The DELF B1 is an internationally recognised French language exam that tests your ability to communicate effectively in French. It is a mid-level exam that requires a certain level of language proficiency. Passing the DELF B1 is a common language goal for intermediate French learners. As a French teacher, I have helped several students pass their exam and over the years, I have gathered tips and tricks on how to succeed. 

Are you aiming to pass the DELF B1 soon? Here’s exactly how to get there!

Read until the end to read my number one advice to ALL MY STUDENTS!

    1. Understand The Exam Format

The exam consists of four parts: listening comprehension, reading comprehension, writing, and speaking. 

The listening and reading comprehension sections are multiple-choice questions. 

The writing section requires candidates to write a letter or an essay. 

The speaking section is an individual oral test, where candidates are asked to talk about a given topic, and also engage in a dialogue with the examiner.

For multiple-choice questions, there is one solution: practice, practice, practice. Find as many DELF B1 Past papers as you can, and do them all. With time, you will understand how the questions are asked and how to answer them. 

Also, make sure to take the time to READ THE QUESTIONS. Everything is in French. If you don’t learn the words that come up the most often in DELF questions, you will struggle on the day of the exam. 

Each section is scored out of 25, and the total score required to pass the exam is 50 out of 100. The duration of the exam is around 3 hours, and it is conducted under the supervision of a qualified examiner. 

Overall, the DELF B1 exam is a comprehensive test that assesses the candidate’s ability to communicate effectively in French, both in written and oral form.

    1. Don’t ignore any part. 

Even if your writing is stronger than your listening, it doesn’t mean you should ignore the former and solely practise the latter. All parts of the exam are equally important and you should practice ALL OF THEM

For the writing:

* Write answering different questions and DO NOT CHECK ANY WORD. If you don’t know it, write it in English or with other words.

* Proofread

* Check and correct what you can

* Rewrite it / Type it out

* Post it on an app like Hello Talk or send it to your tutor to have the perspective of a native

For the reading:

* Read for long periods of time, without checking words

* Try to sum up what you’ve read after a few paragraphs or pages

For the listening:

* Do dictations (listen and write what you hear) 

* Practice Mirroring and Shadowing (listen to natives and repeat what they say as closely to what you hear as possible)

* PASSIVE LISTENING ALL THE WAY (Live as if you were in France and surround yourself by French when you are cooking, cleaning, at the gym etc)

For the speaking:

* Record yourself answering different questions

* Relisten (I know, it’s not the most pleasant)

* Check and correct what you can

* Re-record

* Post it on an app like Hello Talk or send it to your tutor to have the perspective of a native.

    1. Write down your mistakes

Learning a language comes with making mistakes, that’s part of the game. It can be frustrating but accepting mistakes is essential to learn a language. 

When preparing an exam like the DELF B1, it’s key to keep track of your mistakes to avoid repeating them. 

Get a notebook that’s solely for your previous mistakes and review them once every week or so to keep the information fresh. You can also get my extensive vocabulary list (it comes in 5 colours!) that you can use in digital form or print it. 


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      1. Ask for help. 

    There is nothing wrong in asking for help. The DELF B1 is much more challenging than the A2 and it’s okay for you to feel like you can’t do it alone. 

    Hire a tutor or teacher who has knowledge on the topic and will help you achieve your goal. 

    You can book a trial class with me and get $10 off (meaning your trial class will be FREE!!! And you will get a discount off your 20-class-course). Or you can choose any another French tutor from Amazing Talker, the trial class is still on me!

    As full-time teachers, we know the DELF B1 syllabus, its structure, and have access to resources that you probably don’t. Investing in a short course and passing the DELF on the first try will end up being cheaper than having to take it again, right? 😉








      1. DELF B1 Common Topics

    Do one topic at once but know which topics come back often. 

    Divide your studies into those topics. Each week (depending on how long you have before), go through of the topics and practice writing, speaking, reading, and listening. Add a bit of grammar practice as well into that, and that’s your plan ready! No need to do anything else. 

    Once you’ve gone through all the topics once, you can start reviewing by yourself or with a tutor. You can also find a language partner or using great translation tools for self-study

    If you read the DELF B1 syllabus, you will see it is divided into various topics.

    Common topics in the DELF B1 exam in recent years: 

    * Technology and media (since 2020: remote work and digital nomadism are on the rise!)

    * Climate Change and the Environment

    * Your country vs France (French culture and yours, similarities and differences)


      1. Keep It Simple.

    This is my number one advice for any learn of any language: Keep it simple and correct rather than complex and wrong.

    What I have noticed among many of my students is that they tend to use every grammar point, every linking word, and every complex vocabulary they have learned in one single sentence. There’s no point in doing so. B1 is still a lower-intermediate level. You are not asked to create complex sentences, especially if you don’t master them. FRENCH GRAMMAR IS HARD! Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Keep it simple.

    In the writing part, always start with simple SVO sentences, and build it as you go by adding additional information. 

    Let’s take an example. You want to talk about recent changes in your country. 


      1. Start with a simple sentence: 

    Les prix ont augmenté.
    Prices have increased.
      1. Add elements of frequency, time, and place. 

    Ces dernières années, les prix ont augmenté dans mon pays.
    These past few years, prices have increased in my country. 

    3. Add any extra information. 

    Ces dernières années, les prix ont augmenté dans mon pays et beaucoup de gens en souffrent.
    These past few years, prices have increased in my country and many people are suffering because of it.

    4. Make it more precise and improve your vocabulary. 

    Depuis 2020, les prix se sont multipliés dans mon pays et les personnes à faible revenu en souffrent largement.
    Since 2020, prices have multiplied in my country and lower-income people are largely suffering because of it.


      1. Use past papers 

    To prepare for the DELF B1 exam, it is important to take practice exams. Practice exams will give you an idea of the exam format and help you identify areas where you need to improve. You can find practice exams online or buy practice exam books. Here are the two books I use with my students who are preparing the exam. Of course, this goes after going through the individual topics, as stated in point 5. 




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