Taking the Grammar, Spelling and Punctuation Test (GSPAT-120)?

About the Test

The GSPAT-120 assesses candidate’s ability to identify and make positive changes to grammar, spelling, and errors in punctuation in written English text quickly and accurately. The test is approximately  at par with the completion of two years of secondary school.  Managers use this test to make selection decisions, career training transitions, and identifying development needs, as well as helps managers identify employees that need additional training.


GSPAT Practice & Test Prep

What’s on the Test

The Grammar, Spelling, and Punctuation Test is made up of 75 multiple-choice questions that are divided into three sub-tests.

GSPAT-120 subtests

  • Spelling – 30 questions
  • Grammar – 30 questions
  • Punctuation – 15 questions

The test must be completed in 45 minutes.  The minimum passing score is 45 points out of the possible 75. Managers from different organizations can employ higher passing scores as some positions require higher ability levels. The Personnel Psychology Centre handles the grading and standardization of the GSPAT test.

Language of Assessment

The Grammar, Spelling and Punctuation Test assesses candidates’ proficiency in language. The linguistic requirements of the position you are applying for determines the language in which the candidate is assessed. For positions that require bilingual abilities, the second language Evaluation test is used.

Scoring & Results

The Personnel Psychology Center of the Public Service Commission compiles results within 48 hours. A human resource officer informs candidates of their results.

Retest Period

A candidate that wishes to rewrite the test for whatever reasons has to wait 30 days. Results for tests taken before the end of the test period are not valid.

Writing the Test

To write a PSC test:

Candidates must receive an invitation to the testing session by the department in charge of the hiring process. The Personnel Psychology Center is not responsible for conducting the test sessions. The Personnel Psychology Center only provides test materials to departments that request them.


Candidates with functional limitations or disabilities should inform the human resource advisor responsible in advance. The Personnel Psychology Center can only be contacted by the Human Resource Advisor. A candidate that requires accommodation must complete a questionnaire. In case of complex disability, the candidate may require professional documentation.


Candidates answer sheet will be scored by the PPC and returned to the necessary department. Under normal conditions this is done within 48 hours, although some departments prefer to wait until all the results are in before they can communicate to the candidates. The person in charge of the hiring process is responsible for issuing the candidate with a physical copy of the test results. It is strongly advised that the candidate should note the name, phone number, and the email address of the person in charge of the test.  Keep the test results safely as they may be asked to sit for the same test in the future for another position.

Key Topics


  • Spelling Rules
  • Main points that make Canadian Spelling different from British or American spelling
  • Study words that are most commonly misspelled in Canadian English


  • Learn rules that govern the structure of sentences in English: Subject, Verb, Object
  • The subject and verb must agree, even where intervening words are used.
  • Study the correct use of pronouns.
  • Candidates should be able to identify a word formed from a verb that acts as an adjective, adverb, or a noun.
  • Practice sample questions to practice grammatical mistakes.

Punctuation and Capitalization

  • Study rules of proper Canadian style punctuation.
  • Study the use of commas, colons, semicolons and capitalization.


  • Study antonyms and synonyms homonyms.
  • Study words that are commonly confused in English.

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Date Published: Tuesday, October 12th, 2021
Date Modified: Wednesday, November 30th, 2022