Exam Information

Identify what exams you must take based on language


Required Exams

Certified
(list of certified languages)

Registered
(all other languages)

When can I take the exam?

Written Exam

Yes

Yes

Year Round

Oral Proficiency Exam (English)

Optional

Yes

Year Round

Oral Proficiency Exam (Non-English Language)

Optional

Yes

Year Round

Bilingual Interpreting Exam
(Formerly “Oral Exam” or “Oral Interpreting Exam.” This is a change in name only.)

Yes

Not available

Usually 2 times a year.
Click here for Current Scheduling and check periodically for updates

For more information, see the following:


Adoption of Consortium Exams

In 2009, the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) conducted a study of peer court interpreter exams developed by the Consortium for Language Access in the Courts (Consortium). The results of the study indicated that the court interpreter certification exams used by the Consortium and those formerly used by California "are comparable in structure, content, and level of difficulty, and that both programs certify interpreters at the same high standards."

Based on the recommendations of this study, the AOC adopted the court interpreter certification exams developed and utilized by the Consortium effective July 1, 2010.

* The adoption of Consortium exams does not change the certification process for interpreters of American Sign Language.

Language Specific Details

Candidates in certified and registered languages need to take and pass a Written Exam in order to go on to the Bilingual Oral Interpreting exam for certified languages. For registered languages, candidates must take the Written Exam and Oral Proficiency Exams in both English and their non-English language. Registered candidates may take their exams in any order. Prometric continues to administer written exams using a professional computer-based exam delivery network.

For more information on the written exam content, see the Written Exam Overview and the Candidate Information Bulletin for Interpreter Exams. Additional information regarding scheduling for the Written Exam can be found at Prometric.  Bilingual Interpreting Exams are offered in the following certified languages: Arabic, Eastern Armenian, Cantonese, Khmer, Korean, Mandarin, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese. Please note that Western Armenian and Japanese currently remain certified languages. Candidates may not take Oral Proficiency Exams to become a registered interpreter in these languages.

Candidates in spoken languages other than Arabic, Eastern Armenian, Western Armenian, Cantonese, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Mandarin, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese may become registered interpreters by taking and passing a Written Exam and following the process for Oral Proficiency Exams.

For complete information on the Bilingual Interpreting Exams, please review the Oral Exam Overview and the Candidate Information Bulletin for Interpreter Exams. Additional information regarding scheduling for the Bilingual Interpreting Exam can be found at Prometric.

For more information on the Oral Proficiency Exam content, see the Candidate Information Bulletin for Interpreter Exams.

Exam Grace Period for Registered Interpreters of Punjabi

In 2000 the Judicial Council approved the designation of Punjabi for certification. In preparation for the administration of a bilingual interpreting exam in Punjabi, the Court Interpreters Program implemented a grace period for currently registered interpreters in this language to meet the testing requirements for certification. This grace period ends on May 31, 2013.

Current Exam Fees

The exam fees for 2012-2013 are based on current competitive market rates.

Exam Type Fee
English-only Written Exam $125
Bilingual Oral Interpreting Exam $325
English Oral Proficiency Exam $160
Non-English Oral Proficiency Exam $160

Candidates must pay the full exam fee each time they take a specific exam. For information on how to register for an exam, please visit Prometric.

Exam Retake Policy

In accordance with Prometric scheduling protocols, candidates can take the Written Exam a total of two times in 12 months, with a minimum of 90 days between testing opportunities. Scheduling protocols for the Oral Proficiency Exams are the same as for the Written Exam. There is no pre-requisite for either the Written Exam or the Oral Proficiency Exams.

Candidates who passed a California written exam after January 1, 2005, are eligible to take bilingual interpreting exams offered in certified languages.

Bilingual Interpreting Exam candidates have a total of four times to take and pass the interpreting exam. Effective January 2011, all candidates who passed the written exam after January 1, 2005, will have a total of four additional opportunities to take and pass the oral exams. Candidates who do not pass the oral exam within four attempts must restart the certification or registration process.

Exam Registration

Please visit Prometric for complete information on test dates, test site locations, and how to register for the exams.

For complete information on the written and oral exams, please review the following documents:



Available from the Consortium for Language Access in the Courts:

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