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.

Reach NCLC 7 for Expression Orale and Expression Ecrite in less than 1 month:

The most complete strategy to reach C1
for Expression Orale and Expression Ecrite

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.

Reach NCLC 7 for Expression Orale and Expression Ecrite in less than 1 month:

The most complete strategy to reach C1
for Expression Orale and Expression Ecrite

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 NCLC 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!

54 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.

      1. Hi Jean,

        Do we need to appear for all the components of test for PR application?

        I want to get CLB4.

        Please guide

  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

        1. Hello! My CRS score is 467. Scored 9/8.5/7.5/7 in IELTS. Want to increase my CRS score by atleast 7-10 points. I have never learnt French. How much time would I need to prepare to reach my desired French level?


        I have a question like how many answer needs to be correct to get clb 7 in listening and reading?

        Any study material.

  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 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!

      1. Hello I am at A2 level for French. I want to improve. Pls guide me on any website for French TEF mocks for Canada immigration

  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.

  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.

  7. Hello Jean,

    I am a certified B1 level from Alliance française and have given DELF A2, I want to appear for TEF. I have few questions on my mind, I would be grateful if you could answer them:

    1)Whether I should go for TEF or TCF for Canada immigration? Which is better?
    2) I am always nervous about speaking French so how can I improve that?
    3) Kindly suggest some good books/tutors/sites from where I can prepare for TEF or TCF?
    4)How much time should I give to myself before appearing for TEF or TCF?

  8. Bonjour,

    Comment allez-vous ? J’espere que vous allez bien.

    I have completed DELF A2 and I wish to immigrate au Canada with French skills also. Mes questions sont :-
    1. What level of French(DELF) is required to appear for TEF ?
    2. Shall I appear for TEF now or wait another year to complete DELF B1 and then give TEF ?
    3. With A2 level, how much can I score approximately ?

    Merci beaucoup pour votre temps.

    Bien cordialement,

  9. Hi Jean, considering that I’ve never studied French, how hard would it be to get these points in 6 months studying by myself?
    S 226
    L 249
    R 207
    W 226
    I would really appreciate your opinion.
    Thank you!

  10. Hello Jean. Hope you are doing well. I have completed DELF B1 and now I am aiming to sit for TEF. However, DELF B1 was comparatively so easy. It is really hard to understand specially the reading comprehension. Could you please elaborate what on what level the TEF exam actually is? Also, how can I improve?

  11. I have been learning french for a while now, and I think am ready to write the exam. I have been taking some online mock exams, however for comprehension orale de tef, how many questions do I have to answer correctly to pass the exam

  12. Hi, I don’t know French at all, how many months or years can take me to reach clb level 7? And I’m native speaker in Italian, do you think that can help me even a bit?

    1. Hello Karan, yes knowing italian will help you. You will maybe need at least 10 month to prepare to this level, depending on your daily practice 🙂

  13. Hi Jean,

    Looking to learn French to help increase my CRS score. I have already done the IELTS – Speaking 8, Reading 8.5, Listening 8 & Writing 7.

    Had learnt basic French in college 13 years ago and will need some brushing up. What do you recommend in terms of preparation for the TEF? Is there a way to evaluate the kind of course I would need to take to prepare for the exam.


  14. Hello,
    I did the TEF Canada test in mid-September without practicing. I got these results: CE: 6, CO:7, EE:9, EO: 9. I need a CLB 9 on all the tasks. where can I practice? I thought I’m a good French user that why I didn’t even see what the test is about. But unfortunately I screwed up big time.
    Thank you for your help.

  15. Hi .
    I have never learned french requirement is clb5 in TEF. Consider that i practice 2 hours per much time is required to get this score.

  16. Hi Jean, Iam planning to immigrate canada. Iam preparing for my IELTS .Probably next month I will be done with that . But if I get good score also I think I need more point points fo my overall CRS. SoNplanning to do my TEF. Since higher secondary my second language is French( took may french tuitions ).So how long it will take to practice and sit for the Exam. I’m ready to spend 3 to 5 hours daily.

  17. hello, how much would I need to practice to get TEF following scores. with no prior French knowledge?

    speaking: 226-270
    reading: 151-180
    Writing: 226-279

    thank you

  18. Alexandra Pennel

    Hi there, I am fluent in French as I grew up with a French mother but my reading and writing are terrible as I only used French orally! How brutal is the marking when it comes to spelling and grammar mistakes?

    If I do really well in oral and not so good in writing, will they balance each other out or is there separate marks for each?

    Eg will I fail if I get a 6 in writing even if I get 9s in everything else, or is it one overall mark?


  19. Amirreza Hooshyar Telegraphi

    Dear Jean, hello
    I am at the end of level A2 and I have 7 months to prepare myself for the TEFAQ exam in which I need 2 B2 for oral comprehension and production. Do you think this time frame is okay to achieve my goal? what do you propose for accelerating in learning French for this level?

    1. Agustin Arcusa

      It is definitely possible, I have been studying for 9 months (I started from scratch) and I already have a written and oral comprehension of level c1. However, my native language is Spanish and I spend 3 hours listening and reading per day

  20. Salut Jean,
    I’ve written and passed DELF B1 and A2
    I want to appear for TEF, please can i meet up within a month or what’s the ideal timeframe to get me ready for TEF

    Merci beaucoup

  21. Hey jean,
    I live in France for 5 years I have a resident permit of France and I can speak very well French but now I am planning to get Canadian immigration so I can do study or job over there because I just love Canada. My question is that is it possible to give the TEF test while I am in France? And if I passed the test what’s another process for immigration.

    Thank you

    1. Payal you can get in touch with me regarding Canada immigration process ( I am not a consultant, but I have enough knowledge to help you out and it’s completely free 🙂 )

  22. Hey,
    I want to know as bigginner in French with zero experience, can you please provide me with any professional tutor who have experience of teaching tef.

  23. Hello,

    I need to have CLB 4. Is it to A1 or A2. I know French but I haven’t used it for 2-3 years. What materials I can read to prepare myself for TEF?

  24. Mohammed Zaid Syed


    I have already taken TFI and luckily I achieved B1 level. It was a luck by the way. But I can read 90% of français, write 50-60% , listen 70-80%, speak 50%. I live in Paris, by the way came Paris to do my Masters and done with studies and now trying for Canada PR.

    So, I need CLB4 in TEF, my question is with my bullet points above, how many months of preparation required to achieve it ?

  25. Lovepreet singh

    Hello jean i am i am preparing for tef test and i just require clb 5 and i am learning from duolingo app how much tike will it most probably take me to reach that level i have 5 months is it enough for achieving clb 5 or B1 level of french

  26. Bonjour Jean. I am preparing for the TCF test for Canadian Immigration. I’m using Duolingo app. I’m a beginner in the French language. Will I be fluent (reach CLB 5) in 2-3 months if I devote 4-5 hours a day?

    1. Bonjour Carren,
      It seems short but if you have the appropriate ressources and commitment it is not impossible.
      You should remember to practice with natives for the speaking part. Maybe a language exchange would be a good idea.
      Good luck!

  27. Ammar Alyousef

    My name is Ammar Alyousef. I would like to ask you if you could help me clarifying TEF Canada grading system.
    I know I need to have CLB 4 in my case, but 1) I am not sure which chart I need to follow. The chart on IRCC site is out of 360 and 450 points, and the one on TÉF official site is out of 699 points.
    2) Does CLB 4 mean A2?
    3) How many questions I need to obtain in the listening, for example, to achieve CLB 4?

    Thank you very much in advance for any help you might be able to provide.

    Ammar Alyousef

  28. Hi,

    if I get a TEF score which is CLB equivalent of 6 in reading, 6 in listening and 5 in writting, but CLB 4 equivalent for speaking, does the overall CLB level will be 4?

    Long story short: does the CLB level reflects only the lower score in your TEF?

    Thanks in advance.

  29. found your post relevant regarding TEF/TCF/TEFAQ/DELF . it was really helpful you can also look our website for further details regarding TEF/TCF Canada classes .

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