A review of 7 free online French tests to test your French

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A review of 7 free online French tests to test your French

Would you like to test your French? There are many free online French tests out there on the Internet, but it’s difficult to know which ones are accurate. Here is a review of 7 of the most popular free evaluations of your French level found through Google.

French.About.com : http://french.about.com/library/weekly/bl-proficiency1.htm

French test About.comA very grammatically based French test that has a few sound bytes for listening comprehension. However, I heard an English accent a couple of times so it didn’t sound authentic. One question was asked twice. The beginner’s test is not really just for beginners, a few questions were really hard. The advanced test needs a knowledge of English grammar to understand the question, e.g. “What kind of liaison is between these two words?”. If you learned French in France, then it is impossible to answer this question even if you know the conjugation. Also, in the advanced version, there is no sound and a couple of the questions were wrong.

Specifications

Number of questions 50
Dynamic No
Save and come back No
Analysis of your errors Yes
Listening Yes
Writing No
Speaking No
Accuracy 60%
Links to lessons Yes
Answers by email No

Ryan’s Rating: I’d give this French test 3 stars out of 5. It doesn’t evaluate speaking nor writing. It is supposed to be for beginners but has some very hard questions and the advanced test has some easy questions. But I like the individual links to free lessons.

Babbel French Test: http://lp.babbel.com/d/ENG_tutorial.html?l1=ENG&l2=FRA&autostart=beginner&ch=SEM

Babbel French testBabel’s test is not really a evaluation, it’s actually a lesson. It’s quite short, but it’s fun to do as there are pictures, sound bytes by native French speakers to reinforce the answers, and they also use different ways of asking the same question (translations, listening, linking).

However, very annoyingly, at the end you don’t actually get an answer, you are tricked into signing up for a free account to learn French instead. It is a complete con because you don’t get the results you were promised and it gives you no desire to do their lesson.

Specifications

Number of questions 25
Dynamic No
Save and come back No
Analysis of your errors No
Listening Yes
Writing No
Speaking No
Accuracy 0%
Links to lessons Yes
Answers by email No

Ryan’s Rating: ½ a star out of 5 for this French placement test. Avoid if you don’t want to get conned into starting a course you never wanted in the first place.

BBC French Test: http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/french/gauge/

BBC French testThe BBC French test is quite complete, and it evaluates all 4 main skills: reading, speaking, listening and writing. You can choose your level from beginner, post beginner, and intermediate. This French test also details your progress and tells you your score on each skill at all times. Visually, it is pleasing to the eye, and as it is varied, it is quite fun and the time passes quickly. The only weaknesses are that you are not shown the correct answers and so it is difficult to know how accurate it is. I got several writing answers wrong and I’m still not sure why. The speaking test is based on self assessment, whereas some tests use vocal recognition software, but for me that’s not a bad thing as so few tests bother to even try to have this skill.

Specifications

Number of questions 16 sections
Dynamic Yes
Save and come back No
Analysis of your errors No
Listening Yes
Writing Yes
Speaking Yes
Accuracy 80%
Links to lessons Yes
Answers by email No

Ryan’s Rating: 4 stars out of 5. This French test is not bad at all and worth trying (that the BBC says is no longer maintained). It is the only one I reviewed that evaluates all 4 basic skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking).

Language Level: http://www.languagelevel.com/french/

Language Level French Test

This French test is quick and quite accurate for such a basic placement evaluation. It is only has multiple choice and 20 questions. Sadly, the results are given in French (not very useful if you’re a beginner). The levels shown are based on the  CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages – click here to find out more).

There is no listening, speaking nor writing. However, if you redo the test, there are different questions.

Specifications

Number of questions 20
Dynamic Yes
Save and come back No
Analysis of your errors No
Listening No
Writing No
Speaking No
Accuracy 60%
Links to lessons No
Answers by email No

Ryan’s Rating: 2 stars out of 5. Quick and painless, but you don’t get much information provided on your level and it tests only grammatical knowledge.

France Langue: http://www.france-langue.com/learn-french/online-french-test.html

France Langue French Test

This French placement test is also quick and fairly accurate. It is also only based on multiple choice and has 20 questions. The results are given as a percentage. There is no listening, speaking or writing.

The serious fallback is the results page that is just given as a percentage so it is very difficult to understand what level your are at and what you need. Also, the percentage result blocks most of the text, so it’s very basic and not well made. This test is essentially there to offer you French classes in Paris.

Specifications

Number of questions 20
Dynamic No
Save and come back No
Analysis of your errors No
Listening No
Writing No
Speaking No
Accuracy 40%
Links to lessons No
Answers by email No

Ryan’s Rating: 1 star out of 5. It’s quick but the information it gives at the end is fairly useless. It only evaluates your grammar level, nothing more.

Campus Langues: http://tests.campuslangues.com/testenligne/ajouter/fle

Campus Langues French Test

This is a very long multiple choice French test that gets more and more difficult as you go on. In my opinion, it does get boring as there is no variety. However, there is a small writing part at the end where you have to describe a photo.

Campus Langues want to sell their French lessons to foreigners, but surprisingly all of the results and ensuing emails are in French too. This is a shame, as the test is quite accurate due to it’s length and increasing difficulty. You have to enter your contact details to get the results.

Specifications

Number of questions 101
Dynamic No
Save and come back No
Analysis of your errors Yes
Listening No
Writing Yes
Speaking No
Accuracy 75%
Links to lessons No
Answers by email Yes

Ryan’s Rating: 3 stars out of 5. I’ll give this 3 stars because they make the effort to make it accurate, they use the CEFR, and there is a writing component. However, it’s just too long and so I got bored.

CNED: http://www.campus-electronique.tm.fr/TestFle/

CNED french test

The CNED French test is based on a story regarding two friends meeting up in Paris. There are 14  sections, each one very different, and it evaluates writing, reading and listening in different ways. Your attention is kept because you recognise the characters and you want to know what happens next.

Annoyingly, the results are in French. They are based on the CEFR scale. However, it is very easy to access each section afterwards to see where you went wrong. It also proposes the possibility of customising the results by entering your contact details but this didn’t didn’t work for me.

Specifications

Number of questions 14 sections
Dynamic No
Save and come back No
Analysis of your errors Yes
Listening Yes
Writing Yes
Speaking No
Accuracy 95%
Links to lessons Yes
Answers by email No

Ryan’s Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5. This is my favourite French test because of the story behind the evaluation, because of the efforts to test different skills and because of the good access to the errors to see where you went wrong. Very much worth a go – it is accurate and useful. The only shame is there is no speaking and the results are given in French.

French Test: www.french-test.com

French TestThis is a site set up specifically for evaluations in French. Please note that you can’t do anything before you register. 82 questions of increasing difficulty are proposed, all of them in various types of multiple choice.

The business model of this site is based on first of all ensuring they’ve got your contact details, second of all being able to analyse your results compared to others in their database (they ask you a few personal questions) and then offering you a free report, a paid in-depth report or some training based on your level.

Specifications

Number of questions 82
Dynamic No
Save and come back No
Analysis of your errors Yes
Listening No
Writing No
Speaking No
Accuracy 90%
Links to lessons Yes (paid)
Answers by email Yes

Ryan’s Rating: 4 stars out of 5. This French test itself is a bit boring but it is accurate and useful. There is no speaking but the real strength is in the reports afterwards which are tailor made for you. Worth a go, perhaps even for the paid components, which are very reasonably priced.

That’s it for now. If you have any thoughts on these tests, I’d be happy to hear them, and if you’d like me to review your test and add it here, then please contact me at ryan@lovefrance.info. Ditto for the long list of French programs here.

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