❤️► I failed to make the CELBAN grade in one area. I was very disappointed. My weakness is timing.

Update 2021

Hi Kim,

I think it is time to introduce myself. Maybe, you are wondering who I am. My name you know already. I come from Germany and I have been in Canada. I have been in my profession as a RN and head nurse in the surgical unit for 25 years. I came to Canada without any English knowledge, so I started my first English classes at the ESL for newcomers. After ESL I went to the college and attended three semesters as well. I wrote my first CELBAN test without any success, the second test I wrote was the same I failed to make the grade in one area. I was very disappointed. My scores at this time were writing 6, reading 7, listening 9 and speaking 7.

In the last year I studied by myself and did some different practise tests, reading, etc., online to improve my English skills. I think my English has improved, but I do not feel comfortable yet. I hope the CELBAN prep guide will help me and it is that what I am looking for.

I know my weaknesses and it is always difficult with time constraint. Besides studying at home I work in the medical field as a HCA. The contact with residents and LPN helps; in conversations and I am not so far away from that what I used to be.

I am looking forward to hear from you, perhaps with advice.

Take care I.

Back to School (2)

Dear I,

Because of your workplace, you are already a step ahead of many others. The more you learn about nursing in Canada the easier it will be for you to sail through your licensure process. You might even be able to get through the process in less time than most.

From what you said you have spent a great deal of time and energy on this path of fulfilling your dream. Coming to Canada without any English and ending up with a score of:

  • writing 6,
  • reading 7,
  • listening 9 and
  • speaking 7.

That is quite remarkable! For you to have a 9 on CELBAN listening says that your exposure to the medical field, in Canada, really has made a difference. 

I see what you mean by missing the score by one point. It is one point in each and every one of the skills! Sigh. That means that you are almost there in being able to create (speaking and writing) and interpret (reading and listening) English in a Canadian medical context. 

It means that you have very storng competencies when it comes to:

  1. Interacting With Others, 
  2. Getting Things Done,
  3. Interpreting/Giving Instructions, and 
  4. Understanding Information. 

It also means that you have strengths when it comes to:

  • grammar and vocabulary,
  • intent embedded within communication,
  • the Canadian culture, and
  • how to deal with communication break-downs. 

And you are able to do all of that when you are reading, when you are writing, when you are speaking in moderately demanding situations, while doing all of that while listening in demanding situations. 

You are almost there! 

If timing is a weakness, I have a solution.


It was back in 2009, just before I started CELBANPrep, that I was working for an employment agency and I saw how common it was for my nurses to have a “weaknesses and it is always difficult with time constraint.” 

That is why I created CELBANPrep the way I did. It is not teacher-centred like most other English learning programs. The CELBANPrep Method is learner-centred (just like the CELBAN and the CLB). 

The first four lessons of CELBANPrep Writing (for CELBAN Writing Task 1 & 2 but also for CELBAN Speaking) are all about timing. They are about learning how to shift from right brained creative thinking, which is required on the exam, to left brain analytical thinking.

The problem many IENs face

The problem that many Internationally Educated Nurses face when writing the CELBAN or any other English exam is that you are trained to use your left brain exclusively. You are trained to report facts. Creative writing is strictly prohibited. 

But, on the CELBAN (and every other English proficiency exam) you are required to engage in creative writing. You are required to create ficticious reports. These reports are not based on observations. They are based on bits of information you are given. You do not see, hear, feel or know what has happened to the patient before, during, or after the incident. That is something you must create. 

Creativity is sourced in the right brain.

Logic is sourced in the left brain. 

So, to do well when it comes to both writing and speaking you must learn, and be taught, how to use both! 

And that is what makes CELBANPrep with a learner-centred model work. And it works. Check out these testimonies. Especially: 

♫ CELBAN Writing Reports: whenever I do writing exercises… my brain just works miracles.

Back to School

My nurses have reported the same effect in CELBAN speaking.

One Other Solution

Another thing that might help is the Grammar Series. But, I won’t go into that too much in detail except to say that improving your grammar will improve your score in reading, writing and speaking. And, like everything else in CELBANPrep: all of the examples for the CELBAN online course, and the CELBAN online material (tests) are all from the writing of Internationally Educated Nurses like you. 

Where else can you find resources like that?

Where else can you find grammar books that all of the examples are in a medical context?

Nowhere. Other than what I have created, no such resources exist!

And that is what CELBANPrep University is all about! Learner-centred education. It is all about you, where you are at, and removing anything and everything that is slowing you doan, standing in your way, or stopping you from obtaining your dreams of life in Canada.


Save time and Money. Explore CELBANPrep University. 

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