Created in 1998 by the Paris Ile-de-France Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Test d’Evaluation de Français or most commonly known as TEF Exam, is a mandatory exam that measures French competency. International students aiming to pursue higher education in Canada, proving that you know at least one of Canada’s official languages is a priority. The exam is for both French and Non-French immigrants to demonstrate proficiency in the French language, and as evident, French speakers have the upper hand. If you are going to Canada via Express Entry, the TEF exam is mandatory. Your score in the TEF exam in Canada should be above seven at least; test scores are valid for two years.
The TEF exam in Canada examines different abilities such as French speaking, writing, reading, and listening. With the successful test, you become eligible to work and travel anywhere in Canada; TEF is also compulsory if you want to apply for Canadian citizenship in the future. The exam is officially accepted and recognized by-
1. The Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation
2. The Swiss State Secretariat for Migration
3. The French Ministry of the Interior
4. The Department of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship of Canada
5. The Quebec Ministry of Immigration, Francisation, and Integration
6. The French Ministry of Education
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TEF exam format- TEF exam structure & syllabus
The TEF exam is based on five different modules that candidates will have to clear with at least 7 points in the test. The timing and questions given in the test are as follows-
1. Speaking: 2 subjects in 15 minutes
2. Listening: 60 questions in 40 subjects
3. Writing: 2 topics in 60 minutes
4. Reading: 50 questions in 60 minutes
5. Vocabulary & syntax: 40 questions in 40 minutes
Here’s the format of different TEF modules.
The speaking module gauges a candidate’s ability to speak French and communicate with others. Section A consists of obtaining information in the test, and section B consists of conversing with someone.
The writing module gauges the ability to express oneself in written format. Section A consists of writing articles, and section B will ask you to justify and express your point of view in written form.
In the listening module, the candidate will have to listen and understand the French audio clips. The questions will be in multiple-choice questions format.
The reading module will test the candidate’s ability to read, evaluate and understand written materials. The questions are asked in multiple-choice formats.
Vocabulary and syntax test (LS) evaluates a candidate’s ability to use punctuation and incorrect grammar. Even this paper is in multiple-choice formats.
Please note that students will have to submit all the exams on the same day for the certificate to be recognized and accepted by the Canadian government.
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How to register for the TEF exam in Canada
If you are applying for the TEF exam, contact your center for further details, exam fees, or related questions.
Important tips to know
For Non-French speakers, the TEF exam in Canada is not easy to crack. Students need to prepare for months to clear the exam in one sitting. To qualify, a 7+ score is mandatory, and there’s no shortcut to achieve that. Here are a few essential tips for the TEF exam in Canada.
The TEF exam is compulsory if you want to apply for Canadian citizenship in the future.
1. Know the format of the TEF exam
Any applicant can’t perform well without knowing the exam syllabus and format. The official website of the TEF exam provides the format and syllabus for the exam. Also, write, read, speak and listen to the language without any mistakes. These are the main spectrums you’ll have to qualify to pass the exam and become eligible to apply for the courses you’re aiming for.
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2. Practice French anytime possible
For beginners, the exam can turn out to be a little tough to crack. A lot of practice is required, and when we talk about learning a new language, the best approach is to try it in daily life. When you converse with people around you, you’ll get more confident. Read books, watch French movies, shows, and YouTube videos and try speaking it. If you know any French professor, native or friends who know the language well, indulge in a conversation with them which will make you aware of your errors, and help you score great in TEF.
3. Learn Online
Search tutorials on search engines, and familiarize yourself with the speaking and listening section of the exam.
Look out for sample papers and practice rigorously.
You can visit the Français 3.0 mobile application and evaluate your French via various tests.
Multiple sites help prepare for TEF exams; you can sign up for them if you need assistance.
4. Get help from books
There are many books available to help prepare for the TEF exam. Here are a few books you can get quickly, but please note that the exam questions keep changing, and you need to prepare yourself without depending on any source material. The books are-
a. TEF (test d’évaluation de français)
b. Test d’évaluation de français
c. ABC TEFAQ
d. TEF Canada Express Guide
Always check sample papers. Analyze sample papers and understand the pattern and type of questions asked; they will help you grasp the exam pattern.
Indulge in mock tests as much as you can. If you are a beginner, mock tests will help you to prepare for the exams better. Seek help from someone who knows advanced level French.
5. Set your goal
You will be able to prepare much better if you have your goal set. For example- do you want to qualify for the test and take admission in any university and get a Canadian degree, then you prepare to get a passing score. However, if you want to apply for Canadian citizenship shortly, you’ll have to double the amount of preparation to achieve high scores.
6. Join the online community
Joining a community of students preparing for TEF exams will give you an upper hand in your preparation as you’ll get a lot of help and support from fellow applicants. Everyone giving exams has a set of goals according to which they start their preparation. Indulging in discussions with them, clearing your doubts will help you in exams.
With proper preparation and practice, you will easily ace the TEF Exam in Canada in one go.