First Time Taking CELPIP? 

First Time Taking CELPIP? Don't Be Trapped! You should prepare for everything, including the environment, criteria, and materials, as they are different. Knowing these important things before the exam can prevent you from failing CELPIP like many others.


First Time Taking CELPIP? 


First Time Taking CELPIP? Don’t Be Trapped!


First Time Taking CELPIP? : If you are taking CELPIP for the first time, this blog is for you because many people go to the exam without realizing it is not a normal English exam. You should prepare for everything, including the environment, criteria, and materials, as they are different. Knowing these important things before the exam can prevent you from failing CELPIP like many others.


Sample Papers


When preparing for the exam, the first step is to search online for CELPIP sample tests which are much easier than the actual exam. People have reported scoring 12 on sample papers but only 7 on the real exam, indicating a significant difference. The real exam is highly challenging, with stricter marking criteria and time running fast. Scoring 7 on a practice test may only equate to a score of 5 on the actual exam. Therefore, it is crucial to perform well on practice tests or purchase them from our website or… courses as we offer challenging tests that will aid in preparing for the actual exam.


Intermediate Level


The word “Intermediate” is a suitable term as it is neither basic nor advanced, resulting in a CELPIP level of 6. This is crucial because many people need a score of 7 to pass the exam, which is considered better than average and intermediate.  Therefore to achieve a score of 8 or 9, one needs to perform almost flawlessly and to reach a score of 10, 11 or 12, a candidate must have no mistakes and possess a superlative vocabulary and use complex sentences.

A score of 9 denotes an extremely talented level similar to that of a PhD writer. It is important to note that a practice test score of 9 may translate to a score of 7 in the actual exam, and a practice test score of 8 may result in a score of 6 in the actual exam. Therefore, a CELPIP level of 6 will be considered an intermediate level.

It is also important to note that the reading and listening sections are easier than the writing and speaking sections. Hence, if one is scoring higher on the practice test, they should subtract one point for writing and two points for speaking, as they are more challenging.


Speaking Distractions


If one is taking the test for the first time or transitioning from IELTS to CELPIP, one may encounter a problem on exam day. When speaking, they will be surrounded by other people speaking simultaneously, which can be very distracting. Unfortunately, noise-cancelling headphones are not yet provided for the test. To prepare for this, one must practice speaking at home with distractions. One useful technique is to play the news in the background while speaking, which will help practice speaking while distracted. This is essential as the exam environment is highly distracting, and one must tune out others’ voices to focus on their speech. Therefore, it is crucial to be prepared for this situation as it is bound to occur during the exam.


Fancy Words


Fancy words hold great importance, and our YouTube channel contains several videos covering this topic. It is crucial to remember that CELPIP is not merely an English test, and one cannot expect to score well by writing a sentence without any mistakes.

For instance, in a letter, a basic sentence like “I hope you had a good day” will not suffice. Instead, advanced words like “magnificent” and “brilliant” should be used, along with adverbs like “extremely” and “beneficial,” to enhance the sentence. Our website, Hzad Education, provides templates with such advanced words, and our 15-hour course also contains a comprehensive list of such words and phrases.

A score of 9 is not easy to achieve, and one needs to be almost perfect while also using fancy words, phrases, and sentences. This level is equivalent to a near-PhD level in terms of CELPIP marks. To score a 9, one needs to possess extremely advanced English language skills, including vocabulary, punctuation, speaking, emphasis, and phrases. Therefore, ample preparation is crucial as scoring a 9 is challenging.


Ideal Practice time


 People who dedicate 4-5 weeks to preparation tend

to perform better than those who take less time.


Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)


The CELPIP reading and listening sections consist of multiple-choice questions, which is good news for many test-takers as they don’t need to search for specific words to fill the gaps. In case of time constraints, educated guesses can be made. However, a potential challenge arises from having to disprove three of the four options to prove the correct one, so it depends on personal preference whether this format is liked or not.




In CELPIP, reading comprehension requires full understanding. Unlike IELTS, where you can match keywords in the question to the passage, in CELPIP you must read the paragraphs separately and thoroughly. Even though you read only the relevant part for a specific question, you need to comprehend the entire sentence or paragraph. This is because some questions ask about the feelings or expressions of a person, or whether they support or oppose someone else. To answer these questions correctly, you must understand the overall theme, discussion, or message conveyed in the passage. Thus, you must read the entire passage, and cannot simply rely on identifying a few keywords to answer the questions.

In the case of CELPIP reading, you must read the entire passage to answer the questions, unlike IELTS where you can skip over certain details.




In CELPIP, the speaking section is distinct from IELTS as the latter generally involves questions related to personal opinions or experiences such as favourite colour or views on world peace. The focus is on individual life and it resembles an interview format. However, in CELPIP, much of the speaking test involves a more performative aspect.

In CELPIP, one needs to be a good actor as there are questions that require speaking to an imaginary person. For instance, you might need to talk to your friend about weight loss, discuss taking a day off with your boss, or even engage in a debate where you must give your opinion and three supporting reasons. In question number 7, for example, you have to argue and persuade the listener, using a passionate tone and emphasis. This requires a bit of role-playing and acting skills.  Also, you must assume you are conversing with another person, convincing them of your point of view. It’s not like an interview in IELTS.




In the listening section, you have to not only listen but also take notes. It should be called listening and note-taking as it is not just a listening test. If you have experience with IELTS, there is a difference in CELPIP. In IELTS, you answer while you listen to the questions in front of you, but in CELPIP, you also have a piece of paper to take notes while you listen. You use these notes to answer the questions later. If you don’t take enough notes, you won’t be able to answer the questions correctly. Note-taking is a major skill, and you must be fast as it requires multitasking. This presents a significant challenge, so make sure you are proficient and quick in taking notes using a pen and paper. Typing is not allowed, only pen and paper, the old-fashioned way.



CELPIP writing is similar to IELTS as it includes Task 1 and Task 2, each requiring about 150-200 words with not much of a difference.


Complex Sentences


To succeed in CELPIP, one needs to use complex sentences. It is a misconception that simple sentences will be sufficient and that just having good English skills will get you a 9 or 10. For those taking CELPIP for the first time, it’s important to understand that to make your way through to 9 or 10 you need complex sentences.  To learn more about complex sentences, there are plenty of videos available on our YouTube channel, which you can access through this link.

A complex sentence breaks a sentence or an idea into two parts.

For example: ”I love to eat apples but I can’t because the doctor said it has too much sugar”

“I am going to use ‘Although’ at the beginning of the sentence instead of making two sentences.”

“Although I love eating apples, my doctor told me not to since they have sugar. 

To make your writing and speaking more complex, you can use words like “Considering,” “While,” or “Whereas” at the start of sentences and combine two sentences into one. By using a mix of complex and simple sentences, you can score well in writing and speaking. It’s important to note that being free of grammar mistakes is essential.   Also using fancy and sometimes unnecessary words and sentences just to demonstrate your range of unique wordings and low-frequency expressions is necessary.

If you’re preparing for CELPIP, we recommend watching more of our videos on our YouTube channel. CELPIP is a challenging exam, but with proper preparation and effort, you can achieve your immigration and educational goals with this exam. We hope this information has been helpful.


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CELPIP ALL INCLUSIVE 10+ Course! 15 Hours!