Written Communication Test (WCT-345)

Use

The purpose of the Written Communication Test is to assess an individual's ability to write in a clear and concise manner and to assist managers in making selection decisions. It can be used to assess individual contributors, managers, or leaders whose position requires them to write clear and concise letters, memos, reports or other documents.

Description

In the Written Communication Test, individuals read a text of approximately 2,000 words. They then prepare a summary of approximately 450 words which covers the major points contained in the text.

The summary must be written in a formal narrative style; a point-form outline is NOT acceptable. You are expected to provide an accurate, clear and concise report of the text. The summary is to be written in your own words. The scoring takes into consideration:

  • Mechanics of writing (grammar, spelling and punctuation)
  • Content
  • Style (structure, usage and conciseness)

Points will be deducted for errors in grammar, spelling and punctuation. Points will be allotted for content coverage and for appropriate use of style.

The test takes 1.5 hours to write or approximately 1.75 hours including administrative time. Managers can set the cut-off score based on the level of skill required for the position.

Language of assessment

The Written Communication Test is a test of language proficiency. Consequently, the language in which a candidate is assessed on a language test should correspond to the linguistic requirements of the position. The following table illustrates this principle.

Linguistic requirements for the position Language of assessment
English essential English
French essential French
Bilingual Candidate’s first official language

Note: For bilingual positions, the candidate’s second official language proficiency is assessed using the Second Language Evaluation tests.

Scoring

The Personnel Psychology Centre of the Public Service Commission (PSC) is responsible for scoring the Written Communication Test. The PSC sends the results to the responsible human resources advisor who then communicates them to you.

Since this exam is for staffing purposes and is not a diagnostic instrument for career development purposes, the information available on your performance is limited to the overall rating for written communication and the rating for each specific component of the competency assessed. More detailed feedback cannot be provided.

Retest period

There is a 180-day waiting period before you can rewrite the test. You may not retake it until the retest period has elapsed. If you rewrite the test before the retest period has elapsed, your result will not be valid and a new retest period will be imposed from the most recent test date.

More information about the test for candidates

Information for the human resources advisor

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