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The French are continuing to improve their TOEIC scores

The French have a reputation of not being very good at languages, especially English. However, year after year, candidates taking the famous TOEIC keep improving their scores. At least this is what the latest barometer on the French TOEIC level shows. We have summarised for you the key points of this study, including the profile of the candidates and the trends in scores over the last four years.

2018-2021: the average TOEIC score in France showed continuous improvement

ETS Global, the organisation responsible for the TOEIC, listed the average scores of the French between 2018 and 2021.

In 2018, the national average score was 719/990. The best results were observed in the 21-25 age group, with a score of 742/990. At the other end of the spectrum, the over-45s scored an average of 609/990.

In terms of the CEFR scale, the French scored B1 that year. The equivalence between the TOEIC scores and the CEFR scale is as follows :

  • <120 points : not evaluated (120 points being the minimum score)
  • 120 to 225 points : A1
  • 225 to 550 points : A2
  • 550 to 785 points: B1
  • 785 to 945 points: B2
  • >945 points : C1

💡 For more information on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, please read our article: All about CEFR language levels.

In 2021, the average national score rose by 14 points to 733/990. Among the candidates, students had the highest scores (768/990). Note that they were also the most numerous, as they made up 61% of the sample in 2021.

These results are quite impressive compared to our European neighbours, whose overall level is 697/990. It should be noted however, that some countries whose populations traditionally have a good level of English are not represented here (Scandinavian countries, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, etc.).

The TOEIC level in France: results according to the profiles of the students and professionals

Results according to the academic background

Thanks to the ETS Global barometer, we can see that TOEIC results were fairly homogeneous within the student population. In general, scores ranged from 581 to 796 points in 2021. The average level of English of the students was therefore between B1 and B2.

It is worth noting that candidates specialising in engineering and architecture achieved the highest scores. Finance, marketing and business students were at the bottom of the table, with a score of 698/990. This result was rather surprising, when we know that foreign languages, and especially English, represent a significant asset in these sectors.

➡️ To go further : The benefits of language training for your international business (and much more…)

Results by sector of activity and profession

Like students, working people obtained relatively similar scores, although there were small disparities according to the field of activity. For example, the lowest scores were found in the armed forces (569 points), while candidates in the service sector scored 735 points. And at the top of the ranking were two industries :

  • electronics (723/990) ;
  • vehicle manufacturing (717/990).

When looking at the different professions listed, workers in scientific professions (engineers, mathematicians, researchers, etc.) scored well. In 2021, their average score was 744/990.

Among the lowest ranked professionals were technicians (carpenters, electricians, plumbers, etc.), with a score of 580 points. It should be noted however, that their results improved year after year, as they scored only 555 points in 2018.

Taking the TOEIC: what are the reasons ?

Why do candidates take the TOEIC? The main reason for taking the TOEIC is to obtain a diploma as part of their studies (76%).

However, even if you are no longer attending university, you may still need to take the test. About 6% of the candidates had registered for a job application, for example. The test can also lead to new professional opportunities, such as a promotion. This was the motivation for 4% of the candidates in 2021.

What about you ? Why do you want to take the TOEIC ? Whatever your answer, our trainers will help you get the best possible score! As part of our language training courses, you will be prepared for the exam and its specificities. While waiting to start your course with us, don’t hesitate to read this article: 7 tips for successful TOEIC preparation.