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Welcome to your guide to getting a high score on CELPIP Writing. First of all, congratulations on choosing CELPIP – accepted by IRCC Canada for students wishing to study, work or migrate to Canada. Now it’s time to learn how to achieve the highest possible CELPIP score for your PR application. Follow these recommendations, and practice with E2’s CELPIP sample tests and you will achieve a great score.

You can find a range of CELPIP courses at E2, including CELPIP writing practice tests, mock test. In these courses, you can write essays and get teacher’s feedback. Read on and make sure you jump into E2 and start writing! 

The CELPIP writing format

There are two writing tasks. They both have a set-up or a situation to read. They are called the ‘prompt’. Take a couple of minutes to understand each task and to brainstorm. Think about your ideas, reasons and example. As well as paraphrasing each question that is being asked of you. Make some notes on paper and plan your response before you begin writing. 

Task 1 involves writing an email which includes addressing the three bullet points in the prompt. You will want to brainstorm each bullet point to be addressed – think of specific ways and examples to answer these.

Task 2 involves responding to a survey where there are two options that you will need to choose between. Do not answer both. Choose an option and think of two advantages of your choice, with reasons and examples to support your choice.

You can get familiar with the exam format and practise CELPIP sample test in writing Task 1 and Task 2 on the E2 website. Our teachers will provide feedback within 48 hours to determine areas of improvement. This way, you will be on the right track and get a high CELPIP writing score. Our feedback is very detailed. It gives you an indication of how well you did on a range of criteria, as well as overall teacher comments. 

 Time management for CELPIP writing

When you start the CELPIP writing task, the time begins when you first see the screen and read the prompt. Therefore it’s important to consider time management. The most common mistakes people make are:

Start typing without brainstorming or planning first. Type until the time is complete without completing both tasks. Fail to take time to check for errors.

Make sure you don’t make any of these mistakes by including planning time at the start and proofreading time in the end. 

In CELPIP Writing, you will have 53 minutes to complete both tasks, so start by giving yourself time to read both tasks. The time allocation for Task 1 is 27 minutes and for Task 2 is 26 minutes. For each task, allow yourself about 2 minutes to read the prompt and 2 minutes to re-read your work. 

Let’s look at Task 1 for example. Take 2 minutes to think about how to respond to each bullet point with some reasons and examples and how to paraphrase the prompt, then give yourself about 23 minutes to write with 2 minutes to proofread and correct at the end. 

If you want to practise writing under time pressure, we have a CELPIP Mock Test for you! The Mock Test is designed by our expert teachers with sample writing tests. It looks the same, is timed in the same way and is scored in the same way as the real test.

In addition to providing you with exam simulation, it will also provide you with a snapshot of your results with detailed feedback on each task. Sign up and start preparing today!

Focus on the prompt

You need to write a separate paragraph for each bullet point. Sometimes this may require some creativity, but no matter what you think of, be sure to keep it clearly focused on the bullet point.  

For CELPIP Writing Task 1, remember to stick to the bullet points. It’s important to stay focused on what the prompt asks of you and not to write about something not mentioned in the prompt. For example, if a bullet point instructs you to ask for additional information, you have to focus on a certain detail and use a polite way of inquiring. Such as “Could you please inform me if the apartment for rent has air conditioning or central heating?”

For CELPIP Writing Task 2, write two paragraphs on the positive aspect of the option you choose. The test requires you to focus on the positive points and not the negative points of the opposing view. It is acceptable to compare, but better if you can show two advantages of your choice. 

For example, if you have to choose between developing a park or a mall, write two body paragraphs about two advantages to one of them. For example, how a mall can bring job opportunities and revenue for the city or how a park can be good for the environment and for the health of families. 

Now you know how to focus on the question prompt, practising with E2’s exam-like questions will allow you plenty of practice in applying our recommended test methods. Most questions come with sample answers so that you can familiarise yourself with what a good answer for each question type should look like. 

Use the right CELPIP writing format

In CELPIP Writing Task 1 you might be asked to write an email. Emails are always formal and you are writing to someone you don’t know like a manager, so start with a header like “Dear Manager” or “To whom it may concern”. Then state the purpose of your email and write three paragraphs addressing the three bullet points. You should then sign off with a phrase like “Sincerely” or “Regards” and your full name. 

CELPIP Writing Task 2 is similar to a formal essay which means it should have four paragraphs: an introduction, two body paragraphs, and a conclusion. The introduction should be short; about one or two sentences long, with a brief summary of your choice and reasons. To elaborate more on your two reasons, you should then include two body paragraphs exploring these reasons in more detail. These body paragraphs should be about three or four sentences in length. To summarise your essay, use a conclusion of one or two sentences that summarises your overall viewpoint of the whole essay topic. 

Paraphrase the prompt

Many of the words you read for Task 1 and the three bullet points should be paraphrased in some way. That means to say the same idea but in another way by using synonyms. It also means changing a word form from an adjective to a noun or verb or using a phrase to explain something in a different way. 

Likewise in Task 2, use a paraphrase to explain the situation and your choice. Try not to use the exact same words as in the prompt. You can also change the order of the words, for example, “the development of the park” could be “the park development”.

Use a proper tone in writing

The CELPIP writing evaluation includes a category on using the appropriate tone. In Task 1, it is important to use proper and polite language, even if you are complaining. For example, you can still use a polite tone with phrases like “Could you please ensure” or “I would greatly appreciate it”. 

Responding to a survey in Task 2 should be formal in that it is similar to an essay. However, it doesn’t need to be as structured, especially the introduction. It can simply start with your position without a general statement on the topic. You also don’t need to address anyone in Task 2.

Use a range of vocabulary

This means using a variety of different words and not repeating the same word over again. For example, instead of repeating “I think”, you could say “believe”, “feel”, “figure” and “I am of the opinion”. If you can use a synonym for a word, try to do so. Study often used words like “problem” by learning common synonyms such as “difficulty” or “challenge”. Another way that you can show your range of vocabulary in CELPIP writing is by paraphrasing the prompt and your own ideas in both the body and conclusion. For example, if you want to say “a park has benefits for the environment”, try to paraphrase that idea. For example: “a green space can be good for the health of the planet.”

Write between 150 and 200 words

 If you write fewer than 130 or more than 220 words in CELPIP writing section, you can lose points. Stay within the recommended range, which is between 150 and 200. It is best to write at least 180 words if you can to provide enough information, details and examples. If you only write 150, you will not lose points in the category of word count, but you may not have enough idea development or specific examples to score high in content and coherence. 

Provide specific examples

 It is good to be as specific as possible with your examples and try to give at least one or two examples to support each paragraph. If you have to complain about a meal, don’t say something too general like “It was overcooked.” Rather be specific and say “The rib eye steak I ordered medium was overcooked beyond well done and so was extremely dry and chewy.”  

Similarly in Task 2, if you say that a mall can provide jobs, give specific examples like “A mall can provide a range of jobs for security, retail sales associates, entrepreneurs, cleaners, and services like accounts, hair stylists, and even doctors.”


 Take a couple of minutes in the end to check your grammar and spelling. Yes, CELPIP does have spellcheck to help you, but there can still be errors with words like “there”, “their” and “they’re.” 

Proofreading can also be a chance to change a word to use a greater range of vocabulary, add some details to make your examples more specific, or give you a chance to read through and correct grammar errors, all of which can sometimes mean the difference between getting your desired score or not. 

Want a teacher to proofread your essay and give you some advice? Our E2 One-on-one tutorial connects you with an E2 expert. In the session, you can choose the topic/skill you want to focus on for each tutorial, and you can discuss any Writing assessments that you’ve submitted! 

Get the highest CELPIP writing score

Tutorials are excellent to take in the lead-up to your test to make sure you have the confidence you need to ace your test. Learn more about the package to suit your needs with our article about our CELPIP packages.

Keen on more info?  Watch our webinar and get comprehensive Speaking and Writing tips. 

Sign up for a paid package today to unlock full access to all our course materials and get the score you need to succeed.

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