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CELPIP Listening Task – Tips and Techniques

By: Kailash Srinivasan

Published On: July 24, 2019

As you may already know, there are two types of CELPIP tests:

  • CELPIP-General Test
  • CELPIP-General LS Test

While the CELPIP General Test has four components — Listening, Reading, Writing, and Speaking, the CELPIP-General LS Test has two parts — Listening and Speaking.

Most of these sections can be challenging for non-English speakers and joining a CELPIP preparation program can go a long way in reducing exam anxiety. Not only that, but a prep program can also give you the necessary confidence and skills to do well and get your desired score.

In this blog, we will discuss tips for acing the listening part of the test. But instead of going section by section of the test, we will instead focus on the larger goal of becoming a better listener.

CELPIP Listening Overview

There are six parts in the listening component, and it takes about 50 minutes to complete this portion of the test. For each question, you will have 30 seconds to answer. The clips will only be played once, so it is important to pay close attention.

There are different types of listening that you need to do in order to be a good listener. These include problem-solving, daily conversations, news items, discussions, and listening for specific information and viewpoints.

Tips To Getting Good At Listening

Speaking is always important, no matter what you're doing. You might need to speak in a meeting, or interview for a job, or talk to your friends. If you want to do well in these situations, and have good communication skills, you need to be good at listening too. Here are some ways how you can improve your listening skills:

1. Be Fully Present

Have you ever been annoyed or irritated by someone who is not paying attention to you? We have been guilty of it many times as well. The person talks while we are thinking about dinner or a call we have to make.

Although you don't have another human in front of you during the CELPIP listening section, it is still very important to be fully present in the moment. If you find yourself getting distracted, remind yourself that you are in the middle of a conversation and bring yourself back to the moment.

When you are listening, pay attention to the words and the tone of voice. The tone of voice can give you more information than the words themselves.

2. Try and Pick Up Key Information

Make a list of all the important information in your head. This could be things like where you're going, bus numbers, what time it is, and so on. You can also write this information down on the notepaper they give you at the test center. You can take notes at any point in the test, but it is especially useful during the listening part.

A woman listens to a podcast through her headphones

3. Develop Active Listening Skills

When you're busy thinking of a response before the person talking to you has finished, you miss out on important details. This is called poor listening. To improve your active listening skills, have a conversation with a friend and try to understand and repeat back what they said.

When you aren't thinking of a response, you will be able to focus on what the other person is saying. This is also important during your CELPIP test. Only focus on what the person is saying. Do not think about what you missed or what might be said next.

4. Focus on the content and the context

If you listen carefully, you can sometimes understand bits and pieces of a conversation in a foreign language. The tone of voice and body language can also help. For example, if you see a mother scolding a child in a language that is not your own, from the stern look on her face and the stiffness of her body, you can tell that it is not a pleasant conversation. Now, if you add content to all this, the meaning becomes much clearer.

When you're listening to an audio clip, you don't have the advantage of seeing what is happening. But if you pay attention to the context (stories, circumstances, themes), you will be better positioned to answer the questions.

5. Calm Your Mind

To focus better, take a few deep breaths and tell yourself that well on the CELPIP test is important to you. Once you have focused your intent, you will be able to do better on the test.

To do well in the listening section, you can listen to the radio or a podcast if that interests you. Even an audiobook is an excellent place to start. The best part is, most passages in the listening test are short and are followed immediately by questions. So you aren’t expected to remember too much information. Practice these simple, yet powerful tips. Not only will it help you do well in CELPIP, but it will also help you in your professional and personal life.

If you find that preparing for the CELPIP exam is too much work, you can join a preparation program offered by many colleges and institutes in Canada. This program will help you improve your English skills and knowledge needed to pass the exam.

Book your CELPIP exam here.


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