Test of written expression (654)

Second Language Evaluation – Writing

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 written expression testing will be granted to persons who obtain a score of 52 to 55

NOTE: An “X” is the result for those below level “A” who obtain a score of 0 to 19

Ability to write very limited units of information

Ability to write short descriptive or factual texts

Ability to write explanations or descriptions in a variety of informal and formal work-related situations

A person writing at this level can:

  • write isolated words, phrases, simple statements or questions on very familiar topics using words of time, place or person

A person writing at this level can:

  • write with sufficient mastery of grammar and vocabulary to deal with explicit information on work-related topics

A person writing at this level can:

  • write texts in which the ideas are developed and presented in a coherent manner in which vocabulary, grammar and spelling are generally appropriate and require few corrections

Score: 20 to 30

Score: 31 to 42

Score: 43 to 51


Made up of a variety of texts, for example:

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

Assesses knowledge of grammar, vocabulary and other aspects of written expression that are necessary to perform writing tasks dealing with work-related situations.

  • 65 multiple-choice questions (only 55 count towards your score)
  • 10 are pilot questions
  • two question types:
    1. Fill in the blank
    2. Error identification
  • 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.

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