French language tests and certificates

The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages


The CEFR - a Council of Europe initiative - is the reference document that describes and standardises language proficiency levels for the purposes of developing standards, tests and certification in the language field.



Nationally recognised diplomas


DILF: Diplôme initial de langue française (Initial French Language Diploma)

DELF: Diplôme d'études en langue française (French Language Studies Diploma)

DALF: Diplôme approfondi de langue française (Advanced French Language Diploma)

These diplomas, intended solely for non-French citizens, provide official certification of proficiency, practice and mastery of the French language. They are issued "for life". The DELF and DALF diplomas can be sat for and obtained independently of each other, in the same country or in different countries and without any restriction on the time period.

Information on the CIEP website

The DALF certifies that its holder is apt to receive a higher education in France under suitable conditions and exempts its holder from any other French language exams for admission into French universities.
Sample DELF/DALF exams: Site esk@web

Preparing for the DELF/DALF

DCL - Diplôme de Compétence en Langue (Language Proficiency Diploma)

Created by the Ministry of Education specifically for adults, the DCL is designed to meet the needs of professionals. DCL tests cover five skill sets:

-       reading comprehension

-       listening comprehension or French sign language (FSL) comprehension

-       oral expression or FSL expression

-       written expression

-       oral interaction or interaction in FSL.

There are two versions of the DCL: the DCL FLE for everyday French, and the DCL FP for business French.

Proficiency tests

TCF - Test de Connaissance du Français (French Knowledge Test)

This is a general French language proficiency test for all non-French speakers who, for professional or personal reasons, wish to obtain quick, simple, reliable certification of their knowledge in French. The test places candidates on a six-level scale (corresponding to the six levels of the European Framework for Languages).

TEF - Test d'Evaluation de Français (French Evaluation Test)

The Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s TEF test is recognised by the French national educational system. It also places candidates on the European Framework for Languages six-level scale. Students wishing to enrol in first-year courses at a French university can sit for the TEF tests.

TFI - Test de Français International (International French Test)

The TFI is to French as a Foreign Language what the TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication) is to English. It is mainly used in Canada.
The TFI evaluates and certifies the French skills of non-native speakers and follows the same formats and quality criteria as the TOEIC*, which has been the main test of English proficiency for over twenty years. This test is recognized internationally by corporations, public and international institutions, and higher education establishments.

French citizenship test preparation

Under the new provisions introduced by the French Interior Ministry, as of 1 January 2012, all persons needing to justify their level of French proficiency as part of an application for French citizenship must now qualify for the B1 level in spoken French.

The following French proficiency tests are approved:

-       TCF

-       TEF

-       BULATS

-       TFI

-       DCL FLE

Applicants with DELF B1 diplomas or higher are exempted from this procedure.

Paris-Sorbonne University Diplomas

Since 1961, Paris-Sorbonne University offers french language proficiency tests for foreign students, and provides 5 different certificates / diplomas in French as a second language.

Certificat intermédiaire de langue française B1 > Niveau seuil

Certificat pratique de langue française module "Compréhension et expression" B2 
> Examen d’entrée à l’Université en Licence (hors DAP), en Master ou en Doctorat. 

Certificat pratique de langue française C1 
> Dispense les ressortissants de l’Union européenne du test linguistique exigé à l’Université Paris-Sorbonne.

Diplôme de langue et littérature françaises C2 
> Dispense de tout test linguistique pour l’inscription à l’Université Paris-Sorbonne.

Diplôme supérieur d’études françaises "C3"
> Réservé aux titulaires du baccalauréat français ou d'un titre équivalent.


Information and contact > Service des Examens de Langue Française réservés aux Étudiants Étrangers - Université Paris-Sorbonne

Paris Ile-de-France Chamber of Commerce and Industry exams

Main CCI Paris Ile-de-France diplomas


Business French - 3 levels

Council of Europe framework

Business French in five speciality areas

Affaires C2 (DFP Business C2)


Expérimenté (Experienced)

Affaires C1 (DFP Business C1)


Secrétariat (B2 Secretarial work)

Juridique (DFP B2 Legal)

Médical (DFP B2 Medical)

Affaires B2 (DFP B2 Business)



B1  (B1 Secretarial work)

Tourisme Hôtellerie B1 (B1 Tourism-Hotel industry)

Scientifique technique B1 (B1 Scientific-technical)





Information about the diplomas

Accès à la nationalité française

Toute personne devant justifier de son niveau de français pour acquérir la nationalité française doit apporter la preuve qu’elle dispose du niveau requis de connaissance de la langue nationale, soit le niveau B1 mais seulement à l’oral : “prendre part à une conversation” - “s’exprimer oralement en continu”...

Les postulants doivent produire : soit un diplôme scolaire - brevet des collèges, CAP, BEP - soit une attestation de niveau de langue délivrée par un organisme certificateur, privé ou public, agréé par le ministère français de l’Intérieur. 

Certifications de français agréées par le ministère de l'Intérieur

TCF - Test de Connaissance du Français délivré par le Centre international d'études pédagogiques
TEF - Test d'Évaluation de Français délivré par la Chambre de commerce et d'industrie de Paris Ile de France
DCL FLE - Diplôme de Compétence en Langue
BULATS – Business Language Testing Service

Attestation de compétences linguistiques délivrée par un organisme labellisé FLI

En savoir plus > Les dispositifs d’apprentissage du français pour les étrangers