How hard is TEF Canada for immigration?

If you want to take a French exam first check this article to know the difference between the main French tests.

I wrote in a previous article what is the TEF Canada French test. Basically, this test is very useful to assess your level in French so that it helps in the process of getting a visa or citizenship for Canada. I encourage you to take it if you plan to immigrate to Canada.

TEF Canada is different from DELF but it is still an exam where you should show how well you can master French language.

Need help to prepare your Oral Test of TCF Canada? Book a 10 lessons package to be ready!

What you are asked for the TEF Canada French test

TEF Canada French test consists in four parts that you need to succeed. Compréhension écrite, Compréhension orale, Expression écrite and Expression orale. Here is the scores for each part:

  • Compréhension écrite : 60 minutes – 50 questions – 300 points
  • Compréhension orale  : 40 minutes – 60 questions – 360 points
  • Expression écrite : 60 minutes – 2 sujets à traiter – 450 points
  • Expression orale  : 15 minutes – 2 sujets à traiter – 450 points

Note: Oral production and oral comprehension are both required if you plan to get the Canadian citizenship.

The difference with the DELF exams, is that you will have multiple choices questions for the comprehension part (writting and listening comprehension).That is why you can also take these parts online using a computer. As for oral parts you should go to a certified center to get the interview with an examiner.

TEF Canada Compréhension Orale

It tests your ability to listen to spoken French language. It lasts 40 minutes and you will need to answer 60 questions, it is a multiple choices test but you can only select one answer. Only a correct answer will give you a point.

TEF Canada Compréhension Ecrite

It tests your ability to read and understand the written French. It is based on a written document and you have to answer 50 questions in 1 hour. It is a multiple choices test but only one answer is correct.

TEF Canada Expression Orale

This is to test your ability to speak and interact in French. There are 2 sections (A and B) which last respectively 5 and 10 minutes:
SECTION A – Obtenir des renseignements (5 minutes)
SECTION B – Argumenter pour convaincre (10 minutes)
You will be talking with an examiner who will play a role as the oral is a roleplay and not an introduction of yourself.

TEF Canada Expression Ecrite

It is to test your ability to write a proper French. You will also have 2 sections and the total time of the exam is 1 hour:
SECTION A – Écrire la suite d’un article (80 words)
SECTION B – Exprimer son point de vue et le justifier (200 words)

Note: Check this article for some tips to practice your writing skills in French for the TEF.

Is TEF Canada easy or difficult?

The TEF Canada exam requires a certain level if you really want it to be effective and useful for you (reach level 7 minimum). That is why you must be already have a certain level in French when you prepare this exam. The oral and writing comprehension is usually not to hard because it is a multiple choice test. If you practice enough dictation, and reading it must be easy enough for you to get a good score.
However the active part (expression écrite et orale), it is a bit more difficult. Written French has many rules and you need to know some grammar structures to succeed this part. The Expression orale part is also a part where you cannot fake it. You will need to interact in a daily life situation in the two sections (both formal and informal), use proper structures, address the other person the right way and be clear in the questions you have to ask (section A). Since this oral part is the most difficult (you don’t have time to think, you should be spontaneous), you will need to practice and make several simulations before taking the TEF Canada Test. It can be a good idea to practice your oral French with a language partner and take some private lessons to prepare the TEF, and succeed!

Bonne chance!

Need help to prepare your Oral Test of TCF Canada? Book a 10 lessons package to be ready!

13 thoughts on “How hard is TEF Canada for immigration?”

  1. If a person is begginer and need CLB 4 canadian level in TEF, then what is the difficulty level and on average how much time does it need for a frsher?

    1. Hello Yar, thank you for your message, you will need maybe 2 months preparation at a intensive pace. This is not an advanced level so if you have motivation and regular practice you can reach it without trouble.

  2. Hello jean

    I have completed A2 what is clb 7 equivalent to ? How proficient I need to be to get clb 7 ? How many points it will add to my profile I ´m 8777 in ielts ?

    Umme Fatima

    1. Hello Fatima! Thank you for your message. CLB7 will be the equivalent of B2. it is the independant level, the level most student will feel comfortable in every situation although not fluent yet. As for the ielts I am not sure about how many points you need..

      1. Hi jean
        What nclc of french do i need to qualify for federal skilled worker category, how many points will it win me if I get nclc 5 on all four abilities my current score is 420 I have no other option but to go for french.

        Umme Fatima

  3. Hello Jean,

    Hope you are doing well.

    I am beginner in French and never learned French before and my purpose of learning is to immigration in Canada.

    I have three questions which I believe you can help me with :-

    1) Can I appear in TEF canada exams without appearing in DELF. (If yes should I bypass DELF exams and appear in TEF exams!!)

    2) Is it possible to achieve CLB7 (B2) in 7-8 months given the fact that I can give 6-8 hrs daily for the learning

    3) Is it possible to learn French online for TEF exam purpose.

    Thanks a lot in advance for your time.

    1. Hello Karan, thank you for your message.
      1) you don’t need to take both DELF and TEF in order to immigrate in Canada. TEF Canada is suitable for this purpose, don’t worry about the DELF then.
      2) from complete beginner to B2 you can achieve this with an intensive pace, yes, however you will also need to practice a lot, especially the oral expression.
      3) there are many online classes and online tutors, i would recommend mimi, since she is specialized for TEF https://bit.ly/2SLPKxF and according to your budget you can first take normal lessons with any tutor (an hour a day) or at least 3 times a week would be the best.
      All the best!

  4. Hi Jean
    i want to apply for Canada Express Entry and i need to get both IELTS and french language proficiency ,
    my french level is about B2 to C1 ( in some skills ) .
    i want to know the exact difference between TEF and TCF .
    which one is easier ?
    is there any major difference between them ?

    thanks a lot 🙂

    1. Hello Sadaf! thank you for your message.
      There are really pretty much the same, however depending on your strengths and weaknesses you might chose one or the other, given that there is only 2 sections for the oral and written expression in the TEF but they include more questions for comprehension skills than in the TCF. If you have a B2-C1 level, you can check some mock exams online or buy one of the preparation books available. You can also check this for TEF preparation courses.
      Bonne chance!

  5. Hello Jean,
    I would like to immigrate to Canada,already did my IELTS and performed well,but my score is too low and I would like to boost it by sitting for TEF,the challenge is ,I have never learned French ,therefore my question is,what level of French do I need to be able to sit for TEF and pass well? and how long can I take to study French before I sit for this TEF?
    Thanks so much.
    Evelyn.

  6. Kashaan Siddiqui

    Hello Jean,
    i want to boost my Crs score for which learning french and giving TEF exam is the only option left for me as English scores have maxed out, I have 3 questions which if you can answer to me will help me a lot.
    1) i have zero experience in French but will Apps like Duo lingo and other French speaking application can help me to learn french on my own atleast until A1 level and if i try to learn on my own how much time it will take to learn until A1 and A2 level.
    2) And My Strong Skills are Speaking and Listening in IELTS English so accordingly should i go for TEF or TCF based on my stronger skills.
    3) And As per CRS calculator when i select TEF CANADA My Target in all different four modules are
    Speaking – 310-348
    listening 249-279
    Reading – 207-232
    Writing – 310-348

    can you please tell me if the above scores are acceptable and is it more than enough to be eligible to apply for Express Entry and if not then how much is the minimum score someone has to achieve in TEF in all bands and how much level and time is required to learn and achieve the given marks

    I know it’s a very long question but i hope you reply me
    Awaiting for your reply.

    Thank you.

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