French certification: all you need to know about the DALF

The DALF (Advanced French Language Diploma) is a French as a foreign language certification created in 1985. Issued by the French National Ministry of Education, it certifies a candidate’s competence in French.

Once obtained, this certification is valid for life.

What is the purpose of the certification? 

The DALF is aimed at non-French speakers wishing to evaluate their level of French and/or who desire to study or work in a French-speaking country.

What does the test involve? 

The DALF exam consists of four parts that involve listening, speaking, reading and writing. There are two DALF examinations: the DALF C1 and the DALF C2.

Candidates’ skills for the DALF C1 are assessed through:

  • Listening: candidates answer comprehension questionnaires based on recorded material.
  • Reading: candidates answer a comprehension questionnaire on the ideas in a text (literary or journalistic).
  • Writing: candidates have to write a summary of documents and an argument.
  • Speaking: this part takes place in front of a jury. Candidates make a presentation based on written material and then discuss it with the jury.

Candidates’ skills for the DALF C2 are assessed through:

  • Writing and speaking: candidates must write a report after listening to an audio recording. They must then speak about a topic or an issue orally with a panel of judges.
  • Reading and writing: candidates must produce a text (report, speech or article). The text is based on a set of documents around 2,000 words.

How long does the test take? 

The DALF C1 exam takes 5 hours and 30 minutes:

  • 40 minutes for listening;
  • 50 minutes for reading;
  • 2.5 hours for writing.
  • 1.5 hours for speaking

The DALF C2 takes 5 hours:

  • 3.5 hours for reading and writing 
  • 1.5 hours for listening and speaking 

What levels can the DALF assess?

The DALF exam targets candidates showcasing an advanced level of language skills (C1 to C2 on the CEFR scale) and is open to all ages and the general public.

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What grading system does the DALF test use?

The DALF tests assess the four language skills: reading, listening, writing, and speaking.

The DALF written and oral tests are marked out of 50 to obtain a combined score out of 100. A minimum of 50/100 and a minimum of 5/25 in each of the tests are required to obtain the diploma.

How much does the test cost? Where can you take it? 

Candidates can take the test in over 100 test centers in 173 countries.

The DALF costs an average of €150. However, examination centers are free to set their own prices, and some add a €30 administrative charge.

At a glance: DALF vs. Frantastique (by Gymglish)

PublisherNational EducationFrantastique (by Gymglish)
Name of certificate/diplomaDALFFrantastique Learning Report
Validity periodLifeDoes not expire
Language skills testedReading, listening, writing, speakingReading, listening, writing 
Target level(s)C1 and C2All levels, except beginners (A2 to C2)
PriceApproximately € 150From € 14 /month
DurationBetween 5 hours and 5 hours 30 min Training + learning report: 6 months
Face-to-face / RemoteAt a test centreRemote / online

The DALF is not the only option for French certification!
Gymglish provides a personalized learning report at the end of our Frantastique French language training.

Learn French with Frantastique 🇫🇷

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