French Language Test for Canada Immigration

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French Language Test  

French Language Test for Canada Immigration

Your language tests are one of the requirements that must be completed before applying for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSW) under Express Entry. You must have completed your test and received your official results before you can submit your Express Entry profile.

You will need to take an approved language test in either English or French, or you can take a test in both languages for more points.

If you are going to take the French Language test for Express Entry, there are two testing options to choose from:

 

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TCF Canada vs TEF Canada

Both tests can be used for applying for Permanent Residency for Canada.

Some things to consider when choosing which test to take.

The first to Consider is if you have a testing center near you.

You can check the TEF Canada locations here:

https://www.lefrancaisdesaffaires.fr/en/find-a-center/ .

or here for TCF Canada here:

https://www.france-education-international.fr/centres-d-examen/carte?type-centre=tcf

The second thing to consider is that both tests assess the same 4 core areas: listening, speaking, reading and writing. So you won’t be tested on different skills in either of the exams.

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The exams do have a slightly different format as shown below, however as you can see they are very similar. So in that regard there is very little difference in the content and style of the two exams.

TEF Canada

There are 4 sections within the TEF Canada exam. It takes 3 hours in total. You will be given a separate score for each exam section.

  1. Oral comprehension: 40 minutes – 60 questions
  2. Written comprehension: 60 minutes – 50 questions
  3. Oral expression: 15 minutes – 2 topics to cover
  4. Written Expression: 60 minutes – 2 topics to cover

TCF Canada

There are 4 sections to this exam as well. The TCF Canada has a total duration of 2 hours 47

The TCF Canada is made up of 4 compulsory tests assessing general French language skills:

  1. Listening comprehension: Collective test: 39 multiple-choice questions (4 answer choices, one correct answer): 35 minutes
  2. Written comprehension : Collective test: 39 multiple-choice questions (only one correct answer possible) 60 minutes
  3. Written expression: Collective test: 3 exercises : 60 minutes
  4. Oral expression: Individual face-to-face test with an examiner: 3 exercises:  12 minutes (including 2 minutes of preparation)

Your score on each section of each exam will be compared to a points table which will convert your language test score to a Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC) score for each section. This ensures everyone is calibrated in a fair and objective way and that everyone will have access to the same points regardless of the test they took.

Availability of preparation resources for TEF Canada and TCF Canada

There are many free and paid resources online and on the language test websites.

https://www.lefrancaisdesaffaires.fr/en/tests-diplomas/prepare-for-the-tef/

https://www.france-education-international.fr/test/exemples-epreuves-tcf?langue=fr

A simple google or youtube search will find you preparation resources for free to help you on your way and also schools and tutors all over the world to help you with paid preparation if you feel you need it.

 

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French Language Tests: FAQ’s

Does Canada favor TCF Canada or TEF Canada?

No they do not, both are considered as equally relevant qualifications.

How long will my language tests be valid?

Your test results for both tests will remain valid for 2 years.

I am a native French speaker, do I need to take a French Language test?

Yes, everyone needs to take an approved English or French test, regardless of whether they are a native speaker or not.

Is there any difference if I am taking the French test as my first Canadian Official Language or my second Canadian Official language?

If you speak both English and French, and are going to take the tests for both languages, there is no difference to the test you will take. The difference will come in the points allocated, as first and second Official language tests are given different points.

Are there minimum language threshold results I need to achieve to be considered for Express Entry?

Yes there are.

Minimum French Language thresholds for Federal Skilled Worker:

First Official Canadian Language minimum requirements:

  • NCLC 7 in all sections : speaking, listening, reading and writing

Second Official Canadian Language minimum requirements:

  • NCLC 5  in all sections : speaking, listening, reading and writing.

Minimum French Language thresholds for Federal Skilled Trades:

If you achieve these results or higher you have achieved the required language ability to apply.

First Official Canadian Language minimum requirements:

  • CLB 5 (English) for speaking and listening, and
  • CLB 4 (English) for reading and writing

Second Official Canadian Language minimum requirements:

  • CLB 4 in all sections : speaking, listening, reading and writing.

Minimum French Language thresholds for Canadian Experience Class:

First Official Canadian Language minimum requirements:

  • If you have a NOC code in the “0” group or “A” Group you must achieve a minimum of CLB 7 in speaking, listening, reading and writing.
  • If you have a NOC code in the “B” Group you you must achieve a minimum of CLB 5 in speaking, listening, reading and writing

*The reason for a higher level in the 0 and A groups is a higher language skill requirement to perform those occupations. To remind yourself of your NOC code group please refer back to the NOC code chapter.

Second Official Canadian Language minimum requirements:

  • CLB 4 in all sections : speaking, listening, reading and writing.

In short – you just have to meet these minimum thresholds to meet the language requirement to be eligible to submit your Express Entry application.

Once you are in the system you will be given CRS points based on how high your scores for language are. So do your best. Though your first step should be, as always, to secure the minimum threshold results.

 

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What if I don’t reach these results?

The answer here is to keep preparing and return to sit the test again until you become eligible.  You won’t be alone in this, many people have sat their language tests many times to qualify.

What if I got lower than I needed to in one of my skills areas but my average was still over the threshold?

This is irrelevant. You must achieve the actual score required in each of the skills to be able to reach the minimum threshold requirement, your average will not be taken into consideration.

I took my test and did not like my results, can I take the test again to try for better results?

Yes you can. There is no limit on the number of times you can sit your French test to improve your points.

How much does the test cost?

  • TEF Canada costs around €170 – €200 and the
  • TCF Canada costs around $230 CAD.

How do I book the French Language test for Canada Immigration?

For TEF Canada you book your test here:

https://eval.francais.cci-paris-idf.fr/inscription and remember to book the TEF Canada.

For TCF Canada you book your test here:

https://www.france-education-international.fr/test/tcf-canada?langue=fr  and remember to book the TCF Canada. You will book directly through the testing center you choose to take your test at.

The importance of preparation

Please spend some time watching YouTube videos or searching up French TEF Canada and TCF Canada exam preparation. Time and again, people do not do as well as they could simply by being surprised by the specific nature of the questions asked. A couple of hours preparing can make significant differences to your results.

So, if we could give one piece of guidance it would be – even if you are a native speaker, please spend a few hours preparing as the questions are very specific and can be a bit unexpected if you have not done any preparation.

Testing Day Information

For both tests you will need to bring valid photo ID, such as your passport, national ID card or drivers license and your email confirmation of your test registration.  You will also need to arrive 45 minutes before your testing time to allow ID checks and assessment set up.

After you pay your fee and book your testing location and date, your testing center will send you an email with a full detailed explanation of what you need to do on testing day.

How long will it take to receive my results?

TEF Canada

  • It takes 4-6 weeks to receive your TEF Canada exam results.

You will receive an email notification of your results with a downloadable certificate that you will need for your Express Entry submission.

TCF Canada

  • It takes 15 working days to receive your TCF Canada exam results

You will receive an email with your official certificate of results.  You will need this certificate for your Express Entry application.

 

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How do I convert my results in the tests into Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (NCLC)?

The first step to determine how many points you will receive for your language results is to convert your test results into their NCLC equivalent.

To do this you will need your exam results and you will need to refer to the tables below.

Remember that for the Federal Skilled Worker Stream you need an NCLC result of at least 7 in each of your 4 tested language skills, being reading, writing, speaking and listening.

Also note that for express entry you will be granted a points score for each skill, you need to add these 4 points together to find your total language score for the Express Entry pool qualification points.

How many Express Entry points will I get for my results as a Federal Skilled Worker Applicant?

You will earn points towards hitting your 67 point minimum requirement for Express Entry qualification for your language test results. Please note the language points you are awarded in the CRS system are calculated differently. For now we will focus on determining your points to actually enter the Express Entry pool.

Here is how your points will be allocated:

Federal Skilled Worker Program Applicants

If you are applying to the Federal Skilled Worker stream, your points will be allocated this way.

TEF Canada

TEF Canada – French as your first official language

NCLC Level Speaking – (expression orale) Listening – (compréhension de l’oral) Reading – (compréhension de l’écrit) Writing – (expression écrite) Points per ability
7 310 – 348 249 – 279 207 – 232 310 – 348 4
8 349 – 370 280 – 297 233 – 247 349 – 370 5
9 + 371+ 298+ 248+ 371+ 6

 

TEF Canada – French as second official language

 

NCLC Level Speaking – (expression orale) Listening – (compréhension de l’oral) Reading – (compréhension de l’écrit) Writing – (expression écrite) Points Total
5 and above 226 – 371+ 181 – 298+ 151 – 248+ 226 – 371+ 4

 

TCF Canada

TCF Canada – French as first official language

 

NCLC Level Speaking – (expression orale) Listening – (compréhension de l’oral) Reading – (compréhension de l’écrit) Writing – (expression écrite) Points per ability
7 10 – 11 458 – 502 453 – 498 10 – 11 4
8 12 – 13 503 – 522 499 – 523 12 – 13 5
9 14+ 523+ 524+ 14+ 6

TCF Canada – French as second official language

 

NCLC Level Speaking – (expression orale) Listening – (compréhension de l’oral) Reading – (compréhension de l’écrit) Writing – (expression écrite) Points Total
5 and above 6+ 369 – 397+ 375 – 405+ 6+ 4

 

French Language Test for Federal Skilled Trades Program

No points are awarded to actually enter the Express Entry pool. You must simply meet the minimum threshold stated to qualify under the language requirement. However, once you have submitted your Express Entry, and you enter the next round of the visa process you will be allocated points for your language test results in the CRS points score.

So, even though you only need to meet the minimum requirement for Express Entry, it is still worth trying your best to gain points further along the process.

Canada Experience Class Applicants

If you are applying to the Canada Experience Class stream, you need to earn at least a 5 if your NOC code is B and you need at least 7 if your NOC code is 0, or A.

TEF Canada

TEF Canada – French as your first official language

NOC class NCLC Level Speaking – (expression orale) Listening – (compréhension de l’oral) Reading – (compréhension de l’écrit) Writing – (expression écrite)
B 5 226 – 270 181 – 216 151 – 180 226 – 270
B 6 271 – 309 217 – 248 181 – 206 271 – 309
0, A 7 310 – 348 249 – 279 207 – 232 310 – 348
0, A 8 349 – 370 280 – 297 233 – 247 349 – 370
0, A 9 + 371+ 298+ 248+ 371+

 

TEF Canada – French as second official language

 

NCLC Level Speaking – (expression orale) Listening – (compréhension de l’oral) Reading – (compréhension de l’écrit) Writing – (expression écrite)
5 and above 226 – 371+ 181 – 298+ 151 – 248+ 226 – 371+

 

TCF Canada

TCF Canada – French as first official language

 

NOC class NCLC Level Speaking – (expression orale) Listening – (compréhension de l’oral) Reading – (compréhension de l’écrit) Writing – (expression écrite)
B 5 6 369 – 397 375 – 405 6
B 6 7 – 9 398 – 457 406 – 452 7 – 9
0, A 7 10 – 11 458 – 502 453 – 498 10 – 11
0, A 8 12 – 13 503 – 522 499 – 523 12 – 13
0, A 9 14 – 15 523 – 548 524 – 548 14 – 15
0, A 10 + 16 – 20 549 – 699 549 – 699 16 – 20

 

TCF Canada – French as second official language

 

NCLC Level Speaking – (expression orale) Listening – (compréhension de l’oral) Reading – (compréhension de l’écrit) Writing – (expression écrite)
5 and above 6+ 369 – 397+ 375 – 405+ 6+

 

Should my spouse sit the French Language Test for Canada Immigration?

Yes, they should. You can earn more points for your spouse’s language ability at every level of the immigration application process. It is not an essential requirement, but if they speak English and/or French well enough to earn a 5 in each category, have them sit the test.

Spouse language points

If your spouse has passed a language test of either English or French you can be awarded an extra 4 points at Express Entry stage.

To earn these points they must have achieved a NCLC for French or CLB for English of at least 5 in every section of the language test – ie Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening.