Exam Information

Alert: The September 15 – 17, 2020 Bilingual Interpreting Examinations (BIEs) are canceled at all California testing locations. No BIE testing will be held for the year 2020. This action follows the Governor’s health and safety directives from March 11, 2020 on “California Public Health Experts: Mass Gatherings Should be Postponed or Canceled Statewide to Slow the Spread of COVID-19.” See: https://www.gov.ca.gov/2020/03/11/california-public-health-experts-mass-gatherings-should-be-postponed-or-canceled-statewide-to-slow-the-spread-of-covid-19/.

Please note—the September 2020 BIEs are being canceled.  They are not being postponed to a later date.  Exam candidates will receive Prometric cancellation notices by e-mail and phone.

At this time, the Judicial Council’s Court Interpreters Program is exploring options for resuming the exam in 2021 in a manner consistent with state mandates.

Refund of Exam Fees

Prometric previously communicated the rollover of the March BIE fees to the September BIE administration. Since there will be no September BIE this year, Prometric will automatically refund the exam fees that were originally paid for the March BIE and subsequently rolled over. If you have not previously requested and received a refund, checks will be sent by mail to the address on file at Prometric. To ensure the timely delivery of your refund, please verify that the address on your Prometric account is correct. To do this, please log into the Prometric website.

If your address has changed or you need the check to be mailed to a different address, please contact Prometric directly using the online contact support form or by calling the Candidate Care Team directly at 800-853-6769. The hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM EST.  All refund checks will be sent by mail on or before August 31. Please allow up to two weeks for mail delivery.

Questions?

If you have not received your check by September 14 or have any questions about your refund, please contact Prometric directly by phone or submit your questions using the Prometric contact form. Candidates who are experiencing any difficulty with reaching Prometric or a delay with receiving their refund may also contact the CIP at courtinterpreters@jud.ca.gov. CIP is available to assist affected candidates during these challenging times.

Prometric Contact Support Form

To access the contact support form, please click on this link - Contract Us and follow the step-by-step instructions as outlined below.

After clicking on the “Contract Us” hyperlink, please include as much information as possible and complete the following steps:

  1. Select “Test Taker” from the “I am a” drop-down menu.
  2. Select “Contact Customer Service” from the “I want to” drop-down menu.
  3. Select “Other” from the “Subject” drop-down menu.
  4. Select “California Bilingual Interpreter Exams” from the “Select Your Testing Program” drop-down menu


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: