Tests are designed to challenge you, and they do so with two instruments: task difficulty and time constraints. Thus, it is essential for your success that you know how to accommodate the time you have wisely to solve the tasks to the best of your ability.
The main thing you need to know is that every section of the test has a predetermined time, and each of its parts has a preset time. You only get one chance to answer the question, so make sure not to leave anything blank – the test automatically switches to the next page after the timer runs out. Going back to check previous sections is not an option.
To help you prepare for this, in this article, we’re going to break down the test into its subsequent parts in an order in which you’re going to go through them and discuss what each of them consists of and how to approach them to complete CELPIP on time and with the expected results.
Listening has 38 questions in total, divided into six parts, and you have between 5 and 8 minutes for each. Recordings will be up to 3 minutes long, so the best practice you can get is to listen to movies and podcasts in English to develop listening comprehension, concentration, and the attention span required to keep up with the narrative.
Reading, once again, consists of 38 questions in total, this time broken down into four tasks, and you have between 9 to 13 minutes for each separate task. Within these time constraints, you will need to skim the text presented quickly and answer a series of multiple-choice type questions.
Our advice for task 1 is to go through the questions one by one since they are presented in chronological order. The diagram in task 2 requires understanding the specifics of the data provided (what does the data describe, what kind of trends are shown) – make sure to explore it thoroughly before answering the questions. For tasks 3 and 4, you must exercise both reading speed and reading comprehension, as you will need to understand the text well in its entirety before choosing answers.
Writing is split into two parts, with a specified word count required for each task. There is a word count counter under the bottom of the input box to help you know how much is left to write. Focus on writing whatever comes to mind first, then organize it accordingly, and leave 3 to 4 minutes for proofreading to make sure your work is as good as it can get.
Speaking involves eight sections, each of which happens in the format of the question being presented with a 30 seconds preparation period (the timer starts automatically), followed by 60-90 seconds you have to answer the question verbally. The two best approaches here are to practice speaking on different topics, giving holistic and elaborate answers in a limited amount of time, and learning to keep your focus and talk in noisy environments, as all the test takers will be speaking simultaneously, sitting in one room.
For more thorough guidance on all of the components of CELPIP, check out other articles dedicated to these sections on our site. Both free and paid materials are available for purchase, with paid materials providing more comprehensive and detailed strategies for getting desired scores.