E-TCF TP (French Knowledge Test) on Computer: Test Conditions

The TCF is a French language test designed by the French Ministry of Education. TP stands for “Tout Public” (open to everyone). The number of candidates for each session is limited to 15.

Please download the TCF TP Registration Form to register.

Update: The number of candidates for each session is limited to 15. As the maximum number is reached for the April 12th, 2019 session, we invite you to register by May 3th, 2019.

What is the TCF?

The TCF assesses a person’s level of French language for general purposes. It is open to every non native French-speaker who wishes (for professional, personal or academic reasons) to assess their French language competencies in a simple, quick, and efficient way.

  • Personal reasons: this test assesses French knowledge (oral and written comprehension or expression), with a view to improving language skills in the future; it is in some way a snapshot of the level of French at the moment the candidate takes the test.
  • Professional reasons: it provides objective information to an employer about a candidate’s level in French, for a recruitment or a promotion.
  • Academic reasons: it provides, according to international standards, a reliable evaluation of the language skills taken into account for admission into a higher education institution (university, college, art school, architecture school, business school, etc.)


Three compulsory and two optional examinations:      

Three compulsory exams (76 items, 1 h 25)    Two optional exams (1h12)
29 questions
25 minutes    

12 minutes

Proficiency in language structures
18 questions
15 minutes    
60 minutes
29 questions
45 minutes


Three compulsory examinations:

  1. Oral comprehension
  2. Proficiency in language structure
  3. Written comprehension

Two optional exams:

  1. Oral expression
  2. Writing expression


Three compulsory examinations (76 questions *)

*  The computerised version of the test comprises 91 questions. The 15 additional questions of the computerised test will not be taken into account when calculating the final score. They enable the CIEP to analyse the validity of the questions. The duration of the computerised test is essentially the same as for the paper test (ten additional minutes).

Questions are multiple choice, comprising 76 questions in total. Only one out of the four answers for each question is correct. Questions are presented in an order of increasing difficulty, ranging from an A1 level to a C2 level according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFRL).


Listening (29 questions, 25 minutes)

The questions enable the evaluation of your ability to understand spoken French, in particular:

  • current words and expressions in daily communication (dialogues, interviews, discussions, speaking on the telephone, etc.);

  • the essential information in messages and public announcements;

  • information on people, facts or events on the radio or in television programmes, related to the news or to personal, professional or educational subjects;

  • reports on tangible or abstract topics;

  • all kinds of dialogues delivered in a standard flow.

The recordings are representative of oral communication such as you may hear them in France or in a francophone country, particularly when involving extracts from the Radio France Internationale (RFI) station.


Language structure proficiency: grammar and vocabulary (18 questions, 15 minutes)

  • The questions assess your ability to identify and select the correct wording in syntactic and lexical structures.
  • The questions are always associated with communication situations in a French or in a francophone context.


Reading (29 questions, 45 minutes)

The questions test your ability to understand:

  • very simple familiar nouns, words and sentences used in a daily communication situation (friendly or administrative messages and letters);

  • information contained in common documents (classified ads, brochures, menus and timetables, etc.);

  • information on people, facts or events (personal letters);

  • text in common language that is relevant to daily life or work;

  • articles and reports in which the authors takes a stand on tangible or abstract subjects;

  • long and complex factual or literary texts from academic articles;

  • abstract texts or complex excerpts from academic articles or literary documents.

The documents are representative of those you may read in France or in a francophone country.

Tips and tricks for taking this examination:

- plan to arrive 30 to 45 minutes before the test begins,
- don't forget your identitification document and a black pen,
- listen carefully to the exam supervisor's instructions,
- listen carefully to oral documents and questions as you will hear them just once,
- read the instructions carefully,
- read the questions carefully and use the available time to think about your answers. Don't just write anything down,
- if you hesitate too long, move on to the next question,
- write your answer on the answer sheet. Never write on the booklet.


Two optional examinations


Speaking (interview lasting a maximum of 12 minutes)

The speaking examination is taken individually and is a one-to-one interview with an examiner.

  1. This examination comprises 3 tasks, and you will have time to prepare for one of these.
  2. These 3 tasks evaluate the candidate on the six levels on the scale of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (from level A1 to level C2).
  3. The interview is recorded, assessed a first time by the examiner then sent to the CIEP for a second evaluation. Each recording always undergoes a double marking.

Description of the tasks:

Task 1: Interview given without preparation.
The exchange lasts: 2 minutes.
Objective of the task: the candidates demonstrate that they can have an exchange with a person that they do not know (the examiner).
Task 2: Exercise in interaction with preparation.
Duration: 5 minutes 30 seconds (of which 2 minutes are given for preparation, the candidate is allowed to take short notes).
Objective of the task: the candidates demonstrate their ability to obtain information in a modern daily life situation. The roles of the examiner and the candidate are specified in the instructions.
Task 3: Expression of a point of view without preparation.
The exchange lasts: 4 minutes 30 seconds.
Objective of the task: the candidates demonstrate their ability to speak in a spontaneous, continuous and convincing manner when answering a question asked by the examiner.

The candidates are assessed on their ability to:

- talk about themselves, their personal environment, their job and family;
- ask questions related to the given communication situation;
- give their opinion and explain the advantages and disadvantages of a project, argue against or in favour of it;
- present a clear and structured argument in an appropriate style, adapted to the context;
- present complex subjects in a detailed and structured manner, develop them and conclude them.


Writing (60 minutes)

This examination comprises three tasks presented in an increasing order of difficulty.

Description of the tasks:

Task 1: writing a message to describe, recount and/or explain, addressed to one or several recipients whose role(s) was/were specified in the instructions.
Number of words expected: minimum 60 words / maximum 120 words.
Task 2: Writing an article, a letter, a note, etc. intended for several recipients to report on an experience or to tell a story. Reports and accounts will be accompanied by commentaries, opinions or arguments, depending on the objective (e.g. to claim, to reconcile, etc.)
Number of words expected: minimum 120 words / maximum 150 words.
Task 3: writing a text (for a newspaper, a website, to a colleague or manager, etc.) that compares two points of view on a social reality expressed in two short and simple documents of approximately 90 words each. The candidate takes a stand on the topic highlighted in the two documents.
Number of words expected: minimum 120 words / maximum 180 words. i.e. between 40 and 60 words for the 1st part of the task and between 80 and 120 words for the 2nd part of the task.

Candidates are assessed on their ability to:

- communicate a message clearly;
- provide the requested information;
- describe, recount, and explain;
- explain a choice, an opinion, a decision, etc.
- connect ideas and express a coherent discourse;
- compare two points of view;
- express their opinion and argue in favour of it;
- use vocabulary and language structures adapted to the relevant task;
- summarise and reword.

Please note!

From 1 March, all the candidates who have chosen the optional oral expression test will be required to provide a photo ID. They will be able to attach it to the registration form or to send it to us by e-mail. The photo must be in a JPG, BMP or PNG format and the resolution must be at least 300 pixels per inch, for a minimum dimension of 248 X 349 pixels and a maximum size of 4 MB.

Do not hesitate to contact us at: contact Stralang or by calling us directly at + 33 (0) 3 88 31 48 38 for any additional information.

Officiel CIEP website: http://www.ciep.fr/en/tcf-tout-public



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