Second Language Evaluation Transition to On-line Testing

Since April 1, 2013, on-line testing for Second Language Evaluation (SLE) tests has been mandatory. This helps reduce security risks related to shipping, receiving and storage of paper and pencil tests. On-line testing is a requirement for implementing Computer-Generated (CGT) SLE testing where test-takers take different but equivalent versions of the same test. CGT is a critical part of test security and ensuring the integrity of SLE testing. In addition, the move to on-line testing helps meet the paperless agenda of the Government of Canada.

If you are not already set up for on-line testing, your organization will need to make alternate arrangements for your candidates' SLE testing. Options include candidates being tested in one of the Public Service Commission's (PSC) regional offices or coordinating requests with other organizations who have set up on-line testing facilities. Requests with the PSC must be made using the SLE Scheduling System (SLE-SS).

The advent of on-line testing for the Test of Reading Comprehension and the Test of Written Expression does not affect the Test of Oral Proficiency (TOP). All requests for SLE-TOP with the PSC continue to be made through our SLE-SS.

The use of paper and pencil tests may be permitted in the case of adapted tests and when the test is administered in a remote location, i.e., the test location is more than 250 km from a PSC office. It may also be permitted by the PSC in other specific circumstances.

The PSC or its representatives may, at any time, conduct an examination of the organization's premises, documents and records to verify and confirm compliance with security requirements in order to ensure organizations are respecting the necessary security safeguards for on-line testing facilities.

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.

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