CELP: Certificate of English Language Proficiency


The CELP of Michigan State University is similar to the ECPE from the University of Michigan... despite some differences. Then again, all English exams at this level have some similarities.

Both exams offer English Language certification at the proficiency level being recognized internationally as C2 in the Common European Framework of Languages. Both are products of universities located in the beautiful State of Michigan right in the heart of the USA.

The above is where I would say that the similarities end.

The CELP tests five skills through four different test sections. In order, the different sections of the test include writing, reading, listening and speaking.

Grammar is tested in the written section of the test with a 20 minute 40 question multiple choice fill in the blank type question.

25 points are assigned to each of the four test sections totaling a possible score of 100. A minimum of 65 is needed to receive a passing grade.

The CELP exam utilizes two examiners for both the written and spoken sections of the test.

Below is the basic test structure.

PART ONE = WRITING

Candidates write one of two topics. The time limit is 35 minutes. There are a variety of topics in an opinion style format.

Essays are graded based on 5 categories. Grammar, vocabulary, organization, development and language use. 5 points are available per category totaling 25 possible points. Papers should be well thought out show signs of elaboration and advanced structures.

Students then have 20 minutes to finish a 40 multiple choice fill in the blank grammar section.

PART TWO = LISTENING

There are 3 sections containing a total of 40 questions. Sections include short conversations, longer conversations and extended passages (heard twice) lasting 2-3 minutes.

PART THREE = READING

The reading section of the exam contains 4 passages with 8-12 questions each. Vocabulary and phrases in context are tested with highlighted words from the text.

PART FOUR = SPEAKING

The speaking portion of the test includes a non graded warm-up plus 6 tasks. Each section of the speaking exam can receive 4 points for a total of 24 points. 1 point is awarded (or not) on a holistic basis. Examiners will answer an overall yes or no based on whether they think the candidate shows the speaking ability of a C2 user.

The tasks will include descriptions, narration, supported opinion and elaboration. C2 users should use a variety of structures including the ability to expand and support opinions. Mistake awareness and intelligibility should also be shown be the candidate.

For more information concerning the CELP exam click on the preceding link and you will go to MSU's English Language Center page.