Diplôme d'études en langue française

The Diplôme d'études en langue française (DELF) (English: Diploma in French Studies) is a certification of French-language abilities for non-native speakers of French, administered by the International Centre for French Studies (Centre international d'études pédagogiques, or CIEP) for France's Ministry of Education. It is composed of four independent diplomas corresponding to the first four levels of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. The "Proficient User" divisions are certified by the DALF.

Exam sections

Part One: Listening
In this section the candidate is presented with 3-4 short recordings, and asked to fill out some comprehension questions regarding the selection played. Each selection is played twice, and range from a maximum of 3 minutes in length at the A1 level to a maximum of 8 minutes in length at the B2 level.

Part Two: Reading
This section tests the candidates' reading comprehension by presenting several short pieces of writing, followed by comprehension questions with simple filling (ticking, multiple choice, true/false) or justified written answer.

Part Three: Writing
It is the written speech production and varies in subjects according to the level.

A1-The first part is a document to fill in asked personal information. The second part is a simple text with a content of the daily life.
A2-The first part is description of a brief event or an experience. The second part is a text of expression of invitation, congratulations, application, giving information, justification etc.
B1-Expression of the personal viewpoint in a given situation through an essay, a letter or an article.
B2-Personal viewpoint and argumentation in a justified application, reply to message etc.

The length of the texts is usually between 100 and 250 words but the exact limit varies with level.

Part Four: Speaking
At the A1, A2, this section consists of a guided conversation where the candidate is prompted by the examiner, a short exchange of information on a defined subject, and finally a role-play between the examiner and the candidate.

At the B1 level it consists of a guided conversation, an interactive exercise, and discussion of a document designed to elicit a reaction from the candidate.

At the B2 level, the candidate is expected to state and defend an opinion, based on a short document designed to elicit a reaction.

Although the difficulty varies, the scoring of the DELF is identical at each level. Sections are scored out of 25, for a total of 100 marks per test. In order to pass, a minimum of 5/25 must be achieved in each section, and a minimum of 50/100 overall.

Duration of answering time

Exam Listening Reading Writing Speaking Total
DELF A1 20 min 30 min 30 min 5-7 min + 10 min prep 80 min
DELF A2 25 min 30 min 45 min 6-8 min + 10 min prep 100 min
DELF B1 25 min 35 min 45 min 15 min + 10 min prep 105 min
DELF B2 30 min 60 min 60 min 20 min + 30 min prep 150 min