Exam Information

ALERT:  

Registration Now Open Only for the Spanish Language Bilingual Interpreting Examination

Registration for a limited administration of the Bilingual Interpreting Examination (BIE) is now open for all interested Spanish language candidates. The BIE will be administered through October 19, 2021 on numerous days at various test locations in northern and southern California. These locations include the California cities of Alameda, Culver City, Diamond Bar, San Bruno, and San Diego. The number of test seats is limited to 200. Registration for the test seats is open to Spanish language candidates only on a first-come, first-served basis. Interested candidates are strongly encouraged to register as soon as possible while test seats are still available. The administration of the BIE will adhere to federal, state, and local health and safety guidelines and requirements.

Registration for the BIE in other certified languages is not available in 2021. The Court Interpreters Program is working on providing safe testing environments for more certified languages in 2022.

To register for the Spanish language BIE, please contact Prometric, the Judicial Council’s interpreting testing vendor, at (866) 241-3118 Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST. Registration is only available by phone. Please be prepared to provide the following:

  1. Prometric ID number
  2. Test language (Spanish only)
  3. Debit or credit card information to pay the $340 application fee for the BIE
  4. Your contact information and other requested information to verify your identification

If Prometric candidate care staff conveys that your preferred test location and/or date is full or that there are no testing dates available, please ask for availability in other cities and on other dates.

2021 BIE Test Locations

Northern California:

  1. Alameda – 1141 Harbor Bay Pkwy, Suite 102, Alameda, CA 94502
  2. San Bruno – 801 Traeger Ave, Suite 140, San Bruno, CA 94066 

Southern California:

  1. Culver City – 5601 West Slauson Ave, Suite 110, Culver City, CA 90230
  2. Diamond Bar – 1241 Grand Avenue, Sunset Village Shop CTR/Suite F, Diamond Bar, CA 91765
  3. San Diego – 5075 Shoreham Place, Suite 180, San Diego, CA 92122

Confirmation of Examination Appointment Details

During the scheduling of the examination and upon receipt of the written confirmation, candidates are strongly encouraged to confirm the examination appointment details are accurate.

Candidates who are experiencing difficulty with registering for the Spanish language BIE or who would like to share feedback concerning the registration process are welcome to contact the Court Interpreters Program at courtinterpreters@jud.ca.gov.

Please visit the Prometric website for additional details concerning registration and testing.
 


Gradual Resumption of the Written Examination and Oral Proficiency Examination (OPE)

The Written Examination and OPE administrations will gradually resume in the summer of 2021.

Due to the suspension of the administration of the Written Examination as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Court Interpreters Program has temporarily extended the validation period for Written Examination test scores from four (4) years to six (6) years. Candidates who have passing Written Examination scores within the last six (6) years are now eligible to take the BIE in the Spanish language this year or in their target language when it is available.

Candidates who took the BIE four (4) times and did not pass are still required to retake the Written Examination. 

For important information concerning the BIE, candidates are strongly encouraged to review the Candidate Information Bulletin, which may be accessed at https://www.prometric.com/sites/default/files/CACOURTCIB.pdf.


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:


In 2009, the Judicial Council 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 Judicial Council 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.

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 then oral proficiency exams in both English and their non-English language. 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.

The exam fees for 2018-2019 are based on current competitive market rates.

Exam Type Fee
English-only Written Exam $131
Bilingual Oral Interpreting Exam $340
English Oral Proficiency Exam $168
Non-English Oral Proficiency Exam $168

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.

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.

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: