To immigrate to Canada through Express Entry, you will be required to prove your proficiency in either one or both of the official languages of Canada: English and French. Express Entry is highly competitive, and that is why the candidates who can score better than the minimum will have a greater chance of being selected. Moreover, the candidates that achieve good results in TEF/ TCF can significantly increase their CRS (Comprehensive Ranking System) score as well as increase their possibility of being selected under several Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) in Canada.

To demonstrate your English language proficiency, you could take the IELTS or the CELPIP exam. However, even after IELTS/ CELPIP, if you are falling short of points in the Express entry and wish to increase your CRS score, you could take the TEF or TCF language test which can significantly compensate for your CRS score. Hence, if you wish to increase your points in Canadian Express Entry by proving your French language proficiency, you need to appear for one of these two French language tests.

About the TEF and TCF exams

To prove your French language competency to immigrate to Canada, you must take one of the French language tests approved by Immigration, Refugee, Citizenship Canada (IRCC). The 2 tests accepted by IRCC are:

  1. Test d’Évaluation du Français (TEF Canada);
  2. Test de Connaissance du Français (TCF)

Both the tests contain 4 modules which are designed to test a candidate’s different competencies in the French language: Speaking, Listening, Reading, and Writing. For Express Entry, you must include an English language test. Moreover, if you include your French test results (either TEF or TCF) you may be able to avail more advantages. If you achieve a Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) Level 7 (Level B2) or higher, first, you will increase your Express Entry points quite significantly. Second, through your French-language competency, you may become eligible for some French-speaking PNPs.

Other immigration possibilities for French-language speakers

French speakers may become eligible for many other Canadian immigration programs too. In particular, Quebec, the French-speaking province of Canada, provides a wide range of immigration programs for skilled workers who can communicate well in French. However, Quebec does not accept TCF exam results. Instead, if you wish to immigrate to Quebec, you should take the TEF or TEFaQ (Test d’Évaluation de Français pour l’accès au Québec).

TEF/ TCF- Which French test should you take?

There are no significant differences between TEF and TCF, apart from the format, time limit, and tasks in each module. To apply for Canadian citizenship, you could take any of the two exams. Ideally, you should choose which exam to take based on the following factors:

– Your ease with the exam format
– Time limit for tasks in each module
– Type of tasks in each module
– Availability of exam centers and dates near you

If you are going to Canada for your higher studies, you should confirm with your university about the exam that they require.

TCF and TEF Exam Format

TCF Exam Format

Compulsory Modules

Sub-section No. of
Listening 29 25 minutes
Language Structures 18 15 minutes
Reading 29 45 minutes
Total 76 85 minutes

Optional Modules

Sub-section No. of questions Duration
Speaking 3 tasks 12 minutes
Writing 3 tasks 60 minutes
Total 6 72 minutes

TEF Exam Format

Compulsory Modules (As per the new format updated in December 2023)

Sub- Section Subjects/ Questions Duration
Listening 40 questions 40 minutes
Speaking 2 subjects 15 minutes
Reading 40 questions 60 minutes
Writing 2 topics 60 minutes
and Syntax

(Not a part of the TEF Canada version)

40 Questions 40 minutes

Validity of TEF and TCF results

The result for both TEF as well as TCF exams is valid for up to 2 years from the date of the exam. How to register for the exam? The TEF/ TCF exams are held in most countries across the world. Both exams have hundreds of affiliated exam centers across the world. These tests are held all through the year. However, seats may often be limited,  especially after the pandemic. Therefore, interested candidates should contact their nearest/ most convenient center and get registered well in advance.

How to check your results of TEF/ TCF exams?

The exam center sends the exam results to each candidate via email. You will get your TEF exam results within 15 working days. However, it may also take 4- 6 weeks in some cases. For TCF, you will receive an email containing your result within 8- 4 weeks.

Q. Which one is better: TEF or TCF?

Ans. Both exams have equal importance and they may serve different purposes. Both exams assess your French competency and serve to provide additional points for Canadian immigration.

Q. What are the fees for the TEF and TCF Canada exams?

Ans. The registration fee for TEF and TCF Canada exams may vary in different countries and different test centers. In India, it is between INR 12,000 and 25,000. This depends on the number of modules you wish to appear for. The exam fee is non-refundable and non-transferrable in most centers.

Q. How many times can I take the TEF and TCF examinations?

Ans. You could take the TEF/ TCF test as many times as you prefer. However, there must be a gap of 1.5 to 2 months between two consecutive exams taken by a candidate. Different centers have different rules, so you will need to enquire at your center at the time of exam registration.

To learn French online join our French classes in Chandigarh for preparation for DELF/ DALFTEF/ TCFCall or WhatsApp 9056131830 to book a demo class at LingoRelic.