French Language Proficiency Test

Student at computer

All course candidates for the French as a Second Language, Part I AQ course must successfully complete an oral and written French language proficiency test as an entrance requirement. The test assures that candidates possess a minimum competency in oral and written French.

Candidates for the French as a Second Language, Part I AQ course may be exempted from the test by submitting to the Office of the Registrar either:

  • a Certificate of Bilingualism from Nipissing University; Laurentian University; or from the Federal Government; or
  • a transcript showing proof of graduation from a francophone university having studied in the French language;
  • a minimum Level B2 Diploma* (provided upon successful completion of the DELF French proficiency test)

*the DELF B2 level confirms a good knowledge of French and the ability to communicate verbally and in writing covering a wide range of topics within the modern French language.

ONLINE FSL Proficiency Test (Blackboard)

Online registration begins February 21, 2024

Candidates must be successful in the online test for entrance in the FSL, Part I AQ course that is offered online. Students cannot be retested in the same testing period as their first attempt. We encourage candidates to attempt the test before the last testing period, in the event a retest is required.

Candidates must register for the test no later than 5 days prior to attempting the test. No Exceptions.

Testing Dates for our Spring/​Summer 2024 Online Session:

Please note that online registration will be accepted between the dates of February 21 - May 7, 2024.

The French proficiency test for the FSL additional qualification course consists of four components: listening, reading, writing and speaking.

Listening: The listening component consists of a francophone audio recording(s). You will hear the recording(s) twice and respond to multiple-choice questions based on the content of the audio.

Reading: You will read one passage and answer multiple choice and short answer questions.

Writing: You will be presented with a context and asked to respond with 160-180 words that will be marked following the rubric below.

Respect de la consigne Respecte la situation et le type de production demandée. Respecte la consigne de longueur indiquée. 0 0,5 1 1,5 2        
Correction sociolinguistique Peut adapter sa production à lasituation, au destinataire et adopter le niveau d’expression formelle convenant aux circonstances. 0 0,5 1 1,5 2        
Capacité à présenter des faits Peut évoquer avec clarté et précision des faits, des événements ou des situations. 0 0,5 1 1,5 2 2,5 3    
Capacité à argumenter une prise de position Peut développer une argumentation en soulignant de manière appropriée points importants et détails pertinents. 0 0,5 1 1,5 2 2,5 3    
Cohérence et cohésion Peut relier clairement les idéesexprimées sous forme d’un texte fluide et cohérent. Respecte les règles d’usage de la mise en page. La ponctuation est relativement exacte mais peut subir l’influence de la langue maternelle. 0 0,5 1 1,5 2 2,5 3 3,5 4
Compétence lexicale /orthographe lexicale
Étendue du vocabulaire Peut utiliser une gamme assez étendue de vocabulaire en dépit de lacunes lexicales ponctuelles entraînant l’usage de périphrases. 0 0,5 1 1,5 2        
Maîtrise du vocabulaire Peut utiliser un vocabulaire généralement approprié bien que des confusions et le choix de mots incorrect se produisent 0 0,5 1 1,5 2        
Maîtrise de l’orthographe 0 0,5 1            
Compétence grammaticale/orthographe grammaticale
Choix des formes À un bon contrôle grammatical. Des erreurs non systématiques peuvent encore se produire sans conduire à des malentendus. 0 0,5 1 1,5 2 2,5 3 3,5 4
Degré d’élaboration des phrases Peut utiliser de manière appropriée des constructions variées. 0 0,5 1 1,5 2        

Speaking: upon completion of the first three sections of the online test, candidates click to the test's final section where they will see three topics; candidates will choose one topic and will have a maximum of 15 minutes to prepare a 4-5 minute oral presentation which speaks to the chosen theme, ensuring that only limited notes and no scripts are used. The test facilitator will then telephone the candidate, listen to the presentation, and will follow up with related questions in order to engage in a spontaneous interaction. The oral portion will be graded according to the rubric below.

Grille d’évaluation pour l’oral
Partie A
Peut confirme​r et nuancer ses idées et ses opinions 0 0,5 1 1,5 2 2,5 3
Peut défendre sa position 0 0,5 1 1,5 2 2,5 3
Partie B
Peut confirmer et nuancer ses idées et ses opinions 0 0,5 1 1,5 2 2,5 3
Peut défend​re sa position 0 0,5 1 1,5 2 2,5 3
Pour l’ensemble
Lexique (étendue et maîtrise) Possède une bonne variété de vocabulaire pour varier sa formulation et éviter des répétitions ; le vocabulaire est précis mais des lacunes et des confusions subsistent. 0 0,5 1 1,5 2 2,5 3 3,5 4    
Morphosyntaxe A un bon contrôle grammatical, malgré de petites fautes syntaxiques. 0 0,5 1 1,5 2 2,5 3 3,5 4 4,5 5
Maîtrise du système phonologique A acquis une prononciation et une intonation claires et naturelles. 0 0,5 1 1,5 2 2,5 3        

The passing mark is 70% on the oral component and 70% on the written component (combination of all three sections.) Candidates who fail the test are allowed to retake the component(s) that they failed once within the year of their first attempt.

Please note if a candidate fails the written component, all three sections, LISTENING, READING, and WRITING must be retaken. If candidates pass the test but do not enroll in courses immediately, their test results will be valid for one calendar year. Students cannot be retested in the same testing period as the first attempt. Results will be sent to the email address you have provided.

A non-refundable fee of $80 will be charged for both the initial test and the retest. This fee must be paid upon registration in the test.

Test registration and payment must be finalized 5 days prior to the test date chosen.

It is absolutely essential that candidates provide a valid e-mail address and telephone number so they can receive information about the test's availability period and how to log in.

The on-line FSL proficiency test is presented as a ‘course’ on Blackboard and is made available to test takers for specific weeks during the testing period. Each section of the test is timed separately.

Technical Requirements

The test can be taken on a Mac or Windows computer system that has speakers. Headphones may also be used. You will also need telephone access for one portion of the test.

Candidates must know how to create accented characters. It is strongly recommended that candidates test this ahead of time using the same system you will be using for the online test. If using a standard desktop system, then the .pdf files posted below can be helpful.

 [53 KB]
[89 KB]

Please make sure that you have the current version of Adobe Reader installed.

Using Laptops

However, if the computer is a laptop, it is essential that you know how to activate the laptop’s special characters feature. How this works varies depending on the make and model of the laptop. If you do not know how to do this with the laptop you plan to use, an online search should call up this information. Once you have found it, TEST the system’s method of generating the characters. You do not want to discover that the instructions do not produce the desired results after you have started your test.

NOTE: The ONLY resource that candidates may use during the test is a list of keyboard codes that create accents.

After Registration

Once you have paid for your test, you will receive an e-mail message that provides direction on how to log in and when the test will become available. It is strongly recommended that you test the log in credentials as soon as possible using the system you plan to use for the test.

As well, all candidates are enrolled in the “FSL Exam - Demo”. This is actually a course set up in Blackboard which allows you to determine if the system you plan to use can interact successfully with the various portions of the online proficiency test. Please explore this demo to ensure that you can hear the audio, interact with a quiz and insert special characters. You may test any portion of the demo as many times as you wish.

For assistance with technical issues, please email or call UTS at (705) 474-3450 ext. 4342.

Candidates are advised to prepare well for the test. To improve oral fluency consider:

  1. Listening to French radio broadcasts.
  2. Watching television, movies, films or plays in French.
  3. Speaking French with friends or family.
  4. Joining Alliance Française or similar organizations, participating in immersion programs, travelling or studying in a francophone environment.

To improve written fluency consider:

  1. Reviewing all tenses of verbs, spelling, use of specific tenses, the use of avoir and être, verbs conjugated with être, the passé composé and verbs that use specific prepositions.
  2. Reading in French to review vocabulary.
  3. Practicing a cloze test by photocopying a paragraph and whiting out about twenty words. Later, fill in the blanks and compare your answers with the original copy.
  4. Purchasing Schaumm's Outlines French Grammar, Fourth Edition, Mary E. Crocker, 1999, ISBN: 0-07-013887-7
  5. Reviewing grammar books that you already have.
  6. Studying the 200 structures of the French language as outlined by the Ministry of Education in French, Core Programs 1980.