FAQ on the DELF French exam

Deliberately or not, the DELF French exam always pops up in conversation around this time of year. Some students are frantically trying to figure out how to cram everything they need to know into their heads before the big day, while others are still wondering what it is exactly.

In this blog post, we’ll answer some of the most common questions about the DELF French exam. So whether you’re a new student just getting started or you’re a few months away from taking the test, read on for some helpful information! 

We hope that by providing some concrete details about DELF, we can help take some of the mystery out of it and ease your worries.

We’ve also written additional articles if you’re wondering about the difference between DELF and DALF, for example, or the difference between DELF and TCF.

Good luck on your studies – and don’t forget to relax and have fun too!

How many diplomas does DELF have?

There are 5 DELF diplomas:

  1. A1.1 (The A1.1 level is only available for elementary school students)
  2. A1
  3. A2
  4. B1
  5. B2

What does “CEFR” mean?

CEFR means: Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

In French: CECRLCadre Européen Commun de Référence pour les langues.

How many levels does the CEFR have?

There are 6 levels for the CEFR:

  1. A1 (from beginner)
  2. A2
  3. B1 (everything you need to know about DELF B1)
  4. B2 (How are DELF B2 students graded?)
  5. C1
  6. C2 (to native)

👉 You can consult the CEFR directly on the Council of Europe website

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Are the subjects in my country different from those in France during the same session?

Yes, the subjects in your country of residence will most likely be different from those you might find in France during the same session, but they are all designed by France Éducation International, and the level of difficulty is the same all over the world.

A recent reform of the DELF has harmonized the exam (exam subjects and correction) throughout the world.

What level of DELF is required to study in a French-speaking university?

The DELF level required to study in a French-speaking university depends on the university: either B2 or C1. Ask at the university itself.

The B2 level is a minimum to ensure that the student has sufficient language skills to follow a university course in French.

✔️ Ecoute & lis…

Étudiant étranger : comment travailler en France après ses études ?

Vérifié le 01 mai 2023 – Direction de l’information légale et administrative (Première ministre)

Vous êtes un étudiant étranger et souhaitez travailler en France à la fin de vos études supérieures ? Vous pouvez prétendre à différents titres de séjour. Les règles diffèrent en fonction du diplôme que vous avez obtenu. Nous vous précisons les emplois que vous pouvez occuper en fonction de votre nationalité.

Les règles dépendent du diplôme obtenu : bac+2, licence, licence professionnelle, master ou équivalent.

Source : Service-Public.fr

Questions about registration to pass the DELF

Questions about how to register for the delf

Can candidates register for the DELF and DALF exams without taking a course?

Yes, anyone wishing to validate their French language skills can take the DELF and DALF exams without any pre-requisites or French courses in any school.

But, trust my experience as a DELF examiner for many years, an exam preparation course is highly recommended to increase the chances of success.

Do candidates need to obtain A1 and A2 to take the B1?

No, it is not necessary to validate a lower level of DELF to pass a higher level. For example, you do not need to validate the DELF A1 and then the DELF A2 to pass the DELF B1. You can take the DELF B1 exam directly. You can take the diploma of your choice.

Can candidates retake a diploma as many times as they wish until they pass?

Yes, candidates can retake a DELF diploma as many times as they want until they pass. Of course, each exam will have a financial cost that the candidate must pay.

What are the fees for DELF and DALF?

Registration fees for DELF or DALF may vary from country to country and region to region.

You can consult the map of DELF exam centers around the world on the France Education International website to contact the DELF exam center you want.

Can I register at any exam center?

Yes, you can register at any exam center to pass the DELF.

Questions about the day of the DELF exam

Questions about the day of delf exam

Are the DELF and DALF exam subjects the same throughout the country where I live?


Are there two examiners for the oral tests?

Yes. This can be a bit overwhelming for the candidate, but remember that the examiners are friendly and only there to evaluate your level of French.

Keep smiling, breathe and you will see that everything will go well 👍👍 Don’t be afraid to speak French!

Is a bilingual dictionary allowed for the DELF and DALF written exams?

Of course, no for the DELF. No dictionaries are allowed during the DELF tests.

During the preparation of the DELF oral, you will be asked to leave your cell phone aside and to take only a pen.

But for the DALF, a monolingual French/French dictionary is allowed for the DALF C1 oral production test and for all the DALF C2 tests. 

What happens if the candidate’s writing does not correspond exactly to the proposed subject?

Copies will be corrected as usual for the skills and linguistic aspect. If the candidate’s writing does not correspond exactly to the proposed subject the number of points obtained will be divided by two.

👁️ Attention, any mark lower than 5/25 is eliminatory!

Questions on DELF results

Questions about the delf results

What is the minimum score required to pass the DELF and DALF?

50 / 100 points when the results of the 4 skills are added together, each being scored out of 25.

Is there an eliminatory mark in the DELF-DALF diplomas? What is it?

  • For the DELF and DALF C1, a mark below 5/25 in one of the 4 skills is an eliminatory mark.
  • For the DALF C2, a mark of less than 10/50 in one of the 4 skills. 

Are the grades mentioned in the DELF or DALF diplomas?

Yes, the grades are mentioned in the diplomas.

Do the diplomas include mentions : Assez bien, Bien, Très Bien?

No, there is no indication of mentions: Fair, Good or Very Good. 

But the results obtained for the 4 skills (oral production, written production, oral comprehension and written comprehension) are indicated. It is not only the overall score that is mentioned.

How long does it take to receive the results after the exam?

The delay to receive the results depends on your country and the test center. In general, within 48 hours you already know if you have passed or not.

The details of the marks and especially the diploma will arrive much later.

How long does it take to receive the diploma after the exam?

It takes aproximately 6 to 8 months to receive the diploma after the DELF exam.

Don’t hesitate to contact your exam center to find out the status of your diploma. Don’t forget that it is the French administration that takes care of it… 😉😆

Are the DELF and DALF diplomas valid for a limited period of time?

No. DELF and DALF diplomas are valid for life.

Can candidates consult their papers?

To consult a copy of a diploma, the candidate must make a written request (in French) and send it to the head of the center.

They can only consult their papers in the examination center in the presence of a representative of the examination center.

That’s all for today! I hope this article was helpful and that it answered most of your questions.

If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to ask me using the form contact and I’ll do my best to answer them.

Stay tuned for more articles about the DELF exam coming soon!

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