if you are studying Brazilian Portuguese more likely than European Portuguese, you might be wondering which exam you can work on. Most people are familiar with the Portuguese CAPLE system, which corresponds to the A1, A2, B1, B2, C1 and C2 format of the European CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) standard.
Although there are many crossovers between European Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese and they are essentially the same language, many people choose to focus on Brazilian Portuguese rather than European Portuguese. In most cases, if you’re planning to live in Portugal, you should probably focus on European Portuguese, as that’s what you’ll be in the most contact with. However, there are several reasons why you might decide that Brazilian Portuguese is the right choice for you.
The first and main reason if you are planning to move to Brazil is mainly for work or study. CELPE-Bras is the only language proficiency test recognized by the Brazilian Ministry of Education that may be required for a position or vacancy at a Brazilian university. Another reason could be that you don’t spend much time in Portugal and speak more Brazilians than Portuguese.
CELPE-Bras exam levels: Intermediate, Upper Intermediate, Advanced and Upper Advanced. They roughly correspond to B1, B2, C1 and C2. Once you have decided which level you want to test at (eg B2), the next step is to find a course that will take you to that level. Portuguese Pod101 e Portuguese semantics both offer content at this level, for example.
It is recommended to sign up for the test in advance or at least set a date for the test. You should also read about what the test includes, which is a 20 minute oral component and a 3 hour written component based on the texts you read and the video and audio you listen to.
Some people are tempted by Brazilian Portuguese as it seems to be easier than European Portuguese, but that is not a good reason to learn it instead of Portuguese Portuguese. In addition, if you plan to apply for citizenship in Portugal – for example, if you qualify after five years of residence in Portugal – you will need to submit Portuguese level A2, which is actually a level below the easiest level you can get through in CELPE-Bras: Intermediate.
If you are interested in Brazilian Portuguese but want to learn Portuguese as a world language, there is a book dedicated to this: Meeting point: Portuguese as a world language. You can also find Brazilian and Portuguese teachers on websites like Italki which can help you practice your conversation and correct it when you confuse the two. However, in general, most courses focus on one or the other, so you need to figure out how to learn and support both.