A Quick Review: English IRBr 2017 Concurso.

The new ‘edital’, a quick review of IRBr concurso 2017

There has been some considerable changes in the CESPE CACD ‘concurso’ this year and the English section has been given an even higher status than previous year’s exams. So it needs some attnetion. While English in the TPS has now fewer questions (from 13 to 9) in this first phase, English is now considered as an elimination section with a minimum score rquired and therefore raises its importance and difficulty considerably. 

Let’s look at the main changes and their consequences.

 Phase one. The ‘edital’ states:

  1. a) Primeira Fase: prova objetiva, constituída de questões do tipo CERTO ou ERRADO de Língua Portuguesa, Língua Inglesa, História do Brasil, História Mundial, Política Internacional, Geografia, Noções de Economia e Noções de Direito e Direito Internacional Público, de caráter eliminatório, que habilitará os candidatos a se submeterem às fases seguintes;

The type of question, True or False, is maintained in this section and it seems that any going back to include any multiple-choice questions is now ended.

Phase 1 Comparison

Here is a small table comparing the questions from last year and this yeat. The number of questions stay the same but most subject have a different weight of questions.

Área de conhecimentoNúmero de questões


Número de questões


Língua Portuguesa1410
Língua Inglesa139
História do Brasil611
História Mundial1111
Politico Externa1212
Noções de Economia68
Noções de Direito e Direito Internacional Público66
73 points73 point

It seems that History and Economics have stolen the points from the languages. Both Portuguese and English have lost 8 points, so that is 10% less than 2016.

History has always been one of the most important subjects to study so this should not change a candidate’s studies. With regard the overall exam History is now the main subject on the test extending is significance over Portuguese even more. 

In this first phase English has fallen behind International Politics and is now 4th in importance.


Phase 2 and 3

In 2016, the English section was a placed in phase 3. Now it has moved to phase 2 and there is a minimum score requirement of 50 points to classify. So less than 50 points and you are OUT. In my opinion this is very managable in the context of the exam and should sort out ‘the wheat from the chaff‘ (those who are good candidates and have prepared and those who are not). The structure of the English test has not changed, and you can see the same points awarded for each sections below in this year’s ‘edital’ description. While in phase 1, English has lost some of its importance, in phase 2 it is now been given equal importance to what was perhaps the most important subject, Portuguese.

Now there is no room for candidates who have not taken their preparation of English seriously as this year the examiner is less forgiving.


7.7 A redação e os demais exercícios da prova escrita de Língua Inglesa serão avaliados segundo os critérios a seguir: 2017 (100 ponts) (2017)

Questões Pontuação máxima
Redação sobre tema geral, com extensão de 400 a 450 palavras50,00 pontos
Tradução de um texto do inglês para o português20,00 pontos
Versão de um texto do português para o inglês15,00 pontos
Elaboração de um resumo, em inglês, a partir de um texto escrito em Língua Inglesa15,00 pontos


The other main change is that now English writing has been given 1 hour more and has changed from 4 to 5 hours. This does not necessarily mean the time will be better for the candidates as more time means they must manage their strategy more carefully. More time brings different pressures which can cause nerves and consequently wrong decision making.


Discipline, as always, is fundamental.


English Between Phase 1 and 2

If you have not previously prepared for the English section you only have only 7 weeks between the first and second phase. Phase 1 on 13th August and phase 2 on 31st Sept (Portuguese) and 1st October (English). If you think you have passed the first phase (because you won’t immediately know your score), then you have to ‘put all your eggs in one basket’ and study like mad between these dates.

As last year, Central English will offer an intensive course for those who need it. This will be issued online in the next few days. See www.centralenglish.com.br shortly

Those who have already been studying with us at Central English – well done – you have time for us to adjust the course and keep improving your work until the day of the test. We will now use the new criteria to score your test


The Criteria

For teachers like me, the more information we can get with regard the criteria of the exam, the better. Our students can be evaluated even better. Thank you examiner for, at last, offering a few more details on how you will divide up your score. Trying to decide what was on the examiners mind in the translations and summary was like trying to understand the working of a crazy man. It was almost impossible to understand, now it is a little better.

Here is the criteria:

7 A redação e os demais exercícios da prova escrita de Língua Inglesa serão avaliados segundo os critérios a seguir:

Critérios de avaliação na prova de Língua Inglesa Pontuação máxima
Redação sobre tema geral (total de 50,00 pontos)
1 Organização do texto e desenvolvimento do tema
a) Apresentação/impressão geral do texto, legibilidade, estilo e coerência10,00 pontos
b) Capacidade de argumentação (objetividade, sistematização, conteúdo e pertinência das informações)10,00 pontos
c) Capacidade de análise e reflexão5,00 pontos
2 Correção gramatical e propriedade da linguagem25,00 pontos
Tradução de texto do inglês para o português (total de 20,00 pontos)
1 Fidelidade ao estilo do texto original5,00 pontos
2 Correção gramatical e propriedade da linguagem15,00 pontos
Versão de texto do português para o inglês (total de 15,00 pontos)
1 Fidelidade ao estilo do texto original5,00 pontos
2 Correção gramatical e propriedade da linguagem10,00 pontos
Resumo, em inglês, a partir de texto escrito em língua inglesa (total de 15,00 pontos)
1 Capacidade de síntese e concisão5,00 pontos
2 Correção gramatical e propriedade da linguagem10,00 pontos


Composition criteria

The composition is still 50% of the total English score, however, the old scoring has changed. Happily, the capacity to argue and analyse the question is now clearly described (10 + 5 = 15 points), I felt that the last few years the quality of the arguments did not have the necessary emphasis as 2 to 3 years ago. This will make a difference for those with a more critical and developed idea of international relations and politics.

The examiner has been kind in allowing you to make more that 20 mistakes, now it is 25. But if you are making so many mistakes this does not really help, you will be dis-classify yourself by your poor performance. Who benefits from  this is still those who make only one or two mistakes as the other organizational area of the composition has been given equal weighting, before it was 5 points more So, accuracy is an even more critical differential.

For those people reading this who are working on our CACD Composition and Summary course, I will go into this area even more in our Facebook group and on the course.

That is it for now. Good Luck


Any comments on this add them below. I am sure as the ‘concurso’s’ ‘edital’ is less than 24 hours old I may have made some small errors or missed something important. Please let me know.

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