Tests and diplomas in French as a foreign language
To enroll in the first or second year of university study or in a school of architecture applicants from outside the European Union must follow a procedure known as the "request for preliminary admission," or DAP. The procedure requires them to demonstrate their level of French proficiency by taking a language test or presenting a diploma in French language.
Elsewhere, rules vary. For example, for admissions to Licence 3 programs (the third year of undergraduate study), master's and doctoral programs, and specialized schools, institutions are free to set their own French proficiency requirements. Applicants are advised to inquire about the requirements when submitting their application for admission.
Tests of French as a foreign language
The "TCF" and "TCF-DAP"
These are tests of general language proficiency used by the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research. They are made up of mandatory and optional components.
The TCF-DAP was especially designed for use with the DAP process (admission to first year of university study). It includes the mandatory portions of the TCF plus a test of reading comprehension.
The TCF is administered in 629 approved centers in 129 countries.
The TEF is a test developed by the Paris chamber of commerce and industry. It measures test-takers' knowledge of general French through the 100-question QCM component, in addition to two supplemental tests, one written, one oral.
The TEF can be taken in 400 centers in about 100 countries.
Diplomas in French as a foreign language
The "DELF" and "DALF"
The DELF (basic diploma in the French language) and DALF (advanced diploma) are granted by the French Ministry of National Education.
The DELF and DALF curricula are broken down into six separate levels, each of which corresponds to a specific degree of proficiency. The DELF is awarded to candidates who pass the first four levels. Candidates who go on to complete the last two levels are awarded the DALF.