CCI Paris Ile de France

Test d’évaluation de français (TEF)

Created in 1998 by the Paris Ile-de-France CCI, the Test d’Evaluation de Français (TEF) is an international benchmark test that measures your level of knowledge and skills in French. Results are valid for two years. 


The TEF is officially recognized by :
– the French Ministry of Education
– the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation
– the French Ministry of the Interior
– the Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship of Canada
– the Quebec Ministry of Immigration, Francisation and Integration
– the Swiss State Secretariat for Migration

What are the tests?

The TEF consists of 5 modular tests:

  • Oral comprehension (CO) 
  • Written comprehension (CE) 
  • Oral Expression (EO) 
  • Written Expression (EE)
  • Vocabulary and syntax (LS) 

Which examinations correspond to which test?

The TEF is a modular test. Depending on your objective and the steps you take, you should register for the TEF version that includes the tests you need.




Intégration, Résidence et Nationalité 

Other purposes

Mandatory examinations for immigration

Oral comprehension

Written comprehension

Oral expression

Written expression

Mandatory examinations for a citizenship application

Oral comprehension

Oral expression

Elective examinations

Oral comprehension

Oral expression

Additional examinations

(primary applicant)

Written comprehension

Written expression

Mandatory examinations

Oral comprehension

Written comprehension

Oral expression

Written expression


 Between 1 and 5 tests depending on the objectives:

– selecting students

– recruting new staff members

– certifying your French skills

You can take the TEF to certify your level of French. It is also recognized to :

Find out more about the tests content and how the exam is conducted

How is the TEF evaluated?

The tests are evaluated using a scale of 7 levels, from level 0 (most basic skills) to level 6 (good skills).

This scale refers to the 6 levels (A1 to C2) of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) of the Council of Europe and the 12 Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) / from Quebec (EQNCF).

  • The written comprehension, oral comprehension and vocabulary and syntax tests are in the form of multiple-choice questionnaires.
  • The written expression test consists in writing two texts related to your everyday life. It is evaluated by two independent, trained and experienced proofreaders.
  • The oral expression test consists of two role-plays corresponding to real-life situations. It is evaluated by two independent examiners: the test facilitator and a second evaluator who is based on the recording of the test.

Integrate a school/university

In France

The TEF is officially recognized since 2004 by the French Ministry of National Education and assesses the written and oral French language skills of all foreign students applying for undergraduate university enrollment in France.

🔗 Useful link : Recognition of the TEF by the Ministry of National Education, Higher Education and Research (FR)

The TEF consists of 4 compulsory tests:

  • Reading comprehension: 60 min – 50 questions
  • Oral comprehension: 40 min – 60 questions
  • Written expression: 60 min – 2 subjects to be covered
  • Vocabulary and syntax: 30 min – 40 questions

See an example of a certificate

To go further

What level do I need to obtain for my file to be accepted by a French educational institution?

You need to obtain at least 400/699 in the written parts of the TEF (written comprehension and written expression).

For more information, contact the Campus France of the country in which you are located or directly the institution you wish to join.



Does the TEF allow me to be exempted from the TCF for the DAP (demande d’admission préalable) ?

Indeed, you are exempt from the TCF for the DAP if you obtained at least 400/699 in the written parts of the TEF (written comprehension and written expression).

What are the exemptions to the French test?

You are exempt from a French test if you already hold a TCF for the DAP, a DELF B2, a DALF C1/C2, a French baccalaureate (issued by the French Ministry of Education), or if you are a student from one of the French bilingual sections that appears on the list established by the French Ministries of National Education and Foreign Affairs.

You are also exempt from the French test if you come from a French-speaking country or a country where French is an official language (provided that you have completed all of your secondary education in French-language institutions).

Please find a list of officially French-speaking countries: Benin, Belgium, Burkina Faso, Congo – Brazzaville, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Guinea – Conakry, Mali, Niger, Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal and Togo.

The list of countries where French is an official language: Burundi, Canada, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Djibouti, Haiti, Madagascar, Mauritania (except Arabic-speaking countries), Rwanda, Seychelles, Switzerland and Vanuatu.

Please note that some institutions require you to have the test/diploma (TEF/TCF/DALF/DELF) even if you are exempt from it.

In other French-speaking countries

The TEF is recognized by many universities and schools, especially in Canada, to certify your level of French as part of the admission procedure. Contact the institution you wish to attend directly: they will tell you the number and type of TEF tests you will have to take.

In this period of health crisis, some institutions have chosen the TEF Express, a home test that allows you to quickly assess your language level for admission. This is a one-time, exceptional solution.
For more information, click here.