Bonjour ! Today I am bringing for you some really useful hacks to ace the DELF A1 & A2 exams! Have a look at these amazing tips to prepare during your phase of self- study as well as to work smart during the exam.
To work as per this exam blueprint, you will need a few tips before and during the exam:
BEFORE THE EXAM
Ideally, one needs about a month during the exam preparation phase to get acquainted and to practice the exam format. Here are some useful tips:
PRODUCTION ORALE: SPEAKING
FORMAL & INFORMAL: Firstly, know the most important greetings. Also, know the difference between formal and informal ones. Practice the correct usage of “Tu” and “Vous” in the correct situations. Use the verb conjugations correctly.
FRENCH EXPRESSIONS: It would be a great idea to learn some daily-life slang expressions. These make your speaking sound more conversational rather than bookish. Learn some expressions of agreement, disagreement, happiness, sadness, disappointment, anger, worry, assurance, and obligation.
FRENCH CULTURE: Expand your cultural knowledge about France. Read about French cuisine, geography, lifestyle, and especially Paris, the French capital! Enjoy this read about French Culture here.
DESCRIBE BASIC THINGS: Know well these basic things briefly: How to describe yourself, somebody else, describe your (or someone else’s) daily routine, describe situations, places, etc. The knowledge of some adjectives and connectors would be very helpful here.
INTERROGATION: Language is mostly an exchange of questions and answers. So practice using all the French interrogative words in different tenses.
HAVE CONFIDENCE! While speaking, have an optimistic approach and immense confidence in yourself. You’ve embarked on the journey of learning this foreign language!
COMPRÉHENSION ORALE: LISTENING
PRONUNCIATIONS: As a beginner, never obsess about the French accent. For better Speaking and Listening, master your French pronunciation. Never put off your pronunciation for another day. These will help you speak well and understand the audio well.
FRENCH COUNTING: Practice French counting perfectly. Many students have a habit of delaying it till the day of the exam. However, the listening module in the exam has a lot of questions based on numbers. That’s where one has the chance of losing out on marks. Make sure to practice counting by listening to audio pronunciations from French natives. These are readily available on YouTube and on several websites. Also, practice perfectly how to tell phone numbers in French.
TIME TELLING: Practice time telling in all formats in French. These include not only simple numbers but also “et quart”, “moins le quart”, “et demie”. It is suggested to follow the 24- hour clock instead of the 12- hour clock. That is the most common way of telling time in French.
BASIC WORDS: Practice and master the pronunciations of Greetings, Days, Months, Colours & Seasons. Listen to authentic pronunciations from audio by French native speakers. This will help you a lot in understanding.
FRENCH NAMES & ADDRESSES: It is always helpful if you as a learner know some first names, surnames, and addresses in French. In fact, these save a lot of effort and time in understanding many contexts in the exam.
TRANSCRIPTS OF AUDIOS: For Listening, don’t underestimate the usefulness of practicing with the transcripts of audio, no matter how short they may be. You will see your confidence rising with every transcript that you study alongside each new audio.
IRREGULAR VERBS: Master the conjugations of the most commonly used irregular verbs such as “aller”, “être”, “avoir”, “venir”, “faire”, “partir”, “prendre”, “apprendre”. This will make it easy for you to understand the recording.
PAST PARTICIPLES: Don’t forget the past participles. Since you are taught ” Le Passé Composé” in level A1 itself, take note of all the important past participles. These will help you identify the tense in the audio.
VOCABULARY: Learn as much vocabulary as possible. The larger your word bank is, the easier it is for you to understand the recording.
COMPRÉHENSION ÉCRITE: READING
READ MORE: Read as many short texts and compositions as possible. Understand the type of text and make lists of vocabulary from each.
USE THE DICTIONARY: Do dictionary work on a regular basis. Use these words in your own “Production orale” and ” Production écrite”. Remember, ultimately, language learning means that all the modules go hand-in-hand.
IDENTIFYING THE TENSE: Train your brain to identify the tense in which a sentence/ text is written. It helps to clarify a lot of confusion and avoid a lot of errors.
CULTURAL KNOWLEDGE: Expand your cultural knowledge about France. Read some basic information about French cuisine, geography, lifestyle, and especially Paris, the French capital! Read your textbook thoroughly! Enjoy learning about French Culture here.
DIRECTIONS: Learn directions in French. You must know some basic prepositions, directions and how to guide somebody to a destination in French. That makes a couple of questions in the Reading section in Level A1.
PRODUCTION ÉCRITE: WRITING
NAMES & ADDRESSES: For letter writing in levels A1 and A2, it’s always a great idea to know some first names, family names, and addresses of France. Additionally, know the format to attempt each of these. Practice each type by writing and not just reading a few samples.
EXPRESSIONS: Learn some expressions to use in an informal letter to invite, accept an invitation, and decline an invitation.
LIST OF ADJECTIVES: Learn some adjectives since you will need them to describe situations, people, things, weather, places, etc.
CORRECT TENSES: Master the tenses that have been taught to you till this level. This will enable you to attempt your task in the tense expected.
IDENTIFY MASCULINE & FEMININE NOUNS: Being able to identify masculine and feminine inanimate nouns in French is a major prerequisite. You will be confident enough to deal with most of the French grammar. This skill will help you use correctly a lot of grammar components including articles, possessive adjectives, demonstrative adjectives, different pronoun types, prepositions, and a lot more.
ADD ACCORDS: While writing a letter, pay attention as to on whose behalf the letter is to be written. If it is a female writing in the “Passé Composé” or “Plus- que- Parfait”, make sure to add the extra “e” wherever required with the past participle. Also, put carefully the extra “s” in the plural forms of nouns, adjectives, and past participles wherever needed.
IRREGULAR VERBS: Do learn the conjugations of the most important irregular verbs. These are “aller”, “être”, “avoir”, “venir”, “partir”, “sortir”, “pouvoir”, “vouloir”, “devoir”, “falloir”, “faire”, “prendre”, “apprendre”, “comprendre” etc. Also, don’t forget the past participles of verbs.
FRENCH CULTURE: Some cultural knowledge about France and some francophone countries always comes in handy. Read some basic information about French cuisine, geography, lifestyle, and especially Paris, the French capital! Read your textbook thoroughly. Enjoy exploring French culture here.
DURING THE EXAM: ON THE DAY OF THE EXAM
STAY RELAXED! Have a calm and relaxed attitude. Be confident and optimistic that you’ve taken a major step in learning a language that isn’t your own! Your attitude decides a lot!
GREETINGS: For Speaking, always greet the examiner first and seek permission to enter. Don’t speak even a single word in any language other than French.
REQUEST TO REPEAT IF YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND: If you are unable to understand something that the examiner says, ask them to repeat it as many times as you want. Do not hesitate. They will make it easier for you. Here are some expressions you can use to request the examiner to repeat/ rephrase.
USE THE ROUGH SHEETS TO PLAN WELL: For Speaking, while you still have time to prepare your monologue/ dialogue, make use of the rough sheets that have been provided to you. They have a purpose. If you don’t take the time to jot down the points there, you won’t make it as productive as you aim to. The same goes true for Listening and Writing. In Listening, use the rough sheets to write down quickly the keywords that you are able to understand. This always helps to answer the questions once the audio has ended. In Writing, draft your answer on the rough sheet and then copy it down clearly in the answer sheet.
KEYWORDS: In Listening, never obsess about trying to understand every single word. Try to understand the global idea while noting down the keywords.
ATTEMPT YOUR PAPER IN PEN: At the end, make sure you have attempted all your final answers in pen. You are not awarded marks if you have answered in pencil even if the answer is correct.
READ THE TASK CAREFULLY: Always read each question properly. In Speaking, Listening and Reading, focus on interrogatory words and answer accordingly. In Writing, identify the tense in which the task is to be attempted and answer accordingly. Also, read carefully as to on whose behalf is the task supposed to be written.
DON’T COPY THE QUESTION: In Writing, never copy the exact question in your answer. This will not fetch you any marks. Always rephrase and write in an original manner. Take care of adding the extra “e” and the extra “s” wherever required.
REVISE: Never leave your answers unreviewed. Review and correct all possible mistakes before the examiner gets the chance to do so.
Now that you’ve got the smartest tips for exam preparation, you are good to go! Bon apprentissage! 🙂