What is the TCF?


Logo du TCF
The TCF is the  language proficiency test  of the French Ministry of Education and Youth. France Éducation international is the Ministry’s operator in charge of supervising and distributing the test in France and around the world.
The TCF assesses the general language skills in French of non-native speakers. It assesses in particular listening and reading comprehension as well as the command of language structures. The TCF is a multiple-choice test, each question has only one correct answer.  
Two optional tests assess listening and reading expression. The grade obtained on the test results in the issue of a level of proficiency certificate. The elaboration of the TCF is based on a methodology of extreme scientific rigor : it is a standardized, graded and calibrated test. Throughout the sessions and regardless of the version of the test, the grades remain comparable and ensure a reliable ranking of candidates on a six-level knowledge scale from “ basic ” (A1) to “ advanced superior ” (C2). These levels correspond to the ones defined by the Council of Europe in the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. The flexibility and simplicity of the TCF make it a convenient tool to meet the needs of everyone who, for personal or professional reasons, must certify their French level proficiency.

In addition to the TCF explained below, there are other variations of the test depending on the candidate’s project :
  • TCF for applying for French nationality (ANF)
  • TCF for the French resident card (CRF)
  • TCF for emigrating to Quebec
  • TCF for emigrating to Canada
Learn more on the France Éducation international website.


Does the TCF training or simulation offered by TV5MONDE provide an official certificate?


How can I understand my training results?

The TCF assesses six levels of French proficiency, defined by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages of the Council of Europe (Language Policy Division, Strasbourg, 2000 ; editions Didier, Paris, 2001). For the sake of clarity, the designations of these levels have been simplified.
SUPERIOR ADVANCED : C2 Excellent command of the language. The individual can understand with ease virtually everything heard or read, and can summarize everything in a coherent way. They can express themselves very fluently and in a differentiated and nuanced way on complex matters.
SUPERIOR : C1 Good command of the language. The individual can understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts with implicit meanings. They can express themselves fluently and in a well-structured way on their social, professional or academic life and on complex matters.  
INTERMEDIATE ADVANCED : B2 General and spontaneous command of the language. The individual can understand the main ideas of a complex text. They can take part in a discussion on a general or professional topic in a clear and detailed way by providing reasoned opinions. INTERMEDIATE: B1 Efficient but limited command of the language. The individual can understand a clear and standard language if it applies to familiar matters. They can deal with most situations when traveling, talk about their areas of interest, and produce brief explanations on a project or an idea.  
BASIC ADVANCED : A2 Basic command of the language. The individual can understand isolated sentences on familiar matters. They can communicate in everyday situations, and ask questions relevant to them in a simple way.  
BASIC : A1 Basic command of French. The individual is able to understand simple and concrete situations of everyday life. They can communicate in a simple manner if the other person speaks slowly.

What are the differences between the TCF, the test simulation and the training on TV5MONDE?

the TCF
Éducation international)
test simulation on TV5MONDE practice on TV5MONDE
On the computer: 1h35.
On paper: 1h25.
1h30. No time limits.
On the computer: 91 questions. On paper: 76 questions. 80 questions (listening and reading comprehension, command of language structures).   40 questions.
One listen per listening comprehension question. As many listens as I want for listening comprehension questions.
I can come back as many times as I want on language command and reading comprehension questions.
Official level of proficiency certificate. Information on my level. Corrections and answers to the questions.
Questions designed exclusively for official TCF sessions Random questions from TV5MONDE training series. Questions designed by the TCF team at France Éducation international in partnership with TV5MONDE
Documents, mobile phones,  any electronic device (smartwatch, headphones...) are prohibited during the test. No restrictions.
In an approved center. From any computer with an Internet connection or by printing it on paper.
Questions designed using various media. Questions designed using TV5MONDE material.
At the same time as other candidates. By yourself or in groups.

Where can I take the TCF  ?

The TCF is taken in many countries in the the world within a network of more than 700 approved centers. This network of centers is made up of the main facilities pertaining to the French cultural network (French Institutes, French Cultural centers, Alliances françaises), of most French universities and of a rising number of foreign universities.
Check the list of approved centers offering to take the TCF.  
To find out more about the dates of the sessions, the prices and the registration procedures, please contact the approved centers.


For further information, you can contact the France Éducation international TCF office at tcf@france-education-international.fr

How can I subscribe to the podcast ?

To subscribe to the TCF podcast, simply register through this URL using your favorite program (in  iTunes, go to the file &gt menu; subscribe to the podcast then copy the URL into the pop-up window).

How  often are the TCF training versions updated?

A new training series is added every year.

Who design the TCF questions on the TV5MONDE website ?

The design teams are the same as the ones preparing the official TCF tests. They collaborate directly with the TCF educational team of the France Éducation international which approves their work before submitting the final questions to TV5MONDE.  

How to calculate a proficiency level using the score obtained on the download version (PDF) ?

After calculating the number of correct answers, you can estimate the corresponding level using the grid below.
Enter the number of correct answers in the “Raw score” column to obtain the percentage and a corresponding proficiency level assessment.