How did you prepare for the exam?
Do you have any advice/tips that you wish you knew earlier when you sat the DALF C1 exam?
How have you been studying French for?
Did you set any DELF exams prior?
What prep books did you use and would you recommend them?
Did you use a tutor to prepare for the exam?
Thanks for your questions
1) How I was preparing: I looked through sample exams to know what is expected. I read a lot and I watched French TV programs and TV series to get used to the language. I was studying in Belgium for 10 months which helped me a lot - I got used to write academic texts, to read long texts quickly and to understand spoken language. I know you maybe don’t have such a possibility - but I think that watching a lot of TV programs and listening to a lot of podcasts would help you. Before the exam, I listened to France Culture podcasts - it’s the kind of podcasts used in the exam. But you can use any similar podcasts - about "serious" topics (economy, science, ...), quickly spoken language. I also wrote an essay on any topic I read about (from the news etc.).
2) What I wish I knew earlier:
- The exam (or at least production écrite and production orale) is really not only about the language, but (mostly) about your ability of thinking about any topic. If you look at the evaluation criteria, you can see that you get as many points for your argumentation as for grammar and vocabulary. But if you don’t have any idea to write or to say, you won’t get any points for grammar or vocabulary, because you won’t say anything. The speaking part lasted 30 mins. The examinators had a lot of counterarguments for any idea I had, they had many questions about other aspects than I had prepared.
- The exam is quite exhausting. The épreuves collectives lasted 4 hours without any pause
We could go to the toilet during the exam, but you have only those 4 hours. It is really exhausting to concentrate during 4 hours...
3) I sat DELF B2 5 years ago.
4) I didn’t use any prep books for DALF. I used Vocabulaire progressif avancé
and Grammaire progressive avancé
to abetter my vocabulary and grammar. I like those books and I can recommend them. I used also Alter Ego 5
. It’s not a book for DALF, but there are some "sample pages" - that don’t have much in common with the exam. But it is really good to enrich your vocabulary.
I think I looked through Réussir DALF C1/C2
or something like that. From what I remember, there were a lot of exercises that were useless for the exam.
5) I attended a conversation course to abetter my spoken language. It is important that you concentrate on the skills you need for the exams, ie. on speaking about some topic, presenting your arguments from different points of view etc. If you don’t have any experience with writing essays in French, find someone who corrects your texts and tells you how to write them better. I only used Lang-8 to get spelling and grammar checked, but I wrote quite a lot of essays in Belgium.