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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, today I went to the place in Villejuif to have my French tested. I was called into the room with 2 other women and had a few pages to complete. The test was very basic but I botched the last part of it, which was to write a paragraph about visiting a company where I can buy an estate -I think! I did better than the other two in the class, even though they pulled out their phones to cheat...really people? I understand people want to get out of the classes but haven't they realized that google translate isn't that good for translating? They also kept asking me questions about parts of the test when the lady was out of the room. Each of us were called up to her desk where she went over our information and asked a few basic question in either French or English. I went last and she said she was actually surprised that I was sent there for testing. Besides the last part of the test, I showed that I was able to understand and write basic French. She talked to me in English sometimes, even though I told her we could speak in French. So, she would say something in English and I would respond in French, lol. She eventually spoke French when she realized that I would more than likely understand her.

The test consisted of filling out basic information like your name, address, cell phone number, your relationship status, and it even asked if I have a drivers license and if I own a car. I had to check the right answer, match pictures (I'm sorry but that is obviously too easy), finish the sentence, write a letter to my husband that I was going to be late and that he should cook dinner with this food and that food, show that I understand the numbers for the fire department, police, ambulance, and a 24/7 doctor or 24/7 pediatric doctor. She only gave me 150 hours, 4 days a week...so, I'll be going for about 5 to 6 weeks and then take the DILF. She said that I probably won't need all of the hours...These people were very, very nice. I really enjoyed talking with them, probably because they spoke slow enough for me to understand.

So, I'm not as bad as I thought I would be. What I don't get is that I'm either A1 or A2 and I'm still being given classes. I don't mind at all but just curious about why since I know enough.
 

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I think you are being required to do the classes purely because of the difficulties you experienced at your ofii appointment, i.e. that's where it became a requirement, which is unfortunate. Still, at least this experience seems to have improved your confidence!
 

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Good for you! I told you the test is pretty easy. Though there are those looking to get out of the classes altogether, and those who want to take the classes, but get passed out because they speak "too much" French. Sounds like you hit a happy medium.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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This is so crazy.. I speak almost ZERO French and got out of the classes just by speaking at the OFII. I still don't know how I pulled it off. Really, you probably speak more than I do. And I never heard anyone taking a test to take classes? I just hear people getting "this many hours" and that's it. Either way, I hope you were happy with the outcome.
 

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In Marseille, I did fine on the talking test but wanted the classes to improve my language. Unfortunately for me, here they focused on writing and reading, not talking. I tried to tell them I needed more speaking practice but they kept saying, if you can read and write you'll be fine. So not true unless you want to write down every thing you want to say when out in public lol.

Take advantage of the classes, the best thing that came out of it for me was a little better understanding on certain grammar issues and making some new friends.
 

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Hi, I'm currently doing these classes in Sophia Antipolis but finding it difficult as I can only go one afternoon a week, which makes it hard as it's not a fluid learning structure for me. I work full time so can't possibly make it more than one afternoon a week. They seemed to be surprised I could find work because it seems most people in this situation need the language to get work. Hoping by December when I have to do a test I've managed to catch up enough.
 

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You could always top up these classes with self-study using textbooks or internet for A1/A2 or whichever level you need to achieve. There are lots of free online resources, but when studying alone you need to be well disciplined. In any case, you generally need to commit extra study time to practice what you learn at the classes.

And there are tests available online so you can check that your progress against the required level.
 

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Yeah my wife and I are doing extra during the week, she helps a lot but it's never enough. My brain gets fried after an hour or 2.
 

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The french language test I took were actually similar to this (well honestly, almost exactly like this): Accueil TCF | Apprendre le français avec TV5MONDE

That is the link that the Alliance Française gave to me when I signed up to take the test (for nationality). That site helped me immensely. It really prepared me for the test because it goes by the same model that the test I took does.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
This is so crazy.. I speak almost ZERO French and got out of the classes just by speaking at the OFII. I still don't know how I pulled it off. Really, you probably speak more than I do. And I never heard anyone taking a test to take classes? I just hear people getting "this many hours" and that's it. Either way, I hope you were happy with the outcome.
Well, if you're in Paris they may be more lenient than the OFII offices in the suburb areas. I live in the southeast suburb of Vincennes and I had to go to the OFII in Villejuif. There are of course a lot of foreigners but I think many of them speak French already. I know that the East suburbs of Paris don't have as many Americans, British, Australians, etc as Paris or the Western suburbs do. I think my office was more strict on it though. It sucks but I'm actually looking forward to the classes now...just not the test.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yeah my wife and I are doing extra during the week, she helps a lot but it's never enough. My brain gets fried after an hour or 2.
I completely understand what you mean. After a few hours I need a rest. Since I like arts and crafts though I decided to go into Excel and make a chart of a BUNCH of vocabulary words (one side French and one side English) and print it out, cut each box and fold them in half so that one side is English and one side is the French translation. I used a paperhole puncher, separated the words into groups such as kitchen items, food, bedroom, make-up etc. and then I used yarn to tie them all together...I carry them around everywhere now bahahahaha. But I love doing stuff like that.

As everhopeful said, there is a lot of stuff online. You could probably even try duolingo.com and test yourself once in awhile. I kind of knew going into my test that my writing was stronger than my spoken because I took a few test online and always came close to B1. But I've been studying hard since April. My MAJOR issue is understanding spoken French...I understand my husband but only because he knows how to speak to me and probably because his voice is familiar to me.
 

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Spoken French (or any language) is always the toughie - and the one you won't really get until you force yourself out there. But start watching the 20h news on TV (or catch it online the next morning). You can run the individual stories as many times as you need to to catch the drift of what they're talking about and the pictures help in understanding stuff, too. (And then when you really can't get the story, you ask your French spouse, "What's this about ....?" and realize they probably don't really know, either.)

Or watch some of the quiz shows on TV. There's usually one just before the 20h news on TF1 - hokey as hell, but you'll realize that you actually know some of the answers that the contestants mess up, and that's always good for the old ego. Actually, the old "Password" game is on France 2 and that one is nice because it's one word at a time.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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I completely understand what you mean. After a few hours I need a rest. Since I like arts and crafts though I decided to go into Excel and make a chart of a BUNCH of vocabulary words (one side French and one side English) and print it out, cut each box and fold them in half so that one side is English and one side is the French translation. I used a paperhole puncher, separated the words into groups such as kitchen items, food, bedroom, make-up etc. and then I used yarn to tie them all together...I carry them around everywhere now bahahahaha. But I love doing stuff like that.

As everhopeful said, there is a lot of stuff online. You could probably even try duolingo.com and test yourself once in awhile. I kind of knew going into my test that my writing was stronger than my spoken because I took a few test online and always came close to B1. But I've been studying hard since April. My MAJOR issue is understanding spoken French...I understand my husband but only because he knows how to speak to me and probably because his voice is familiar to me.
When you get tired you absolutely need to take a break, or even come back to it the next day. Trying to take in more than you can cope with serves no purpose - OTOH your brain will actually be processing what you've been studying behind the scenes. The idea of really pushing yourself beyond your limits when studying is really only valuable when you're revising for exams, and even then I personally don't recommend it. To a certain degree you can let your subconscious do some of the work.
 

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The french language test I took were actually similar to this (well honestly, almost exactly like this): Accueil TCF | Apprendre le français avec TV5MONDE

That is the link that the Alliance Française gave to me when I signed up to take the test (for nationality). That site helped me immensely. It really prepared me for the test because it goes by the same model that the test I took does.
Carlene, that site is great! I've been getting freaked out about taking the French test for nationality because while I speak French fluently, I am a terrible test taker and I tend to way overthink things. So I am feeling relieved as I did well on that test (and as usual, the ones I got wrong were when I went against my first thoughts - someday I'll learn ... maybe, lol).
 

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I'm so glad you find the site helpful! When I applied to take my test the secretary told me to study on that site. At first I was like, um ok, but after looking at it, it really helped, especially the audio part. Because that gets you used to hearing a recorded voice that isn't always perfectly clear.
 

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I'm so glad you find the site helpful! When I applied to take my test the secretary told me to study on that site. At first I was like, um ok, but after looking at it, it really helped, especially the audio part. Because that gets you used to hearing a recorded voice that isn't always perfectly clear.
I have to admit I was kind of surprised that I got a really fantastic score on written comprehension (something that has always seemed to be my weak point in English), and I didn't do as well as I thought I would on the oral comprehension, but I also didn't immediately realize that it was a one-shot deal and you couldn't listen again. And yeah, some of the recordings don't seem to be great, and others seem to be mostly of people sort of rambling on ... How French, ha!

Do you know what kind of score you have to get in order for it to be considered sufficient? On the simulator I got a 70/80.
 

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I honestly don't remember. On the site it should tell you what level you scored also, like A1, A2, B1 etc. And for the official test you'll need at least a B1, which it sounds like you'll do fine. After the comprehension exam, you'll have an oral exam, basically a one on one talk with someone who will choose a topic and record it. When it is done, they send the recording along with the comprehension part to Paris to be evaluated.

Yes, the audio can be tricky and the audio during the exam is just about the same. If I remember correctly, sometimes the audio was a casual conversation with background noise. So sometimes you just have to listen for keywords/phrases.

Also I just remembered, during the audio test, it starts out easy and then gets harder towards the end. And yes I just remembered again lol, our examiner told us you have to get at least half correct (I think it was 15/30). So, since it starts rather easy, as long as you do well at the beginning, don't get too stressed about the last few questions which get harder/more complicated. Just answer the best you can.
 
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