In the dream, I’m driving to a university exam.
I feel frantic and upset.
I’m not wearing any pants, I can’t find a parking space and when I arrive to the exam, I don’t recognize the professor.
What’s worse, when I get the exam paper, I can’t read any of the questions. They’re written in symbols I don’t understand. Is this Wingdings?
“I haven’t studied for this exam!” I say to myself, panicking. “I don’t even remember taking this course!”
Have you ever had a dream like this?
Luckily, I’ve made it to all my real-life exams with pants on, but studying a language sometimes evokes the same panicked feeling I get in that dream.
How do you know if you’re still an early beginner, or making progress towards the intermediate stage? How do you know when you’ll be ready for higher-level French courses, an official French exam or even life in France?
Here’s how: with French exams for beginners that are specifically built to test your foundational language skills.
We’ll show you seven online French tests that you can take to find out where you stand in French and how you can improve—and put an end to those French stress dreams once and for all.
What Are the Benefits of an Online Proficiency Exam?
Making sure you’re heading in the right direction as a beginner French learner has never been easier!
Let’s put it this way: there’s no professor to schmooze, no studying required—and heck, in the comfort of your own home, you don’t even need to wear pants if you don’t want to. (I’m not judging!)
That’s because you can take these beginner French proficiency exams conveniently online, whenever you want. Further, they generally don’t take long to do. You can complete most of them in less than an hour, and you won’t be waiting anxiously for your results to get mailed to you weeks later.
Best of all, online proficiency tests are generally free. That means that you can get an accurate idea of what your French level is without spending a dime! Some exams will even recommend resources and activities as next steps to continue to advance your French.
I’ve never seen any university exams do that!
7 Pleasantly Challenging French Exams That Beginners Can Take Online
Now that we know how easy and stress-free this will be, let’s check out the top seven online French exams for beginners.
This French exam for beginners comes to us from France Langue (France Language), a company that has French-language schools all throughout France.
The proficiency test is quick, with 20 questions that can be completed in 20 minutes. The test has six levels, each corresponding to the Common European Framework of Languages (A1 or beginner to C2 or most advanced). That means this test gives you a quick idea of your French level, or rather, how good your beginner French is and if you should advance or continue to work with beginner material.
If you reach questions that are too difficult or that cover material you haven’t learned, that’s an indication that you’ve reached the maximum of your French level. Again, this isn’t an intensive evaluation, but it’s a great place to get a general idea.
Best of all, the test recommends courses and resources after completion. As a bonus, you can take other French language tests on topics such as art, architecture and music. While these aren’t proficiency or beginners tests per se, they will inevitably help boost your knowledge and grow your vocabulary in French.
This French proficiency exam is specifically geared toward beginners. Created by the École des trois ponts (School of the Three Bridges) in France, this test asks questions specific to what beginners should know as opposed to asking questions in increasing difficulty to gauge your level.
There are 20 questions to test your basic competence in French. The questions range from conjugation patterns to French prepositions to common pronouns. If you get a question wrong on a specific topic, you know that you must continue to work on that aspect of the French language.
Further, if you’ve ever wanted to study in France, this could be your chance! This test can be used to apply to École des trois ponts to learn French in France through one of their immersion courses.
Looking for something more out-of-the-box? FluentU lets you learn French from real-world content like music videos, commercials, news broadcasts, cartoons and inspiring talks.
Since this content is material that native French speakers actually watch regularly, you’ll get the opportunity to learn real French the way it’s spoken in modern life.
One quick look will give you an idea of the diverse content found on FluentU:
Love the thought of learning French with native materials but afraid you won’t understand what’s being said? FluentU brings authentic French videos within reach of any learner. Interactive captions guide you along the way, so you never miss a word.
Tap on any word to see a definition, in-context usage examples, audio pronunciation, helpful images and more. For example, if you tap on the word “suit,” then this is what appears on your screen:
Don’t stop there, though. Use FluentU to actively practice all the vocabulary in any video through word lists, flashcards, quizzes and fun activities like “fill in the blank.”
As you continue advancing in your French studies, FluentU keeps track of all the grammar and vocabulary that you’ve been learning. It uses your viewed videos and mastered language lessons to recommend more useful videos and give you a 100% personalized experience.
This exam was actually created by the French Ministry of Education, so even though it’s pretty informal, it’s still a structured tool to give you an accurate idea of your French level.
Ev@lang is an online language assessment for all learners of French. This test places students at a level of French from beginner to advanced. Again, while this isn’t a beginner test per se, it’s a quick way to make sure you’re on the right path toward an eventual intermediate and advanced level.
Perhaps you’ll be inspired to take an official DELF French examination after you see your results!
Kwiziq has six tests for six levels of French (beginner to advanced). The best part, however, is that three of the tests on Kwiziq are specifically for beginners: A0, A1 and A2, each increasing slightly in difficulty.
I’d suggest starting with A0 and advancing logically through the levels depending on how you do.
Each test includes 10 multiple choice questions. Afterwards, the results are broken down question-by-question. Kwiziq then recommends resources and tools for improving your French based on the questions you got wrong.
Like the French Ministry of Education, the Alliance française (French Alliance) is an authority on the French language and its promotion. As such, it offers online French tests for all levels of French from A1 (beginner) to B2 (pre-advanced).
A1 is the beginner test, so simply click the link for the test and choose “A1.” The test starts off with a self-assessment where you’ll state your ability to perform different tasks in French. Next, there are questions based on the self-assessment to confirm your level of French. Unlike other online French exams for beginners, the questions require short written responses.
Best of all, besides the automated test results, you can also send your test to an Alliance Française chapter for detailed results. This means you’ll get deeper insight into your results and a better idea of where to go next to grow your French competency.
Each test also provides you with the option of conversing with a French instructor for further evaluation and recommendations.
The Institut Linguistique Adenet (Adenet Linguistic Institute) offers a proficiency test for all levels of French. Like other proficiency tests, it starts with beginner questions and then grows in difficulty. Unlike the others, though, it has 32 questions for a more in-depth look at your level.
After you complete the test, the results give a pretty accurate assessment of your beginner French level and skills. Further, along with the results, the Institut Linguistique Adenet will recommend one of its courses that correspond to your level and skills so you can continue growing your French competency.
Whew! I’m so happy we found some pressure-free French exams for beginners. We turned that nightmare into dreamy French exam bliss! Choose the French test that works best for you and test away!
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn French with real-world videos.