How long does it take for me to be prepare for this [CELBAN] exam? ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ท

Updated 2021

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 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 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 Iran

Dear 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 RN exam! This is not an easy task, and shows your depth of knowledge 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 build self confidence. 

About CELBAN Reading

The 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.

When you speak and write you create: externally.

When you read and listen you interpret: internally.

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. Check out this post on determining reading levels.

About CELBAN Listening

An almost perfect score of 10 is required for listening, this is equivalent to a university level in speed, accuracy and vocabulary. It means that you are able to:

  1. listen to what a person is saying verbally and nonverbally, 
  2. correctly understand the implied intent in communications,
  3. hear through accents (Canada is multi-cultural so your patients will be), and
  4. to do so in demanding situations. 

All of that is to ensure that patient safety. Here is a post on getting a 10 in listening.

About CELBANPrep University

What this means is, should you choose to subscribe to CELBANPrep and/or to purchase CELBAN online courses available internationally through Amazon: I am quite confident that what I created 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). Here is another post: Where do I start?

How long will it take to prepare for the CELBAN?

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 CELBAN intensives ==> Grammar Essentials). 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 I instill hope and encouragement in all we do. The Secrets to Success Master Mind is all about Optimizing One’s Environment and Mastering One’s Psychology. This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is cpu-ct4-articles.png

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.

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!

Be well!


NOTE: Dear Reader, the licensure process in Ontario is different from in other provinces. Ontario is the only province where other exams 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 proceed is granted. All provinces start with an assessment through NNAS. 

Save time and money. Explore CELBANPrep University.

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