LSLS™ Certification Exam FAQs

As a certification body, it is the responsibility of the AG Bell Academy for Listening and Spoken Language is to maintain the validity and security of the LSLS™ certification exam, which ensures that the professional standards of certified LSLS, are upheld and defensible.

1. What is the format of the exam?

The exam consists of 175 multiple-choice questions and carries a four-hour time limit.  The questions cover the nine domains of LSLS knowledge which can be found here.

2. What should I bring to the exam?

Upon check-in at the exam you must present:

  • Your admission letter and two forms of VALID identification that display your signature. The name on both identifications must be the same as the name used to register for the exam. 
    • One of the identifications presented MUST be a current (non-expired) valid government-issued ID and MUST have a current photo and signature.
    • Examples of acceptable government-issued photo ID are: a driver’s license, alien registration card, military identification or passport.
  • The second ID must clearly show the exam-takers name and signature. The most common form of secondary ID is an official employment or school identification. 
  • Two sharpened No. 2 pencils with erasers.  
  • Do not bring study materials, dictionaries, calculators, notes or textbooks to the exam.
3. Who scores the exam?

The exams are scored by Prometric Inc., the AG Bell Academy’s consultant for test development and security and one of the leading testing experts worldwide. The exams are electronically scored.

Exam takers will receive an exam result letter and diagnostic report generated by Prometric.

The AG Bell Academy receives a complete report of the list of exam takers, along with pass/fail information.

4. When will I know if I have passed the examination?

You will receive the results of your exam within four to six weeks from your exam date.

5. What is the pass rate for the LSLS exam?

Pass rates for the LSLS exam average 60%/40%. This means that approximately 60% of exam takers will typically pass the exam. According to Prometric, Inc.:

A certification exam needs to be challenging enough so that it accurately identifies the minimum competence of a candidate seeking the certification. It cannot be so difficult that most people will fail. At the same time, it can’t be so easy that a large number of people can pass without adequately demonstrating competence. It is generally accepted that the pass/fail rate which best achieves that balance is about a 60%/40%.

6. What will be in my results letter?

Individuals who are not successful in passing the LSLS certification exam are provided with a diagnostic report that indicates their performance in each of the nine domains. The descriptors used are “strong, moderate or weak” and are intended to guide the individual about areas of strengths and weaknesses as they prepare to retake the exam.  An examination retake request form will be included.

Individuals who pass the exam will not receive a diagnostic report, but instead will receive a letter from Pro metric, Inc. stating that they have passed the exam.  This letter will not include a result report. Those that pass the certification exam will receive a certified LSLS certificate from the AG Bell Academy within 10 business days of receiving the letter from Pro metric, and will be listed on the AG Bell Academy’s online LSLS registry.

7. Why don't I get my exact score?

As an industry, best practice for certification organizations and under the advisement of Prometric, the AG Academy does not release exact percentages or itemized exam reports to protect the security of the exam. The scale of “strong to weak” is provided to exam takers as an indicator for areas of strength and for improvement to aid in their preparation for subsequent attempts on the exam. These should be considered with regard to the weight of each of the nine domains of LSLS knowledge. For more information on the nine domains of knowledge and the weights of each on the examination, please see our website here.

Our consultants for test development, Prometric, Inc., have explained it this way:

"With any certification exam, all who passed are equal and all who did not pass are equal. It is not considered best practice to share individual scores as it may encourage the holder of a certification to claim superiority over another certified applicant by virtue of a higher score on their certification exam.

Providing individual scores does not serve the individual well that needs to re-take the exam. For one thing, the next form of the exam they take will not be identical to the one they took the first time, although it will be equally weighted in the domains. It is also critical that the individual approach the exam in its entirety and with the intention of demonstrating competence throughout the body of knowledge being evaluated."

8. How is a passing score determined?

A passing score is determined on the number of items answered correctly on the 175 multiple choice questions on the exam. A passing score is in no way affected by the number of individuals who have taken the exam.

A “cut score” for passing the exam was established by an advisory committee of subject matter experts in listening and spoken language that analyzed exam questions and rated them according to how likely a candidate would be to answer each one correctly.  The cut score was derived by aggregating those probabilities to determine an estimated expected score on the exam for a candidate who is qualified enough to pass.

Once the cut score was derived for one version of the exam by the LSLS subject matter expert committee, cut scores for other versions were derived by a process called “equating.”  All versions of the exam were built to the same content and psychometric specifications; however, even minor variations in exam difficulty can mean that a number-correct score of, e.g., 65 on one version of the exam is not necessarily as easy to obtain as a number-correct score of 65 on a different exam version. Equating adjusts for these differences in difficulty to determine what level of performance on one exam is equivalent to a specific level of performance on another form of the same exam and therefore allows for fair decision-making by holding candidates to a common standard. Each individual exam taker’s performance is evaluated only in the context of the cut score, and is not compared to any other exam taker’s performance.

9. If I request hand scoring, would that allow me to see which questions I got right/wrong?

No. The examination questions are confidential, and will not be included on any report to examinees.

10. What is the timeframe to have an exam hand-scored? 

 It normally takes about two weeks from the time a request is made to receive a notification from Prometric.

11. Are there any statistics on the number of times a hand-scoring has resulted in a different outcome?

Several hand scoring requests have been made to the AG Bell Academy, and historically have not resulted in a different outcome from the original result report. Hand scoring simply validates that the original machine scoring was accurate or if a discrepancy has been detected.

12. Are the same results relayed to an exam taker once an exam is hand-scored?

 After your hand-scoring request, Prometric will send a confirmation letter to the requestor that the result report was accurate or inform him/her that a discrepancy was detected.

13. If I don’t pass the exam, when may I take it again?

You may take the exam again when a time/location is convenient based on the AG Bell Academy’s exam schedule.  After your initial acceptance to take the LSLS exam, you may retake the exam up to three (3) times before you must resubmit an application. Examinees have up to three attempts to pass the LSLS exam within 3 years from their first examination date. After three years or three exam attempts, examinees must submit a new application, including all fees and documentation required at the time of resubmission. Each retest request should be made using this form, and requires a $200 (USD) fee for AG Bell members, and a $300 (USD) fee for non-members. We strongly encourage attempting the exam again, as many exam takers are successful after their first attempt, and after reviewing and preparing based on the performance result reports from Prometric.

14. What is the AG Academy’s policy regarding exam deferrals?

 If an applicant has been accepted to take the exam but for whatever reason are unable to take the exam, he or she may request to be allowed to take the next exam scheduled. Deferrals require a $50 (USD) processing fee. Exam professionals seeking certification may defer taking the exam for only one year. Requests must be received in writing at least fourteen (14) days prior to the exam date. Should professionals seeking certification defer, the AG Bell Academy will hold the application fee until the following year. If an exam professional seeking certification does not take the exam within the 12-month deferment period, they will forfeit their application fee. Professionals seeking certification who do not sit for the exam within the 12-month deferment period and wish to take the exam at a later date must submit a new application, including all fees and documentation required at the time of resubmission.

15. What is the AG Bell Academy’s policy regarding exam cancellations?

Professionals seeking certification who are unable to take a scheduled exam may request to cancel their exam and receive a 50% refund of their application fee. Refund requests must be submitted to the AG Bell Academy at least fourteen (14) calendar days prior to the exam. There is no fee for cancelling the exam, but note that you will only receive a 50% refund of your application fee. Professionals seeking certification who do not request a refund and do not take the exam forfeit all fees. Application fees may not be transferred. Requests for exam cancellation and 50% refund will be responded to via email within seven business days of receipt. All AG Bell Academy refunds will be processed in the form of a check directly to the applicant.