1. What is the TEF pour la nationalisation?
In order to acquire french nationality it is necessary to provide evidence that you have attained at least level B1 in the french language. The TEF pour naturalisation is a specific test, based on the actual TEF test, that is used to evaluate the level in french attained by anyone wishing to gain the french nationality. This test, as a result, does not concern requests for emigration to Quebec or Canada.
The TEF pour naturalisation is recognized by the Ministry of the Interior and is essential in the context of an application for naturalization to the French State. Its objective is to measure the level of oral comprehension and oral expression in French. In short, the TEF pour naturalisation is a way to testify that your French level is good enough to function and integrate within France.
2. What is the TEF pour la nationalisation like?
The TEF pour naturalisation consists of two separate tests:
The first is a test on Oral Comprehension (Listening Comprehension test). This Listening comprehension test last 40 minutes and has 60 questions. You can earn a total of 360 points.
Many people believe that The TEF pour naturalisation will test you at a level B1, like the DELF exam would do, however that is not the case. The test evaluates your level in french and determine whether you have attained AT LEAST level B1.
There are 60 questions. The TEF grade your level in french on a scale of 0+ to 6. In other words 7 levels. 0+ being the lowest at CEFR level A1.1 and level 6 being the highest at CEFR level C2. TEF test questions gets progressively more difficult, with the easiest being at level 0+ and the most difficult being at level 6.
It have 4 sections that are structured as follows:
Oral Comprehension Section A:
You will hear a dialog, with 5 images. You will need to associate each question to an image, in the order that you hear the associated vocabulary mentioned in the audio.This can be a little bit confusing at first, since it is not your typical “choose the correct image” kind of question. Try to get as much information as you can the first time around, even though the audio will be played twice.
Oral Comprehension Section B:
In this section the listening is mostly about day to day life. For example: you will hear 6 voicemail messages played twice, but the first time you will need to determine what kind of message it is ( friendly, professional, advertisement/ promotion).
The second time around you will need to answer questions that ask more precise details on for example who called, why they called, when they called etc.
This is followed by a group of questions relating to Public Announcements. Here each message is played only once. Question types usually covers where would you hear such an announcement, and to the reason why.
Third set of questions in this section, you will hear extracts from a radio programme. You will need to class them by type : Sports, Political, Health, Transport Cultural etc. Listening carefully as it will only be played once.
Oral Comprehension Section C:
You will hear 6 people giving their opinion on a particular subject. You will need to answer the associated question as to the degree that they agree or disagree or if they just don’t have an opinion.
Second set of questions in this section will refer to 2 really long audio that will be played twice. It could be an interview or a news report. However, it really goes very quickly and many case consist of a lot of interference, making comprehension very difficult if you had not prepared or have already attained at least level B2.
Oral Comprehension Section D:
This is the last part of the listening section. Here you will hear 10 short sentences. You will then need to look at the corresponding question and choose yes or no if that was the sentence you heard. This section basically evaluate your ability to discriminate different sounds in french.
Expression Oral Section A:
The second test is Oral expression (Speaking Test). This test last 15 minute and consist of 2 parts. The first part evaluates your ability to ask for further information on a topic you might come across in your day to day life in french.
In the first part, the examiner will give you a piece of paper with a scenario. This could be an advertisement for example and you will need to come up with questions to find out more information:
“you see an advertisement about swimming lessons, you are interested in taking swimming lessons, call and ask for information based on information provided in the advertisement”.
This section is usually very formal and you will need to think outside the box to make it as natural as possible.
Production Orale Section B:
The second part evaluates your ability to argue and convince someone based on your point of view. This is usually in a friendly setting, where you try and convince a friend to do something. For example, you see an advertisement about a language course. Convince your friend to take the language course with you.
As role plays go, make this one an Oscar performance. The examiner would play your friend in this case. Again, in the section your level in french will be evaluated from level A1 to C2. The total point attainable for this test is 450 points.
An attestation of results for Le TEF pour la naturalisation will be sent to you by mail within four weeks of taking the exam.
3. How to register ?
The TEF is offered in electronic format, or in paper format in some accredited centers. Decide which format works for you. No prior diploma is required to take the exam. You must also be over 16 years old.
Register with the Center de Langue Française of CCI Paris Ile de France or contact the authorized center nearest you! For a session in one of the centers of the CCI Paris Ile-de-France, register online at the following address.
4. I speak french very well, it is really necessary to practice before the exam?
Yes! Even though you might have a really good level in french, please remember that this is a exam. As a result, this test, while it will be measuring your level in french, it is also done under strict exam conditions.
Understanding how the exam is structured, the type of questions to expect and how to effectively manage your time to correctly answer 60 questions in 40 minutes, for many, maybe the difference between a level A2 and a B2. It will also help to reduce stress on the day of the exam if you know what to expect.
5. What are the learning resources that I can use?
The official TEF website provides a manual for candidates. This manual will provide you with sample questions and recommended resources that will help you to prepare for the exam. They also have an app that has paid features.
There are also a number of TEF test preparation books currently available on Amazon and other major book stores if you are in France. Tip: The same books for the TEF exam can be used for the TEF for nationality. Just remember that in this case, you will need to focus only on the sections referring to Comprehension Orale and Production Orale.
There is also a french website that offers online TEF exam preparation, www.prepmyfuture.com . They have a partnership with the CCI Paris Ile-de-France. Their online course cost 39 euros.
6. I have already taken another french exam TCF or the DELF before, is it the format the same?
While all these exams are aimed at evaluating your level in french, the method that is used in fundamentally different. The TCF and TEF tests for example, test on all levels , with questions starting from level A1 and getting progressively difficult to level C2. However, the DELF/DALF exams are completed by levels, with an exam is assigned to each level, with a total of 7 exams from A1.1 to C2.
In addition, the exam format and the way the test questions are structured is different. As a result, the expectation on how the questions should be answered is also different. It would be as a result to your advantage to try at least one TEF practice exam before the official test date.
7. le TEF or Le TEF pour la nationalisation, does it really matter which one I take?
To the french government, as long as you provide proof that you have a level B1, Comprehension Oral and Production Orale, it really does not matter to THEM. However, it might actually matter to YOU. Why? Because the TEF is marked differently than Le TEF pour la naturalisation.
In the TEF you will lose marks for wrong answers, while in Le TEF pour la naturalisation, you do not. Losing marks in an exam, no matter how well you understand, can adversely affect your final score.
Furthermore, in the TEF, the Production Orale is considered optional and you would need to pay , depending on the exam center, an additional 45 euros. While in Le TEF pour la naturalisation the Production Orale is included in the price of the exam, which works out cheaper for you.
8. How do I get my results?
At the end of the test and after verification, you will receive a certificate of results. Depending on the center consider up to 6 weeks. This certificate indicates the scores obtained for each test.
For the TEF Naturalization , you will receive an e-mail giving you access to an electronic certificate of your results (I received a paper version by mail sometime after). This dematerialized certificate is an official document that you can present to the competent authorities as part of your administrative procedures.
If you did not get the score you were aiming for, you have the possibility of retaking the test several times. However, you will have to wait atleast two months between two successive sittings.
9. How long is my certificate valid for?
Your certificate is valid for 2 years.
10. More Questions?
Ask away in the comment section.
Is it necessary to take TEF for naturalisation? Will the government not accept B1/B2 DELF? if not, then can i just take TEF for all intents and purposes other than naturalisation?
Hello and thank you for your message. No, it is not necessary to do the TEF for naturalisation if you already have a B1/B2 DELF. However, check with your Prefecture, to confirm which certificate they will accept. Good luck.