CELU: Certificate of Spanish: Language and Use

The Certificate of Use of Language in Spanish, or CELU (In Spanish: Certificado de Espanol: Lengua y Uso), is a standardized test, designed to know the proficiency level in the Spanish language. 

The CELU exam can be taken by anyone whose first language is not Spanish and is required to prove a certain level of proficiency in the Spanish language. The exam is accepted by many of the universities in Argentina for international students, and is the only exam officially recognized by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Argentina. This certificate is awarded by the consortium of 20 national public universities in Argentina. 

This exam assesses the candidate’s ability to talk and write in the Spanish language in different situations.  Students who pass this language exam are eligible for studying or working in Argentina, where the knowledge of Spanish is a requisite. 

Eligibility Criteria

  • Candidate must be 16 years old
  • Candidates must have at least 3 years of high school education, or EGB3 as per the current education system of Argentina

CELU Exam Levels

CELU has two levels:
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
Intermediate Level: An intermediate level indicates that the candidates can communicate in the Spanish language with a certain degree of fluency in familial, social and service-related contexts, while they may struggle in unknown contexts or when having a detailed conversation. This level indicates that the candidate can communicate well enough in work and academic settings. 
This level is the threshold for university studies in Argentina.

Advanced Level: The advance level indicates that the candidate can talk comfortably, easily and spontaneously in a broad range of familial and social situations. It also states that he/she can communicate effectively in academic as well as work-related situations. 

CELU Exam Structure

The CELU comprises of two parts:
  • Written
  • Oral

Written Part

This part assesses the reading, listening and writing skills of the candidates. In this section, candidates are required to listen to a text and produce an essay for an informal or formal reader. Also, the candidate is required to read 3 texts taken from several media sources or other publications, and based on the reading you’re required to write 3 own texts, such as opinion articles, letter to editor, report, etc.  

Type of texts: The text can be biographies, news, essays of academic subjects, business reports, survey, messages, announcements, general knowledge, bits f stories or novels, brochures, personal letters, etc.

Duration: 3 hours

Assessment: The evaluation criteria are: the use of language for producing a suitable and appropriate text to speech situation item; and consistency.

Oral Part

This part assesses the reading, listening and speaking skills of the candidates. This part consists of an interview with two teachers. In the first part of the interview, candidates interest areas, future plans etc are discussed. In the second part of the interview, a short text is given and candidates are required to discuss it, express their opinions, or the candidate is required to talk about a subject or topic for about 2 minutes or more. The third part of this section consists of a role play in which teacher and candidate talk as per the situation. 

Duration: 15-20 minutes

Assessment: The evaluation criteria are: the use of language, pronunciation and grammar during the conversation or discussion; as well as the fluency and consistency. 

Dates and Deadlines

The CELU exam is held in June and November. Application for the exam is open 3 months before the exam dates and remains open for 1 month.

Exam Venues in Argentina

The CELU exam is held at the following venues:
  • Buenos Aires
  • Cordoba
  • La Pampa
  • La Plata
  • Mar del Plata
  • Quilmes
  • Rio Cuarto
  • San Luis
  • San Martin
  • Santa Fe
  • Tandil
  • San Fernando del Valle de Catamarca


The exam results are posted on the website 2 months after the exam. Certificates are issued and delivered to the candidates. 

Grading: There are 2 “pass” grades- for intermediate or advanced level, given to the candidates. Both grades indicate the level of proficiency in the Spanish language and its use in dealing with everyday conditions, and in academic and work situations.  

Certificate: A certificate in the language is issued to the candidates. The certificate includes the candidate’s name, nationality, exam date and venue, exam level- intermediate or advanced, and the distinction level- Good, Very Good or Excellent.

Registration and Fees

You can register for the exam at the official website. Candidates must register with their identity card. The same ID must be carried on the test day.  It can be any valid identity card or passport issued by official authorities of the country of origin or Argentina. Registration is completed by the payment of fees and the confirmation email from the host institution. 

Register for CELU: Log on to https://www.celu.edu.ar/es
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