CELPIP preparation for native-English speakers might seem unnecessary, but at the very least it’s a wise move to use the free resources that are available. And while some people simply show up with no preparation whatsoever, only a handful will achieve the scores they need on their first attempt. Less fortunate candidates will either run out of time on the test, burn out mid-way through (the CELPIP test is approximately three hours), or fail to completely answer the tasks. One of the most frustrating situations is when candidates achieve the scores they need in only three out of four sections and are then forced to resit the entire test.
Rest assured, language tests such as CELPIP are designed to be a stepping stone, not a deterrent, on your road to becoming a Permanent Resident of Canada. But it’s still a test – people get nervous, their minds go blank, and they make errors they wouldn’t normally make in their day-to-day lives. And unfortunately under testing conditions, the results of the test may not accurately represent your English abilities. So to help you wrap your head around the CELPIP test, here are five tips for CELPIP preparation for native-English speakers:
- Visit celpip.ca. Go to their homepage, scroll to the bottom of the page, and look for the sample test button. It includes answers for the listening and reading sections and guidelines for writing and speaking. The website also has links to free webinars hosted by test experts. Best case scenario, you breeze through the sample test, maybe do a webinar, and feel confident about doing the real test. For some people, that’s all they need.
- Visit CELPIP’s YouTube channel for tutorials on each section on the test. There are individual videos for each speaking task, which is one section where many candidates struggle, as well as overviews of Reading, Writing, and Listening. On YouTube (not on the official CELPIP channel), you’ll also find tutorials on the writing sections from private tutors.
- Attend a free CELPIP workshop. Global Village Vancouver hosts a 90-minute workshop every month in downtown Vancouver. You can also find additional workshops on Eventbrite and complete test overviews of the test on YouTube.
- If you don’t read on a regular basis, spend some time reading the news or human-interest pieces every day. 30-60 minutes is usually adequate. Unless your reading is absolute rubbish, you’ll be fine on the reading section.
- On the speaking test, you only have 30-45 seconds to consider your answer and then you’re expected to talk for 60 seconds. Granted, you’ve been speaking English all of your life, but how often are you put in a position with a time limit? Find some CELPIP sample speaking questions and drill yourself responding for 60 seconds and/or 90 seconds. Time yourself with your phone. Pay attention to your pace. If you tend to speak quickly, slow it down to be on the safe side. Consider the test from the position of the examiner. He or she doesn’t know who you are, so it’s important that you provide full, well-developed ideas to accurately represent your skill level. Best of luck. Contact us with any questions. We’re happy to help.
By Bryan Candy