TEF vs TCF: Which is the Right Choice for You?

TEF vs TCF Which is the Right Choice for You

French is one of the most widely used languages in the world. As for many companies or organizations around the world, hiring multilingual staff is a priority. If you are willing to take French ahead as a career then it is highly recommended to pursue either TEF or TCF. This not only certifies your proficiency in French but also helps you to know the level you are at and the most important scope for improvement. In this blog, we will go through the various details of TEF vs TCF.

What is TEF?

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TEF (Test d’Evaluation de Français) is a language proficiency test for non-native French speakers who want to certify their level of the French language for professional, academic or personal purposes. The exam consists of 5 tests that are the French Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, the French Ministry of the Interior, the Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship of Canada, the Quebec Ministry of Immigration, Francisation and Integration and, the Swiss State Secretariat for Migration. Types of TEF exams are as follows:

  • TEF for studies 
  • TEF for Naturalization
  • TEF for the resident Card 
  • TEF Canada and
  • TEFAQ 

What is TCF? 

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TCf (test de Connaissance du français) is a language proficiency test for non-native French speakers who want to evaluate and certify their level of French for the purpose of professional, academic or personal reasons. The test contains oral and writing comprehension and is not considered as hard. The TCF exam is specially designed by FEI (french education international ) and is accredited by the French Ministry of Education .this test is basically to test a non-native french speakers French language abilities. There are approximately 600 exam centres in more than 140 countries including France all around the world. The lowest level of the exam is A1 which indicates the beginners level whereas C1 and C2 are top fluency levels.

TCF vs TEF: Overview

Both TEF  and TCF are for the evaluation of French proficiency for non-native speakers. But both the exams have different purposes as follows

This is a test to apply for permanent residents.
It is proved and accepted  by Ministère de l’Immigration et des Communautés Culturelles du Québec (MICC).
There are two ways to attempt that are paper-based and computer-based. 
The test is an official proof of French language proficiency. 
The test is recognized by IRCC.
The test is compulsory for migration to Quebec.

TEF vs TCF: Exam Pattern

Sections TEF TCF
Speaking 2 topics for 450 points
Listening  60 questions for 360 points 29 questions in 25 minutes
Writing  2 topics for possible 450 points 18 questions in 15 minutes
Reading 50 questions for 300 points 29 questions in 45 minutes

TCF Optional Test

Speaking Written Expression (1 hr)
Writing Oral Expression (12 min)

TEF vs TCF: Application Process

Contact the centre with the help of the following link for more details about session dates, prices or for any related doubts about the sessions available near you. Go to the official website for TCF, and after you click on your desired test centre, follow the information provided.
Check thoroughly examination date, time and the type of TCF (compulsory/optional).

TEF vs TCF: Validity 

The validity of the TEF exam is 2 years starting from the date when you took the exam.
Further, you can make a number of attempts with a 30 days gap between 2 attempts in any desired location. 
The validity period of the TCF exam is 2 years from the date of taking the exam. 

TEF vs TCF: Results and Fees


The fee for TEF is 50 € or INR 4,200.5. After evaluation, you will receive an email for the results within 4 to 6 weeks, that would contain a link to access your secure digital area and obtain your statement of results.


The fee for TCF depends upon the situation ( cost of living, area, etc). You will receive an official certificate  4 to 8 weeks after the test for your results that shows the score obtained by the candidate in each module. 

TEF vs TCF: Test Scores 


Federal Skilled Worker (FSW)     Speaking  310 – 348
Reading  207 – 232
Writing   310 – 348
Listening 249 – 279
Federal Skilled Trades (FST)    Speaking 226 – 270
Reading 121 – 150
Writing 181 – 225
Listening 181 – 225
Canadian Experience Class (CEC) Speaking  226 – 270
Reading   151 – 180
Writing      226 – 270
Listening  181 – 216


Elementary (A1)  100-199 points
Lower Intermediate (A2) 200-299 points
Intermediate (B1) 300-399 points
Upper-Intermediate (B2) 400-499 points
Advanced (C1)  500-599 points
Superior (C2)  600-699 points

Preparation Tips 

Whether it is TEF or TCF, the most important thing is to prepare well. You can prepare by going through the sample papers, that gives a certain idea about what TEF or TCF is. Thereafter, watching french language movies and reading books helps as well. Other than that all you need is guidance from a professional. 

Job Profiles 

The job profiles after TEF or TCF are as follows:

  • Translator
  • Tour guide
  • Teacher 
  • French jobs in MNC, BPO, IT and call centres 
  • French jobs in foreign embassies 
  • Career opportunities as a translator and interpreter 
  • travel tourism, leisure and hospitality industry jobs
  • French in import and export business 
  • Publishing Editor 
  • Proofreader
  • Flight Attendant 
  • Diplomat 


Which one is better: TEF or TCF? 

Both have equal importance and are for different purposes. Therefore you must choose what you exactly want and also what you want to pursue ahead. 

Is TEF or TCF hard? 

Both the exams are for the purpose of French level evaluation and also immigration. So it’s nothing like hard or easy, it is all about testing your French skills. 

What level of French is required for TEF Canada? 

The level of French needed for TEF Canada is a minimum of 7. But it is important to improve and pass with flying colours eliminating the minimum level. 

Is TCF Canada accepted for Quebec? 

TCF Canada is different from TCF Quebec and it is highly recommended to take TCF Quebec if migrating to Quebec as it is approved by Quebec authorities. 

Both the tests are for French proficiency but have different purposes. If you want to go ahead with the French language, both are great options available. Hope this blog helped you with the details about TCF vs TEF! Stay tuned with Leverage Edu for more informative content.

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