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Should I Use a Template To Help Me Get A Higher CELPIP Score?
Episode 6418th June 2024 • The Speak English Fearlessly Podcast • Aaron Nelson
00:00:00 00:09:50

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Why You Should Avoid Using Templates for CELPIP Preparation

This episode of the Speak English Fearlessly podcast discusses the pitfalls of using templates for CELPIP exam preparation.

You've likely heard or read about templates before - they are easily available online.

But just because you can easily get one, does that mean you should use it?


Templates may offer an easy way out, but they are not what CELPIP test raters look for, which are original, unassisted, and spontaneous responses.

Using templates can risk having your answers voided and can misrepresent your actual language abilities, potentially harming your job search or success in the job you currently have.

Instead, learn useful transition words and phrases, and engaging with English speakers around you to adopt new expressions in a natural and effective manner. This episode will show you how to do that.

00:00 Introduction to CELPIP Preparation

01:38 The Temptation of Templates

03:25 Risks of Using Templates

05:28 Effective Strategies for CELPIP Success

06:58 Engage with English Around You

08:22 Conclusion and Final Tips

Helpful Links:

Grab your free list of 39 common transition words and phrases right here.


Using CELPIP Sample responses in the classroom.

Preparing for the CELPIP test: Test Integrity


If you've been working on getting ready for the CELPIP long enough, you've likely done a few Google searches or YouTube searches, for preparation resources in order to help you out, right? On your searches, have you ever come across sites or YouTube videos offering you templates? I'm sure you have.

I did a quick search on Google and found over 50, 000 results pointing towards speaking skills, templates alone, 50,000. That's a lot. So if there are so many ways to get templates out there, they must be something I should be using to get the score I need on the exam. Right? Wrong, let's talk about it.

opened like this "With these:

Imagine a copy and paste solution. Just copy and paste the answers into your speaking, which I guess means that you just need to memorize them and you'll get the results that you need. And that just might be what you're looking for right now. An easy way to score well on the CELPIP. That might be what you're looking for, but is it what the CELPIP is looking for?

According to, test raters are looking for answers that are original, unassisted, and spontaneous. Original answers are answers that you have created all by yourself and aren't based on anyone else's ideas. Unassisted means you didn't get any kind of help to give the response you gave. It was 100 percent by you. And spontaneous means you came up with 100 percent of that response in the moment you were presented with that question. Original, unassisted, and spontaneous. Using a templated response is the exact opposite of an original, unassisted, and spontaneous response.

It's someone else's. And using a template response leaves you open to two major risks. The first one is the word void. Have you ever seen the word void before? The most common place for you to see it is on a check. If someone writes the word void across a check, it means that that check is no longer useful.

You can't use it to perform a transaction. You can't go to the bank and cash it. You can't go to a store and use it. It has been canceled. That's what void means. It's no longer. useful. And if you use a templated response on the CELPIP, you run the risk of having your answer Get canceled.

If thousands of others are using the same answer, which could very likely happen if you take a template from the internet somewhere. If thousands of other people found that exact same template and they are using it as well, you have a high risk or a high chance of having your response flagged and your scores canceled, which could be a huge setback for you.

The second big risk that you face if you use a templated answer is that you risk hurting yourself. The CELPIP measures your actual abilities in English. If you use someone else's response on the exam to get a certain score, you're not really doing yourself a favor. When you show a potential employer, for example, that you have an 11 or a 12 on the CELPIP exam, when in reality your skills are far lower. It will only be a matter of time,

before they notice, your score wasn't accurate, and you'll not get the job you were hoping for, or needing. Or worse, you could end up not succeeding at that job and losing it. All because your language level wasn't as high as you said it was. Okay, so templates aren't a good idea. But here's what you should do.

Number one, focus on learning useful words and phrases to help you express your ideas. It's okay, for example, to memorize the most common transition words that help native English speakers transition from one idea to another one. This is not memorizing a complete response to an answer, which is what a template offers to help you to do.

Memorizing useful phrases like, first of all, secondly, and finally, for example, is a good thing to do, because they are commonly used transition words and phrases. But here's the thing: in order for them to be effective, you still need to add your own ideas to create a complete response, which CELPIP test raters are looking for.

Would you like to get your hands on a free list of 39 of some of the most common transition words and phrases for when you are wanting to move from one idea to another one?

This list, by the way, will help you both with your writing and your speaking skills. And, uh, They are only a list. You won't find complete sentences with them being used. That's for you to create. If you'd like to grab your list, just go to It's totally free. All you need to do is sign up and then you can download that list.

Let's go on to idea number two. Listen to the English that's happening all around you. And then, STEAL IT! If you're already living in Canada, you are literally surrounded by English all the time. This is the perfect place for you to pick up new ways to express your ideas. Here's what you should be doing the next time you are around a group of people speaking English.

Listen carefully! You'll likely hear someone express something in a way that you've never heard before, or in a way that sounds really interesting or fascinating or curious to you. As soon as you hear it, steal it, try to make a mental note of what they said, and then you go and try to use the same expression or the same word.

Little kids do this all the time when they're learning their first language. They hear someone say something that they think is really cool, or the way that they said it sounded really interesting, and then they copy it and try to use it themselves. That's how we grow our language skills. And this is still different from a template.

You're not memorizing a complete answer to a question. You're just creating little blocks of speech that you can connect together in different ways to help you express your ideas differently than you normally do. So to sum up, don't use a template when you're preparing for the CELPIP. It's not really helping you.

You might be able to do well on the exam if you don't get caught, of course, but it won't help you in real life after the exam. Instead, focus on learning how to use transition words and phrases that are Commonly being used all around you.

And finally, involve yourself with the English that's going on around you. When you hear an interesting way to express an idea or share an opinion in a conversation that you are a part of, steal it. Steal that phrase, steal that word, and try to use it yourself. This is a great way for you to grow your English fluency skills.

Your fluency in English grows by you actually using English. And the more you are using English, the more your confidence, and the more your skills and the more your CELPIP scores will grow.

Thank you for listening to this week's episode, and I will see you again next Tuesday. And don't forget, if you haven't already, you can grab your list of 39 of some of the most common transitional words and phrases that you can use in your speech or when you are writing. To get yours, just go to



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