Celpe-Bras - (Certificado de Proficiência em Língua Portuguesa para Estrangeiros or Certificate of Proficiency in Portuguese for Foreigners) is the only certificate of proficiency in Brazilian Portuguese as a Second language officially recognized and developed by the Brazilian Ministry of Education (MEC). The Celpe-Bras exam is offered in Brazil and many other countries, such as the United States, Germany, Chile, Colombia and Japan, with the support of the Brazilian Ministry of International Relations (MRE).
The exam is taken by learners of Portuguese who wish to gauge their progress or who wish to provide proof of their level of proficiency, students planning to study at a higher-education institution in Brazil, professionals who wish to have an academic certificate from their own country validated in Brazil or who need to register with professional bodies such as the Brazilian Federal Council of Medicine.
All candidates take the same exam, and are subsequently classified as have attained one of four levels of proficiency: Intermediate, Upper Intermediate, Advanced, or Highly Advanced.
Writing component 3 hours Task 1 and 2 – Tasks integrate oral comprehension (video and audio) and written production. Tasks 3 and 4 – Tasks integrate reading and writing. The different parts of the writing component take place consecutively in one sitting, with no breaks.
Oral component 20 minutes The oral component takes the form of a face-to-face conversation with an examiner, which is audio recorded.
Part 1 (5 minutes). The examiner asks the candidate questions about a range of familiar topics – their home, family, work, studies, interests, etc. The questions will be based on the questionnaire the candidate completed when registering for the exam.
Part 2 (15 minutes). Candidates are given a short text. They have one minute to read it before engaging in a conversation about it with the examiner, answering various questions. This is repeated with two further texts, making three in total. The speaking component will take place up to two days after the writing component. The test centre will advise.
Written component: The candidates are assessed based on the comprehension of the audio-visual recordings and texts through their written answers.
The examiners assessement: 1. Discourse adequacy: is the text in the appropriate genre? Is its purpose clear? Is the information appropriate? 2. Textual adequacy: is the text clear? Is it coherent? Is the register appropriate?
Oral component: The candidates’ spoken Portuguese – and their understanding of spoken questions – will be tested. Particular attention will be paid to their interactional competence, fluency, lexical and grammar adequacy and pronunciation.
The exam is held twice a year, usually in April and October. The registration periods are usually in February–March and August–September.
1. Find the nearest Celpe-bras test centre Check http://portal.inep.gov.br/celpe-bras
2. Register online for your Celpe-bras exam http://celpebras.inep.gov.br/inscricao/ Note: When registering, be sure to complete the questionnaire, as it will be used by the examiners as the basis for the first part of the speaking component.
3. Pay the fee
4. Receive an e-mail from the test centre. You will receive written confirmation of the date and time of your exam. The writing component takes place on a Tuesday morning. The speaking component takes place on the Tuesday afternoon or on the Wednesday or Thursday.
How to prepare?:
Practise with sample exam questions. You can find examination papers at: http://www.ufrgs.br/acervocelpebras/acervo
Read and write texts in different genres
Interact with Portuguese speakers.
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On exam day:
1. Arrive on time
2. Be ready with the correct identification documents with you. Your ID must: a. be an original document (not a photocopy); b. be valid (not out of date); c. include your full name, which must match exactly the name you used to register d. include a recent photograph
3. Follow the instructions carefully, and stay aware of the time (every test room will have a clock on the wall).
The results will be available online, within three months of the exam, at: http://celpebras.inep.gov.br/resultados/
The test measures proficiency in four different levels: Intermediate, Higher Intermediate, Advanced and Higher Advanced. To obtain the certificate, the examinee must achieve quality performance in both parts of the exam. Because the evaluation focuses on both, a person who receives the grade “avançado” (advanced) in the written part but receives “intermediario” (intermediate) in the oral part cannot receive the higher certification of the two. This person would then receive the grade “intermediário” (intermediate).
Celpe Bras has grown quite a lot since 1998 when the test was held for the first time. Back then there were about 127 people taking the test in 5 different testing centers. Since then the number of testing centers have grown to 90, distributed in over 36 countries in the world. In April 2013, the Celpe Bras had 3.972 test takers.
Internationally, it is accepted for businesses and educational institutions as proof of competence in the Portuguese language.
In Brazil, it is required by universities for admission in undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as validation of diplomas of foreign professionals wishing to work in the country.
The exam is prepared by a technical committee composed of professors from leading Brazilian universities active in the field of Portuguese for Foreigners.
Since the goal of Celpe-Bras is to certify proficiency in Portuguese in all skills in an integrated manner, the final score of the candidate is not calculated by averaging the grades of Collective Parte and Individual Part. This means that and advanced performance in Collective Part, for example, does not compensate a weak performance in Individual Part.
Therefore, even with an advanced oral performance in Single Part, if the candidate does not achieve an intermediate performance level (minimum for certification) in Collective Party, he won’t get the certification.
According to the final general note obtained, the examinee will be classified as the following levels of proficiency:
0,00 a 1,99
2,00 a 2,75
2,76 a 3,50
3,51 a 4,25
4,26 a 5,00
The Intermediate Certificate is awarded to the candidate who shows a partial operational knowledge of Portuguese, proving to be able to understand and produce oral and written texts on limited subjects in familiar contexts and situations of everyday life. It’s someone that uses simple language structures and appropriate vocabulary in familiar contexts. He may present inadequacies and interferences of the mother tongue and/or other foreign language(s) more frequently in unfamiliar situations.
The Upper Intermediate Certificate is awarded to the candidate who fulfills the criteria in the Intermediate level. However, the inadequacies and interferences of the mother tongue and/or other foreign language(s) in pronunciation and writing are less frequent than at the previous level.
The Advanced Certificate is awarded to the candidate who shows wide operational knowledge of Portuguese, proving to be able to understand and produce oral and written texts, fluently, on varied subjects in familiar and unfamiliar contexts. This is someone, therefore who uses complex language structures and appropriate vocabulary. He may have occasional inadequacies in communication, especially in unfamiliar contexts. The candidate who obtains this certificate is able to interact with ease in various situations requiring domain of the target language.
The Upper Advanced Certificate is awarded to the candidate who shows all the requirements of the Advanced level, but the inadequacies in producing written and oral are less frequent in than that level.
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