10 CELPIP Test Strategies

Here are some strategies for use before and during your CELPIP Test!
Written by the CELPIP Tests: Canada’s leader in English language proficiency tests for immigration purposes (permanent residency, citizenship), study, and professional designations.

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10 CELPIP test tips

1.  Practice using a computer

The CELPIP Test is fully computer-delivered, so ensure that you are comfortable with a mouse and keyboard. Practicing with CELPIP’s free online sample test and free online practice test are good ways to familiarize yourself with this format. The practice tests include instructional videos and other user interface features found in the official test.

2.  Manage your time during the test

During the test, you will see a timer on each screen, telling you how much time you have remaining for that section. Keeping an eye on these timers can help you gauge how to pace yourself throughout the test. Make sure that you answer every question before your time is up. You will not be deducted marks for incorrect answers.

3. Take notes

While taking the CELPIP test, you will be provided with notepaper and a pen. You may use these to take notes at any point in the test, though you may find it especially useful to outline some ideas for your Speaking or Writing responses. It’s also a good idea to take notes about main ideas and specific details during the Listening Test.

4.  Focus on what you know

You may come across some difficult words in a Listening or Reading passage. Do not get stuck worrying about words you don’t understand. Focus on the general meaning and the parts of the passage that you do understand. Sometimes it is possible to understand a new word based on your knowledge of the words that are around it.

5.  Use a variety of reading strategies

You don’t have to read every single word in a passage to successfully answer questions on the Reading Test; instead, use reading strategies such as skimming and scanning. These may help you with some of the simpler questions, leaving more time to spend on the more difficult questions.

6.  Use a wide range of vocabulary and grammatical structures

Try to show the range of your vocabulary in your writing and speaking. Avoid using the same words over and over again. You do not need to memorize the dictionary — just use words that would be natural in daily life. Remember to use varied grammatical structures and construct sentences that differ in length and complexity.

7.  Speak clearly and at a natural pace

During the Speaking portion of the test, speak clearly into the microphone, which should be close to your lips but not touching them. It is natural to speak quickly when you’re nervous — try to slow down and speak at a normal pace.

8.  Don’t worry about your accent

The test raters are trained to disregard accents. Unless your accent prevents you from being understood, do not focus on it. Instead, concentrate on using good grammar, providing complete answers, and using accurate and varied vocabulary in your responses.

9.  Check your writing

If you have any time left over while completing the Writing component of the test, spend a few minutes reviewing your writing. Use the spell check feature and ensure that you have no typos that could impact the clarity of your response.

10.  Remember that CELPIP is a test of general English proficiency

CELPIP assesses your ability to use English in everyday situations. It is not a test of business English or academic English. One of the best ways to prepare is to just get out and use English as much as possible in your daily life.

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