If you’re thinking about taking the official French examinations but haven’t made your mind up yet, then here you will find common questions about the DELF and DALF.
What are the DELF and DALF exams?
The DELF and the DALF are the official French language exams which tests your proficiency in the French language. The DELF tests for levels A1 – B2 (beginner to intermediate). And the DALF tests for C1 – C2 (advanced levels).
The DALF stands for Diplôme Approfondi de Langue Française, and the DELF stands for Diplôme d’Etudes en Langue Française.
How are the DELF and DALF graded?
The DELF and DALF uses the CEFR which stands for the Common European Framework or Reference. This is the same framework used throughout all of the European languages and grades your language abilities out of six levels.
- A1 – beginner
- A2 – upper beginner
- B1 – intermediate
- B2 – upper intermediate
- C1 – advanced
- C2 – native
Unfortunately it’s not just one test and you get given a level. You have to book in for a specific test, so for example if you were an intermediate learner you might book to do the B2 test. Then you either pass or fail that test.
A lot of people make the mistake of thinking the CEFR gives a grade across one test. So remember that you need to select a level and study to pass that particular exam.
Then if you want to continue your studies you can sign up for an exam at a higher level.
What do the DELF and DALF test for?
The DELF and DALF test the four main language skills: speaking, reading, writing and listening. The test uses a variety of tasks in each section depending on which level you’re being examined at.
During the reading exam you will be given texts to read then an opportunity to answer multiple choice questions based on the texts. The listening works the same way but with an audio to listen to instead of a text to read.
What you do in the speaking exam will depend on which level you’re taking, and similarly with the writing.
Here you can find a breakdown of each of the exams by level.
How long is the exam?
The length of the exam also depends on which level you take. And you can also find information on the durations of the exam here.
This is a breakdown of the approximate times each DELF test should take depending on which level you’re studying.
- A1 – 1 hr 20 mins
- A2 – 1 hr 40 mins
- B1 – 1 hr 45 mins
- B2 – 2 hrs 30 mins
- C1 – 4 hrs
- C2 – 3 hrs 3 mins
As this information could change, you should check with the examination centres before your test. Lingo Press Books do not administer any language tests, therefore we can only give you the information that we believe to be most up to date.
Where can I take the DELF or DALF?
There should be centres to take the DELF or DALF in most countries around the world. You may not be able to find a testing centre in your city but if you are willing to travel to a bigger city in your country then there should be a testing centre available.
You can find official testing centres here.
You’re now half way through common questions about DELF and DALF.
How much does the DELF cost?
Costs can vary depending on which country you’re taking the exam from and where you are taking it. You should check with the centre where you’re taking the exam for costs.
But to give you an idea here is a breakdown of the costs at Institut Francais.
How long does the DELF last?
The good thing about the DELF and DALF is that once you have taken the exam the qualification lasts for life.
There is no expiry on these exams.
Why take the DELF or DALF?
There are many benefits that you can gain from taking the DELF or DALF exams. Some of which include:
- Study in a French speaking country
- Work in a French speaking country
- Improve your French skills
To gain a more in depth knowledge of why you should take the exams read our article here.
How to prepare for the DELF and DALF?
To prepare for the DELF or DALF, it is recommendable to take a French course so you can make sure you study all of the necessary grammar points. You also don’t have to go to France to do this. There are many options for French classes in countries outside of France and even classes online.
How many times can I take the exam?
You can take the DELF or DALF as many times as you need to. If you fail the exam you can sign up for it again straight away. There is no time you have to wait and no set amount of tries you can take for one exam.
The only issue is the cost. As the exams can be pricey you may not want to sign up for the exam until you are ready.
Do I have to pass one exam before I can take the next one?
Luckily for you the answer is no. If you had to take the A1 before you could take the A2 and so on then the costs would get very high very quickly.
Instead you can sign up for the exam that you want to take without having taken a previous exam. So although it might be a bit difficult, if you just wanted to take the C1 exam, you don’t have to do any of the others beforehand. It might just be a tricky place to start from.
Can I challenge the results?
Unfortunately you are not able to challenge the results of your exam. The mark that you are given at the end of your exam is final. If you fail the exam you will not be able to ask for a remark, you will just have to take the exam again.
Do I have to be studying French to take the exam?
No you don’t have to be studying French or prove you’re a student to take the exam. Anyone at any stage in their life, doing anything can sign up for the DELF.
It’s obviously advisable that you study before taking the exam but sometimes situations don’t allow for that and that’s ok.
No matter how you’ve learned French or what you’re doing you should be able to sign up for this exam.
Is this an internationally recognised qualification?
Yes. The DELF is recognised all over the world as an official French language proficiency test.
Hopefully you’ve found common questions about DELF And DALF useful. If you have any other questions about the exams please let us know in the comments below.
Also if you’re planning on taking the exams or if you already have then make sure you tell us all about your experience.