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CELPIP Test Reading Task Preparation

By: Ronda Payne

Published On: August 14, 2019

You already know that your application to come to Canada will need to include the results from an English or French language test. The test proves to Canadian government officials that your language skills are sufficient for daily life, communication and work in the country.

There are only two English language exams accepted by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. One is the CELPIP (the Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program). You’ll want to achieve the highest score possible on the exam as your English language skills ranking will add to your overall points for your immigration application. The higher your overall score, the higher your chances will be of being invited to apply for immigration. Other factors that determine application score include employment history, occupation, family status, and age. It also helps if you already have a family member in Canada who has a PR or is a citizen.

CELPIP tests you on four distinct English language skills: Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening. Reading and comprehending English, when it isn’t your first language, can be challenging, especially when it is in a timed format. The reading section is very important as you’ll need to read several passages and understand them to complete the subsequent questions as well as other portions of the exam. Therefore, CELPIP reading test preparation is essential to doing well on the whole test and many candidates prepare by either taking sample tests or enrolling in a CELPIP preparation program.

Format of the CELPIP Reading Section

The overall CELPIP test is three hours. The reading section is 55 to 60 minutes long. However, as noted, reading skills are also required to complete the writing section – where you will respond with written answers to questions you read, and the speaking section – where you will respond with verbal answers to on-screen information you read. The test is completed in three hours so you will move through the various sections, including the reading portion, without any long breaks.

The reading section includes one practice task before going into the scored portion of the exam. In the scored section, there are four separate sections: reading correspondence which consists of 11 questions, reading to apply a diagram which has 8 questions, reading for information which has 9 questions and reading for viewpoints which has 10 questions. To get a feel for what to expect from the reading section of CELPIP, check out a free sample test, which includes the CELPIP sample reading test, on CELPIP official website. Select the CELPIP General test, which is accepted for permanent residence applications unless you are applying for citizenship. In this case, you will choose the CELPIP General LS test.

When attempting the sample test, you can choose to work on the complete test or pick various sections on their own. Reviewing the reading section will help you with your CELPIP reading test preparation. Be sure to read the instructions carefully, then click “next” in the upper right-hand corner to watch the video that explains how the sample test works.

There are numerous other free CELPIP reading test preparation resources on the CELPIP site and you will also find materials for purchase to help you prepare.

Apart from this, there are other things you could do to prepare for the exam and do well.

– Find English newspapers, blogs and information online that cover current events in Canada. Read each item carefully, then summarize them in a few lines. Check these statements against the passages to ensure you have understood the information correctly.

– If you have friends and family who read and write in English, you could start having a written correspondence with them (even if they live in the same house!) to share your thoughts and ideas. Later, you can share what you gleaned from their written words to confirm whether you correctly interpreted what they wrote.

– Read in English as much as possible, even when it’s reading for pleasure. Find books in genres you enjoy and read those instead of books in your dominant language. By reading in English on a regular basis, you will find your comprehension levels going up dramatically.

– Look up CELPIP reading test preparation videos on platforms like YouTube. There are very helpful and give you a clear idea as to how you can score more in the different sections.

Sometimes communicating in English is challenging. If training for the CELPIP reading test on your own feels daunting, it may be a good idea to look for good CELPIP preparation courses. There are several preparation courses of varying lengths and formats available today. Apart from gaining confidence, you will also have access to additional training materials and would get to practice with fellow students having different skill levels.

When you're ready to book your test, you can consider taking CELPIP at ATS at one of the test centres located in Vancouver BC.

Most importantly, don’t stress over the CELPIP test. Remember that if you’re not satisfied with your scores the first time around, you always have the option of retaking the exam.

Good luck.


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