TCF DAP what is it?

The TCF is the language level test of the French Ministries of National Education, Higher Education, and Research. It assesses the general French language skills of people for whom French is not their mother tongue.

As such, it is therefore recognized by the higher education authorities, university authorities, language training centers, and the professional world.



TCF in the context of the application for prior admission (DAP)

This test (TCF within the framework of the DAP) includes tests of oral and written comprehension, mastery of language structures, and a mandatory test of written expression.

For the other levels of study, French universities may ask you for an official certificate validating your level of competence in French whether or not you are a citizen of a member country of the European Economic Area.

It would be best to take the compulsory TCF “general public” exams (oral comprehension, language structures, written comprehension). Many higher education institutions also require you to take the complimentary test of written expression of the TCF “general public,” or even oral expression. It is up to you to check with the institution where you have submitted your application to determine which tests are required.


Models of test

The test can be in the form of a booklet test (paper/pencil) and an answer sheet. The oral comprehension tests, mastery of language structures, written comprehension, and written expression are taken collectively. The oral expression test is taken individually, in the approved centers, on the dates set by them. Some centers with specific equipment can also take the collective TCF exams in electronic version, on a computer (TCF SO).

General description

  1. Three obligatory tests: oral comprehension, mastery of language structures, written comprehension

Obligatory tests :

76 items


Oral comprehension: 29 items, 25 minutes

Mastery of language structures: 18 items, 15 minutes

Written comprehension: 29 items, 45 minutes

2. Two complementary tests : Oral expression and written expression

Supplementary tests :


Written expression: 60 minutes

Oral expression: 12 minutes

For the application for prior admission (DAP) in the first year of a French university degree or a French school of architecture, the written expression test is compulsory (60 minutes). It is developed according to the Higher Education Department of the Ministries of National Education, Higher Education, and Research recommendations.


Advice and recommendations

To pass the TCF comprehension tests successfully:

– be careful to manage your time well; the test is timed. The invigilator regularly reminds you how much time you have left before the end of the test;

– listen carefully to the audio documents and questions because you will hear them only once;

– read the questions carefully and use the time available to you to think about your answers, do not answer randomly;

– if you hesitate too long, move on to the next question;

– answer directly on the answer sheet, do not write anything on the booklet.



  • Examples of items to be consulted on the CIEP site
  • Training for the mandatory TCF events on the TV5Monde site


TCF registration for the prior admission application (DAP)

If you wish to enroll, in France, in the first year of your degree (L1) or a school of architecture and you do not hold the DELF B2 or the DALF, you must apply to the specific TCF for prior admission; called “TCF for the DAP.”

Registration at French universities and schools of architecture is open from November 1, 2019, to January 17, 2020, at 11:59 pm (French time).


Source :

  • French knowledge test Candidate’s handbook (link)
  • TV5 monde (link)