Test of reading comprehension (633 and 634)

Second Language Evaluation  ̶ Test of Reading Comprehension

Evaluates all general proficiency levels required for bilingual positions in the federal public service, based on the Treasury Board Secretariat’s Qualification Standards in Relation to Official Languages.

Level A Level B Level C
NOTE: An exemption (“E”) from further second language reading comprehension testing will be granted to persons who obtain a score of 45 to 50

NOTE: An “X” is the result for those below level “A” who obtain a score of 0 to 17

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 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

Score: 18 to 27

Score: 28 to 37

Score: 38 to 44


Made up of a variety of texts, for example:

  • emails
  • notes/memos
  • letters
  • information bulletins
  • excerpts from reports
  • research papers

Assesses your ability to understand texts written in your second official language.

  • 60 multiple-choice questions (only 50 count towards your score)
  • 10 are pilot questions
  • two question types:
    1. Choose the best word or group of words to insert in the blank
    2. Answer a question about the text
  • maximum of 90 minutes to complete the test
  • administered online (paper version available only under exceptional circumstances)
  • available in multiple formats if you require assessment accommodation
Pilot questions

There are 10 pilot questions within the test:

  • your answers to these questions will not contribute to your final score
  • the questions have gone through a rigorous review process by a multi-disciplinary team of test developers and subject matter experts to ensure that they are consistent with the other questions in terms of quality, difficulty and format
  • pilot questions are included to enable the continuous development of valid and reliable questions for future tests
  • this procedure is standard practice for many internationally-recognized testing organizations and ensures test integrity and merit-based appointments
  • pilot questions are not identified and are distributed throughout the test to allow for a more accurate assessment of their quality
Protecting test integrity

You are not permitted to disclose test content with other people (e.g., other test-takers, employees, superiors or language teachers). Any 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 (PSEA).

Parties involved in the disclosure of or improper use of PROTECTED test content may be the subject of an investigation under the PSEA, where a finding of fraud may be punishable on summary conviction or may be referred to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

If you realize that you have seen the test questions outside of the testing session, inform the test administrator immediately.

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: