DELF the complete exam guide – 2018

Introduction to DELE exam

DELF stands for Diplôme d‘Etudes en Langue Français which translates to Diploma in the French language. It is a test conducted by the French Military of Education to certify the competency of candidates from the non-French background. It tests student’s knowledge and ability to communicate by means of language at the linguistic, sociolinguistic and pragmatic level. The DELF is one of the most useful diplomas to have, particularly while applying to French jobs or for French university degrees. Most undergraduate and graduate programs require a B2 diploma, though some undergraduate programs accept B1. B1 and B2 are also the levels that most French workplaces require. Worldwide there are more than 1000 accredited examination centres in 164 countries. DELF Exam

The DELF exam certificates are valid for a lifetime and never expire. DELF Exam

DELF is made for everyone learning the French language from 7 to 77 who wishes to validate officially and substantially their learning of the French language.  There are four levels in the DELF test: DELF Exam

LEVEL 1: DELF A1 + LEVEL 2: DELF A2 = Both are basic (beginner,) levels.

LEVEL 3: DELF B1 + LEVEL 4: DELF B2 = Both are intermediate (independent) levels.

There are other levels such as C1 and C2 which come under DALF exam and are considered as advanced (proficient) levels.  C1 is usually required for some masters and doctorate programs.

DILF test is the lowest level of French. This level is appropriate for someone just starting to learn French.

DELF itself has versions such s Prim, junior and Pro. DELF Exam

DELF Prim is for children aged from 7 to 11 old in elementary school. DELF Prim is divided into 3 levels: A1.1, A1, and A2.

DELF junior version is for teenagers aged between 12 and 18 years old in middle school and high school. This version is divided into 4 levels A1, A2, B1, and B2.

DELF Pro is intended for the students or workers whose goal is to integrate and get promoted in France.

Note that the minimum requirements for each level are different.

DELF Exam

Structure of the DELF Exam:

The DELF examines four different elements of the French language. The four elements are-

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Listening Comprehension
  • Writing Expression
  • Oral Expression

Each section mentioned above is graded out of 25 points. Each level has different time allocated to each of the sections. DELF prioritizes written and reading communication and comprehension over spoken and listening communication and comprehension.

Let’s check each level of the DELF in detail: DELF Exam

DELF LEVEL A1

This is the most basic test level. This level is also called as a “discovery stage”. At this stage, the leaner is expected to interact in a certain way. He/she must be able to form simple sentences, describe himself/herself and must be able to answer. DELF A1 is based on level A1 of the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages).

  • Reading Comprehension

Time duration:    30 minutes

In this section, there are four or five written documents on everyday life followed by questionnaires.

  • Writing skills

Time duration:    30 minutes

There are two parts in this section:

  • Filling a record, a form (10 points)

Complete an information sheet, a questionnaire, a form about 10 basic questions which include: name, age, date of birth, address, occupation, phone number etc.

  • Writing sample phrases (postcards, messages, stories etc.) on everyday topics. (15 points)
  • Listening Comprehension DELF Exam

Time duration:    20 minutes

In this section, three to four very short recordings of up to three minutes are played twice based on everyday life. They are followed by questionnaires for students to answer to test how much of the content is understood.

  • Speaking Skills

Time duration:    20 minutes

There are three parts in this section:

  • Guided Conversation
  • Exchanging information
  • Role-play

DELF Exam

DELF LEVEL A2 DELF Exam

This level recognizes the linguistic competency of a basic user. The candidate should be able to use common phrases and exchange routine information. DELF A2 is based on level A2 of the CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages).

  • Reading Comprehension

Time duration:    30 minutes

The student will be given three or four short texts dealing with various situations from everyday life, along with the questionnaire.

  • Writing skills

Time duration:    45 minutes

There are two parts in this section:

  • Describe an event or personal experience.
  • Write a letter with a specific purpose (invitation, apology, thank you etc.)
  • Listening Comprehension

Time duration:    25 minutes

The candidate will listen to three to four short recordings (3-5 minutes each) twice dealing with everyday situations, then answer questions that test your understanding.

  • Speaking Skills

Time duration:    20 minutes

This test section includes three parts:

  • Directed interview (1-2 minutes)

The examiner asks the candidate to present himself/herself. Then the examiner asks questions about everyday life, such as family, job, studies, leisure activities etc.

  • Information exchange (2-3 minutes)

The examiner presents cards with words or images based on which the student has to answer the questions.

  • Simulated dialogue (2-3 minutes)

The examiner proposes a set of cards with information and the plays the situation.

For the first two parts, the student has to listen carefully to what the examiner asks and answer accordingly. The student will 10 minutes to prepare for the third part; where in he/she can use this time to study the given images and figure out what to say about them and describe the situation.

DELF Exam

DELF LEVEL B1 DELF Exam

At his level, the user can maintain information and a discussion. He/she is capable of dealing with situations likely to arise in daily life.

Let us discuss each section in detail:

  • Reading comprehension

Time duration:    25 minutes

The student will be given two texts, one of general interest, and other related to a specific task, as well as some questions to test your comprehension.

The students are expected to analyze general interest texts, pick out the right information required in order to perform the task.

  • Writing skills

Time duration:    45 minutes

In this section, the students are given a topic of general interest and asked to write an opinion about it in the form of a letter, article, or essay.

  • Listening comprehension

  Time duration:      25 minutes

The student will listen to three different recordings twice of no more than 6-minutes each, and then answer some multiple-choice questions to test your understanding.

  • Speaking skills

Time duration:    25 minutes

This section is divided into three parts:

  • Directed interview
  • Interactive exercise
  • Expressing a point of view

DELF Exam

DELF LEVEL B2

A B2 level user is able to construct arguments to defend his/her opinion, explain his/her viewpoint and negotiate. At this level, the candidate is fluent in speaking.

Keep reading for info about the different parts of the test and how you can prepare for it.

Let us discuss each section in detail:

  • Reading comprehension

Time duration:    60 minutes

You’ll be given two documents along with various questions to test your comprehension. One text will be informational, such as a news brief or an article about an aspect of francophone culture. The other will be on a controversial topic.

  • Writing skills

Time duration:    60 minutes

You’ll be given a document such as a letter, article, or review and asked to take a stand: make and support an argument, state and justify an opinion, etc., in approximately 250 words.

  • Listening comprehension

  Time duration:      30 minutes

There will be two different recordings:

  • Short (2-3 minutes, played once) consisting of an informational piece like an interview or news broadcast, and a multiple-choice questionnaire.
  • Long (up to 8 minutes, played twice) speech, radio or TV show, documentary, etc., with multiple-choice and essay questions.
  • Speaking skills

Time duration:    50 minutes

You’ll have 30 minutes to prepare a 10-minute oral presentation based on a short document. Then you’ll discuss your presentation with two examiners for 10 minutes.

There are various centres around the world where DELF is conducted. The one who wishes to give the test can sign up on the official website.

DELF Exam Fees:

Registration fees for the DELF exam depend mainly on the testing centre. It ranges from 100$ to 200$. The DELF registration fees are neither transferable nor refundable.

DELF Exam Scores:

The results of the DELF exams are sent to the test centre within 15 days (excluding weekends and public holidays) of test papers received by the CIEP. Candidates must collect their certificate directly from the exam centre. DELF Exam

Eligibility for the DELF Exam:

Any person wishing to enhance their French Language skills may appear for DELF test without any pre-requisites. The DELF diplomas are independent. It is not necessary to be the holder of the former to appear for an examination to obtain either of the two degrees. A candidate can appear for the same examination as many times as may be necessary for obtaining the desired diploma. DELF Exam 

DELF Exam

Registration for DELF Exam:

The first thing to do in order to register for the test is to get in touch with an accredited examination centre. Then you will have to fill up a registration form, provide a photocopy of your ID card or passport and pay the registration fees with one of the accredited examination centres.

To get some more information about DELF please visit our another article about DELF Exam here

To get more idea about the DELF exam, please visit the official DELF website here.

DELF Exam