We have developed free French quizzes and tests that are unique because they are audio driven.
Traditional French quizzes are all written based: written tests are easier because you have plenty of time to read and understand the question before you answer. Besides, there are lots of clues in the written questions.
To test your level of real-world French, you need to test if you are able to understand someone speaking in French: only audio recorded by a French native can do that.
Other French quizzes won’t provide the answer: they tell you when it’s wrong, or correct (maybe you guessed right!) but won’t explain you why. It’s so frustrating! This is why at French Today, we developed a special technology that allows us to give you a clear explanation right after you’ve submitted your answer. There’s even audio!
Oh… and something I hate! Many quizzes will only give you your score by email… A sneaky way to capture your email address and send you tons of unsolicited emails.
Don’t worry… this is not my style. You’ll get your score and then we’ll ask if you’d like to receive exclusive French lessons from us. Opt-in, or don’t… Your choice.
French Today unique audio French quizzes feature
Below, you will find three free French quizzes:
- Beginner French quiz – Check your comprehension of modern French
- French Level quiz – Find out your French level, your strengths and weaknesses
- French Number Quiz – how well do you really know French numbers?
Press on the buttons below to start the French quiz.
Take one, take them all, share them with your French teachers, on French forums…
Bookmark this page so you can take the quizzes again and again and check on your progress!
Beginner French quiz
Do you understand modern French? This beginner French quiz is designed to test your modern spoken French comprehension: French like it’s spoken in France nowadays.
10 questions recorded using today’s French pronunciation.
This French quiz will take you about 10 minutes to complete (without reading/ listening to the detailed answers)
French Level Quiz
Find out your French level!
You’ve been studying French for a while, but are not quite sure what your level is? Test your grammar, conjugation, vocabulary and idioms and find out your strengths and weaknesses in French.
18 questions recorded using today’s French pronunciation.
This French quiz takes on average 20 minutes to complete (without reading/ listening to the detailed answers)
French Numbers Quiz
No matter how good you are at French, there’s probably one thing that trips you up: French numbers.
This 10 questions French audio quiz is brutal… no written hints in the questions since the quiz is audio-based! Bookmark it and take the test again to see your progress!
And now, here is a heartfelt conversation I had with one of my followers about official French tests. I’m curious to see if you had a similar experience: please don’t hesitate to share your own experience in the comment section.
What’s Wrong With Official French Tests?
Many schools have specialized in language instruction. There are big names which dominate the French learning market: you’ll find at least one of these schools in each large city.
They offer a French placement test, “small” groups, promise a French immersion experience, great progress and will even give you a pretty diploma at the end of your stay.
One of my follower, Michael G., stayed in such a school in October 2019. He and I had a long heartfelt conversation about his experience.
He writes: “I had signed up for a 4 week intensive (25 hours per week) course in French. I was in both an A2 and a B1 class. I found myself looking at the clock on my cell phone more and more frequently as each day passed, hoping the class would be over soon and seeing how many minutes more I had to endure.
Finally, yesterday, I had a teacher who got in front of the class and chattered away in French so fast for the first two hours with me understanding almost nothing that I really wanted to leave. I kept looking at the door hoping I could go through it soon. After two hours I left during the break and did not go back for the last hour.
I also decided, as I walked in Paris after leaving the class, that I was just so miserable at  that I would not go back.”
I shared Michael’s experience in one of my newsletter and got an overwhelming number of responses from people saying that had pretty much the same experience. So I thought I’d write an article about it, share some of the comments, and brainstorm about the problem.
Why do large schools still teach French this way? Why are official French quizzes so hard? Here are some answers, thoughts, hypothesis… And tips to study French the smart way.
DALF, DELF and the regular CEFR tests
Sometimes, when I look at the official French tests, I wonder: “would most French people pass C2 ?”
To me the answer is clearly no.
(C2 being the level for proficiency according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) – the international standard for describing language ability.
Side note: you should follow this link just to see the language used to EXPLAIN what CEFR is… I can’t stop laughing… and hitting my head…
Official French tests such as DALF, DELF and the regular CEFR quizzes: these exams test French… the way they would test French for an elite of upscale, highly educated French natives!
French as a “foreign” language is a farce and no one seems to care that you are a foreigner, that you’ve forgotten the grammar you may have learned in school, or that many students are adults who would like to have fun in the process of learning French.
Two Foreign Languages in French Classrooms
Because of these French tests and language level standards, teachers can’t take the time to explain (and repeat) what students really need to understand: such as French grammatical terms and as a result, the teachers essentially speak two “foreign” languages in class:
- French and,
- the grammatical terminology that the students are too ashamed to say they don’t understand.
Let’s look at this as if you were trying to learn how to run… It’s not because you explain briefly to a person how to precisely place your foot to run that they can suddenly run a marathon (especially so when the instructions are given in a foreign language!).
Theory alone doesn’t work. You need to practice at a level that is right for you and allow time to develop muscles, endurance, etc… As I always say: “repetition is the key”.
Testing Way too High
Keeping with the running analogy… All joggers’ goal is NOT to run a marathon. That would be nice, sure, but most of us aren’t athlete. We are just common people who would be happy running a couple of miles, without cramping or being totally out of breath…
Imagine that all school tested at an Olympic athlete level.
Imagine if all trainers expected their clients to run a marathon by the end of the month, and trained them for that, without any consideration for their actual goal, physical shape, ability…
Unfortunately, I feel that’s what’s happening in most language schools… and if you can’t handle the training, then you feel like a loser when in reality, it’s the system which is way off.
Official tests will test your French skills and compare them to the ones of a French elite.
First of all, it’s a false representation of France (flattering, but false nonetheless). As I said above, I highly doubt most French people would actually pass the C2 French test. Yet, they are “proficient” enough in French, aren’t they?
Second, is it fair to compare you to a French native? Shouldn’t the tests evaluate how well you are doing AS A FOREIGNER learning French?
I feel this grading system is not only unfair, it’s also very discouraging. Students find themselves lingering between A2 and B1 forever, just because they weren’t cut-out (or simply don’t have the time to train) to “run marathons”.
Should a “common framework of reference” expect the common folks to perform like athletes?
Of course not!
Yet, they do, and everybody seems to find this perfectly normal.
It’s not like that in other hobbies… Take yoga, dance, music, painting… All these hobbies don’t necessarily push you to become the very best at it. So, why is it the case for learning languages? Why are we being judged so harshly? And why do we accept it?
Being a Smart French Student
It takes a lot of maturity to be able to “think out of the box” and actually take the time to research what the norm is… and decide for yourself whether it is what you want and need!
If you need to pass official French tests, then you should follow the norm… There is no way around it! And the large language schools are probably the best way to prepare you efficiently for these tests.
However, if what you want is to be able to communicate in French, or if you are learning French for yourself, for your own pleasure, maybe to travel to France one day… Then I would suggest you try alternatives such as immersions at a French teachers’ house, or private lessons by Skype. With the internet, there are also many resources to learn French for free.
Personally, I decided to rebel against the system… My À Moi Paris French learning method doesn’t follow the CEFR standard because I strongly feel the standard is not adapted to most English speakers’ goal.
I explain the French language rules using English. And before digging into French, I explain the English grammar so my students can understand the said rules.
Then I provide lots of level-adapted stories and record them at several levels of enunciation to prepare my students to understand both traditional and modern French. The method is very gradual, and relies on students doing a lot of repetitions. I use only the present tense for a long time: there is more to French than memorising tenses!
There will always be language geniuses who thrive in group style teaching. Good for them. To each his own. But if you are feeling let-down by the system, if you’re feeling stuck in the beginner case forever, know that you are not alone, and that there are better, smarter ways to enjoy French learning and progress.
As a start, I encourage you to read my article on how to learn French efficiently.
Feel free to share your own experience in the comments below. I’d love to read what you think!