The CELPE-Bras test can be challenging if you don’t prepare for it properly. You’ll not only need strong Portuguese reading, writing, listening and speaking skills, you’ll also need to be confident applying them in an exam situation, and know what to expect specifically from the CELPE-Bras test. The number one piece of advice is: you’ll need to practice with an expert tutor. Beyond that, here are five crucial tips that, if you follow them, should enable you to get a great mark in the CELPE-Bras test.
1. Spend as Much Time as Possible with Your Tutor
You’ll benefit from the assistance of a tutor for every section of the CELPE-Bras test. For speaking and listening, being able to directly interact with an experienced teacher in Portuguese has obvious benefits. Your tutor will also be able to develop your reading and writing skills by setting assignments that are tailored to the specific requirements of the CELPE-Bras test to ensure that you’re fully prepared. They will also know the marking criteria, and be able to give you honest feedback on where you are and what you need to work on. The more time you’re able to devote to this, the better.
2. Use Old Tests
Working with your tutor on historical CELPE-Bras tests will enable you to get an accurate idea of what will be required of you when you take the CELPE-Bras. If you can both possess strong Portuguese skills and be an expert on the exam format itself, then your chances of success will be very good.
3. Focus on Your Weakest Skill
Your final CELPE-Bras pass level will be based on your lowest mark, not on your average grade. Even if you get top marks in every section of the written exam, if you only just scrape through the oral, your certification will be intermediate. Therefore, you need to identify your weakest skill and prioritize it when you are working with your tutor to make sure it doesn’t bring down your grade.
4. Practice Against the Clock
The CELPE-Bras test is timed, creating a high-pressure exam situation, which can lead to mistakes even if your Portuguese is very good. To reduce this risk, when you practice the exam, make sure you apply the time limits of the CELPE-Bras test so that you become accustomed to working against the clock.
5. Expect the Unexpected
It’s important to remember that the examiners who set the CELPE-Bras test know that people will have studied historical examples of the test to get an edge. To guard against this, they try to vary the content of the test as much as possible. So, as well as practicing the CELPE-Bras test, when you’re learning with your tutor you should be looking to holistically develop your Portuguese skills and confidence. That way, even if something you haven’t anticipated comes up, you’ll be able to deal with it.
You Can Start Right Now!
The sooner you start preparing for the CELPE-Bras, the sooner you’ll be able to pass it and start putting your plans into action. It takes place twice per year, so at most, you’re six months away from the next exam. If you begin working on your CELPE-Bras skills with a tutor right away, you could potentially have the certificate in your hands in less than a year, and be able to move on to the next stage of your Brazilian journey.