Unsupervised Test of Reading Comprehension


This online test is administered remotely. Candidates don’t need to be tested in a federal government office, but they must have access to a computer and an Internet connection. Candidates take this test using the Candidate Assessment Tool testing platform.

Requirements of the level assessed

This test evaluates the general proficiency levels required for bilingual positions in the federal public service, based on the Qualification Standards in Relation to Official Languages.

Candidates can get result X, A, B or C.

Departments and agencies choose the proficiency level required for each position. The scores that correspond to each proficiency level can be found in the table below.

Level A

Level B

Level C

Requires comprehension of texts on topics of limited scope

Requires comprehension of most descriptive or factual material on work-related topics

Requires comprehension of texts dealing with a wide variety of work-related topics

A person reading at this level can:

  • understand simple texts with elementary information
  • grasp the main idea of texts on familiar topics

A person reading at this level can:

  • grasp the main idea of most work-related texts
  • identify specific details
  • distinguish between main and secondary 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

Score: 9 to 13

Score: 14 to 18

Score: 19 to 25

Note: An “X” is the result for those below level “A” who obtain a score of 0 to 8.

Protecting test integrity

All test content is copyrighted material of the Public Service Commission of Canada 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.

Cheating awareness

Candidates must respond to questions honestly, by themselves and without help from other people or resources such as books or notes. To ensure fairness for all those being assessed, candidates must respect the confidentiality of the testing material and agree not to share or copy any part of it.

If the Public Service Commission has reason to doubt the validity of a test result, the candidate may have to retake the test before any appointment is made on the basis of the test result. Any suspected cheating will be referred to the responsible manager and the 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 cfp.cpp-ppc.psc@canada.ca if you think Public Service Commission test questions have been posted or shared online (for example, on a website or in a private chat room) or shared in another way, such as through a practice test.

Administering the Unsupervised Test of Reading Comprehension

Test administered by the department or agency

Departments and agencies are encouraged to self-serve and administer the Unsupervised Test of Reading Comprehension using the Candidate Assessment Tool.

To learn how to request and receive your test administration access and invite candidates to take tests, please read the information for test administrators (accessible only on the Government of Canada network).

Test administered by the Public Service Commission

The Public Service Commission offers a test administration service on a cost recovery basis.

To use this service, follow these steps:

  • the human resources representative responsible for the assessments sends an email to the Personnel Psychology Centre at cfp.cpp-ppc.psc@canada.ca to initiate a service request
  • a Public Service Commission representative will contact the human resources representative to provide advice and explain the test administration process
  • be prepared to share the expected number of test takers to be assessed using the Unsupervised Test of Reading Comprehension and the Unsupervised Test of Written Expression, if both assessment tools are requested

To ensure prompt service for everyone, clients should bundle up to 250 candidates who are ready to be tested into each order that is submitted, regardless of the reasons for testing. This will make processing requests more efficient and maximize testing volumes across the public service. A service request will be completed between the client and the Public Service Commission afterwards.

Accommodation measures

Candidates who need accommodation measures to fully demonstrate their abilities must advise the hiring organization. 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’s Personnel Psychology Centre can determine assessment accommodation measures when a Public Service Commission test is administered.

Please note that departments and agencies cannot administer tests with accommodation measures through the Candidate Assessment Tool platform at this time; however, they can administer the tests in-person if the candidate agrees. Alternatively, the Public Service Commission will continue to administer remote second language evaluations requiring accommodation measures, in the Candidate Assessment Tool platform, until further notice. Meanwhile, the Public Service Commission is also working to develop and pilot features that will continue to improve the administration and experience for candidates requesting accommodation measures for second language evaluation.

Cost of test administration

Unsupervised internet tests administered by the department or agency, using the Candidate Assessment Tool self-service

Core jurisdiction clients

There is no fee for core jurisdiction clients (departments and agencies that are governed by the Public Service Employment Act for their appointments).

Extended jurisdiction clients

A fee of $25 per test scored is applicable for departments and agencies with their own appointment authority.

Unsupervised internet tests administered by the Public Service Commission, using the Candidate Assessment Tool

Product and service

Cost ($) for core jurisdiction clients

Cost ($) 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
per tier

1 to 30 tests



31 to 100 tests



101 to 250 tests



If you opt to use both 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).

Results and validity

Candidates can access their test results under the My Tests section in the Candidate Assessment Tool, 48 hours after the test expiry date (the “deadline date” in their test invitation email).

If a candidate took this test on or after September 1, 2022, in the Candidate Assessment Tool:

  • test results are valid for 5 years, provided that the candidate has respected the 30-day retest waiting period
    • when the 5-year validity period expires, results are valid for an indefinite period of time, for people who remain in the same position, provided that the linguistic profile of the position is not raised above their skill level while they are in the position
  • results on this test are portable: they may be reused for hiring across the federal public service
    • results from this test are stored and managed by the Public Service Commission

Note: The valid score is always the most recent score where the test conditions have been met, regardless of the format (online or paper) and administration method (in person or remote).

Hiring managers may reassess a candidate at any time before or after making an appointment if there are concerns about their proficiency level, or to respect departmental policies on updating expired test results.


When scoring the Test of Reading Comprehension, the Candidate Assessment Tool will automatically apply the scoring key for that test. As a result, the Public Service Commission does not offer rescores of tests that are administered online.

Retest waiting period

There is a 30-day waiting period before a candidate can retake the test of reading comprehension regardless of the format (online or paper) and administration method (in person or remote).

If a person retakes the test before the retest period has elapsed, the result will not be valid, and a new retest period will be set from the most recent test date.


The Test of Reading Comprehension is used to assess candidates’ knowledge in their second official language. It is not used to provide information on strengths and weaknesses or as a diagnostic instrument. As a result, the information on performance is limited to the score achieved on the ability assessed (reading comprehension), and more detailed feedback cannot be provided.

Confirmation of test results

Results extracted from the Candidate Assessment Tool by test administrators can be used by their organization as an official result to confirm the candidate’s second language competency.

While the Candidate Assessment Tool is used to administer tests, test results are stored and managed centrally by the Public Service Commission in a different system. If the candidate retakes the test 30 days after the testing date, the new result will replace the previous one and will be available in the centralized test results system.

If you need to validate a result for a Public Service Commission test, you can obtain it in one of these ways:

Candidate has a Personal Record Identifier (Test Results Search Tool)

The Test Results Search Tool (TRST) allows HR specialists to retrieve official second language evaluation results electronically for candidates who have a Personal Record Identifier (PRI).

To access the Test Results Search Tool, departments and agencies must have a signed Memorandum of Understanding with the Public Service Commission.

The tool is also used by HR specialists who want to have a candidate’s file updated by:

  • adding or modifying a PRI
  • updating a test result
  • updating other information

For information about updating a candidate’s file or to register a new account, contact the system administrator at cfp.orrt-trst.psc@canada.ca.

The candidate can provide the HR advisor’s name on the form so that the advisor can receive copies of the latest valid test results directly.

Candidate does not have a Personal Record Identifier

Candidates who don’t have a Personal Record Identifier (PRI) and need a copy of their test results can request them from the Public Service Commission by filling out and submitting the following form: Confirmation of previous Public Service Commission test results.

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