How long does it take for me to be prepare for this [CELBAN] exam?

Dear Kim I am an international nurse from Iran. I am living in Toronto now. I have passed my RN exam one year ago and from January 2012 I have spent a huge amount of time and money for IELTS prep course. After three times attending IELTS exam, I got overall 6.5(speaking:7, reading:6.5, listening:6 and writing:6) which was not acceptable for CNO. I feel upset, because based on their new regulation I need a higher score. On the one hand, I know that IELTS exam is so hard,on the other hand I am not familliar with celban. I dont know how long does it take for me to be prepare for this exam? There is only one exam location in ontario( Hamilton) which both of thier exam dates have been fulled. please help me to make the best descision in order to be registered as soon as possible.please tell me what should I do? Best Regard R

Flag of IranDear R,

Hello! I am so happy to hear from you. Every time I meet someone from Iran I think of my most wonderful roommate, who I lived with for 3 years during my undergraduate degree. So I welcome each person, from, Iran as if a friend of hers I have already met!

First off, I must commend you for passing the CRNE! This is not an easy task, and shows your depth of knowledge of the Canadian Culture. Congratulations! I hope you celebrated this accomplishment!

I know. Preparing for exams is an expensive endeavor, and there are many exams and expenses during the process. It is for this reason that I consider each subscription to CELBANPrep as an investment, and treat these funds as sacred. My intentions in creating CELBANPrep has been to save time, money and self confidence. I do this by working with a person on their writing until I am confident she or he will pass. If a person is not ready, in my opinion, I tell them. I have often counseled people to pay to have the exam postponed. To me paying a small fee to postpone is better than paying the whole fee and losing one of the three chances to take the exam. When it comes to speaking, I have always been able to ensure a person is prepared.

C0UP0NSmThe trick, when it comes to the CELBAN is reading and listening. As both of these activities are internal, much of the learning must be done individually and internally, where as writing and speaking is easy to evaluate as an external activity. To do well in both reading and listening you need to be involved in both activities on a daily basis for a minimum of half an hour, reading and listening to medical and nursing material from a Canadian or North American source. Furthermore you need to increase the level of difficulty in what you are listening to and reading.

An almost perfect score of 10 is required for listening, this is equivalent to a university level in speed, accuracy and vocabulary. Anyone who is not confident in at least getting an 8 or 9 should not take the CELBAN.

What this means is, should you choose to subscribe to CELBANPrep, I am quite confident that I can assist you in passing writing and speaking with the courses I offer. However, it will take time, dedication and self-direction for you to work to improve your score in listening to one that is acceptable by the CNO (and NNAS).

Signing up for the free How to Prepare for the CELBAN, at, will help you to become more familiar with the format of the exam, so that you can see how much easier it is than the IELTS. The self evaluations for writing and speaking are also handy. The sample tests for reading and listening are from an older version of CELBANPrep. The newer versions are more consistent with the exam, itself.

How long it takes to prepare for the exam depends on your strengths and weaknesses with grammar, which influences your score in reading, writing, listening and speaking. The stronger you are with grammar, the less time it will take to prepare. I have worked with people who were able to take the exam after 8 weeks of preparation, who’s scores were already 7 and 8 on the IELTS. But for people with 5 and 6, it takes longer: six months to a year (less with Writing4IEHPs). Depending on strengths with listening it can take even longer.

It also depends on the time management and motivation of an individual. People who are undermotivated will take more time; that is why we instill hope and encouragement in all we do. Life in Canada can be quite busy, as IENs balance several roles.  There never seems to be enough time; so, time management is also a factor.

That fact that the seats for the exam are full is not a concern for someone beginning his or her preparations.

When I reread your question asking for advice, I looked at your scores once again. Your score in listening is your greatest weakness, but I know that in time and with dedicated practice you can and will turn it to a strength!

Please review the Tier 4 ~ Monthly Subscription Extension Plans of the Compassionate Pricing Policy to understand how individualized study plans impact the price of each course and bundle over time.

Feel free to explore for more information about the resources available through CELBANPrep, then please write back!

Be well!


NOTE: Dear Reader, the licensure process in Ontario is different from in other provinces. Ontario is the only province where the CRNE can be taken before the English Proficiency exam is required. In all other provinces, the English score is required, along with other steps, before permission to take the CRNE is granted.

Also, as of 2015 the CRNE has been replaced with the NCLEX.

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