The Test d’Évaluation de Français (TEF) is a test of general French which assesses the level of proficiency in French of native and non-native French speakers alike.

Level of proficiency

The TEF assesses the candidate’s proficiency in French using a 7 level scale based on the levels of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFRL) and the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB).

Candidate profile

The TEF is directed first at candidates whose native language is not French. It targets adults (16 +) wishing to assess their level of proficiency in French. It can be used for the purpose of academic studies (France), emigration to a French-speaking country (Canada, Québec), citizenship applications (Canada, France), professional or personal purposes.


The TEF assesses the candidate’s level of proficiency in French using a 7 level scale. These levels are described in detail for each skill (reading/listening/writing/speaking).

Ability to read simple sentences written in French

When signing up for the listening test, candidates understand that they will have to read simple sentences written in French, and certify that they are able to do so.


The TEF includes two series of modules:

Multiple-choice examinations, in 3 inseparable modules: 150 questions for a thorough assessment of language proficiency.

  • Compréhension écrite(reading) : 60 minutes – 50 questions – 300 points.
  • Compréhension orale (listening) : 40 minutes – 60 questions – 360 points.
  • Lexique et structure  (vocabulary and syntax) : 30 minutes – 40 questions – 240 points.

– Production examinations, in 2 independent modules.

  • Expression écrite (writing): 60 minutes – 2 topics – 450 points.
  • Expression orale (speaking): 15 minutes – 2 topics – 450 points.

Information for candidates: download the e-TEF candidate handbook OR the TEF candidate handbook


An official certificate of results will be delivered to each candidate. Each certificate is detailed and personalised. For each module, the certificate will show the score obtained, the level of proficiency reached as well as a commentary of the skills in general French.

Academic degrees are not required to take the TEF. Candidates may take the test several times, allowing a minimum of 30 days between two exam sessions.

The TEF is available in two versions:

  • e-TEF: computer-based version of the reading and listening modules; limited number of candidates. Basic computer skills are required for the e-TEF (use of mouse). Any request for special accommodations must be made upon registration, and must be supported by documentary evidence (i.e. a doctor’s note mentioning the nature of the disability as well as the required accommodations). If you have any question or concern, contact us at certifications@af.ca or call us at 613-234-9470 #221.
  • Paper-based TEF: reading, listening and writing modules; limited number of candidates. Note: paper-based TEF no longer offered at AF Ottawa as of January 2017.