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January 21, 2020
When people take a language exam in order to include the score on their immigration application, they should want to do their absolute best. It’s so important to get as high a language score as possible to add to the other application elements, as the total amount of points (which includes things like language, occupation, age, family, etc.) is, in many cases, what confirms whether you are able to immigrate to Canada or not.
Therefore, having the best score possible on any aspect of the application is something to pay attention to. And, because a language test is something you can practice for in order to obtain a better score, the time you spend on it is directly related to how your language score can contribute to that overall immigration application score. You have control over how well you do on the language test where you might not have control over other score elements (like age), so in this case, it’s time to study! If you are immigrating to Quebec, Canada, you’ll need to provide French language test scores.
The TCF exam – the Test de Connaissance du français – is one of the language tests used by the province of Quebec for its immigration process. Since Quebec is the only region in North America where French is the dominant language spoken, a French language exam is mandatory. Other than in other parts of Canada where potential immigrants can choose to provide language test results from either of Canada’s official languages (English or French) or both, if you are considering immigrating to Quebec you must provide results from a French-language exam.
The TCF Quebec has been created to meet the specific needs defined by the Quebecois immigration authorities. The exam is required regardless of what language is native to the potential immigrant. This is a standard set by the Ministry for Immigration, Diversity and Inclusion (MIDI) when someone wishes to apply for immigration through the Quebec department of immigration.
TCF Quebec registration is done through one of the accredited test centres. Each of these exam centres sets its own dates and times for the TCF Quebec allowing you to choose from a range of options when you complete your TCF Quebec registration. There are a number of exam centres that offer TCF Quebec throughout Canada with the one in BC located in Vancouver. Find information about the test centres which offer the TCF Quebec at here.
Language tests like the TCF Quebec are based on your ability to use and understand the language, in this case, Canadian French. It is important to stay focused on practicing this specific version of the French language. While the written forms of Canadian (or Quebec) French and Metropolitan (or standard European) French are fairly similar, the informal spoken forms are vastly different. In all cases, you must be familiar and comfortable with Canadian French as this is what the TCF test is based on.
The biggest advice for those taking a French language test is to practice, practice, practice. No matter how comfortable you already are with the language, do not discount the benefits of becoming a student again and spending more time on your language skills. Your test score will benefit and therefore, your overall immigration score will be better.
One of the first sources you should turn to, to help you prepare for the exam and gain practice, is the France Education International website. There are a variety of tools to help you prepare and achieve the best mark possible on the website. This includes suggested books and websites, sample questions and other tools you will find here.
There are many other ways to practice your French language skills that don’t require workbooks or programs outlined by websites. You can create your own practice that fits your needs just as easily. Here are a few tips to do that:
- Understand the format of the test. The exam itself consists of four sections: Listening Comprehension, Reading Comprehension, Speaking and Writing. There are 29 multiple-choice questions for each of the listening and reading sections and there are three questions of progressing difficulty for both the speaking and writing sections of the exam
- You may also want to contact France Education International directly to find out what other tools and resources they recommend for studying prior to the TCF Quebec
- Find friends, family members and colleagues you can practice your French with. Plan practice sessions for busy areas like coffee shops and restaurants so that you must focus on what your French-speaking partner says while you learn to tune out distractions. This is important because you will be taking the exam at the same time as others are doing their exam in the same room.
During your practice sessions, when your partner finishes speaking in French, have them ask you questions about what they said, or tell them what you understood from what you heard. This will assist you with both listening and speaking.
- You will also want to seek out Quebec French newspapers, magazines and blogs or websites. Spend time reading and listening to this information and make notes of what you understand. Re-read or re-listen to them to see if what you made notes about were the important elements. Additionally, if you enjoy reading, ensure the books or other resources you choose are in French. Reading Quebec French will enhance your abilities to understand the proper use of the language and you’ll be doing it when you read for pleasure making it both an enjoyable and educational time.
Seldom is practicing a language as important as when it is for an immigration application. Because language is one of the scores you can influence your immigration scores, take the time to practice your French language skills in order to reach the best score possible.