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What is the CSPA?

The Core Skills Profile for Adults (CSPA) is a tool designed to indicate your reading, writing and numeracy/maths skills.

What is the CSPA used for?

TAFE SA uses this information to assess if you will need any learning support during your studies and to assist your lecturer in personalising your training.

Qualifications funded under Subsidised Training require applicants to complete a supervised CSPA regardless of prior educational attainment, employment experience or employment status. This is a condition of accessing publicly funded training places. There are no exceptions.

To access subsidised training other eligibility criteria must also be met.

Some qualifications require CSPA as part of Course Admissions Requirements (CAR) when applying for a place at TAFE SA.

Your CSPA results will be discussed with you at enrolment and will not be provided to you before you have been made an offer.

Your CSPA results may also be used as academic eligibility for VET Student Loans, if applicants display competence at or above Exit Level 3 in reading and numeracy.

Do I pass or fail the CSPA?

If you are completing the CSPA for a subsidised course, there are ‘required levels’ that need to be met. If you don’t meet the required levels, you could still receive an offer, but you will also need to either undertake bridging units  to support you in your studies or complete a TAFE Ready course before being able to study the course you applied for.

TAFE Ready courses focus on developing literacy and numeracy skills. Once you have completed a TAFE Ready course you will need to sit CSPA again and if the required levels are met you can commence studying in the course you applied for without having to reapply

What does the CSPA involve?

The CSPA is completed using a computer and is made up of three components: Reading, Writing and Numeracy.


The reading component involves multiple choice and some text entry questions. This section asks you to:

  • recognise the correct spelling, meanings and grammatical use of commonly used words.
  • read a short passage and demonstrate your understanding of it by answering the accompanying questions.
  • read and interpret information from tables, charts and other sources.


The writing component has two question prompts with extended text entry fields for you to type your answers. This section:

  • requires you to write a minimum of 3 paragraphs with at least 3 sentences in each paragraph so the system has enough information to grade you.
  • looks at areas such as audience, purpose, vocabulary, grammar, language choices, sentence structure, spelling, and punctuation.


  • The numeracy component involves multiple choice and numerical entry questions, covering areas in basic numeracy which arise in normal day-to-day life.
  • The questions involve basic operations on whole numbers, fractions, decimals, percentages and simple graphical interpretations, with higher level indicators for problem solving, numbers and algebra, measurement and geometry, and statistics and probability.
  • There is an in-built calculator in the numeracy section.

Practice CSPA assessments for Numeracy and Literacy

A practice assessment is available for adults or school students to download so you can experience and complete a mini assessment of your reading and numeracy skills.  The following link will enable you to register your own unique email address and be sent a link to access it.  If you do not receive the link within 15 minutes you should check your ‘junk’ folder in your email inbox.  At the end of the 6 reading and 6 numeracy questions you will be able to see online what you answered correctly or incorrectly and can go back and re-read the question(s).  There is also an option to restart the practice assessment if you wish to try again before you exit.  Once you exit the practice assessment you will not be able to use the link to the assessment you received again and will need to re-register with a different unique email address.

How to book your CSPA

SATAC applicants

Once you have applied for your course you will receive an email with instructions on booking your CSPA using our online booking portal. The event booking portal allows you to manage your own booking, reschedule or cancel . If you require assistance you can call the TAFE SA Customer Support team for help on 1800 882 661.

Applicants and students with a disability or medical condition

A Student Services staff member can answer your queries and work out a plan if you need extra support.  We recommend you book an appointment at least 7 days prior to your scheduled CSPA session to discuss your individual circumstances.

You can phone the TAFE SA Customer Support on 1800 882 661 to discuss your needs, or book a time to connect with a Student Services team member using our disability support booking system.

If you need individual support or adjustments for the CSPA, you will need to provide documentation from a treating practitioner.  This can be a medical practitioner, psychologist, or other accredited health specialist.  You can use the Medical Practitioner report, or provide a letter written by your treating practitioner.

Where can I get further information about the CSPA?

Visit the TAFE SA student website to access resources that will provide you more detail on what to expect at your CSPA session, the session types available to you and what you are required to bring with you.

Visit for more information about why this assessment is used.

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