4G* WARNING: Avoid The CELBAN Trap!


Hi Kim

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

Dear 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!



2018 Update

Dear Friends,

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:



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! 🙂


CELBAN Prep available in 100 Countries

23 responses to “4G* WARNING: Avoid The CELBAN Trap!

  1. Pingback: My worry is my safety nursing experience … will expire on november | Dear Kim

  2. Pingback: I found your site…Why and how did Kim motivated them so much? | Dear Kim

  3. Pingback: I passed my first Celban attempt! | Dear Kim

  4. Pingback: I am a 7 months postpartum Mom…when will I start to take the CELBANPrep ONLINE? | Dear Kim

  5. Pingback: Take CELBAN instead of IELTS. Because CELBAN is more on medical thing. | Dear Kim

  6. Pingback: CELBAN Readiness: how to tell if you are prepared for the CELBAN exam or falling into the CELBAN Trap | Dear Kim

  7. Pingback: I am schedule to take the celban exam [in one month]…which one [from CELBANPrep] to purchase | Dear Kim

  8. Pingback: I already took CELBAN twice, but … I’m not lucky to pass. | Dear Kim

  9. Pingback: My level of anxiety increases when I received … my schedule for CELBAN | Dear Kim

  10. Pingback: Before you do any thing [about taking the CELBAN] please read the following 3 Warnings! | Dear Kim

  11. Pingback: When should I take CELBANPrep; are you still deciding? | Dear Kim

  12. Pingback: I haven’t taken any English exams [IELTS or CELBAN] because I was scared of failing… | Dear Kim

  13. Pingback: Thank you for your persistence in making sure I pass my exam or even get registered with CELBAN. | Dear Kim

  14. Hi Kim! I’m glad to know you on your website helping foreign nurse to fulfill our dreams to become full pledge nurse in canada. I took the celban exam twice at first I did’nt make the whole celban exam then I did the exam again but unfortunately I pass only the speaking and I need to do the group again I’m so worried because this is my last chance. My score in writting still the same with my first exam which is 6 and my listening still 9 and my reading on my first exam is 9 but on my second exam I find it so difficult and my score is only 7. I’m so anxious, stress this time because by this time it’s already a last chance for me to take the exam and Its a waste if I still I can’ t pass this time because my speaking I already made it. So I really need your help . Hope you can help me. Thanks
    Dear I,

    I am glad you are writing to me, and sorry it did not happen before you took your exam the second or third time. I would have told you, “Don’t take the exam until you are certain you will pass”! Your career depends on it. So, I too am glad you found my website, and that I met other nurses like you who inspired me to create it in the first place. I am also glad you live in a province where you can take the exam separately. If you were in another province it would be game over; they would not allow you to take the Group test separately.

    First, congratulations on passing the speaking and your 10 in listening! It is proof that you can do it! The others might not be the scores you wanted, but it is so important to celebrate our achievements, no matter how small they may seem. We need to build our confidence, and celebrating our achievements allows us to do that. All too often we focus on what we did not achieve, rather than what we did!

    If you can get a 10 in listening and a 7-9 on reading, you are doing exceptionally well. Support from a tutor can bring up your 6 in writing, with CELBANPrep Writing but you will need to commit to doing homework daily, and have at least 3 months before the exam. It will take hard work, but I know that in a partnership with a good tutor, you can do it! Why am I so confident? Because I have been doing this for 10 years, and everyone who does their homework and follows the steps outlined in CELBANPrep Writing passes! But you will need to maintain your listening and reading skills, at the same time, on your own. The Complete Resources will help. (www.CELBANPrep.info)

    I always say, if what you are doing is not getting you to where you want to go, then change what you are doing. By contacting me, you are changing what you are doing!

    Are you up for some hard work? Are you dedicated? Are you committed?

  15. Dear Kim,
    I don’t want to loose the first chance and so I decided to take lessons necessary to pass by first atempt and I want to know the maximum time period, schedule and way of taking lessons. .
    I hope I will get beneficial responce as possible as early from you.
    Thanking you,

    Dear H,

    Thank you for writing back to me after reading about the CELBAN Trap. You are making a wise decision that will help you tremendously in the future.

    * CELBANPrep Writing I and II TEXTBOOKS are 8 lessons in 8 weeks (4 lessons in 4 weeks for each module)
    * CELBANPrep Speaking TEXTBOOK is 4 lessons in 4 weeks
    * CELBANPrep Reading and Listening Complete are e-books

    NOTE: It may take you longer to complete each lesson. Work with a trusted tutor to pace yourself. Some people can complete it in 8 weeks, some people 8 months. It depends on your schedule and weaknesses.

    So, for timing, you need at least 8 weeks, or two months, but some people need longer than that depending on their grammar. CELBAN or IELTS Grammar Essentials have been created to help you to improve in those areas as well.

    All of the lessons for writing and speaking, and practice exams for reading and listening, are Print Replica E-books. They were created to mirror each other in look and function, so that people would not only be familiar with the resources they would have added confidence having used the resources.

    If you go to http://www.celbanprep.info you find more information.

    Once you look into these resources, please write back to tell me what you think.


  16. I have already read entries on your website Kim. It helped me a lot. Yes, I definitely need to start studying and practicing. Oh by the way, how can I access the study guide and exams? D.

    Dear D,
    Reading your message fills me with joy. To understand this very simple principle will make a world of difference in your future: saving you time, money and pain.

    Information about the Study Guides are found at:


    They used to be sold individually, but are now bundled as Reading Complete and Listening complete.
    Good Night, D.

  17. Pingback: CELBAN Preparation in Singapore and Internationally | Dear Kim

  18. Pingback: When should I take my exam? Do you think the CELAS center will give me… | Dear Kim

  19. Pingback: Is CELBAN equibalent to IELTS, to continue studying? | Dear Kim

  20. Pingback: Dear Kim

  21. Pingback: CELBAN Preparation in the UK and internationally | Dear Kim

  22. Pingback: I did CELBAN… I think I messed up with my writing.. | Dear Kim

  23. Pingback: Philippine Experience and the CELBAN | Dear Kim

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.