Online testing for second language evaluation 

Online testing for written expression and reading comprehension helps reduce security risks related to shipping, receiving and storing paper and pencil tests. Online testing is a requirement for implementing computer-generated testing, where test-takers take different but equivalent versions of the same test. Computer-generated testing is a critical part of test security and ensuring the integrity of second language testing. Online testing also helps meet the Government of Canada’s paperless agenda.

If you aren’t already set up for online testing, your department or agency will need to make other arrangements for your candidates’ second language testing. Options include candidates being tested in one of the Public Service Commission’s regional offices, or coordinating requests with other organizations who have online testing facilities. To request a test at one of the Public Service Commission’s regional offices, use the Second Language Evaluation – Scheduling System (SLE-SS) (accessible only on the Government of Canada network).

Online testing does not apply to the Oral Language Assessment. All requests for oral assessment are made through the scheduling system.

Paper and pencil tests may be allowed in some cases, including for adapted tests and when the test is administered in a remote location (more than 250 km from a Public Service Commission office).

The Public Service Commission or its representatives may, at any time, conduct an examination of a department or agency’s premises, documents and records to check compliance with security requirements and to ensure that the necessary security safeguards for online testing facilities are in place.

Information technology

Ensure that any computers used for on-line testing have a minimum version of 1.6.0_02 of Java Runtime Environment. You can determine the current version you are using by testing your system.

The use of laptops is permitted for the administration of on-line SLE tests. You MUST make sure that any computers used for your testing sessions meet all necessary Information Technology (IT) and security requirements, as indicated in “System Requirements”.

The PSC does not offer departments/agencies direct technical support for setting up their on-line testing rooms; however, we have developed a user-friendly guide to implementing IT requirements. The PSC will work with you to help your organization understand these requirements.

The “Technician’s Guide for Implementing Safeguards to Protect Test Integrity” was specifically developed for the use of IT specialists. Please work with your organization's IT specialists to put in place the necessary security safeguards for on-line testing. Should your IT specialists have particular questions or concerns related to the documentation, contact us for assistance at

Test administrator

A test administrator is a federal government employee who has been certified by the PSC to administer on-line tests. The test administrator must possess at least a Level B in reading and in oral proficiency to administer a test in their second official language. For more information on how to become a test administrator for your organization, please send an e-mail to

Certified on-line test administrators can use their accounts to order practice tests through the OLTF in order to test the set-up of their computer systems and ensure they are compliant with IT requirements.

Check the following links for more information about:

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: