Sunday, 5 May 2013

The Enhanced Language Training Placement Assessment (ELTPA)

After an entry for CLB last month, today I'm writing a bit about ELTPA test in Canada. This post will be very brief actually. Usually, if you're planning to join a Bridging program from one of Universities/Colleges in Canada, they require CLB score of 7 or 8.  If you have failed to get that CLB score in your first attempt, you won't be able to resit the test within 6 months. Here is the reason for ELTPA taking place. This is the next test candidate for those who pass CLB 6 or higher but still not meet their need. Some Bridging programs or colleges in Canada will consider this ELTPA as an alternative for CLB if ELTPA score is higher than CLB, not all of them. Before attempting ELTPA, you should confirm with your education institute to see if they accept it. If you just want to self experience, go ahead and acquire as much as you can. Since it's hard to find useful info about ELTPA, this post will try to describe what I've known about the test after my own test. The post is not an absolute guide from any officially Canadian Language Assessment office. Please be advised!

So far, I don't think many people have known or heard about this kind of test. At least between all of my friends, none of them is aware of this test. Also, when I took the test in one of biggest YMCA centre in Toronto, they didn't have many examiners who were trained to holding the test. It was about just one ELTPA test held in a month or so. Personally, I knew about this test just because my CLB score was not high enough. At the moment I received my CLB score, I was asking my examiner for a suggestion and she recommended me to ELTPA.

ELTPA is considered more difficult than general CLB if the person taking it doesn't familiarize with working environment. In my case, I feel ELTPA easier since I'm pretty experienced with working topics. To compare with CLB, the total test time of ELTPA is absolutely longer. You need to spare at least 3 hours 30 mins for the entire test plus the time waiting for results. Similar to CLB, you need the Permanent Residence status (at least) to be eligible for this test. 

The test is run with four parts as any other English test: Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening. Here is the only related info I found from the Internet:

(Source: Centre for Education and Training)
As being stated, reading part contains around 4 passages with particular factors regarding to work environment. Task 3 has two passages and two of them woven to each other in linking diagram and opinion distinguishing questions. Approximately, each passage will carry around 7 to 15 questions. The total time for reading was 60 mins in the image above, but I was given 45 minutes only. Therefore, I think it's the best to confirm with the examiner before the test start.

Writing test carries two tasks, one is an informal letter/memo/report and one is a formal letter/email for interacting between persons at work (colleagues, employees and managers, ...). Particularly in my test, the first task asked me to write a memo in two paragraphs to ask for help from my co-worker who has more experience than me in some areas of expertise. And the second task was to write a formal letter in three paragraphs to my supervisor, who is soon leaving for a better job opportunities, to express my gratitude and ask for a future job reference.

(Source: Centre for Education and Training)
Speaking test took place around 15 mins. First, the examiner told me what kind of education she obtained and how it was applied to her job. She then asked me to describe back for her about my background education as well as how it was related to my job position. She also wanted to hear what kind of training you can suggest a person to succeed at the same kind of job you are doing. What is the most important matter to be successful at your job. Why do you like your job? You will be asked to debate about some social topics as well. I was given one minute to prepare and asked to talk in two minutes about how globalization has affected to society. 

Finally, listening test lasted from around 15 to 20 mins. Having been through painful experience from CLB speaking test, I carefully asked the examiner if I was allowed to take notes during listening time. It was good that I could take notes for the first 3 recordings and I did great on them. The fourth recording didn't accept note taking. You need to listen through roughly from beginning to the end, memorize the conversation content and the speakers' feelings. Get ready to be asked about all of those details at the end of the recording. The last recording was a conversation between two HR persons discussing about hiring process. This section, I need to circle a single correct choice for 5 questions. The speakers tend to implicit some meanings (you need to re-phrase them and pick up your correct choice) or mix up the order between the conversation content and the questions (the spoken content was not matching with the order of questions was printed on your answer sheet). 

Generally, I did great on ELTPA. I think that was mostly because I had experience with the test format and how it was held from my previous CLB test. Another good factor is that since the examiner asks you about your job industry first, you're likely given the test set suiting to your field as well. For ELTPA test, except that it's longer and leaning completely to work environment, I only have one tiny note for you. If you have planned for doing something else after the test, you should leave at least a good 3 hour gap between your test and the other schedule. 


  1. Thank you very much for sharing all this information about ELTPA. I challenge the test on May 13th, 2013; I received the results today, and was very happy with them.

    Thank you!!!!!!

  2. You're very welcome Victoria. Very happy to hear feedback like yours ;)

  3. Hi, Thank you very much for your guidance. I had done well and got 8 in all sessions but they require 9 in each part to enter the program which i choose. so i have to write again in 6 months. do you have any idea about the second attempt. pls let me know. Thanks.

  4. You got all 8 for ELTPA or CLB? Since you post the comment here, I think it's ELTPA. I just took this test once, I have no idea about the second time. I forgot to ask about the waiting period for the second attempt since I got what I needed. Sorry about that. In this case, I guess you need to call a YCMA centre to ask for more details. In the mean time, I think you still apply for your program anyway, who knows they will accept you. 8 is ok in my opinion. Good luck!

  5. Hi guys,
    Could you please let me know where can I find any study materials for ELTPA?


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