Certificate of Proficiency in Brazilian Portuguese. Celpe-Bras Exam

1 – What is Celpe-Bras?

Celpe-Bras is the Certificate of Proficiency in Portuguese for Foreigners, developed by the Ministry of Education (MEC) of Brazil and applied in Brazil and other countries by the Teixeira National Institute for Educational Studies (INEP) with support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

The Celpe-Bras is the only certificate of proficiency in Portuguese as a foreign language officially recognized by the Brazilian government. Internationally, it is accepted for businesses and educational institutions as proof of competence in the Portuguese language.

In Brazil, it is required by universities for admission in undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as validation of diplomas of foreign professionals wishing to work in the country.

The exam is prepared by a technical committee composed of professors from leading Brazilian universities active in the field of Portuguese for Foreigners.


2 – Who can apply?

All foreigners over 16 years who have the Elementary Scholl (Ensino Fundamental), who want to prove, for educational, professional or other purposes, their proficiency in Portuguese in levels: Intermediate, Upper Intermediate, Advanced, and Advanced Superior.



3 – How is the exam?

The exam has a communicative nature. This means that it doesn’t aim to measure knowledge about the language through questions on grammar and vocabulary, but by the ability to use that language itself.

The applicant’s competence is therefore evaluated for their performance on tasks that resemble situations that may occur in real life. So, learning about the culture and the Brazilian way of life are essential to succeed in the exam.



4 – What are the exam components?

Unlikely proficiency exams that test separately the four skills (listening, reading, speaking and writing), Celpe-Bras valuates these elements in an integrated manner, that’s’ to say, how they occur in real communication situations. This integration component is obtained by means of tasks (tarefas).

5 – How is the Celpe-Bras structured?

The exam is divided into two modules: Individual Part and Collective Part. The first part integrates Listening, reading and writing. The second one integrates Listening, reading and speaking.

6 – What are the application and registration dates?

Celpe-Bras is applied twice a year, in April and October. The inscriptions occur in February/ March and August/September, respectively.



7 – Where can I register for the exam?

The candidate must take the exam only in accredited institutions in Brazil and abroad.

According to the National Institute of Educational Studies and Research Anísio Teixeira (Inep), in 2020 Celpe-Bras will be held in several Applicant Posts in Brazil and abroad:

  • Africa (South Africa, Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique, Nigeria and São Tomé and Príncipe);
  • Central America (Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Republic of El Salvador and Dominican Republic);
  • North America (United States and Mexico);
  • South America (Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela);
  • Asia (China and South Korea);
  • Europe (Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Spain, Finland, France, Italy, Norway, Poland, United Kingdom and Switzerland);
  • Middle East (Lebanon and Israel).