I am very curious to find out if anyone here has had experience with the CIPLE Exam (Certificado Inicial De Português Lingua Estrangeira) and, if so, what your thoughts and experiences have been regarding it. I have been preparing for this exam and will be taking it in just under two weeks. Practice Portuguese has been a valuable part of my studying, along with Memrise. In addition, I happen to live with a native Portuguese speaker, but of the Brazilian species! That, of course, has helped me immensely, and he has also learned things from me about European Portuguese! I cannot say that I feel completely prepared for the exam, so I am looking at this first taking of the exam as a way to find out what I still need to learn. I know, for sure, that I need to listen to more “full-speed” conversations, as well as more speaking practice, to progress from where I currently am.
Oh, I can’t help you with this. But I wish you good luck! Do they show you any sample questions, practice exams…? Or are you going in blind?
Thanks, Joseph! Yes, there is a sample Exam, along with a detailed description of what the individual sections deal with and what they test, e.g., aural comprehension, writing skills, etc. So, not going in blind, just anxious!
Hey David, do you get the sample exam somewhere online or do they give you one in person? I have been curious for a while to see if we can set up a section especially for preparing for these exams somewhere on our site
Have you seen this book? I purchased it a while back and it’s pretty good and challenging, whether one is preparing for that exam or not: https://www.lidel.pt/pt/catalogo/portugues-europeu-lingua-estrangeira/avaliacao-certificacao/exames-de-portugues-caple-ul/
(No affiliate link, although it would be nice! )
Let us know how it goes, and whether you have any specific areas you’d like to work on, maybe we can help further in the future.
I had not seen this book–it looks incredibly good! I will have to check it out. If I don’t pass the exam this month, I’ll re-take it in November in Washington DC.
Here is the link to the site that has the sample exam–the links are near the bottom; they don’t look like hot links, but they actually are.
Thanks very much for the offer to help. I’ll definitely let you know!
We’re doing the CIPLE in a few days, and found info on the following website which was super helpful with what to expect the day of the exam. https://blancavalbuena.com/it/ciple-exam/ Hope that helps, and boa sorte!
Hi, @Barbara! Thank you so much for this! Yes, it is very helpful to have some clue as to what to expect. Any little bit of information helps to calm my “terror” of this exam! I am taking it in Washington DC this Friday. And, good luck to you, also.
Hi David - sure thing! I definitely think the more info ahead of time, the better. There’s also detailed info from someone who took it (Nov 2017) on expatforum.com. We’re nervous too, but I’m trying to convince myself I’m “excited” instead of “terrified”!
Good luck to both of you! And let us know how it goes
joseph vc é um robot o uma pessoa real ?
Sou um robô, a planear a substituição da humanidade por inteligência artificial avançada
(Aqui não há robôs, nós não temos orçamento para programar isso!)
I had the experience of taking the CIPLE exam this past Friday, and, hopefully, others can benefit from my experience, which did not go well. Keeping in mind that the CIPLE tests one’s skill-levels in the four areas of reading, writing, listening and speaking, my skills in listening comprehension and speaking ability were extremely undeveloped. I don’t have too much difficulty in reading comprehension and basic writing. The initial shock, for me, came in realizing that I could barely understand the examiner, who was speaking Portuguese at full-speed in giving instructions. So, the parts of the exam that required listening to something and then answering questions about what I heard were just about impossible for me. But the really embarrassing (for me) parts of the exam came in having to converse, casually, with the examiner and with the other test-taker, of whom there was only one—and he was fluent in Portuguese! Well, the value of this attempt is in finding out in which skills I am lacking and, then, being able to focus on developing those. To take this exam, one has to be “fluent”, so to speak, in understanding what is being said and in being able to converse casually about something.
Very sorry to hear the exam didn’t go well, but it’s encouraging to you hear approaching it with a positive attitude! And you’re not alone - aural comprehension is definitely one of the hardest parts of Portuguese.
The exams I’ve done in the past had us having to listen to a recording, and the natural reverb of the classroom made it impossible to understand anything. It sounded like Charlie Brown’s teacher speaking incomprehensibly (ua ua ua ua). For your conversation practice, you may have also been unfortunate with an extra unclear native speaker, who knows.
But instead of making excuses, it sounds like you’re deciding to identify and improve on your weaknesses.
Is there anything else we might be able to do to support you and other CIPLE exam takers? Obviously 1-on-1 conversation practice isn’t currently scalable for our members right now, but maybe we could improve on other materials of the site. We are working on improving some of the navigation and visibility of the podcast episodes to encourage more people to use them for comprehension practice, for example.
We’re also making huge efforts to create more bite-sized pieces of content so make it less overwhelming to practice, compared to some of our longer episodes.
If there’s is anything else that comes to mind of how we can be of better support to you, we’d love to hear ideas
Hi, @joelrendall! Thank you so much for your comments. I’ve decided to spend much more time listening to your podcasts and also your films, which I just recently found existed! I’m currently watching your Pilgrimage film, which is great! This is really helpful. I have been focusing almost exclusively on the lessons and now see that my neglecting the podcasts and films has been to my detriment. Your thought about creating shorter, bite-sized pieces of content would probably be a very good thing, too. In addition, I need to converse more, and I know it’s ridiculous for me to say I lack practice in this when I live with a native Portuguese speaker! But, it’s often just so much easier to speak in English, especially when one is tired after a long day. If I can think of anything else that might help, in terms of Practice Portuguese, I will post. But, keep up the good work of this great resource!
Thanks for the kind words, David. For shorter content, check out the new “Shorties” section. Currently you’ll find the short dialogues we already added a few months back to the ends of Learning Studio Units (the headphones bubble), but we’re very close to rolling out dozens more. (We haven’t announced anything yet, so it’s just the lucky few who stumble across this post that will know, for now )
Each of these also has a comprehension quiz to test how well you understood everything, and completing that will make a little bubble fill in. For example:
So you have a bit of time to go through as many of these short episodes as you can before we start rolling out more!
And it’s totally understandable still using a lot of English. It’s not ideal, of course, but I remember in the first few months, I would get to the end of my 4 hour Portuguese classes and be exhausted, without being able to handle much else! It’s also just as much work for a Portuguese native to speak their own language to a learner, because they have to put everything through a “how-can-I-put-this-simply” filter before they speak…
To start getting you practicing more, you could, for example, set a goal to speak only Portuguese during 30m with your native speaker at a certain time each day. Then as you both feel you can handle more, then increase it gradually. If you’re already in the habit of speaking English all the time, you can make baby steps like this towards reducing it. Just try to be conscious of not overdoing it so one of you doesn’t burn out or it starts feeling like too much a chore, which isn’t sustainable in the long term.
Just some possibly-helpful advice from the peanut gallery
Sorry your exam was so rough - I can’t imagine having just one other candidate who was fluent! We were fortunate to have a small group of candidates with varying levels of fluency. The examiner spoke clearly and at a reasonable pace, what I would consider appropriate for an A2 level group. But oh yeah, the oral comprehension portion was brutal - for what it’s worth, even the people who were well beyond the beginner level said they had trouble with that part of the exam! The examiner handled the conversation portion well, again speaking clearly and nothing far beyond our test level. Hopefully your examiner will take into account that you were there for an A2 exam, not to be keeping pace with two people who were fully fluent! Fingers crossed for us all.
Thank you so much, @Barbara! I was certainly premature in going to take the exam, knowing that my aural comprehension and oral production skills were so lacking. But, nothing I had read prior to the exam mentioned anything about the necessary levels for these two aspects. I should have known, however. But, nothing was lost in taking it. I’m glad to hear that your experience was much more congenial and pleasant! Yes, good luck to all of us!
Have you gotten your results yet? We’re still waiting. We’ve heard anything between 2 weeks and 2 months as far as when to expect them. What did your examiner tell you?