CCI Paris Ile de France

Publié le 11 May 2021

Prepare yourself for the vocabulary and syntax test of the TEF

If you are taking the TEF and would like to know everything to prepare for the vocabulary and syntax part of the test, this article is for you!

What does the vocabulary and syntax test consist of?

The vocabulary and syntax test lasts 30 minutes and is made up of 40 questions:

  • 15 questions on vocabulary in context
  • 25 questions on grammatical structures

For each question, you will have the choice between several answer options, in the form of a list or a drop-down menu. There is only 1 correct answer. A correct answer gives you 1 point. If your answer is wrong or you don’t answer, you get no points. No points are deducted if you do not answer.

It is important to be focused and to answer all the questions. We recommend that you first read the question and all the answer options. Then, select an answer, even if you are not completely sure, and move on to the next question. You will be able to go back and change your answer afterwards. Remember to allow a few minutes at the end to reread your answers before finally validating the test.

How can I work on my vocabulary and syntax?

The vocabulary and syntax test aims at measuring your ability to use the French language – vocabulary and grammatical structures – in a correct and adequate way.

To pass this test, it is necessary to regularly read all types of texts (newspaper articles, novel extracts, classified ads, etc.) on a variety of themes from everyday life. The most important thing is to do an active reading of these documents, which means :

  • Writing down words you don’t know, looking them up in a dictionary, then try using them in other sentences.
  • Noting the grammatical structures you don’t know, looking up the rule in a dictionary, and then doing exercises on those structures.

In addition to that, don’t forget to review:

  • Grammar and conjugation rules that you are not very comfortable with,
  • Logical connectors and discourse articulators (for example, to express opposition, concession…).

All this will allow you to reinforce your knowledge and will give you confidence on the day of the test.

Finally, to prepare yourself for the test format, you can consult the tutorial, the preparation video and some subjects examples dedicated to the oral comprehension test.


Some advice to pass the vocabulary and syntax test, by Aurélie Surblé, education manager: 

1. Manage your time so that you can answer all the questions: if you get stuck on a text or a question, note the number on the screen and move on to the next questions. You can come back to that question at the end of the test if you have time left.
Read the entire sentence or text to understand the context before answering the questions.

3. Try to identify what makes each word different and choose the one that is closest to the context.


In which TEF can I find the vocabulary and syntax test?

You will find this test in the TEF to integrate a school/university in France or a French school/university abroad.


You can also consult our articles on the TEF test:

Prepare for the oral expression test of the TEF
Prepare for section A of the TEF written expression test: the story
Prepare for section B of the TEF written expression: the argumentation
Prepare for the written comprehension test of the TEF
– Prepare for the oral comprehension test of the TEF

Don’t forget to consult our TEF preparation workshops here.

If you have further questions about the test preparation, email us at or join our Facebook group.