This is the second in my series of How to Pass the DELF B2 exam.
As you may have read in my previous post DELF B2 – a personal triumph I recently took and passed the DELF B2 exam. Here I give you my tips for how to do the same. I found there is a severe lack of blog posts detailing peoples’ personal experiences. I hope to save you time and stress so you can focus on the study.
Get a teacher
If you’re studying alone like me having an online teacher is a great idea. For me it was invaluable. Having someone to ask the plethora of questions you have regarding your progress, direction of study, or simply for extra speaking practice is crucial.
Go to italki of which I have been a fan for a long time now. You can search for teachers, tutors or language partners. I talk more about it in my previous post about 5 great online language learning resources. For the DELF B2 you should take the following steps (once you’ve created an account):
From any page on italki, select Find A Teacher at the top.
Then filter your search by selecting French as the taught language.
Further filter the search by selecting Tags and Test Preparation. DELF will then appear underneath if you have selected French as your target language.
You now have the choice between Teachers and Tutors. Teachers are professionally qualified and hold one of many possible qualifications. Tutors are native speakers who love to share their language. They cost less, and I’ve had very good experiences with this option. However, as we are preparing for the DELF I advise you to go for a professional teacher.
Who did you choose?
If you’d like to go by my recommendation or at least start your search from there, I chose a teacher called Jean. Here is his italki teacher profile.
Get the right book
It’s good to have a text book to work through. When I first embarked on my quest to pass the DELF B2 I was overwhelmed with all the material I found online. The problem was that I didn’t feel any one place offered me all I needed or was clear enough. The book I settled on? Voilà: Réussir Le DELF B2 (link to Amazon). It’s the book I settled on (recommended by my italki teacher Jean), and it comes highly recommended by reviews online, namely Amazon because that’s where I typically buy from.
Réussir Le DELF B2 book is the official book of the DELF B2 exam. It guides you through each competency with helpful information and activities throughout to prepare you for the exam itself. What I found most useful were the audio activities. There are almost 50 activities to help you identify the message, the context, the tone, and the style of speech. So even when you are not sure you’ve completely understood what’s said, you know whether it’s an interview, questions are being asked, or statistics are being given, etc.
Practice every day
This goes without saying, but the DELF B2 is a tough exam. The most notably difficult part is the listening. Therefore you need to be regularly exposing yourself to the language (your eyes and ears that is). This was the part of the exam that I almost failed. So it’s imperative you don’t take this section or any other for granted. Study, study, study. I’ve included some resources at the end of this post. Above all use the activities in the DELF B2 book. For speaking, schedule language exchanges and lessons with your italki teacher.
Go Public With Your Goal
Use somewhere to publicise your goal. This will give you further motivation if you feel there’s a chance you’ll quit. For me, I wanted it enough. However, I still went public with my goal to pass the DELF B2 by a certain date by posting it on the Fluent In 3 Months forum. You can read similar stories of people striving to reach their own objectives. This can help with concerns, queries, and a place to voice your thoughts as you study alone!
Here’s my own thread. I was quite stressed out as you can see! But I received some great advice and links.
- The daily news summary on RFI Français Facile. A 10 minute summary of world news, at a fast, but for B2 students, challenging pace.
- Listen to podcasts. In the past I have enjoyed Coffee Break French and I paid for a subscription of FrenchPod101.com. I would suggest their Upper Intermediate courses for DELF B2 students.
- Online activities such as those on TV5 Monde. Don’t worry if you find these very tough. Just listen several times and get as much information as possible without being too specific and losing track.