French TEF Exam

The TEF (Test d’Evaluation de Français) is designed to assess the level of French language of people who are not native French speakers. The test is administed by the Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie de Paris.


The TEF test is available in 2 formats, a paper format (TEF) and an online format (e-TEF).

The TEF exam is useful if you need to evaluate your French level of proficiency for Canadian Immigration (Immigration to Quebec), for admission into French Universities or for work.


    • TEF assesses comprehension and expression skills in French.
    • TEF gives a quantitative and qualitative measure of the level of linguistic and communication skills.
    • TEF offers a detailed and personalized analysis of results.

The overall objective of the TEF is to measure the level of the candidates’ knowledge, linguistic and communications skills in French.

TEF Exam Format

The TEF test (e-TEF) consists of 2 components:

A. 3 Compulsory Sections (2h 10 min)

  • Written comprehension (1h)
  • Listening comprehension (40 min)
  • Vocabulary and Structures (30 min)

B. 2 Optional Sections

  • Written expression (1h)
  • Oral expression (35 min per candidate)

TEF Test Registration

The TEF/e-TEF test can be taken anytime throughout the year. Approved TEF Test Centres are allowed to hold as many examination sessions as they wish in the last 10 days of each month.


  • You don’t need to have any previous qualification/certificate in French to take the TEF exams.
  • You can take the TEF test as many times as you like. However, there must be a gap of 2 months between examination sessions.
  • Your TEF certificate is only valid for 1 year.
  • Your TEF certificate will usually be available approximately 20 days after you took the test. You should collect it from the test centre at which you took the TEFaQ exam.

TEF Exam & Proficiency Level

The TEF exam is actually a kind of placement test. Based on how you do in the exam, you are placed in a certain level of proficiency according to the CEFRL, the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. You can be placed in any of these levels:

Level A1 (Level 1) Lower Beginner
Level A2 (Level 2) Upper Beginner
Level B1 (Level 3) Lower Intermediate
Level B2 (Level 4) Upper Intermediate
Level C1 (Level 5) Lower Advanced
Level C2 (Level 6) Upper Advanced

To know which level of proficiency you need to achieve, consult with your Quebec immigration lawyer/agent, university admissions office or your workplace. This will give you a good idea of the amount of preparation that you need to do.