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How to Get a Good Score on the TCF Canada

August 20, 2021

How to Get a Good Score on the TCF Canada

Are you currently preparing yourself for a Canadian French language proficiency test such as the TCF Canada, better known as the Test de Connaissance du Français? Robust and thoughtful preparation is key to your success. Before your exam date, you will want to fully prepare yourself and establish a thorough understanding of the TCF exam. The TCF Canada is significant because of its inclusion in the application process for Canadian Citizenship and for permanent economic immigration to Canada. The purpose of the exam is to assess your language proficiency and increase the viability of your application. To help you prepare, here is a quick breakdown of the sections, time limits and preparation process for the exam.

What are the various sections of the exam?

You will need to prepare for the following:

  • Oral Comprehension: 39 multiple-choice questions
  • Written Comprehension: 39 multiple-choice questions
  • Oral expression: 3 tasks
  • Written expression: 3 tasks

The best thing about multiple-choice questions? Even if you are unsure of your answer, you still have a solid chance of choosing correctly. In real life, we often have to guess or approximate meaning, which is reflected in the exam format. You will not be penalized for putting down the wrong answer, but you could get additional marks based on your deductive reasoning and best guess. Therefore, it is in your best interest to never leave a question blank.

How long is each section of the exam?

The various sections of the exam are broken down with the following time limits:

  • Oral Comprehension: 35 minutes
  • Written Comprehension: 60 minutes
  • Oral Expression: 12 minutes
  • Written Expression: 60 minutes

When you add all of those numbers up, the total exam duration is precisely 2 hours 47 minutes. Based on the duration of each section, you can clearly see where you should focus your energy most. Overall, there is a greater emphasis on your ability to read and write with clarity. That does not mean you should forget about oral comprehension and expression though. Set yourself up for success by creating a diligent and balanced study plan in the weeks and months leading up to your proctored exam date.

How can you assess your current skills?

Try out a basic online assessment for yourself through the Government of Canada website. Though online assessments will vary somewhat from the official examination, the process will certainly help build your confidence and give you a better idea of where you stand and what you need to work on. The Canadian Government offers online assessments for the reading and writing portions of the TCF Canada exam, so you may want to connect with a tutor or educator to help you assess your oral comprehension and speaking skills.

Where can you find additional resources?

Looking for some additional preparation support? Check out the video recording from our previous TCF Canada and Quebec online info session. In the recording, our French testing coordinator, Caroline Gadenne, reflects on her experiences preparing students and administering the TCF exams. She shares her wealth of insight about her observations and experiences with the exam preparation process. For additional insights, be sure to check out our page of all the relevant TCF Canada and TCF Quebec preparation resources