A group of nursing grads who recently wrote their qualification exam have signed a petition complaining that the English translation of the test wasn't up to par.

They say the English exam to qualify them as registered nurses wasn't as clear as the French and are worried their futures might hang in the balance.

“It’s obvious it's probably a French person that tried to translate it into English, and it really wasn't well translated at all,” said Esther Toussaint.

The 200 nursing grads who have signed the petition are worried about an unfair disadvantage.

They say some questions had issues with syntax, grammar and vocabulary.

“That made it confusing. It made it hard to understand what was being asked of me, what I was supposed to go find in my nursing knowledge, what I was supposed to apply in that situation,” said nursing candidate Gabriela Mizrahi. “I found that there were a few questions where I didn't really get a chance to demonstrate my nursing knowledge.”

The students all remembered one example: “’So what is your most hypothesis?’ What is that, what does that mean?” said Mizrahi.

They'll soon present their petition to the Quebec Order of Nurses, the body responsible for the exam.

Translation is done by a careful procedure, said Chantal Lemay, the clinical nurse of the Quebec Order of Nurses, responsible for the exam.

“The translation is done by a professional translator. Once this is done, we send the English and the French copy to a nurse whose mother tongue is English, of course and she works in the field of nursing. She compares the two copies, the French and English to make sure they are equal.

The English exam is then proofread for a second time by another Anglophone nurse.

The Order is confident in their process, but vowed to study all 135 questions in the exam

“An example of something would be to cancel one question out of 135, say well this question (doesn’t count) because there's an error in it. That is a decision that could be made,” said Lemay.

The students still don't know if they've passed the exam yet.

“If we fail, we have to do it over, pay $600 again and it's very nerve wracking,” said Toussaint.

No matter what, they feel the petition provides important feedback.

“What we would like is perhaps to have a panel where there are multiple people discussing at the same time, because it is very easy for one person to overlook things,” said nursing candidate Emilie Hudson.

They hope at the very least the test might be improved for next year.