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Court Interpreter Program

Oral Exam

All candidates wishing to become certified or otherwise qualified must complete a qualification and registration process consisting, in summary, of four steps: orientation seminar, written exam, criminal background check and oral exam.

The oral exam is the fourth step in the credentialing process.

The National Center of State Courts’ oral performance examination is “designed to determine whether candidates possess the minimum levels of language knowledge and interpreting skills required to perform competently during court proceedings.” The test measures candidate’s command of his/her language pair as well as interpreting skills in the three modes of interpretation: simultaneous, consecutive and sight translation.

Candidates may be tested in any of the languages available through the National Center of State Courts.

The full proficiency exam consists of four separate sections:

  • Sight translation of a document written in English into the oral foreign language.
  • Sight translation of a document written in the foreign language into oral English.
  • Consecutive interpretation of oral testimony from English into foreign language and from foreign language into English.
  • Simultaneous interpreting from English into foreign language.

Minimum qualification for Certification is a score of 70% overall and on each of the four sections of the exam, independently.

For more information on the Oral Exam, please visit the National Center for State Courts Education and Careers, State Court Interpreter Certification page for the Overview of the Oral Exam.