Do you need to pass the OQLF exam to work in Quebec? Doctors, lawyers, pharmacists, veterinarians, accountants and other professionals need to pass the OQLF exam if they want to practice in professional orders. This exam allows them to prove they have enough knowledge of French to practice their profession. How to pass the OQLF exam? Here are some tips for a stress-free French exam.
What Is the OQLF Exam?
The professional orders of Quebec can only deliver a permit to people who have demonstrated a certain level of the French language. If you have attended, on a full-time basis, at least three years of secondary or post-secondary education taught in French, if you have passed exams in French as a mother tongue in the fourth or fifth year of secondary school or if you have obtained a secondary school certificate in Quebec (as of the 1985-86 school year), you don’t need to pass the OQLF exam.
But if you have not taken French studies in Quebec or if you have not taken French exams before, you will need to take the exam of the Office québécois de la langue française (or OQLF), which is necessary to qualify for a permanent license to practice your profession in Quebec.
The OQLF exam (which is free) takes about three and a half hours. It consists of four parts: oral comprehension, written expression, written comprehension and oral expression. To pass this exam, you must obtain at least 60% of correct answers to each skill tested.
What Is the OQLF Exam About?
The OQLF French exam takes the form of a case study related to the professional context. The main task is to analyze a given situation with the collaboration of other members of the same professional order in order to arrive at a solution.
Part one of the OQLF exam (written comprehension) : The first part of the exam is individual and lasts 15 minutes. You have to read two texts about a study case, in order to understand the context (which is the same for all the students) and a sheet tailored for you. You have to understand all the information in order to participate in the second part of the exam.
Part two of the OQLF exam (oral comprehension and oral expression) : At this point, you join a group conversation with people from the same profession. Since each person had specific information in the first part of the exam, you have to discuss the new information as a group. It lasts from 20 to 60 minutes. You’re allowed to take notes, which will be useful for the third part of the exam.
Part three of the exam (written expression) : With the information from your documents and from the discussion you just had, you need to write a text (between 150 and 200 words) in which you’ll expose your solution for the case study. You have one hour to write it.
Part four of the exam (oral comprehension and oral expression) : In this last part, an assessor will meet you one-on-one for 15 minutes, and give you further information on the case study. You need to explain to him the professional approaches you would recommend.
During the exam, it’s very important to participate actively in the discussion, but also let people express themselves.
How To Pass the OQLF Exam?
Are you stressed about the OQLF exam? You don’t need to be. With the right tools and a good motivation, you can improve your French skills and review what you have learned in order to be fully ready on the day you take the exam.
Since the OQLF exam verify your oral comprehension, written expression, written comprehension and oral expression, you first need to check your skills in each domain. You can speak French easily but you still make written mistakes? Focus your lessons on the written expression and write some dictations. If your written expression is good but not your oral expression, take some time to have long conversations with French people or with a private tutor.
Don’t review your lessons one week before the exam! To avoid any stress, you should work on your French skills for a few weeks or months before the D-day. Do some online exercises, use a learning app like Babbel, learn vocabulary lists focused on your professional field, watch some French movies or TV shows, talk in French, and take some online courses with a French teacher. To pass the OQLF French exam, you have to feel confident speaking and writing in French. It will be easier if you try to immerse yourself before the exam.
Finally, within 10 working days of the exam, you will receive a letter indicating the results, as well as the feedback presenting aspects to be improved. If you’ve passed the exam, you will also receive a certificate from the Office. Congratulations!