French Leaving Cert Guide

Exam breakdown and marking scheme

The ultimate French leaving cert guide

Table of Contents

Exam Breakdown and Marking Scheme

The French Leaving Cert paper is structured to assess students’ proficiency in various linguistic skills and their comprehension of French language. This comprehensive examination consists of different sections, each designed to evaluate different aspects of language acquisition. The exam includes oral, reading comprehension, writing, and listening. Each section is explained in detail in the table below.

French Leaving Cert Marking Scheme and Exam Breakdown

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French Oral Exam - 100 marks (25%)

The French oral exam, a vital component of the Leaving Cert assessment, serves as a platform for students to demonstrate their spoken proficiency in the language. Conducted in a one-on-one setting between the examiner and the student, this examination evaluates the student’s ability to communicate effectively in French. The oral exam typically consists of a series of tasks that assess various aspects of oral proficiency, including pronunciation, vocabulary usage, structure and communication.

Practice questions in French here

Read here important sentences to communicate with the examiner.

Topics: (2024 same as 2023)

Oral French Examination 2023

The French Oral examination will consist of an interview.

During this interview, candidates will be asked a number of questions. These will include a question or questions on each of the following topics:

1. Ma vie quotidienne

2. Ma ville / Mon quartier / Ma région

3. L’avenir

Sample questions

Please note that the sample questions below are for illustrative purposes only.


Candidates will still also have the option of answering questions on one of the following types of material which they have worked on:

Candidates who avail of this option will be required to bring the material into the examination room. Texts in languages other than French will not be acceptable.

Full course questions and answers practice here

French Reading Comprehension - 120 marks (30%)

French Written Production - 100 marks (25%)

Listening Comprehension - 80 marks (20%)

Practice your ear:

Ecouter du français (

Past papers (aural) and marking schemes: 

State Examination Commission – Exam Material Archive 


Key Dates and Deadlines

Saturday 23rd to Thursday 28th March 2024 – Leaving Certificate Oral Examinations in Irish and French

Wednesday 12th June 2024 French – Higher and Ordinary

Written 9.30 – 12.00

Aural 12.10 – 12.50


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