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The Best Advice for Your Next Language Proficiency Exam

October 26, 2021

The Best Advice for Your Next Language Proficiency Exam
If we are being honest here, we all know that preparing for and taking exams has a certain amount of stress and a certain amount of excitement. You need to make use of both those emotions to successfully move through your exam and achieve your desired score.  At best, your natural stress will keep you thinking about the task at hand and remind you of the need to study. The excitement comes from knowing what a positive exam result can do for you and your future career or educational goals. This will give you the motivation to keep going with those studies by staying mindful of the positive dreams you want to achieve in the real world.   Making the best use of your exam jitter emotions is just one of many ways to do well on a language proficiency exam. Here are a number of other helpful ways to set yourself up for success and help you prove that you really are an excellent communicator. 

Understanding the Format of Your Exam 

One of the best ways to do well on a language proficiency exam is to fully understand the format the exam uses. It is like taking a driving test and understanding the roads the exam will take you on and the skills it will test for. In the case of language proficiency exams, we will use the TCF Canada and TCF Quebec exams for our examples.   These two exams both focus on French language skills. You may need to take one of these exams because French is your preferred language, you want to show you have both English and French language skills, or proving your capability with Canadian French is a requirement, as would be the case if you were planning to immigrate to Quebec, Canada, or an employer or education institution required you to take a French language test.  No matter why you are taking the exam, the format will be the same. There are slight variations between the TCF Canada and the TCF Quebec formats, but both exams are based on four sections: 
  • Listening comprehension 
  • Reading comprehension 
  • Speaking 
  • Writing 
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The difference between the two exams is the number of questions. For example, TCF Canada has 39 multiple choice questions in both listening and reading while TCF Quebec has 29 questions in each of the two sections. The speaking and listening components are the same in format. They are both based on three assignments that increase in difficulty as the sections progress.  

Setting Yourself Up for Success with Practice Exams 

Now that you know the format of the exam, it is important to go online to a website such as France Education International to find a decent selection of practice sample exams. This will allow you to see the exam in action with real questions and examples to test your proficiency. 

Use All of the Available Resources 

Looking for additional study resources before completing your TCF Quebec exam registration or TCF Canada exam registrationATS has got you covered. Be sure to browse through our comprehensive TCF Canada and TCF Quebec Preparation Resources page featuring recommended strategies, practice questions, exercises and relevant content.   Written by Ronda Payne