Exam Information

Refund of the March 2020 BIEs Fee: Deadline June 12, 2020

Candidates who have been impacted by COVID-19 and/or do not intend to take the September 2020 Bilingual Interpreting Examinations (BIEs) can request a refund of the fee they paid for the cancelled March 17 – 19, 2020 BIEs. The deadline to submit the online refund request form is Friday, June 12, 2020.

The refund request form may be accessed at:

Please enter the following information when completing the form:
• For the “I am a” box, select Test Taker.
• For the “I want to” box, select Request a Refund.
• For the “Testing Client” box, select California Bilingual Interpreter Exams.
• For the “Incident/Ticket/Case Number” box, please enter N/A.
• For the “Reason of the Refund” box, enter Exam cancelled due to COVID-19.

At this time, the Judicial Council has not cancelled the next BIEs, which are scheduled for September 15 – 17, 2020. Prometric will directly contact candidates who registered for the March 2020 BIEs to communicate detailed information about the September exams. Information will also be available on Prometric’s website (https://www.prometric.com/test-takers/search/cacourtint).

Questions? Candidates may contact Prometric Customer Service at 1-866-241-3118, Option 2 (Scheduling) with any questions they may have concerning a refund or how to complete the form. Candidates who are experiencing any difficulty with requesting a refund or reaching Prometric may also contact the Court Interpreters Program (CIP) at courtinterpreters@jud.ca.gov. CIP is available to assist affected candidates at this challenging time.

The Judicial Council cancelled the March BIEs to comply with the Governor’s directive, “California Public Health Experts: Mass Gatherings Should be Postponed or Canceled Statewide to Slow the Spread of COVID-19,” March 11, 2020, 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/.

Identify what exams you must take based on language

Required Exams

(list of certified languages)

(all other languages)

When can I take the exam?

Written Exam



Year Round

Oral Proficiency Exam (English)



Year Round

Oral Proficiency Exam (Non-English Language)



Year Round

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


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: