What is the Best Method to Prepare the DELF B2 Exam?

DELF French language examination

The DELF (Diplôme d’étude en langue française) is an official language examination for non-native speakers of French

The DELF B2 is adapted to upper-intermediate and advanced students of French

The exam will assess your language level based on the four skills: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Here is a description of the different parts of the test, along with resources to help you prepare for it.

1. READING COMPREHENSION – 1 hour / 25 points

You’ll have to study two documents and to answer various questions to test your comprehension. One text will be informative, such as a news brief or an article about some aspects of francophone culture. The other text will be on a controversial topic.

Reading practice

The best way to prepare for the reading part of DELF is to work on a variety of materials. Regular reading of French novels, newspapers and magazines will help you improve your comprehension of grammar structures and vocabulary.

2. WRITTEN EXPRESSION – 1 hour / 25 points

You’ll be given a document such as a letter, article, or review and you’ll be asked to give your personal opinion in approximately 250 words. Be sure to read the document very carefully and make sure that you understand the task given to you. Consider your intended audience: there’s a difference between writing a letter of complaint and a movie critique, for instance. Think about what you should say in your introduction, the different points you want to make, and how to draw a good conclusion.

Writing practice

Keeping a journal or writing short stories are great ways to improve your knowledge of French grammar structures and vocabulary. If you write a little bit every day, you’ll soon find that it gets easier. You could write about the following topics:

  • Personal experiences (vacation memories, meeting your best friend…)
  • Book reviews / movie reviews
  • Letters to the editor
  • Essays

You can train your French writing skills on these websites:

Le Point du FLE – Writing academic texts in French

Les travaux d’écriture – French writing exercises on various topics.

3. LISTENING COMPREHENSION – 30 minutes / 25 points

You’ll listen to two different French recordings:

  1. A short one (2-3 minutes, played once), typically an interview or piece of news, along with a multiple-choice questionnaire.
  2. A longer one (up to 8 minutes, played twice) speech, radio or TV show, documentary, etc., with multiple-choice and essay questions.

Take advantage of the short time you have to read over the questions so that you know what to listen for. Answer the questions accurately and don’t worry about writing in perfect French: you’ll be assessed more on comprehension than on expression.

Listening practice

You can and should practice for at least a few minutes every day: listen to the radio, watch TV and movies, talk to people. These two websites contain many audio and video documents:

TV5 Monde

Savoirs (RFI)

  1. ORAL EXPRESSION 50 minutes / 25 points

You’ll have 30 minutes to prepare a 10-minute oral presentation based on a short document. Then you’ll discuss your presentation with two examiners for 10 minutes.

Read the document carefully. Think very carefully about what is being said and what are the implications. You can agree or disagree with the author but in any case, you will need to use short quotations from the text and examples from the news to support your point of view.

Speaking practice

Obviously, you should practise with native speakers as much as possible – and preferably not the same two or three all the time. By speaking with a variety of people, you’ll become more comfortable with different speaking styles, speeds, and accents – which will improve your listening comprehension at the same time.

Official DELF B2 Sample Exams

You’ll find DELF sample exams, from level A1 to B2, provided with the transcript of the listening comprehension and the exam keys on the following websites:

CIEP

Fondation Esprit Francophonie – DELF DALF Suisse