In 2019, the creators of the DELF-DALF exams announced a few changes in the DELF-DALF exam formats effective from March 2020 for all exams except the DELF A1, which had started to use the new format at the end of 2021. This new format of the exam included a change in the exam pattern and question types to reduce the difficulty of correcting the exam. It also increased the duration of the exam so that the candidates have more time available to them to successfully complete each test section.
Difference 1: Question types in the test.
The new version of the DELF exams has completely removed open-response questions and replaced them with more multiple-choice questions. This means that there will no longer be true-or-false or short-answer questions in the new format of the exam. The reason behind this change is that open-ended questions like the ones in the old format are much harder to correct than multiple-choice questions. In the future, the DELF-DALF is likely to become a computer-based exam, making multiple-choice exams a critical part of the test. The multiple-choice questions in the current version of the test are usually slightly harder in difficulty than the ones in the old format. In spite of this, the options given for each question still remain at 3.
The DALF C1 and C2 will not feature a change in the question types of the exam and will retain the old question types.
Difference 2: The number of exercises in the test.
The new format of the DELF exam will have more exercises in the two comprehension sections (oral comprehension and reading comprehension) in the DELF B2. Instead of two exercises for each of the two sections, there will be three in the new format. Two of the exercises in the oral comprehension section will be based on a long radio program, and one will be based on a short radio program. For the reading comprehension section, two exercises will be based on informative or argumentative texts, and the other will be based on an opinion text where the candidate will need to understand the writer’s point of view
Difference 3: Duration of the test.
The new version of the DELF will also have an increased duration for all the B1 tests (including the DELF junior/scolaire and DELF pro versions). For the writing section, 10 more minutes will be allotted, increasing the duration of the test from 35 minutes to 45 minutes. This will result in the entire test increasing from 1 hour and 50 minutes to 2 hours. It is important to note that this change is only present in the DELF B1 version of the DELF-DALF.
Difference 4: Removal of speciality fields.
The DALF exams previously had two specialty fields (the sciences and the humanities) that candidates could select based on their area of expertise. The questions for the writing and speaking sections for the DALF C1 and the entirety of the DALF C2 were based on the selected speciality field. However, in the new format, this choice has been removed because the language skills needed for both are similar. Additionally, most candidates also chose the humanities over the sciences, effectively rendering the choice effectively useless. In the new format, the sections that were previously affected by the chosen speciality field will now have questions on both fields.</p>
If you are sitting for the DELF-DALF exams in the 2022–2023 session, you might still receive a test paper corresponding to the old format because some test centres have yet to implement the new DELF-DALF format. However, the increased duration of the DELF B1 and the removal of speciality fields in the DALF exams will still be in effect, even if you happen to get a test that follows the old format. That is why you must confirm the format of the test with your test centre at least a few weeks before the test so you can prepare accordingly.