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Written Exam Information

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 For tips on preparing for the English Written Exam, visit our How to Prepare for the English Written Exam page.

 

English Written Exam

After the online Ethics and Courts Overview Classes, the English Written Exam is the next step towards achieving the Tier 1 Credential and is generally offered twice a year. Interpreter candidates must have satisfied the requirement for the two online classes in order to be eligible to take the exam.

The test is in English and consists of 135 multiple-choice questions covering general English proficiency, court-related terms and usage, and ethics/professional conduct. A candidate must pass the multiple choice test with a score of 80% correct in order to continue in the credentialing process. Successful completion of the exam, along with the other components of the Tier 1 Credential, is a prerequisite to sitting for the Oral Court Interpreter Exam.

For a full description of the English Written Exam, please see the Overview of the English Written Exam for Candidates - Council of Language Access Coordinators. A summary of information about the exam is provided below.

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English Written Exam Description

This exam was developed by the National Center for State Courts, Council of Language Access Coordinators (CLAC). The multiple-choice test measures interpreter candidates' knowledge of three areas central to the work of a court interpreter at the level of a minimally qualified court interpreter:

English Language

To function as a professional court interpreter, one indispensable component is a high degree of proficiency in the English language. Accordingly, the exam assumes a high degree of literacy in the English language and familiarity with a range of language constructions. It tests comprehension of written English vocabulary and idioms.

  • Sentence completion (choosing the appropriate word to finish a sentence)
  • Synonyms in context (choosing the word/phrase closest in meaning to the chosen word/phrase)
  • Synonyms (choosing the word/phrase closest in meaning to the chosen word/phrase)
  • Antonyms (choosing the word/phrase opposite in meaning to the chosen word/phrase)
  • Idioms (choosing the phrase that is closest in meaning to the underlined idiom)

Court-Related Terms and Usage

A second area of knowledge essential to successful professional performance is familiarity with the terminology and procedures of the court system. Accordingly, the exam also measures recognition of common court-related situations and vocabulary, especially in the area of criminal courts.

  • Sentence completion (choosing the most appropriate phrase to complete the sentence)
  • Court related questions (choosing the best answer to the question given)
  • Sequences (choosing the correct order in which certain court events occur)

Ethics and Professional Conduct

The third area of knowledge required of professional court interpreters encompassed in the test is general knowledge of standards guiding the performance of duties. Accordingly, the exam includes questions aimed at measuring candidates' knowledge of ethical behavior and professional conduct.

  • Professional conduct questions (choosing the best answer to the question given)
  • Scenarios (choosing the best response for an interpreter in this situation)

Time Allotted for English Written Exam

Candidates are allowed two (2) hours and fifteen (15) minutes to complete the exam.

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Passing Score:

Candidates must score 80% (108 out of 135 scoring units) to pass the exam.

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Fees and Exam Dates

Click here for the Arizona Court Interpreter Credentialing Program fee schedule.

Click here for the latest exam schedules and deadlines. Please note, for the English Written Exam a candidate may select up to three preferences for dates/time/locations. The exam time for a particular date and location will be set by the Arizona Court Interpreter Credentialing Program.

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Registering for the English Written Exam

To register for the English Written Exam, submit the English Written Exam and OPI Registration Form by the appropriate deadline. You will then be contacted with instructions for payment. Upon submission of the completed application and payment prior to the published deadline, a confirmation e-mail with logistical information will be sent to you. All communications with the Arizona Court Interpreter Credentialing Program are conducted electronically. Please make sure your e-mail address is up to date in the Arizona Court Interpreter Registry.

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Wait-Lists

Some exam venues may have limited seating. If there are more registrants than seats available, a candidate may be wait-listed, or opt at his/her own choosing to take the test at a different date, time, and/or location. Should these issues arise, the candidate will be contacted via e-mail with the pertinent details. All communications with the Arizona Court Interpreter Credentialing Program are conducted electronically. Please make sure your e-mail address is up to date in the Arizona Court Interpreter Registry.

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Retaking the English Written Exam

If a candidate does not pass the test and wishes to retake it, he/she must wait a minimum period of six (6) months before retaking the exam. A candidate may not take the exam more than a total of four (4) times. It is for this reason that candidates not meeting the passing score of 80% or higher on the exam should carefully assess the likelihood of passing before applying to retake the exam.

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Reciprocity with Other Tests

Interpreters who have passed the Administrative Office the U.S. Courts (AOUSC), the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators (NAJIT) exam, or another state’s NCSC-designed interpreter certification exam may be exempt from taking the English Written Exam and should inquire with the Arizona Court Interpreter Credentialing Program about the possibility of reciprocity or component transfer. To learn more about reciprocity, visit the Reciprocity and Transfer of Components page.

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