CELPE-Bras: what is it?

March 14, 2009 at 9:52 am 1 comment

cabecacelpbrasI have taken the rather bold step of wanting to get an official Brazilian Portuguese qualification before my wife and I and our kids head out of Brazil by the end of August. Basically, I wanted something on my CV which showed I had some competency in the languae. After a bit of work online, and talking to people in the know, I’ve decided to go for the CELPE-Bras test.

CELPE-Bras is the official Brazilian Portuguese test for foreigners. It’s put together by the Brazilian Ministry of Education and can be taken at test centres around Brazil and in many major cities around the world too. I like the test because it’s a modern integrated test. That is to say, its not multiple grammar-heavy, technical, concerned with translation or gap filling. It has quite a lot in common with the English test TOEFL in which the four skills (reading, wrting, speaking, listening) are tested simultaneously which far better reflects the reality of life. For example, when you’re on the phone writing down a message for someone you’re exercising listening, speaking and writing skills at the same time.

So, in part 1 of the test we read an article and write a response (in a certain style and register) about what we read. Likewise, we listen to or watch a piece of news and write about that. In part 2 of the paper we are given a short article and asked to speak about it and answer open questions with an examiner.

Whatever your level of Portuguese, everyone takes the same test and then is graded as being either Intermediate, Upper Intermediate, Advanced or Upper Advanced. In order to obtain an Advanced level, for example, your results for BOTH part 1 and part 2 need to be Advanced or over.

Subscriptions are open for the next round of testing (which will be at the end of April). The test can be taken every six months so the next batch will be in October/November time. The website with more information about it all is here: http://portal.mec.gov.br/sesu/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=595&Itemid=303

There is a cost, but I don’t yet know what it is!


Entry filed under: 1. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

Book Review (part 1): Muito Prazer, Fale O Portugues do Brasil / Speak the Portuguese of Brazil The importance of a comma.

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. andreaaraujo  |  March 16, 2009 at 7:24 pm


    I just paid for the test today at University of Brasília, and the cost is R$90 (90 reis).

    Good luck!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

They don’t speak Spanish, you know!

This website has practice activities for people learning Brazilian Portuguese at Intermediate level or higher. Please browse around or click on ABOUT to find out more about how to get the most out of the site.

%d bloggers like this: