2G* What’s the passing score or CELBAN standard?

Update 2021

Hi Kim,

Just wanna know what’s the passing score or celban standard in BC. Tnx


Dear A

Thank you for your question. There are so many ways to ask this question; and, I get asked it all the time:

    • What is the score for NNAS?
    • What is the CELBAN passing score?
    • What are the CELBAN score requirements for nurses?
    • What is the CELBAN band score?ย 

    • What is the CELBAN score for CNO?

It is also a good question considering that the requirements for English Proficiency scores and tests were once different province to province, and can and do change over time.

This is a quote from the CELBAN Help Centre:

There are two true and reliable sources for information about the CELBAN: The CELBAN Centre and NNAS.

STEP ONE: Contact the CELBAN official Website

Check out the website of the CELBAN Centre (www.celbancentre.ca) to get test information. This is the CELBAN official website, adminstered by Touchstone.

โ€œSTEP TWO: Learn more from the NNAS

Go to the National Nursing Assessment Service (www.nnas.ca/) website to get answers to the question:

What is the passing score for nurses on the CELBAN?โ€

At this time the required scores are as follows.

  • CELBAN Listening score: 10.0
  • CELBAN Reading score: 8.0
  • CELBAN Speaking score: 8.0
  • CELBAN Writing score: 7.0

NOTE: The required scores can and do change. When I first started CELBANPrep back in 2009, the required score for CELBAN listening was a 9.

A score of 5 to 8 means you can communicate well with others in English with varying degrees of proficiency: in a moderately demanding situation. However a score of 10 means that you can both create communications (writing and speaking) and interpret communications (reading and listening) in demanding situations such as in Emergency and the OR.

The reason that the required scores on the CELBAN are so high are for two reasons:

  1. Upon achieving the required English score, you may be required to take university level classes. In order to help you to succeed this standard has been created.
  2. As a nurse you work in both moderately demanding and demanding situations. Miscommunication puts patients at risk. Patient safety is above all in importance. You will not be able to continue on your path of becoming a nurse in Canada until you have proven to NNAS and the licensure bodies that you can keep your patients safe by communicate clearly when reading, writing, listening and speaking.

So taking your English skills serious is extremely important if you want to become a nurse in Canada. It takes time, preparation and practice.

Avoid anyone who tells you that you can prepare for the CELBAN in a matter of days or weeks. It takes time to develop the skills, competencies, and applied knowledge to get the required scores on the CELBAN.


Learn more about How to Prepare For The CELBAN.

2 responses to “2G* What’s the passing score or CELBAN standard?

  1. Hi Kim, I am internationally educated nurse. I applied for assessment for LPN which will be done by next year. I have registered for CELBAN exam which will be in August this year. Could you please guide me how can I prepare for exam and what resources are available to study for exam. Thank you

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