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Migrating to Canada? What Exam should you take: TEF vs TCF


You can take either the Test de connaissance du français pour le Canada (TCF Canada) or the Test d'Evaluation du Français (TEF Canada).


Both TCF Canada and TEF Canada are international assessments of proficiency in the French language. The Citizenship and Immigration Canada accept both the tests for permanent residency and citizenship applications.


Express Entry bonus points

Ever since changes were made to the Express Entry Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) as of June, 2017, Express Entry candidates have been able to obtain additional points if they can prove French ability.

To avail of 30 additional points for French ability, candidates must:

  • Achieve test results at Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 or higher in all four language skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing); and

  • Receive an English language test result of CLB 5 or higher.

Even if a candidate has not proven English ability, he or she may still obtain 15 bonus points for French ability. To avail of the 15 points, candidates must:

  • Achieve test results at Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 or higher in all four language skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing); and

  • Prove English ability of CLB 4 or lower (or no English language test result at all).

These points are in addition to the points a candidate receives for language ability in the first place.

Language test equivalency charts

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada staff. It is posted on the Department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders. Equivalencies between the Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLBs) (for English), the Niveaux de compétence linguistique canadiens (for French), and the results of language tests from designated testing organizations have been established and are summarized in the following tables.

Test d’évaluation de français pour le Canada (TEF Canada)


Test score equivalency chart

CLB Reading Writing Listening Speaking

10. 263-300 393-450 316-360 393-450

9 248-262 371-392 298-315 371-392

8 233-247 349-370 280-297 349-370

7 207-232 310-348 249-279 310-348

6 181-206 271-309 217-248 271-309

5 151-180 226-270 181-216 226-270

4 121-150 181-225 145-180 181-225


Test de connaissance du français pour le Canada (TCF Canada)

Test score equivalency chart

CLB Reading Writing Listening Speaking

10 549-699 16-20 549-699 16-20

9 524-548 14-15 523-548 14-15

8 499-523 12-13 503-522 12-13

7 453-498 10-11 458-502 10-11

6 406-452 7-9 398-457 7-9

5 375-405 6 369-397 6

4 342-374 4-5 331-368 4-5




Difference between TCF Canada and TEF Canada?


TCF Canada is a test of general French, recognized by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for permanent residency applications.


If you wish to apply for immigration to Quebec, you will need to take the "TCF for Quebec" (TCFQ) to demonstrate your knowledge of the French language.


The TEF Canada is also recognized as official proof of language proficiency by the Ministère de l’Immigration et des Communautés Culturelles du Québec (MICC) for permanent residency applications, certificat de sélection du Québec applications and Canadian citizenship applications.


The TEF Canada is available in two versions: computer-based (reading and listening modules) and paper-based (reading, listening and writing modules).


What is the format of TCF Canada?

TCF Canada consists of 4 modules to test proficiency in oral and written skills:


Reading: 35 min – 39 questions

Listening: 60 min – 39 questions

Writing: 60 min – 3 topics

Speaking: 12 min – 3 topics

Registration Fees for TCF Canada at ATS is $385.


What is the format of TEF Canada?

You must take the following tests for a Canadian immigration application:


Oral comprehension: 40 min – 60 questions

Written comprehension: 60 min – 50 questions

Oral expression: 15 min – 2 topics to cover

Written expression: 60 min – 2 topics to cover

You must take the following examinations for a Canadian citizenship application:


Oral comprehension: 40 min – 60 questions

Oral expression: 15 min – 2 topics to cover

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