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The DELF A1 Exam

What to expect and how to prepare for it

DELF A1 tests the most basic level at which a language is used, called the "discovery" stage.  At this stage, you need to be able to interact in simple ways. You'll be expected to be able to speak about yourself and your immediate environment.

DELF A1 Test Sections


Mark out of

Three or four very short recordings on everyday life (played twice), followed by questionnaires to test how much was understood.
Maximum duration of recordings: 3 mins

20 minutes


Comprehension questionnaires dealing with four or five written documents on everyday life.

30 minutes


Two-part test:
    - filling in a record, a form 
    - writing simple phrases (postcards, messages, stories etc) on everyday topics

< 30 minutes


Three-part test: 
     - guided conversation 
     - exchanging information 
     - role-play

10 mins prep then 5 - 7 mins


Exam duration : 1 hour 15 minutes

* Total mark out of 100
* Overall pass mark: 50/100
* Pass mark per test: 5/25

Next steps 

We can help you practise your DELF A1 French grammar to perfection - sign up for a free account to get your personalized study program based on your French level  test.

Our technology works out what you already know and what you don’t so that you can work through the curriculum at your own pace. 

Listen to sample recordings for DELF A1 listening section to get an idea of the difficulty of each level and the sort of situations presented. Or download a sample paper for DELF A1 here.

Don't forget, you can also take a look at our detailed A1 exam tips.

Practising CEFR French Levels A0 and A1 with Kwiziq French

If you're registered to take the DELF A1 exam and you want to really smash it, then you should perfect your French grammar first.  

We'll help you go into all the detail you need as well as giving you plenty of material to practise so when you get to the exam, you'll feel full of confidence.  

What do the CEFR French Levels cover? 

The CEFR levels go from AO up to C2. We’ll automatically test you on exactly what you need to work on, based on the stage you’re at, but if you're curious about what we cover, here's the detail.

Level A0 Grammar

Although there is a DILF exam to cover Level A0, it's only available to take in France.  Level A0 is really 'survival French' covering the absolute basics of the language.  Even if you're taking DELF A1 we strongly advise you practise and perfect everything in A0 as well, so let's look at that first:

A0 Nouns & Articles

We cover seven topics, including:

Using le, la, l' to say "the"
Using un or une to say "a"
Plural of "the" and "a" : les and des
To make most nouns plural, add -s at the end (unless it already ends in -s -x or -z)

A0 Adjectives and Adverbs

We cover six topics, including:

Adjectives (describing words) following c'est are always masculine
Adjectives in the feminine form usually take -e
Adjectives in plural form usually take -s
Position of Adjectives - usually placed after the noun
Position of Adjectives - common adjectives that go BEFORE the noun

A0 Numbers, Dates and Time

Numbers - how to express decimals
How dates are expressed in French

A0 Verbs and Conjugation

Je becomes j' with verbs beginning with a vowel (elision)
Le présent (Present Tense) - avoir, J'ai, Tu as, Vous avez
Le présent (Present Tense) - être, Je suis, Tu es, Vous êtes
Le présent (Present Tense) - aller, Je vais, Tu vas, Vous allez
Le présent (Present Tense) - faire, Je fais, Tu fais, Vous faites

A0 Forming Questions

Questions - Qu'est-ce que... c'est / c'est que ça/cela ?

A0 Pronouns

Say your name: Je m'appelle, Tu t'appelles and Vous vous appelez
Tu and vous are used for three types of "you"!

A0 Idioms

Avoir faim / soif : To be hungry / thirsty
Avoir chaud / froid : To be hot / cold
Avoir (nombre) ans : to be (number) years old
Say where you come from with je viens de
Il y a : there is/there are
Describing things with c'est (it is)
Say where you live with J'habite à


Level A1 Grammar

As you can see, there's a huge amount to cover in A1 French. You'd probably pass your DELF A1 exam knowing just a fraction of this, but since you can't know what you'll be tested on, you should practise as much as possible. Also, remember the exam is a means to an end: perfecting your A1 French is the real goal.

A1 Nouns & Articles

We help you practise 17 topics, including

When and when not to use le, la, les (8 topics, it gets complicated)
Contractions: à + le > au, de + le > du ...
Using du, de la, de l' to express "some" or "any" (2 topics)
Plural forms of nouns – special cases (5 topics)
plus 3 bonus topics

A1 Adjectives and Adverbs

How adjectives change according to gender and number (8 topics)
Formation of adverbs - regular Forms
How to expression posession (3 topics)
Plural of beau, nouveau and vieux
Adjectives following personne, rien, tout le monde, quelqu'un are always masculine

A1 Prepositions

Prepositions - locations: to/from general places: à, de
Prepositions - time: à
Prepositions - locations: chez
Prepositions - time: après, avant
Prepositions - relative positions: à côté de, en face de, en dehors de, près de, loin de
Prepositions with infinitives - noun + à + verb-infinitive indicates function
Prepositions - locations: dans, en
Prepositions - sur and dans are used differently to English for street and transportation
Prepositions - use à (to) and de (from/of) with cities
Expression of purpose: in order to
Prepositions - relative positions: dans, sur, devant, derrière, entre, sous
Prepositions - transport: à, en, par le
Prepositions - joining nouns – à means with/made with, but de is used with materials
Prepositions - use en with feminine countries and au(x) with masculine countries
Prepositions - joining nouns – à/de change the function/meaning

A1 Numbers, Dates and Time

Dates: from the ... to the
Numbers - large numbers
Formation of numbers from 70 to 99
Numbers - forming ordinal numbers
Numbers - arithmetic
Telling the time
Numbers - approximate numbers
Morning / Day / Evening - matin/matinée, jour/journée, soir/soirée
Numbers - ordinal numbers - differences in French use from English

A1 Verbs and Conjugation

Le présent (Present Tense) - Conjugation of Regular -er verbs
Le présent (Present Tense) - Conjugation of Regular -ir verbs
Le présent (Present Tense) - Conjugation of Irregular Verb avoir, être, aller, faire (4 topics)
Le Futur Proche Tense - Verb aller + infinitive
Verb basics - 6 forms for 9 pronouns and their meanings
Compound subjects are replaced with subject pronouns nous, vous, ils/elles
Reflexive Verbs - Futur Proche - aller + infinitive
Reflexive Verb - Present tense basics - s'habiller, se réveiller, se lever, s'amuser, se laver, se coucher (6 topics)
Le présent (Present Tense) - Conjugation of irregular verbs venir/tenir, prendre, apprendre, comprendre, etc (12 topics)
Le présent - Usage - differences between French and English use of the present tense (3 topics)

A1 Forming Questions

Forming YES/NO questions - three simple forms
Forming YES/NO questions - by inverting - present tense
Forming questions - by inverting - with names, things and emphasis
Forming YES/NO questions - by inverting - present tense special case: puis-je
Questions - qui, que/quoi, quand, où, comment, pourquoi, combien (who, what, when, where, how, why, how many) ?
Questions - What...? C'est quoi... / Qu'est-ce que...

A1 Negatives

Negation - simple tenses - ne... pas
Negation - compound tenses - ne... pas
Negative expressions - ne… jamais
Negative expressions - non plus
The partitive article – in negative sentences
Answering negative questions with Si and affirmative with Oui.
Negative expressions - ne … pas du tout

A1 Pronouns

Pronouns : ça
Simple cases of use - moi, toi, lui, elle (me, you, him, her)
Disjunctive/stress pronouns - simple cases of use - nous, vous, eux, elles
"He/she is..." and "It is"/"They are" (il/elle/ils/elles)
On can mean "we" (as can nous) and "one" and "people"
Indefinite pronouns - tout le monde
Direct/indirect object pronouns me/te/nous/vous
Demonstrative pronouns - c'est versus ce sont

A1 Idioms

Faire de / jouer à : how to talk about leisure activities
Jouer de : to play an instrument
Talking about the weather: using Il fait
Talking about the weather - il y a
Avoir peur de: to be afraid / to be scared of
Je voudrais versus je veux
Idiomatic expressions with aller: health (aller bien)
Idiomatic expressions with être: ça m'est égal, I don't mind
To like - plaire vs aimer
Idiomatic expressions with faire: cela ne fait rien
Avoir besoin de to express "to need"
Avoir mal à : expression of located pain
Idiomatic expressions with être: être à to express possession
Être en train de : expression of the Continuous Present
Expressions of timeliness - general
Idiomatic expressions with être: Ça y est
Faire les courses versus faire les magasins
Getting that for you now...