CCI Paris Ile de France

Publié le 20 April 2021

Prepare yourself for the written comprehension test of the TEF

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

What does the written comprehension test consist of?

The written comprehension test lasts 1 hour and is made up of 50 questions concerning different documents:

  • 10 questions on simple documents
  • 25 questions on press articles
  • 10 questions about the organization of a text
  • 5 questions about the general meaning of a sentence

For each question, there are four answer options, but only 1 is correct. A correct answer gives you 1 point. If your answer is wrong or you don’t answer, you get no points.

Before reading the document, we recommend that you first read the questions and all the answer options. Next, it is important to read the entire document so that you do not miss any information and find the right answers. Finally, check that you have answered all the questions correctly. We also encourage you to reread your answers before validating the test.

How can I work on my written comprehension?

The written comprehension test is designed to assess your ability to read a written text, understand it and process the information. It does not aim at testing your knowledge on a subject.

To succeed in this test, it is necessary to regularly read all types of texts (newspaper articles, novel extracts, classified ads, cooking recipes, etc.) on various themes. This will allow you to read quickly, to locate important information and to improve your vocabulary. All this will allow you to reinforce your knowledge and will give you more 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 written comprehension test.

Some advice to pass the written comprehension test, by Amandine, 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 this question at the end of the test if you have some time left.
Read the newspaper articles twice: once to find the main ideas, a second time to find the secondary ideas.

3. In complex articles, always ask yourself what is the author’s perspective on the topic.

In which TEF can I find the written comprehension test?

You will have to take the written comprehension test whether you are taking the TEF Canada, the TEFAQ, the TEF Naturalisation or the TEF Carte de résident.

However, the length of the test will be different for the TEF Naturalisation (45 min – 35 questions) and the TEF Carte de résident (30 min – 13 questions, except for B2 level where there is no text).

The questions will be based on everyday life documents such as an advertisement, a job offer, a menu, a letter or a newspaper article.

You can also consult our articles on the TEF test (in French):

Prepare yourself for the oral expression test of the TEF
Prepare yourself for section A of the TEF written expression test
Prepare yourself for section B of the TEF written expression test
– Prepare yourself for the oral comprehension test of the TEF
Prepare for the vocabulary and syntax 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.