CELPE-Bras (Certificate of Proficiency in Portuguese)

CELPE-Bras or Certificate of Proficiency in Portuguese for Foreigners (In Portuguese: Certificado de Proficiencia em Lingua Portuguesa para Estrangeiros) is the only certificate of proficiency in Portuguese language spoken in Brazil, officially developed and acknowledged by the Brazilian Ministry of Education (MEC). 

The Certificate of proficiency in Portuguese for Foreigners (CELPE-Bras) exam is offered in Brazil and many other countries, such as the United States, Chile, Germany, Japan, and Colombia, by the National Institute for Educational Studies Teixeira (INEP) with the support of the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA). 

The CELPE-Bras exam is held twice every year for foreigners who need a certificate of proficiency in the Brazilian Portuguese language. The exam comprises of 2 components- an oral component and a written component that covers both oral and reading comprehension.

Usage of CELPE-Bras

CELPE-Bras exam is a prerequisite for admission of international students to an undergraduate and graduate course of study at Brazilian Higher Education institutions. It is also internationally recognized as proof of Portuguese language proficiency. 


The CELPE-Bras exam is meant for foreign citizens as well as the Brazilian whose mother tongue is not Portuguese according to the Article 4 of the Ordinance No. 1350 MEC, 2010.

Structure of CELPE-Bras

The CELPE-Bras examination comprises of 2 parts-
  • Written
  • Oral  

Written Part

The written part consists of two tasks. The first task includes oral and written production, while the second task combines reading and writing. A video clip as well as an audio piece is played along with a text and the applicant is required to perform the tasks based on that snippet. Also, a text is being given and the applicant needs to read the text and produce a text particular purpose of communication. 
  • Duration: 3 hours

 Oral Part

This part requires the applicants to get into a conversation, i.e. a face to face interaction, and talk about day-to-day topics of general interest like education, sports, profession etc. The Oral Part is recorded on audio or audio or video.
  • Duration: 20 minutes
This part is assessed by an oral interviewer and an observer through a grid assessment mechanism that includes the following aspects-

Understanding: Understanding of the natural flow of conversation

Production: Chip in to the conversation, maintaining the flow of conversation, use of communication strategies, pronunciation, pitch, vocabulary knowledge and usage, and grammar- syntax and semantics.Photos, comics, graphics, brief texts, and so on acts as a base for conversation.

To get the certificate, both the parts must be passed. 

Levels of Proficiency

The CELPE-Bras assesses 4 proficiency levels- Intermediate, Upper Intermediate, Advanced and Mastery.
The performance of the applicant is assessed comprehensively on two Tasks- Written and Oral. The difference between the levels indicates the level of performance in oral and written tasks in 3 facets- 
  • Adaptation to the Context: Means adapt to the perspective, take into account the conversation and the interlocutor
  • Discursive Appropriateness: refers to logicality and consistency
  • Linguistic Appropriateness: means the appropriate usage of lexicon and linguistic structures.
Intermediate Level: This level confirms the ability to understand and produce written and oral texts on topics limited in regular settings and situations of daily life. At this level, there is a usage of simple language and apt lexicon in everyday context and may even show inadequacies and interference of the mother tongue or other foreign languages in pronunciation. This level indicates the partial knowledge of Portuguese. 

Upper Intermediate Level: This level confirms the ability to understand and produce the written and oral texts. Though, the inadequacies and the intervention of the mother tongue or other foreign languages in elocution and writing are less recurrent than that Intermediate level.

Advanced Level: This level confirms the ability to understand and develop the written and oral texts fluently, on a wide scope of topics in a familiar as well as unfamiliar setting. It indicates the comprehensive operational knowledge and understanding of the Portuguese language.  

Mastery Level: This level confirms the ability to understand and develop the oral and written texts fluently in Portuguese in any environment with almost no inadequacies and interferences.  

Dates and Deadlines

The CELPE- Bras takes place twice a year in the month of April and October. Registrations for it are done during the months of February, March, August, and September.    

Registration and Fees

You can register for CELPE-Bras examination online through the official website http://celpebras.inep.gov.br/celpebras/
Abide by these steps-

Step 1: Fill up the application form available at CELPE-Bras. Select the institution and confirm the registration. The form will be sent by the system to the database INEP, with a copy to the institution selected. After this a registration proof is issued. 

Step 2: Pay the registration fee as per the guidelines.  The fees vary every year so contact the official website.

Step 3: Present a receipt for the fee payment and a copy of a personal document with photo (can be a passport or identity card) at the place where you chose to appear for the exam


Oral Part: The assessment of the oral part is done during the face-to-face interaction by two specially trained evaluators. The two evaluators rate the applicant’s performance independently- one interacts with the applicant and gives it a Note, taking into account the interaction, while the other evaluates the performance analytically using a grid with six criteria (understanding/command, interaction/conversation, flow of conversation, vocabulary and grammar sufficiency and appropriateness, and  pronunciation). The interactions are audio-recorded and sent to the National Institute of Studies and Educational Researches (INEP)

Written Part: The evaluation of the written part is done in INEP in Brasilia, by two evaluators trained and directed by INEP and the Technical-Scientific Committee of CELPE-Bras. They make use of grid correction with criteria already set, specific for each of the tasks. 


To know the results of the tests, visit http://celpebras.inep.gov.br/celpebras/ Enter your registration number and password and gain access to your result.
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