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Diplôme d'études en langue française

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DELF A1 Diploma

The Diplôme d'études en langue française (English: Diploma in French Language Studies) or DELF for short, is a diploma of French-language abilities for non-native speakers of French administered by France Education International (France Éducation international or FEI) for France's Ministry of Education. It is composed of four independent diplomas corresponding to the first four levels of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: A1, A2, B1 and B2. Above this level, the "Proficient User" divisions are certified by the DALF.[1][2]

The examinations are available in four varieties: "DELF Tous Publics" which is aimed at adults, "DELF Prim" which is for Primary School students (only available at pre A1 level, A1 and A2), "DELF Junior et Scolaire" which is aimed at Secondary School students, and "DELF Pro" which is aimed at people who would like to work. Each variety is worth exactly the same and results in the awarding of the same diploma, but the material is varied to ensure that it is appropriate for the target cohort. DELF is not a certificate but it is a diploma valid for life and does not expire.

Exam sections[edit]

In the DELF examinations, the listening, reading and writing "Epreuves Collectives" are done back-to-back and the oral examination is taken separately.

Part one: listening[edit]

In this section the candidate is presented with a series of recordings and asked to fill out some comprehension questions regarding the selection played. At levels A1 to B1, each selection is played twice, and ranges from a maximum of 3 minutes in length at the A1 level to a maximum of 6 minutes in length at the B1 level. In the B2 examination, candidates are presented with two recordings. The first recording is played twice and the second only once, with the total length of recordings being approximately 8 minutes.

Part two: reading[edit]

This section tests the candidates' reading comprehension by presenting several short pieces of writing, followed by comprehension questions requiring simple filling (ticking, multiple choice, true/false) or a justified written answer. At A1 and A2 levels, candidates are presented with several short texts or signs. At B1 and B2 levels, candidates are given longer texts, with the total length of B2 texts being around 1000 words.

Part three: writing[edit]

This tests the candidates written skills and again varies in subjects according to the level.

  • A1 – The first task is to fill out a document with required personal information. The second task is a simple text with the content of daily life.
  • A2 – The first task is to describe a brief event or an experience. The second task is to write a text of: expression of invitation, congratulations, application, giving information, justification etc.
  • B1 – Expression of the personal viewpoint in a given situation through an essay, a letter or an article.
  • B2 – Personal viewpoint and argumentation in a justified application, reply to message etc., much like at B1 level.

The required length of writing is 40 words for A1, 60 to 80 words for A2, 160 to 180 words for B1 and at least 250 words for B2.

Part four: speaking[edit]

At the A1 and A2 levels this section consists of a guided conversation where the candidate is prompted by the examiner, a short exchange of information on a defined subject and finally a role-play between the examiner and the candidate. At the B1 level it consists of a guided conversation, an interactive exercise and discussion of a document designed to elicit a reaction from the candidate. At the B2 level, the candidate is expected to state and defend an opinion, based on a short document designed to elicit a reaction.


Although the difficulty varies, the scoring of the DELF is identical at each level. Sections are scored out of 25, for a total of 100 marks per test. In order to pass, a minimum of 5/25 must be achieved in each section, and a minimum of 50/100 overall.

Duration of answering time[edit]

Exam Listening Reading Writing Total of Epreuves Collectives Speaking
DELF A1 20 mins 30 mins 30 mins 80 mins 5–7 mins and 10 mins prep.
DELF A2 25 mins 30 mins 45 mins 100 mins 6–8 mins and 10 mins prep.
DELF B1 25 mins 45 mins 45 mins 115 mins 15 mins and 10 mins prep.
DELF B2 30 mins 60 mins 60 mins 150 mins 20 mins and 30 mins prep.


  1. ^ "DELF tout public".
  2. ^ Décret n° 2020-1196 du 29 septembre 2020 relatif au diplôme d'études en langue française et au diplôme approfondi de langue française, 2020-09-29, retrieved 2024-03-20

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