Mastering CELPIP Listening

Mastering CELPIP Listening Format and Tips: focus on how to master the CELPIP Listening activity, emphasizing the format and providing some tips.

Mastering CELPIP Listening


Mastering CELPIP Listening Format and Tips



Mastering CELPIP Listening:This blog will focus on how to master the CELPIP Listening activity, emphasizing the format and providing some tips. As you are aware, we will take the CELPIP test for various purposes, with many of you aiming for Canadian Immigration. While the IELTS test shares similarities, we will highlight some differences, primarily that CELPIP is conducted online, whereas IELTS requires in-person attendance at a language center. In CELPIP, you engage in the entire process online, which may pose challenges for some individuals who are not interacting with a human. However, others may find it more relaxing. The choice is yours.





With the CELPIP test there are four parts listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking in that order.

The test lasts for a total of three hours, so prepare yourself and ensure your comfort throughout.

Now, let’s examine the format: We will begin with part 1 through 6. The CELPIP test consists of four sections: listening, reading, writing, and speaking, in that specific order.




Part 1 through 6 encompass the listening section. Parts 4, 5, and 6 present more challenging content, featuring high-level conversations or monologues. In these parts, you will encounter a wide range of topics, including problem-solving, daily life conversations, information, news, discussions, and various viewpoints.

Part 1:  Listening to problem-solving

Part 2:  Listening to a daily life conversation

Part 3: Listening for information

Part 4:  Listening to a News Item

Part 5:  Listening to a Discussion

Part 6:  Listening for viewpoints

Each section contains multiple questions, and you will have approximately one minute per question, including the listening activity. Therefore, there will be a total of eight questions to answer within eight minutes.

It is important to note that although there are six parts, there is also a Part 7 that everyone will encounter. This additional listening part may come as a surprise, but it serves a specific purpose. Part 7 is actually a survey aimed at gathering valuable resources and information to enhance the CELPIP test. You will be actively involved in helping them improve the test, so there is no need to be alarmed when you come across it.

This is what it looks like: you should complete parts one and two, finish part two, and then review part two again. Don’t be surprised when you find yourself doing part two for the second time. Remember that the second time you do any of the parts, it will not be scored, so that additional one is unscored. Keep that in mind.

In total, including the seventh part, you will have approximately 55 minutes to complete everything, so make sure to work diligently.



CELPIP Scoring


The maximum you can achieve is 12, which will give you 38 points. There is a one-point-per-mark system where 30 points are allocated. You may notice that some marks carry over into two different levels. Specifically, we have 35 marks that contribute to level 10 and another 35 marks that contribute to level 9.

Why does this happen? It occurs because if the majority of your scores come from parts 4, 5, and 6, they will place you in level 10. On the other hand, if you have 35 scores and most of them come from parts 1, 2, and 3, they will assign you to level 9. That’s why it’s important to be cautious. If you are aiming for the highest number of scores, try to focus on parts 4, 5, and 6, even though it may be challenging.

There are some important points to note, and we will discuss them in more detail later. When it comes to listening, you only have the opportunity to listen once, so it’s crucial not to assume that you can go back and listen again, as this can cause difficulties. You will want to take effective notes, but we will delve into this topic further at a later time. I will provide you with some note-taking strategies, but remember not to overwhelm yourself with excessive notes. Aim to write concise, brief information such as keywords.

There will be three different types of questions, one of which is inferring. With inferring questions, you must gather information from what you can listen to, as the answer is not directly provided.

Let’s move to each part individually



Part 1-3


We group Part 1-3 together because they are quite similar. In Parts 1-3, we deal with multiple-choice questions. Pay attention to the process of elimination and if you’re unsure of the answer, start by crossing out the options that couldn’t possibly be correct, and then work your way towards identifying the best option, either A or B.

You will be given 30 seconds to answer each question. The audio clips for Parts 1 to 3 will vary in length, ranging from approximately one minute to two minutes. So, I believe it will be around one minute, one and a half minutes, or two minutes.

However, you still have 30 seconds to listen and answer. In Parts 1 and 3, you will listen to the speaker’s dialogue and then respond to the question. These sections consist of dialogues, which means two people are speaking, usually a man and a woman. The conversations are more casual and conversational in nature. Remember, in Parts 1-3, the focus is on problem-solving. For example, they may ask you a question like, “What do you want to have for dinner?” It will involve a conversation between two people deciding on a restaurant. The topics revolve around everyday life situations, such as a soccer team planning their vacation or someone asking for directions. So, these parts entail a dialogue between two individuals.

Part 1-3 begin with a very conversational tone and gradually transition into a semi-formal style. The information shared is mostly informal in nature.



Part 4



We are focusing on sentence completion in different format. You will encounter a drop-down and select the appropriate word to complete each sentence. Remember, you only have one chance to listen, so make sure to pay attention and choose your answer carefully. You have a total of five minutes to answer all the questions.

In this case, you will read the questions yourself and provide the answers. It will be a monologue, where one speaker, whether a man or a woman, will provide the information. We are transitioning to a more formal context. To prepare for part 4, the best way is to listen to the news. Part 4 revolves around news topics, which can be challenging for some due to the fast-paced, direct, and descriptive nature of news channels.



Part 5


Part 5 holds the most uniqueness. It comprises a video in which you will actively engage in sentence completion. You have a total of nine minutes to watch the video and respond to the questions. Remember, in Part 5, you must pay close attention to their appearance. They will identify individuals as the man in a blue sweater, the woman with glasses, or the bald man. Thus, you should keep your eyes open and focus on the video.

It is common for many people to prefer listening with their eyes closed, but by doing so, they may miss crucial information such as the identity of the man in a blue sweater or his statements. We are delving into formal information that includes specific details. Part 5 revolves around a discussion, and therefore, you will be asked various questions regarding the man’s opinion or what the woman with glasses expressed. Additionally, you will need to consider how she felt about it.



Part 6


In Part 6, we return to audio clips and sentence completion. You have a nine-minute timeframe to answer all the questions. Once again, it involves a monologue. Part 6 stands out as the most challenging section, focusing on viewpoints and people’s opinions. You will encounter a significant number of inference-based questions that can be quite difficult.

While listening to Part 6, pay close attention to the details. Additionally, during your engagement with this section, consider the following aspects:

What does all of this mean?

What is the audio about?

Are they talking about climate change?

Are they talking about a new bridge that is being installed in the city?

What are their opinions?

Does the speaker agree with this?

Does he or she disagree with this?

So this is what you are looking for because it is high level



Mastering CELPIP Listening





With each of the parts, Part 1-6, you will have three different types of questions:

General meaning questions

Specific information




General Meaning questions


The most basic questions are the general meaning ones. We are combining information from various sources, so in the audio, there might be references to two speakers discussing a topic or mentioning that a new construction sign will be placed on a specific road. Your task is to piece together the overall picture, as the audio can cover a wide range of topics.



Specification information


In terms of specific information, we are seeking dates, names, addresses, and other details that you can jot down. It is likely that you will need to take notes on these particulars, such as someone’s birthday or the name of a person’s grandmother.

During the discussion, you will directly address the information at hand. For instance, you may encounter statements like “The man’s job is…” which provide direct information for you to note.





Inference involves deducing information based on what you have heard, as it may not be explicitly stated. Your task is to actively listen and comprehend the conversation to understand the implied meaning. This can include discussions about feelings or predictions about future events. For instance, you might come across a statement like “the doctor will likely agree that,” requiring you to think about what the doctor would agree with, even though it was not directly stated.


Note Taking


When taking notes, it is important to be cautious about the quantity of notes you take. If you overwhelm yourself by bombarding with excessive notes or attempting to write down complete sentences, it will hinder your ability to listen attentively. Instead, strive to be an active listener rather than a passive one.

Except for Part 5, which involves a video, you can close your eyes and listen to the audio clips for the other parts. While doing so, try to visualize potential scenarios and think about them logically. This approach allows you to actively engage with the material. Keep your notes brief and in shorthand. You can use symbols or draw small pictures if it helps you quickly capture key information. However, remember to prioritize your memory and rely on it as much as possible. We are not naturally wired for multitasking, so focus on listening and committing information to memory. This approach will aid you in the process.


Mastering CELPIP Listening


How to Prepare


Prepare for many weeks before getting into the test. Focus on listening and engaging with people. Explore numerous podcasts available out there. Close your eyes, listen to the podcast, and ask yourself questions like: What was this podcast about? What was the main objective? Did the man agree with the woman? Develop your own questions and utilize topics from part 1-6, including daily life, news topics, and viewpoint topics.


Avoid reading the transcript while listening since that won’t be an option during the test. Immerse yourself in an English setting by being near English people. If possible, visit a coffee shop and casually eavesdrop. It may seem a little strange, but it’s beneficial for preparation. Watch a lot of TV shows, including the news, and strive to listen attentively.

You will perform very well in the listening section of the CELPIP test. This information is our main focus.

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Additional IMPORTANT CELPIP Listening Tips and Tricks!

  • Focus on Key Points: Pay attention to main ideas, important facts, and key details. Avoid getting lost in minor details that might not be crucial for answering questions.
  • Use Abbreviations and Symbols: Develop a set of personal abbreviations and symbols to take notes quickly. For example, use “&” for “and,” “w/” for “with,” or arrows to show relationships.
  • Structure Your Notes: Use headings and subheadings to organize information. This helps you follow the flow of the conversation and locate information quickly when answering questions.
  • Highlight Keywords: Write down keywords or phrases that are repeated or emphasized. These are often important and likely to be part of the questions.
  • Stay Calm and Focused: Keep your mind clear and avoid distractions. Anxiety can hinder your ability to retain information.
  • Predict Possible Questions: While listening, think about what kinds of questions might be asked. This can help you focus on relevant parts of the audio.
  • Practice Active Listening: Engage with the audio by nodding or silently agreeing. This keeps your brain active and helps with retention.
  • Review Notes Quickly: Immediately after the audio ends, quickly review your notes to solidify the information in your mind before looking at the questions.
  • Use the Five Ws: Focus on Who, What, When, Where, and Why. These elements often make up the core of the questions.
  • Practice Regularly: Regular practice with sample audios will improve your note-taking speed and accuracy. Use practice tests to simulate the exam environment.


All the best! 🙂