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Everything You Need to Know About Taking the SLE

Everything You Need to Know About Taking the SLE

Second Language Evaluation (SLE) testing can take various forms based on the policies and procedures of an agency or department.

The Public Service Commission of Canada (PSC) is the official and primary source for SLE testing. However, federal agencies and departments can also outsource SLE testing through a qualified vendor.

There are also multiple versions of the SLE tests a candidate can take.

This blog will only address test administration provided through the PSC.

Provided by the PSC

The PSC offers three official SLE tests:

SLE tests are administered during a hiring process for a bilingual position or to renew or retest a current employee’s SLE results.

The PSC only schedules tests when a request is submitted by a federal organization’s human resource office.

Find out everything about the SLE test here.

Third-Party Provider

As mentioned above, certain third-party providers, including LRDG, are qualified to provide SLE oral tests to federal candidates. Third-party providers can administer all three evaluations if a candidate is from a crown corporation.

The style and content of these third-party tests can differ from those of the PSC. These changes can range from the number of questions to testing length to test format.

Note: It’s crucial to communicate with a human resource or hiring manager to confirm how an SLE test is administered and which version is being offered. This blog only addresses test administration provided through the PSC.


Remote Administration vs. In-Person

Most SLE testing is now administered online, though accommodations are available in unique circumstances.

Candidates testing with the PSC will use:

Supervised PSC tests require a test session officer to be present during an assessment to provide instruction and proctor a candidate.

Need special accommodations?
The Public Service Commission has a complete resource on submitting these requests here.

Getting SLE Results

The agency or department that ordered an SLE test is responsible for sharing the results with candidates via letter or email within a few days. Candidates should communicate with the respective agency if they have not received the results.

  • For supervised reading and writing tests, results are available to the agency within 24 hours. If the tests were supervised at a PSC office, results are emailed to the agency that ordered the test within five business days.
  • Results from unsupervised reading and writing assessments through the PSC are available directly to candidates within 48 hours. These results are posted to the PSC’s Candidate Assessment Tool under the “My Tests” section.
  • Oral assessment results are sent to HR advisors within five days.

Expiring Results

SLE test results are valid for up to 5 years. Learn more about renewing SLE results.

Bilingual Bonus

Once an employing agency has received qualifying SLE results, a candidate is verified to receive Canada’s $800 bilingual bonus.

Protecting Test Integrity

The Public Service Commission takes test security seriously.

Disclosing test content with other people (e.g., other test-takers, employees, superiors or language teachers) is prohibited.

Candidates taking proctored assessments may have access to pen and paper to take notes during a testing session. Those notes must be collected and destroyed once the test is complete.

All PSC test content is copyrighted by the PSC and protected by the Policy on Government Security and Public Service Employment Act (PSEA).


How LRDG is Qualified

LRDG is a qualified SLE test provider and partners with 25+ federal agencies and departments to provide online SLE prep, language training, and test administration.

Over the last 20 years, LRDG has helped over 30,000 federal workers train for the SLE, and our program maintains a 90% test success rate.

Find out if your department already offers any of LRDG’s language training programs.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do you take the SLE?

Second Language Evaluations (SLEs) are administered either directly through the Public Service Commissioner of Canada, an organisation’s designated test administrator and test session officer, or third-party language providers.

Where is SLE Testing done?

Most SLE testing is now conducted online through the PSC’s virtual testing centers and qualified third-party providers, such as LRDG. Candidates will sometimes need to attend a designated centre for their assessment to be proctored. Special accommodations can also be made for accessibility and disabilities.

How do you get SLE results?

Candidates can generally expect to be notified of SLE results within five business days of an assessment if they took a supervised test. Unsupervised reading and writing assessment results are available directly to candidates within 48 hours through the Candidate Assessment Tool.