Are you an international student in Montreal who wants to declare Quebec residency? After graduation you need to apply for a CSQ through the PEQ program. One of the requirements is to have sufficient knowledge of French in order to live and work in Quebec. You would need to complete a French language test, for example TEFaQ. The good news is, you just found an article that explains everything you need to know to prepare for and pass TEFaQ in Montreal.
Here’s what you learn about the TEFaQ test in this article:
TEFaQ stands for Test d'Evaluation de Français Adapté au Québec which is a linguistic examination that is used to evaluate a person’s understanding and utilization of the french language. TEFaQ is one of many tests used by governments and universities to evaluate if the applicant has the linguistic knowledge and capability to succeed in the society or university program.
At first glance this may seem daunting, especially without guidance. Look no further, for this is a detailed guide to help you achieve your goals of passing TEFaQ and succeed in gaining access to residency.
Through this guide to TEFaQ in Montreal, you will learn the timeline of what this examination requires you to do. Depending on your level of french, this timeline will differ. If you are a beginner or a native french speaker, you are in the right spot. We will provide resources to help you succeed based upon your proficiency.
This examination is comprised of four parts. You may take all the four but only two are required by the government of Quebec. You may take each test separately and you’ll get a test result for each skill.
The oral comprehension (listening component of the test) is a recorded audio you listen to and answer the corresponding questions. It starts with easier questions and gets harder as the examination goes on. At some point you might think the quality of the audio is bad. No, you just reached your level. But don’t give up, you might still understand some of the conversations.
For the oral expression (speaking component of the test) you will be given two topics. Normally one is a conversation topic where you will talk to the examiner about something. An example could be booking something for your vacation. The examiner plays the role of the travel agency and you explain what you’re looking for and ask questions about prices, location, activities, etc. The second is normally a convincing scenario where you give your opinion, justify or explain something in order to convince the examinator to do something. You’ll have five minutes to prepare before you start the conversation with the examinator.
According to the “Common European Framework of References for Languages”, also known as the CEFR, there are six levels to competence when learning a new language. These levels are ranked as follows: A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2. The level necessary to pass the immigration requirement is B2. CEFR defines the B2 level as someone, “can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in his/her field of specialisation. Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party. Can produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options”.
Each test of language proficiency is designed by a different organization. They all test your knowledge in all the four language skills. The difference is normally in the details of execution, prices, dates, etc.
Both TEFaQ and TEF are designed, organized and managed by the same organization. One big difference between TEFaQ and TEF is that TEFaQ is designed specifically for Quebec. Some of the listening questions might be in a Quebecois accent or discuss something related to the region.
TCF is a completely different test but when you look at the detail you find it has many things in common with TEFaQ. In the listening test, TCF has negative points if you get an answer wrong but TEFaQ just counts the correct answers. We recommend not answering questions you’re not sure of in TCF. For the speaking test you get 5 minutes of prep before you start in TEFaQ but TCF starts the test with a self introduction and conversation. In TCF you get more questions and each question’s purpose is to evaluate a certain level. The exam’s questions and conversations get longer and more abstract as you go.
One of the most important aspects of TEFaQ preparation is creating a timeline to study and take the exam because many aspects are involved. If you have a deadline for when this test must be taken, you will want to start planning to complete TEFaQ today. These are important dates you need to mark on your calendar:
If you are someone who has little to no french experience, this process will take longer. First you need to learn the language. Depending on your commitment and schedule intensity it might take you 6 months to two years to get to a level you’re ready to take the test. If you’re going to take a regular course to learn French, it might even take longer. We recommend taking courses focused on the vocabulary and skills you need for the test. These courses omit the parts you don’t need to reduce the time to B2 score.
Once you are ready to take the test, you should learn about the test and techniques to succeed. You need to take a couple of mock tests to evaluate your level and come over your fear of the examination day. Some language schools offer courses to prepare you for the test. Take a couple of mock tests with them before the real one and practice the techniques. Refer to schools that are evaluation centres if you feel that you do not need a preparation course or class for TEFaQ.
Lots of language schools in Montreal offer French courses but a few are focused on TEFaQ preparation and testing. This is a list of schools we recommend for preparing for the test or even learning French if your goal is to score B2 level at the end.
Located a two minute walk from Peel metro station, Atpal Languages is also very convenient for public transport fans. The preparation course at Atpal, referred to as “Accelerated Preparation Program”, or “APP” is for people who want to prepare quickly for TEFaQ. The innovative methods at Atpal encourages you to speak French with confidence. For more information on Atpal courses, please visit Atpal page on Demiks or Atpal Languages website.
Located in downtown Montreal, a three minute walk from the Concordia Metro Station and Concordia university, Innovance is perfectly located if you are a student at Concordia or if you would like to take the subway. This course is great for beginners who want to optimize their learning opportunities and be efficient when preparing for TEFaQ. The courses are usually twice a week, 3 hours each. Every couple of sessions, you’ll have a TEFaQ workshop that prepares you for the test. For more information, please visit Innovance page on Demiks or Innovance Official Website.
Based in the plateau of Montreal, ALC is a three minute walk from Sherbrooke metro station. Meaning the school is a great option if you are located outside of downtown, or living near Berri/ UQAM. This language school prides itself off of their service’s “usability and effectiveness”. Their methodology consists of four factors: Mnemonic, interaction, iLab, and dynamic teachers. Combining these methods is their recipe for effective learning, and your success on TEFaQ. Thus, ALC is a great option if what you’re looking for is a well structured system with techniques that have been proven to increase success. For more information on ALC, please visit ALC page on Demiks or ALC’s website.
Positioned in the Old Port of Montreal, ILSC is only a 6 minute walk from the Square- Victoria Metro Station. This school is known for its international presence, and high quality preparation for language exams. ILSC offers an evening course for TEFaQ preparation that takes place over six weeks. The timing of this course is ideal if you are a student, or working, or both. The classes take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:00pm to 8:00pm, leaving the daytime open for your other commitments. The class sizes are no larger than six people, allowing optimal practice and one-on-one attention. To learn more about ILSC, please visit ILSC’s profile on Demiks or ILSC’s website.
Dawson College is located in Westmount, Montreal. The TEFaQ preparation course offered by this school asks that applicants already be at a B1 level. Thus, this school is best for those who are not beginners. The teacher will emphasize the learning of oral and written french necessary for TEFaQ. The course also includes simulations of the TEFaQ exam. To read more about the TEFaQ preparation course that Dawson College offers, please visit Dawson College’s website.
The courses are great but having additional resources to use at home helps for you to improve your level faster. We have complied some of the best resources that are right at your fingertips, and mostly free.
An accessible, and free resource for preparing for TEFaQ is watching youtube videos. One youtube channel to start with is, Mimi TEF Tutoring. This channel provides short videos that go through sections and areas of study that are relevant to TEFaQ. It can be beneficial to use this resource to brush up on important areas of study before taking the exam or to review concepts that were discussed in class.
Udemy is an online platform that provides a multitude of online courses. In regard to TEFaQ, Udemy has an online preparation course called “The Ultimate Guide to Pass the TEFaQ”. The description says you must be at a B1 level to start and the online preparation course will bring you to a B2 level for the exam. Thus, this package is not ideal for beginners. Nonetheless, it comes with modules that can be watched on your own time, one practice test, and a certificate of completion. For additional information, please click here.
Finding a test center is easy on the TEF Canada website. All you have to do is follow the link, and click “find a center” on the right hand side of their website. Or you can use the simplified list we have made of our top test center picks in Montreal. Here's a handful of test centers in Montreal just to have an idea:
Located in Downtown Montreal, McGill School of Continuing Studies is a two minute walk from the McGill metro station. This school offers a wide variety of dates for the examination. Each section of the test is charged separately. However, the website explicitly asks that each candidate choose the required sections of the exam that are needed for themselves.
McGill also offers a preparation course that involves 36 hours of preparation including simulated practice tests, over a six week period. This is a good option for those who like to take the prep course at the same center where they are going to take the test.
Point 3 is a TEFaQ test center near Square Victoria in the Old Port of Montreal. The TEF Canada and TEFAQ exams are offered every Tuesday and Wednesday at Point3. This center also has multiple options for preparation courses, all ranging in price.
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