Frequently Asked Questions - TCF DAP
If you want to register for the premier cycle or first stage of undergraduate studies (green or white form) or for a school of architecture (yellow form) in France and you do not have the DALF (Diplôme Approfondi de Langue Française, or advanced diploma in French language), you must take the specific TCF (Test de Connaissance du Français, or French competency test) called the "TCF pour la DAP" or TCF for DAP (Demande d’Admission Préalable, or preliminary admission application).
If you want to take the TCF to register for the deuxième cycle [second stage of an undergraduate course] or for the troisième cycle [postgraduate course], Sciences Po, a Grande Ecole or a business school, the information on this page does not apply to you (except question 2).
To find out about the TCF for DAP, click on the questions below. We advise you to read this page in full.
Yes, you do have to take the TCF for DAP. There are, however, certain exceptions (see question 9). We strongly recommend that you click on all the questions on this page so that you have all the information you need.
You do not have to take the TCF for DAP, but will in all likelihood have to take the TCF. If you do not have the DELF level B2 or the DALF level C1 or C2, we strongly advise that you contact the French higher education institution that you want to register with, as soon as possible.
French higher education institutions may ask you to provide official proof of your level of competency in French, whether or not you are a national of a member country of the European Economic Area.
Please note: In this case, you must take the compulsory TCF examinations (listening comprehension, language structures, reading comprehension). Many higher education institutions also require you to take the optional TCF written expression examination, and possibly the spoken expression examination.
You must therefore contact the university to which you have submitted, or plan to submit, your application to find out which examinations you are required to take.
TCF examination sessions are held every month in over 500 test centres throughout the world. The contact details of the test centres can be found at the following address: www.ciep.fr/en/tcfdap/annuaire_centres.php
It is important that you contact the test centre of your choice to find out about the dates of examination sessions, fees and how to register.
If you would like to take the TCF during an examination session held by the CIEP: www.ccfs-sorbonne.fr/-Centre-d-examen-TCF,156-.html
There are two ways to register to take the TCF for DAP:
- By filling in Form I in your university application file or the TCF registration form in your School of Architecture application file. This form should be stamped by the university or School of Architecture to which you are applying and sent to the CIEP, together with:
- payment of EUR 67 by cheque or money order, made payable to the "Agent comptable du CIEP"
- a stamped addressed envelope (0.54 centime stamp).
- Online payment: you can register and pay online, as follows.
- Convocation for the TCF for DAP test (date, time and venue of the TCF session), whether you registered online or using the registration form in your application file for university or a School of Architecture, will be sent to you by the university or School of Architecture.
- You cannot register both online AND using the registration form in your application file. You MUST choose one or the other of these two options.
The TCF is an official test of the French Ministry of Education.
Only universities, schools of architecture, French embassies and the CIEP (Centre International d'Etudes Pédagogiques) are authorised to hold TCF for DAP examination sessions.
TCF for DAP examination sessions for applicants to the premier cycle, or first stage of university studies, and to schools of architecture for the 2007 academic year open in October 2006 and close on 26 February 2007. The closing date cannot be extended.
Please note: The dates of TCF for DAP examination sessions vary in each country. Some countries only hold one TCF for DAP examination session (generally in January or February), while others organise a number of sessions (e.g. Algeria, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, Vietnam).
It is up to you to find out the dates of the examination session(s) to be held in your country, as soon as possible.
Please note: If you do not find out the relevant information or do not take the examinations soon enough, you will not be able to take the TCF for DAP.
If you are not in France, you must contact the SCAC (Services de Coopération et d'Action Culturelle, or department for cooperation and cultural affairs) of the French embassy in your country. This department will give you information on:
- the dates of TCF for DAP examination sessions
- the fees for TCF for DAP
Once you have registered, you will take your TCF for DAP at the institution indicated by the French embassy (Institut Français, Alliance Française, Centre Culturel Français, university, etc.).
If you are in France, you will take your TCF for DAP at the university or school of architecture to which you are applying. These universities and schools will hold TCF for DAP examination sessions between 16 and 26 February 2007 only. After this date, you will not be able to take the TCF for DAP for the 2007/2008 academic year.
It is up to you to contact the relevant department at the university or school concerned before 30 January (see your green or yellow registration form), who will provide you with a registration pack including:
- a registration form for the TCF for DAP
- the dates of TCF for DAP examination sessions
- the deadline for registration
- the fee (this year, the fee is EUR 60)
Please note: You must have a long-stay visa/residence permit valid for at least one year in order to take the TCF for DAP in a university or school of architecture. Tourist visas are not accepted.
You can take the TCF for DAP as many times as you like. However, there must be 2 months (60 days) between each TCF for DAP examination session.
Registering with different test centres within this 2-month period is strictly forbidden. We reserve the right to cancel your registration if this rule is broken.
No, unless you are unable to attend for some exceptional reason (e.g. illness, transport system strike). In this case, when you register, you will be asked to provide proof of the reason for your absence.
It is preferable for you to take the TCF for DAP at the test centre indicated by a French embassy, university, or school of architecture. However, allowance is made for certain exceptions:
- If you are in France, you can attend a TCF for DAP replacement examination session organised in Paris by the CIEP, but only if you have a valid reason (illness, transport system strike, family emergency). You will be asked to provide proof.
This replacement examination session will be held in Paris on 3 March (two sessions per day). To register for this examination session, you will be required to justify why you cannot take the test on the date specified by your university or school of architecture.
PLEASE NOTE: Registration for this replacement examination session has not yet started.
You will be able to download the registration form here from 10 February 2007. You should only do this if you cannot take the TCF for DAP at your university of school of architecture.
You MUST send us all of the following documents:
- the registration form that you have downloaded, correctly filled in
- payment of EUR 60 by cheque or money order, made payable to the "Agent comptable du CIEP"
- proof of why you cannot take the TCF for DAP during an examination session organised by your university or school of architecture, if applicable
- an envelope with a EUR 0.56 stamp (new price from 1 January 2007) with your name and address on it.
You should send all of these documents to the address below before 17 February (as attested by the date on the postmark):
CIEP - TCF DAP Inscription
1 avenue Léon Journault
92318 Sèvres cedex
The date that you request is subject to change. The CIEP may not be able to register you for your chosen date as the examination session may be full. The CIEP will send you a notice to attend, which will give the date and location of the examination session. If you are travelling from the provinces, you will be responsible for the cost of your trip to Paris: under no circumstances will the Ministry or the CIEP cover travel expenses.
Please note: These examination sessions organised by the CIEP can never be used as resits.
- If you are not in France, there may not be another examination session available. In this case, you will not be able to take the TCF for DAP for the 2006/2007 academic year.
It is essential that you respect the deadlines for sending the documents required for TCF for DAP registration. If you return these documents late, the CIEP cannot offer you a place at one of the replacement examination sessions.
However, if there is a valid reason (e.g. postal service strike, administrative problems) for your registration documents arriving late, the CIEP may be able to offer you a place at a replacement examination session in Paris.
To register for a replacement session you must complete the registration form, which will be put online on 10 February 2007. You will be required to justify why you are registering late.
You cannot choose the date of your examination session. The CIEP will send you a notice to attend, which will give the date and location of the examination session. You will be responsible for the cost of your trip to Paris; under no circumstances will the Ministry or the CIEP cover travel expenses.
Please note: The CIEP will send you a notice to attend, which will give the date and time of your test.
There are a number of possibilities. You are exempt from taking the TCF for DAP if:
- you have passed the DELF level B2 (Diplôme d'études en langue française, for "the general public" or for "future students and students" or for "professionels") you have passed the DALF level C1 or C2 (Diplôme Approfondi de Langue Française, or advanced diploma in French language), have a French baccalaureate (awarded by the French Ministry of Education), or have taken bilingual courses in French that are included in the list drawn up by the French Ministry of Education in conjunction with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs;
- you are a national of a country that is officially French-speaking: Benin, Burkina Faso, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Guinea-Conakry, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Togo.
Please note: The only official language of Algeria, Lebanon, Morocco and Tunisia is Arabic. French is only a language with special status. Candidates from these four countries must therefore take the TCF for DAP.
Please note: Nationals of multilingual countries where French is an official language must have completed all of their secondary education in a French-speaking institution. The countries to which this applies are Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Central African Republic, Chad, the Comoros, Djibouti, Haiti, Madagascar, Mauritania (excluding Arab-speaking studies), Rwanda, the Seychelles, Switzerland and Vanuatu.
- you are a national of a member state of the European Economic Area, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway.
Please note: Certain universities may still require candidates eligible for exemption to take the TCF for DAP examinations. You must therefore contact the university to find out whether you are required to take the test.
The TCF for DAP lasts a total of 3 hours.
- a listening comprehension examination: 30 questions
- a language structures examination (grammar and vocabulary): 20 questions
- a reading comprehension examination: 30 questions
Duration of these three examinations: 1 hour 30 minutes
- a writing examination (in two parts: a 250-word commentary on data and a 400-word discussion) Duration of examination: 1 hour 30 minutes
(You can view some written expression topics from last year. These topics are provided as a guide only, and will not be included in an upcoming examination session.):
You must bring a blue or black pen and an official identity document that includes a recent photograph (passport or residence card).
Candidates who do not have an official identity document (passport or residence card) will not be allowed into the examination room.
Cheating in examinations is a disciplinary offence governed by the decree of 13 July 1992 and modified by the decree of 13 July 1995:
- If an invigilator sees a candidate cheating during a TCF for DAP examination session, a report will be written and your test will be cancelled;
- If a TCF for DAP certificate is forged, the CIEP will cancel the certificate concerned and disciplinary measures will be taken by the test centre and/or by the CIEP.
Please note: The visas department of each French consulate has a record of the results obtained by TCF for DAP and TCF candidates. The results on the certificates supplied by study visa applicants are always checked.
There are two books to help you prepare for the listening comprehension, language structures and reading comprehension examinations: