My telephone-based language test has been scheduled for May 13. If I pass, I will earn .17 points. That seems like a small payoff, but if I were on the Register, with my “raw” score from the Oral Assessment, I would be in the lower third of the list. People at that position often never receive a job offer. This language bonus would bump me up from the lower third to the upper third of the list, with a better chance of getting an offer.
This test only scores for level 2 of the proficiency scale. If I pass this test, then I will be eligible to go to Washington DC and take an in-person reading and speaking test, which tests for higher levels. If I score at level 3 on that test, then I will get an additional .25 points. That bonus would put me into the top 10 of the Registry list, and would probably ensure that I would get “the call” for the next round of hires.
But I first have to pass this test. I’m not too concerned about performing well on the test, because I’ve been a Mandarin speaker for over half my life. However, I’ve never had my Chinese language skills formally assessed. I don’t have doubts about my language ability, but because the stakes are so high, I have a little test anxiety.