Juliana Mello

Juliana Mello

The Brazil Business


Proficiency Test for Portuguese

Juliana Mello

Juliana Mello

The Brazil Business


Find out more about Celpe-Bras, the only certificate of proficiency in Portuguese officially recognized in Brazil.

Internationally, Celpe-Bras certificate is accepted in companies and education institutions as a proof of competence in the language and is required in graduation and post-graduation Brazilian courses.

Where can I take the test?

Organized by the Ministry of Education, the Celpe-Bras test can be taken in one of the many accredited institutions in Brazil. Most of these institutions also offer courses made especially for foreigners, to prepare them to the test. You can check them here.

The test can also be taken in other countries, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In that case, it is given in the local Centro Cultural Brasileiro, CeB's (Brazilian Culture Center). Check the list of CeB's here.

The application process

The application process for the Celpe-Bras test is done online on the website www.celpebras.inep.gov.br. The 2012/2013 dates have not been published yet, but normally the registration starts in August and the test is given in October. The results come in December. Applying for the test comprehends the following steps:

  • Filling up the application form on the website mentioned above and confirm the registration
  • Paying the registration fee (in 2011, it was BRL 120,00) according to the orientation of the chosen place you will take the test (only in accredited institutions, consult the link above)
  • Presenting a receipt for the fee payment and a copy of a personal document with photo (passport or identity card) at the place where you chose to take the test
  • Booking the oral test venue

After getting through those steps, it is imperative to follow your application status trough the website until the day of the test.

The test's structure

The Celpe-Bras evaluates oral and written comprehension, speech and writing skills in an integrated way, divided in two parts:

Written part: (3 hours taken) – two assignments integrating oral comprehension and written skills and two assignments integrating reading and writing skills Oral part (20 minutes taken) – conversation about activities and interests mentioned by the applicant in the form, a conversation about everyday life and of general interests.

To get the certificate, applicants must achieve performance in both parts of the test. Celpe-Bras evaluates four levels of proficiency in Portuguese: Intermediate, High intermediate, Advanced and High advanced.

Once in Brazil, why not learning Portuguese?

It is known that Brazil is on the rise. As the sixth economy in the world – and the largest in Latin America -, the country presents a favorable scenario for investments. Brazil occupies a strategic position in the geopolitical arena, with great openness to foreign markets, democratic and institutional stability and steady economic growth.

But as you may have seen in other Brazil Business' articles, Brazil is not as well prepared to assist foreigners. In order to do business in here, it is necessary to know about the rules, laws, taxes and institutions. And it is not always easy to find such kind of information available in English, as much as finding people prepared to talk to foreigners about those matters in other languages than Portuguese.

So, learning Portuguese can give you independence, freedom to research and will open much more sources of useful information. Also, there is no better way of knowing a country as a whole than learning its language. It will make you get good connections if you have or intend to do business here.

Besides, Portuguese...

  • Has more than 270 millions of speakers around the world, 80% of which speaking the Brazilian variation
  • Is the fifth most spoken language in the world
  • Is the Official language in nine countries (Brazil, Portugal, Angola, Cape Verde, East Timor, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, Sao Tome and Principe and Macau)
  • Is one of the official languages of European Union and Mercosur
  • Holds rich literature and culture

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