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Canadian French Language Proficiency Tests

August 31, 2020

Canadian French Language Proficiency Tests
There are many French language proficiency tests available in Canada, with different formats and applications. How do you know which test is suitable for you, based on your application needs and your experience with the language? First up, you need to have a working knowledge of what the tests are and how they differ from one another. 

TCF Canada 

What exactly is the TCF Canada? To begin with, the acronym stands for Test de Connaissance du Français. ThFrench-language proficiency test meets the standards of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). The test is suitable for anyone who wants to apply for permanent economic immigration to Canada or for Canadian citizenship through IRCC.  The TCF Canada evaluates your reading comprehension, writing, speaking and listening comprehension. By focusing on the written word and the spoken word, the test accurately evaluates your proficiency in the French language. In terms of the exam format, the TCF Canada includes 39 multiple choice questions for listening comprehension and another 39 multiple choice questions for your reading comprehension. Each question has only one correct answer so you will not have to worry about vague or subjective questions. To test your speaking, there are three tasks with a progressive range of difficulty. The writing component mirrors the speaking component, with another three written tasks that get progressively more challenging as you go along. The levels of difficulty line up with standard benchmarks to assess your ability.  There are several books and websites that will be of use to you when you are preparing for your TCF Canada. If the TCF Canada sounds like the right exam for you, you can also browse our upcoming exam dates for Ashton Testing Services. 

TCF Quebec 

The most important thing to know about the TCF Quebec is that this test is designed and intended only for people who are hoping to settle in the province of Quebec. If you are immigrating to any other area of Canada, then the TCF Canada is a more appropriate exam choice.  The format of the TFC Quebec is also quite different than the format of the TCF Canada. The test consists of four separate modules to evaluate your proficiency in writing. The oral comprehension module is 25 minutes long and includes 29 questions. The written comprehension module is extended to 45 minutes long, with 29 questions. These two modules are followed up with aassessment of your written expression, which lasts 60 minutes. Finally, there is a brief assessment or oral expression, which takes 12 minutes.  Does the TCF Quebec sound like the right exam for you? Plan ahead and browse our upcoming exam dates for Ashton Testing Services. You can also give us a call or send us an email if you have any additional questions about the exam format and preparation. 


An additional language proficiency test to consider is the TEF Canada. The Test d'Evaluation du Français is an international language assessment of your skill level and comfortability with French. This exam is most relevant when dealing with Citizenship and Immigration Canada. When applying for citizenship or permanent residency, your achievements on the TEF exam are reflected as assigned points for the language factor. If you are coming to Canada through Express Entry, then the TEF is the most suitable proficiency test for you. 

Preparing for Your Proficiency Test 

The Government of Canada recommends trying out a basic online assessment of your reading and writing skills before taking the official examinations. Their online tests are not quite the same as the official testsbut they will certainly help you feel confident and prepared for your exam when the time comes. Visit the Government of Canada website to learn more about their self-assessments for reading and writing.