Unsupervised test of reading comprehension for level B or C (COVID-19)
The unsupervised test of reading comprehension for level B or C was developed by the Public Service Commission as a temporary measure to help departments and agencies fill bilingual positions while the situation related to COVID-19 is ongoing.
This test is an unsupervised internet test (UIT). The person being assessed does not need to be tested in a federal government office, but they must have access to a computer and an Internet connection.
It assesses the ability to understand texts in the second official language and takes into account the following points:
- only the B or C level is assessed
- the required level is determined by the organization that requests the test
- hiring managers choose the pass mark that corresponds to the linguistic proficiency level required for the position:
- Level B: 14/25 (56%)
- Level C: 19/25 (76%)
Requirements of the level assessed
The requirements of the assessed level (B or C) are defined in accordance with the Treasury Board Secretariat's Qualification Standards in Relation to Official Languages.
Level B Level C Comprehension of most descriptive or factual material on work-related topics Comprehension of texts dealing with a wide variety of work-related topics
A person reading at this level can:
- grasp the main idea of most work-related texts
- identify specific details
- distinguish between main and subsidiary ideas
A person reading at this level can:
- understand most complex details, inferences and fine points of meaning
- demonstrate good comprehension of specialized or less familiar material
14/25: Meets the requirements of the assessed level.
19/25: Meets the requirements of the assessed level.
Note: A person who achieves a score between 0 and 13 does not meet the requirements for level B. Note: A person who achieves a score between 0 and 18 does not meet the requirements for level C.
Protecting test integrity
All test content is copyrighted material of the Public Service Commission and is designated Protected. It may not be copied, reproduced, translated, distributed or disseminated, in whole or in part, in any form or by any means for commercial or non-commercial purposes. Any unauthorized reproduction, recording or disclosure of test content is in contravention of the Policy on Government Security and the use of such improperly obtained or transmitted information could be found to contravene the provisions of the Public Service Employment Act.
Parties involved in the disclosure or improper use of protected test content may be investigated under the Public Service Employment Act, where a finding of fraud may be punishable on summary conviction, or may be referred to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
The Public Service Commission monitors the web for inappropriate and fraudulent duplication, in whole or in part, of its assessment tools.
It is essential that candidates respond to questions honestly, by themselves, without assistance from other people or other resources (for example, books, and notes). In fairness to all those being assessed, it is also essential that they respect the confidentiality of the testing material and agree not to share or copy any of it.
If the Public Service Commission has reason to doubt the validity of an applicant's test result, that individual may be required to retake the test prior to any appointment being made on the basis of the test result. Any suspected cheating will be referred to the responsible manager and the Public Service Commission's Personnel Psychology Centre for action.
Suspected cheating may result in the invalidation of the test result and may be the subject of an investigation under the Public Service Employment Act. A finding of fraud may be punishable on summary conviction or the case may be referred to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Contact the Personnel Psychology Centre at email@example.com if you think you have seen Public Service Commission test questions posted or shared online (for example, on a website or a private chat room) or shared in another manner (for example, practice test).
Administering the unsupervised test of reading comprehension for level B or C
The unsupervised test of reading comprehension for level B or C can be administered in 2 ways:
1. When creating an advertisement in GC Jobs
Clients can administer these tests through the Public Service Resourcing System. They can be used for all types of appointments (indeterminate, term, acting) to bilingual positions.
2. For all other second language testing needs
The Public Service Commission offers a test administration service outside of the Public Service Resourcing System. This manual service is coordinated in partnership with clients to ensure rigorous distribution of the secure, one-time use web links. It can be used for:
- other types of appointment processes (for example, inventories and non-advertised positions)
- other language testing needs (for example, non-imperative staffing and developmental second language training)
Order the unsupervised test of reading comprehension for level B or C when creating an advertisement in GC Jobs using the Public Service Resourcing System
1. Select 2. Authorization
To order an unsupervised internet test, select “UIT” as an assessment tool when creating a job poster in the Public Service Resourcing System.
Select the unsupervised test of reading comprehension for level B or C. Selecting this option will create the link in the job ad that provides candidates with access to the test upon invitation.
A notification of your request will automatically be sent to the Personnel Psychology Centre at the Public Service Commission for authorization. You will receive an automated message advising you when the use of the test has been approved for your process.
To integrate the unsupervised internet test option into your advertisement, please consult the Screening tools module of the Public Service Resourcing System support centre. For more information, please contact the super-user designated for your organization or the Public Service Resourcing System HelpDesk by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Order the test administration service delivered by the Public Service Commission (outside of the Public Service Resourcing System)
- the human resource representative responsible for the assessments sends an email to the Personnel Psychology Centre to initiate a service request
- a Public Service Commission representative will contact the human resource representative to provide advice and explain the test administration process
- be prepared to share the expected volume of test takers that need to be assessed using the unsupervised test of written expression and the unsupervised test of reading comprehension
To deliver timely service to everyone, we encourage clients to bundle multiple candidates into each order that is submitted, up to a maximum of 250 candidates, regardless of the individual reasons for testing. This will help us maximize testing volumes across the public service.
Requests for the administration of these tests will be prioritized on a first-come, first-serve basis for clients who have a list of candidates ready to be tested. A service request will be completed between the client and the Public Service Commission afterwards.
Candidates who require accommodation measures to fully demonstrate their abilities will be required to advise the hiring organization. If they meet all other qualifications and have indicated a need for accommodation measures, the hiring organization will need to contact them to make alternative arrangements.
Accommodation requests for unsupervised internet tests must be submitted by human resources to the Public Service Commission through the Assessment Accommodation Request System.
Only the Public Service Commission (Personnel Psychology Centre) can determine assessment accommodation measures when a Public Service Commission test is administered.
Cost of test administration
Unsupervised internet tests administered through the Public Service Resourcing System
Core jurisdiction clients
There is no fee for core jurisdiction clients (organizations that are governed under the Public Service Employment Act for their appointments).
Extended jurisdiction clients
The administration service fee is $660 per “UIT” assessment tool that is selected ($1,320 if both the unsupervised test of reading comprehension and the unsupervised test of written expression are used) for organizations not subject to the Act that have their own appointment authority.
This fee will be applied when you add 1 or both “UIT” assessment tools to the job poster in the Public Service Resourcing System.
Unsupervised internet test delivered using the test administration service by the Public Service Commission (outside of the Public Service Resourcing System)
Product and service
for core jurisdiction clients
for extended jurisdiction clients
- Administration fee
- per “UIT” assessment tool for each group of people to be tested (maximum of 250 people)
No further costs
Plus cost per test
- Cost per test
- as per tier
- 1 to 30 tests
- 31 to 100 tests
- 101 to 250 tests
If you opt to use both “UIT” assessment tools, the unsupervised test of reading comprehension and the unsupervised test of written expression, the administration fee will be $1,320 (plus cost per test for extended jurisdiction clients).
- Administration fee
Result and validity period
- The result can only be used to staff the position for which the assessment was conducted. Therefore, it is not transferable from one position to another.
- Hiring managers are responsible for providing persons being assessed with their result, either "Meets the requirements of the assessed level" or "Does not meet the requirements of the assessed level."
- Hiring departments are responsible for documenting and tracking the results for staffing purposes. The Public Service Commission keeps records of the results for internal record-keeping only. Candidates who request their test result from the Public Service Commission will be referred to the requesting department.
- The result is valid for 1 year.
- When the validity period expires, the result is valid for an indefinite period, but solely for the position held by the person, as long as the linguistic profile of the position is not raised to a higher level than what the employee was granted.
- Hiring managers may reassess a person at any time prior to or after making an appointment should there be concerns about their proficiency level and/or to respect departmental policies on updating expired test results.
There’s no retest period for this test since this is a job-specific assessment and the result is not transferable.
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