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Bonjour ! In today’s blog, we will discuss the most important differences between the DELF A1 and the DELF A2 exams that French learners take to assess their French proficiency level.

Exam Pattern

First, let’s take a look at the pattern of DELF A1 and DELF A2 to understand the differences between the two. Both exams contain 4 sub- tests:

– Speaking (Production Orale- PO)
– Listening comprehension (Compréhension Orale- CO)
– Reading comprehension (Compréhension Écrite- CE)
– Writing (Production Écrite- PE)

Both DELF A1 and A2 exams are scored out of 100 marks, and each module carries 25 marks. The major difference between the two exams is the duration of each module. The DELF A1 exam usually lasts around 1 hour and 20 minutes, while the DELF A2 exam generally lasts 1 hour and 40 minutes.

Here are the important differences:

DELF A1 DELF A2
Speaking 10 minutes of preparation time 10 minutes of preparation time
5- 7 minutes of interaction with jury 6- 8 minutes of interaction with jury
Listening
Comprehension
20 minutes approx. 25 minutes
Reading
Comprehension
30 minutes 30 minutes
Writing 30 minutes 45 minutes

 

As is evident from the above table, there are not a lot of differences between the structures of the DELF A1 and A2 tests.

Exam content

Now we shall discuss the content of each module of both the exams. Quite obviously, the level is different. In the DELF A2 test, the candidate is expected to have the four main competencies a bit more developed than an A1 level candidate. There are also some important differences in the content and types of tasks of each module as demonstrated further:

 

    DELF A1 DELF A2
Speaking 3 tasks: – Introduce yourself (1
minute) – Question formation (2
minutes approx.)

 

– Dialogue (2 minutes approx.)

3 tasks:

– Introduce yourself (1.5 minutes)
– Monologue (2 minutes approx.)
– Dialogue (3- 4 minutes)

Listening
Comprehension
Answer questions after listening to short audios (up to 3 minutes) related to daily life situations Answer questions after listening to short audios (up to 5 minutes) related to daily life situations
Reading
Comprehension
Answer questions after reading 4- 5
short documents related to daily life
situations
Answer questions after reading several
short documents related to daily life
situations
Writing 2 tasks:

– Form filling – Informal letter
writing (40- 50 words)

2 tasks:
– Describe an event and write your experience (60- 80 words)
– Write an informal letter/ message to
invite/ accept and invitation/ refuse an
invitation/ congratulate/ apologize etc.
(60- 80 words)

 

As demonstrated, the Listening and Reading tests are almost similar but with slight differences in the lengths of audios or texts. The Speaking and Writing modules are very different. Let’s try to understand these differences:

Speaking (Production Orale)

Both A1 and A2 tests have 3 tasks in their speaking modules. In the first task, known as the guided conversation, the jury asks the candidate to introduce themselves and may ask a few questions about their likes, dislikes and daily life.

In the DELF A2 test, the second task is the monologue. The candidate is supposed to elaborate upon a topic that they have selected. Since this is a “monologue”, this task assesses the candidate’s skill to talk about a topic continuously. They may be expected to share their experience, memories and opinions. If the monologue that the candidate presents is too short, the examiner could also ask further questions in the end.

The dialogue is similar to the role-play of the DELF A1 test. The aim of this task is to solve a problem related to daily life. The jury evaluates the candidate’s skills such as greeting a person, asking questions, requesting, negotiating etc.

 

Writing (Production Écrite)

In the DELF A1 exam, the word limit for the informal letter is 40- 50 words whereas in DELF A2, it is 60- 80 words. Further, in DELF A1, you are expected to fill in details in a simple form (information related to name, surname, nationality, age etc). This task is not a part of the DELF A2. This module is meant to evaluate the candidate’s capability to communicate through writing.

Conclusion

From what we’ve learnt through this article, we now understand that the content of the DELF A1 and A2 is not very different. However, as per the design of A2, the level goes a little higher. The more you practice smartly after understanding the exam pattern and content, the better you get at acing your exam. Here is another blog post that helps you prepare for the DELF A1 and A2 exams.

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