1:37 am

Diplôme de Français des Affaires, 1er Degré

For the past few weeks, I’ve been kind of antsy, and I couldn’t figure out if it was because of the impending Diplôme de français des affaires, 1er degré (DFA) or due to my upcoming relocation to Prague.

Well, I completed the DFA yesterday: it was mostly the DFA. (When I think about Prague now, I get a little tense, but nowhere near as unsettled as I had been.) In truth, it really wasn’t anything to worry about, and I’m confident that I passed. I didn’t do as well as I’d been hoping though: particularly on Tuesday’s written exam, there were some words and concepts that we hadn’t touched on in class, and I was obliged to guess. I had thought that perhaps nervousness was coloring my perception, but I’ve talked to some of my classmates, who confirmed my take.

The oral exam yesterday, though, was much less scary than I’d feared. The two examiners were both very non-threatening and the articles I had to work with were relatively easy. The English article was about the success of the owner of two Chicago-based pizzerias; the French article discussed the problems attached to the large number of people who live near the coast. (According to this article, 60% of the world’s population lives within 60 km of a coast.) The vocabulary wasn’t particularly complex, and I was able to sum up both articles easily.

It’ll be at least a month before I have my results. As I said, I’m confident that I passed: the threshold for passing is only 60 (out of 100). In fact, I’m even pretty sure that I’ll have managed a mention bien, which requires a score of 70. The real question in my mind is whether or not I pulled off a mention très bien, which requires at least 80. In the simulations that Mme Sainlos gave us in class, I consistently fell just below that level. On the one hand, Mme Sainlos suggested that our letters, résumés, and oral presentations would not be graded quite as strictly as she graded them, and on the other hand, this exam was harder than the simulations. So I just have to wait and see…

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