I am from Cebu, Philippines and I’ve been here for 3 months already. Well yes, Edmonton is our only stop (I arrive with my family). I will be taking CELBAN for the first time this December 4 and I am quiet nervous because I don’t have any idea about this test, but I took IELTS twice already. The recent one was last [year]. I am really weak in the Writing part. I scored L- 7.5-8, R- 7.5-8 W- 6-6.5 and S-7-7.5. I am so frustrated because [NNAS] requires higher scores. That’s why I really really need your help on this. Thanks! E
I am glad you have contacted me, I would like to warn you about a trap that you are about to enter, that happens all the time.
Often people arrive in Canada. The first thing they do is find out about the licensure process, and learn that the first step is to pass an English exam. They make a choice: IELTS or CELBAN. And they take the test.
Seems simple and familiar, right?
For those who take the IELTS is it simple: take the exam until you get a passing score. Right? Right, you can take the IELTs again and again. But did you take the Academic version? No? Uh-oh. NNAS only accepts the Academic Version. And it is pretty hard to get a passing score, so most people look for alternatives.
Internationally Educated Nurses then start to explore the CELBAN. All the questions are about nursing. Should be easy, right? It is. The CELBAN is easier that the IELTS for this reason. But what are the required scores? A 10 in listening? Seriously, that is a high score.
Most people with a 7 think it is only 3 points, but that is a trap! The difference between a 6-7 and a 10 is the difference between high school and university! It takes time, dedication and great effort to increase your score by one point, never mind 3!
But that is not all. You can only take the CELBAN three times!
Seriously! So every time counts. But it gets worse.
How is that possible?
Your exam will expire in 2 years! And it takes more than 2 years to become an RN. Do you know what that means?
That means that you must keep one of your three chances available for 2 years time when you have to take the exam again. So, in all reality you only have 2 chances to take and pass the exam. What is the trap?
Most people arriving in Canada don’t realize that they only have 3 chances at the exam. They don’t realize the exam will expire in 2 years. They don’t realize that a 10 in listening is required to pass. So they take the exam as soon as they can, without preparation, and fail. One chance lost. Only one chance left to go.
Is this for real?
Unfortunately it is. My heart has been broken seeing the dreams of IENs shattered upon failing the CELBAN the third time. Please consider this warning. Please avoid the trap you are about to enter. Please ensure you are prepared for the exam! You only have 3 chances to pass the exam! Pass the first time!
This post has been read 4,000 times! Since it’s writing, the term CELBAN Trap was used by one of my Speaking Mentors during her training. (She was an Internationally Educated Nurse from the Philippines who took CELBANPrep and passed the CELBAN on her first attempt.) She read this post, and other ones, and became really concerned about the CELBAN Trap. It was when she spoke about it that I realized that there was a true phenomenon being experienced by so many Internationally Educated Nurses.
I created two e-books, at the time:
The 5 Factors was written to help people to understand the CELBAN Trap and whether they would fall into it or not. The 4 Ways IENs Fall was created based on four different type of situations that appeared repeatedly for IENs who were either:
- Unsuspecting Newcomers,
- Busy Moms/Dads (or soon to be),
- Disillusioned Dreamers, or
- Strained Achievers.
At this time 4 Ways is available for free through Kindle Unlimited in 100 Countries!!!
(5 Factors is not available at this time as it requires some updating.)
The point about the CELBAN Trap isn’t to create fear; but, to inform you that adequate preparation is required. Check out other posts on this blog to find out more about the preparation process.
The wonderful thing is that changes have happened since first creating this post and publishing the CELBAN Trap E-books. Internationally Educated Nurses now have more opportunities to pass the CELBAN.
2018 UPDATE: If an IEN does not get the required score within her/his first three attempts: she/he can take the CELBAN again 3 times in two years!
This change in policy decreases the stress on IENs; but, the message still stands. Be Aware. Know what you are getting into. Prepare diligently. Invest in your future: time, effort and financially.
The whole concept of the CELBAN Trap proves that one person can make a difference! When E wrote that e-mail to me, we were on the cusp of knowledge and change. It is because of her question that I answered the way that I did. In reading this post, my Speaking Mentor turned the phrase into common language, which inspired not one but two e-books on the subject. That, in turn, notified the policy makers of a need for change. Change resulted. This is the magic of CELBANPrep and the CELBANPrep Method!
We all have that ability to make a difference in the world: me as a writer and educator, you as a nurse and healer. We are all in this together. Let’s make this world the very best that we can! 🙂