Junior Cert French | Tips | Advice - Euro Languages College
Junior Certificate French
Junior Certificate French

Junior Certificate French

The Junior Certificate French exam is made up of 3 sections: Listening Comprehension (43.75%), Reading Section (31.25%), and Written Expression (25%).

The listening comprehension is divided into 5 parts. Read the questions first as they will give you a good indication of the subject.  Try to write an answer for each question and don’t panic, as sometimes sensible guesswork can lead to the right answer. 

  • Section A:  3 short conversations or recordings
  • Section B: Two people talking about themselves, mentioning topics such as family, pastimes, school, jobs etc…
  • Section C: 4 or 5 short conversations where you answer 2 questions on each and you will need to know numbers, time, money, dates and the alphabet.
  • Section D: A long conversation, this can be the most challenging section.
  • Section E: Usually something like a traffic report, news, accidents, sport results etc…


The written expression requires you to write a letter and a postcard or a message.  This will test your knowledge of different tenses, so you should make sure to learn these well beforehand.

The reading comprehension frequently has recipes and advertisements, short news items and an interview with a celebrity, musician or sports star.  To prepare for this, you should read as much French as you can: newspapers, magazines, websites etc.


Euro Languages College - Junior Certificate French Summer Course

Euro Languages College runs residential French Courses during the summer months in which students can live in an environment similar to the Gaeltacht for 3 weeks and gain valuable language skills before the sitting the Junior Certificate French exam.  The junior French course for 2012 will be run in Villiers School Limerick from Monday 25th June to Friday 13th July.                    


10 Key Recommendations for Junior Certificate French:

  1. Ensure that you learn the basic words including, for example, days of the week, dates, numbers, colours, hobbies, family members, clothes, directions, weather forecast, etc.

  2. Pay attention to accuracy of spelling and grammar. 
  3. Attempt every question on the paper as, even if you are not completely sure, you have a reasonable change of gaining marks. Even if your answer is not correct, you do not lose any marks.

  4. Read over the Listening Comprehension questions before the recording begins. It will then be easier to select the correct word or phrase once you hear the conversation.

  5. You don't have to understand every word in the Reading passages as you will normally need to identify only a particular word or phrase. Take the time to read through the texts carefully and always try to make some response.

  6. Try to find out as much as you can about France and other French-speaking countries. Get some French magazines aimed at teenagers, look up French sites on the Internet and watch French TV programmes if you can. This will increase your vocabulary and you will become accustomed to French sounds and accents.
  7. Always take time to read the questions carefully. Students sometimes answer questions that are not asked (e.g. they answer a “where” question as if it were “when”), or fail to notice important details in the questions.
  8. Your written work in Section III does not need to be very long. You should have enough room on the examination paper to fit in your postcard/note and your letter. Aim for quality rather than quantity.

  9. Know how to lay out a letter correctly and practise writing the opening and closing formulas.

  10. Remember that for the letter and postcard/note a direct, literal translation is not requried. The important thing is to communicate the point, even in simple language.                     



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