What is the Celpe-Bras exam?

October 14, 2019

Written by Railane Louven and Ana Amália Alves. Translated by Sophie Foggin. To know more about our celpe-bras prep, click here(SP) ou here(RJ)

According to the Insituto Nacional de Estudos e Pesquisas Educacionais Anísio Teixeira (INEP) (The Anísio Teixeira National Insitute of Studies and Educational Research), who have been organizing the the Celpe-Bras exam since 2009, exactly 5.197 thousand people signed up for the Celpe-Bras in 2015. This number proves that foreigners’ interest in learning Portuguese is not stopping any time soon. Indeed, 1.710 people signed up in 2003, 1.807 in 2004, and in 2005 there were 1.856 subscribers. The exam started with 127 candidates in 1998.

But, did you know how the Celpe-Bras exam works? To help you, aprenda2 answered some FAQs from students interested in the exam:

celpe bras

What does Celpe-Bras mean?

It is a proficiency certificate in the Portuguese language for foreigners.

What is it?

As the abbreviation itself says, this is the only official certified Brazilian exam that tests a foreign candidate’s proficiency in Portuguese. However, it is aimed at students and foreign professionals interested in studying or working in Brazil. There are 4 qualification levels: Intermediate, Upper-Intermediate, Advanced and Master.

How can you sign up?

The sign up process is done through the INEP – inscrição website. There you can also find all the other necessary information, including the list of documents required.

Who can sign up?

The test can be taken by foreigners as well as Brazilians who do not speak Portuguese as their mother tongue. The candidate must be a minimum of 16 years of age and must have completed secondary-level education.

Where does the exam take place?

The Celpe-Bras is carried out in 84 places, 23 of which are within Brazil and 61 outside of the country. On the INEP – postos aplicadores website you will find a list of locations.

When does the exam take place?

The Celpe-Bras exam takes place twice a year, once per semester. In 2019 for example, the first test took place in May and the second in the middle of October.

How does it work?

The Celpe-Bras exam is made up of two parts, an oral test and a written test. To be approved, the candidate must pass both tests. It takes place on the same date in all locations, and the marking is the same for all countries.

WRITTEN PART (3 hours): Two tasks combining oral comprehension and written production, and two tasks integrating reading and written production.

ORAL PART (20 minutes): Verbal interaction about activities and interests already mentioned in the sign-up form: conversation about daily topics, more general topics, aiming to incite conversation.

Where to find test results?

Test results are published in the ‘Official Journal’ (Diáro Oficial da União) and on the INEP page.

Preparation for the Celpe-Bras

Are you interested in taking the Celpe-Bras exam? Or do you have a friend who is interested? Aprenda2 offers an excellent course to be prepared for the test.

We are very proud of our preparatory course for the Celpe-Bras exam because up until now we have +90% pass rate. Rodrigo Oliveira* has been the official teacher of our preparatory course for the Celpe-Bras exam. Below he explains the features of the test and comments on the format of the aprenda2 courses:

  1. What is the Celpe-Bras exam?

    The Celpe-Bras is a Portuguese language proficiency exam applied by the Brazilian government. It is conducted by INEP (the foundation responsible for the organization of the exam) twice a year. The test is divided into two parts: Written and Oral. In the written part, the student must produce 4 texts in 3 hours, based on a video, an audio clip and two texts. The oral part lasts 20 minutes and consists of an interview, in which the candidate must talk about himself and three topics chosen previously. It is worth pointing out that the Celpe-Bras is a communicative exam, therefore, grammar and vocabulary are evaluated in relation to their utilization and not on their mastery.

  2. Why is it important to do the Celpe-Bras exam?

    The student will receive a certificate that is recognized both nationally and internationally, and, on top of this, will have a verification of their language level. It is different from other language exams, as it is not necessary to specify a level before taking the test, meaning that it is the exam itself that will show what level you have. The certificate can be requested by many universities and in the process of validating a degree.

  3. What sort of structure does the aprenda² preparatory course for the Celpe-Bras exam take?

    Our preparatory course will allow the student to get to know the different types of texts and most commonly used methods in the test. Former tests will be used so that the student can understand how the system works and really get used to the test. Normally the student will produce more than 30 texts during the course. The way it works is that: students study topics that are hindering their own progress: therefore, the focus of the course is based on the weaknesses of each student.

    The same thing occurs in the oral part. The total study leads up to the student expressing himself about many varied topics, ensuring that their discursive ability increases considerably.

  4. Who is the course designed for?

    Whoever wants to widen and improve their knowledge of Portuguese! Especially, for those who need an official certificate that shows their language proficiency. However, those who do not need the certificate can also make the most of this course as an excellent way of maintaining and broadening their capacity of real communication in Portuguese.

  5. What main difficulties do pupils aiming to pass the Celpe-Bras experience?

    The biggest difficulty of the written part is to understand the given objective in each question when it comes to the construction of the text. As a result, the students write texts that do not correspond to the question or that are confusing. Remember that the focus of the exam is communication, therefore, when the required message does not reach its objective, the student falls into these categories.

    The biggest difficulty in the oral part is the ability to express an opinion on the required topic. The exam does not look for correct answers, however, expects the student under examination to build a coherent argumentation.

*The teacher Rodrigo Oliveira graduated in Literature from USP. Since 2009, he has been working as a Portuguese teacher for foreigners. He worked for 2 years in the Brazilian Cultural Institute Colombia, the biggest Celpe-Bras centre. He has had the opportunity to prepare many students from 2009 until today. Rodrigo has also worked in the application of the exam since 2010 and has worked, on a few occasions, on the correction process itself.

Source: Instituto Nacional de Estudos e Pesquisas Educacionais Anísio Teixeira (Inep)

Test your Portuguese level now!

Test en ligne de portugais

The easiest way to determine your aptitude level in Portuguese is to take an online test. This is a link to our school’s online aptitude test, which is based on the Common European Framework of Reference for Language’s (CEFL) proficiency scale:

  • A1 – Beginner
  • A2 – Elementary
  • B1 – Intermediate
  • B2 – Upper intermediate
  • C1 – Advanced
  • C2 – Mastery

About the Instituto aprenda²

Brazilian Portuguese courses for foreigners

The ALEGRIA method was conceived from the marriage of our co-founder Audrey Conjat‘s experiences as a foreigner with the pedagogical expertise of our teaching staff. Talking about the teachers, they come from the main universities such as USPUFRJUNICAMPPUC

Also, our test prep for the official CELPE-BRAS exam prepares you for this exam.

Contact us for more information:
Email: falecom@aprenda2.org
WhatsApp: +55 11 9 4939 0401

Do you need a sworn translation?

Sworn translations are made by people who are certified and accredited by the registry of commerce of each state. The applicants must pass highly demanding oral and written examinations for specific language pairs. They undergo background checks before receiving a registration number, which must be informed in the heading of every translation. If you need translate any of your official documents, please contact our translation services: www.aprenda2.org/translations

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