Language Tests

During the language test

During the Speaking Test, the Tester will interact with you only in the language being tested. All interaction between you and the testing team during the Reading Test will be in English. Because the testing team is only interested in your language proficiency, you need not divulge personal information, and you may answer questions any way you like. Please answer all questions regardless of your point of view. Points of view and opinions that you express during the test will not affect your rating.

The Speaking Test has three sections. The tasks you will be asked to perform are:

Part 1 – Social Conversation:

This portion will have a gradual transition that will include familiar topics, daily life situations, and more complex topics, if appropriate, in that order.

Part 2 – Work-Related Exchange:

The examinee will have seven topics to choose from, including professional and general subject matter themes. The examinee will have the opportunity to explain the topic within 3-5 minutes and participate in a subsequent discussion on that topic with the tester.

Topic areas include the following categories: consular, diplomatic security, economic/environment, science, technology and health (ESTH), international development, management, political/military, and public diplomacy.

Newcomers to the diplomatic community, examinees unrelated to the Foreign Service, as well as experienced Foreign Service personnel will have equal opportunities to conduct relevant discussions about the topic of their choice.

Part 3 – Interview

You will obtain information, facts, and opinions from the Tester on his or her country of origin in the language of the test on a topic that you select from several choices. Once you have gathered enough information, you will stop the Tester and report in English to the Examiner what you learn. You will be expected to ask a new question after each report in English. This demonstrates your understanding and your ability to manage an interaction in accomplishing a specific task.

The Reading Test is Administered Separately from the Speaking Test.

The Reading Test will be proctored by webcam – before you start the test, you’ll download a small application onto your computer and a live proctor will contact you via a video call to check your ID, make sure you have everything you need to start the test, and ensure that the test is delivered securely.

The test consists of a number of reading passages at different levels of difficulty, covering a range of topics – each passage has three questions, and each question has four multiple-choice answers – you must select the one which is correct.

You can learn more about the assessment here: http://www.languagetesting.com/reading-proficiency-test.

If it would help, you can take a demo version of the test in English here: http://actfllrdemo.actfltesting.org/, so you know how it works.

For a description of the language skill levels please visit: http://www.govtilr.org/