NAATI advises all candidates to read the following information before sitting their test.
It includes what you need to bring, a description of how each task will operate and how the test will be assessed.

Checking In For Your Test

You must check in for your test between the arrival time and the registration closing time listed in your test confirmation email. NAATI staff will check you in by verifying your identity. You can view more information about identity verification on the website.

Your test day consists of a morning session and an afternoon session. You may leave the venue between the morning and afternoon sessions and you must return to the venue by the designated time to check in for the afternoon session.  

NAATI will not admit you to the test if you arrive after the registration closing time.

Test Conditions

You must follow these conditions. If you do not, NAATI may cancel your test or not issue your test result. If this happens, you will not receive a refund of your test fee.

Leaving the test venue
Once testing has started, you are not allowed to leave the test venue until your test is complete. If you do, you cannot re-enter the venue or continue your test at a later time.

Behaviour on test day
You are expected to be courteous and respectful towards NAATI staff, supervisors and other candidates. You cannot communicate with other candidates on the test day once your test has started.

Use of internet and communications devices
You are not allowed to access the internet or use the communication or video/photo functions of any electronic device, at the test venue. This includes your electronic dictionaries, laptop or tablet. You are not allowed access to your phone and other smart devices during the test.

Confidentiality
All test materials are the property of NAATI. You are not permitted to make or take away copies, paper or electronic, of any test material, or reproduce the test or communicate the test content to a third party.

What To Bring

You must bring an acceptable photo identity document (e.g. passport) to check in for your test.

You may bring the following resources to prepare for the dialogue tasks:

  • An internet-connected phone, laptop or tablet
  • Electronic and hard copy dictionaries, glossaries and thesauri, including self-developed glossaries.

It is your responsibility to make sure that your devices will function for the duration of the test, and to bring any chargers or batteries.

You may wish to bring food to the test venue as you may need to wait several hours for your test to start. Any food must be consumed in the Waiting Room.

What NAATI Will & Will Not Provide

During the test NAATI will provide:

  • A pen and paper for note taking (to be returned at the conclusion of the test)
  • A glass of water

NAATI will not provide:

  • Technical support should you experience issues with your equipment
  • Internet access for candidates
  • Resource materials
Test Description

The Certified Interpreter test assesses your ability to provide quality, professional interpreting of complex but non-specialised dialogues, monologues and texts, using appropriate interpreting modes.   

The test consists of the following eight tasks:

Two dialogues

  • One Consecutive Interpreting Face-to-Face Dialogue task
  • One Consecutive Interpreting Remote Dialogue task

Two sight translations (in the same domains as the dialogue tasks)

  • One Sight Translation into Language Other Than English (LOTE) task – related to, and immediately after, Face-to-Face dialogue task
  • One Sight Translation into English task – related to, and immediately after, the remote dialogue task

Four monologues

  • One Consecutive Interpreting – Monologue into LOTE task
  • One Consecutive Interpreting – Monologue into English task
  • One Simultaneous Interpreting – Monologue into LOTE task
  • One Simultaneous Interpreting – Monologue into English task

The tasks will involve different situations from different domains, including at least one from the health domain and one from the legal domain.  

The dialogue tasks are live role-plays. There will be two Role-players involved in each dialogue task, one English-speaking and one speaking the Language Other Than English (LOTE). 

Domains & Situations

All tasks deal with situations set in different domains of daily life in Australia. These domains include health, legal, community, immigration/settlement, education, social services, finance, housing, business, employment, insurance, consumer affairs, industries, culture, society, environment, tourism, science and technology.

Duration

The test is conducted in two sessions, a morning session (around 1.5 to 2 hours) and an afternoon session (around 1 hour), with a break in between. The morning session includes the dialogue tasks and sight translation tasks. The afternoon session includes the four monologue tasks.

You may need to wait several hours for your test to start after you check in, depending on the number of candidates that day. The expected completion time of the test session is listed in your test confirmation email.

Waiting Room

After you check in, a NAATI staff member will direct you to the Waiting Room. You will wait in this room until it is time to start your test. In the Waiting Room, you can only access your hard copy resources. You cannot use any electronic devices in this room. 

Preparation Room (Dialogue Tasks)

You will have 15 minutes before each of the two dialogue tasks to prepare. In the Preparation Room, NAATI will provide you with an interpreting brief for the next task. This brief describes the situation and domain, and the names and roles of the people you will interpret for.

In this room, you can use the internet and any of your electronic and hard copy resources to research the interpreting brief, and you may write notes which you can take into the Test Room. You cannot communicate with other candidates in this room.

Test Room/s

The Test Room is where you will complete the actual tasks. You are not allowed to ask for further explanation of the task or conditions once you enter the Test Room. 

You cannot bring any electronic or hard copy resources into the Test Room. For the dialogue tasks, you can only bring the interpreting brief and any handwritten notes you made in the Preparation Room. 

You may take notes during the test. After the task, you must leave the interpreting brief and any handwritten notes in the Test Room. 

Test Supervision

NAATI test supervisors manage logistics, the equipment recording your test, start and finish times, and any other issues. A supervisor will be in each room, and will tell you when to move between the different rooms.

Supervisors are not permitted to talk about the content of the task or comment on your performance.

You must always follow the supervisors’ instructions.

Recording of Tests

Your test will be video and/or audio recorded for assessment by NAATI examiners.

One Consecutive Interpreting Face-to-Face Dialogue Task

You will have 15 minutes to prepare for this task in the Preparation Room (see above). 

You will use the consecutive mode to interpret a face-to-face dialogue between two Role-Players about the topic and situation described in the interpreting brief. The Role-Players are in the same room as you for this task. 

The role-play dialogue begins as soon as you enter the Test Room. The English-speaking Role-Player will greet you, then both Role-Players will introduce themselves. You should introduce yourself to both Role-players (in English and LOTE as appropriate) as ‘the interpreter’. Do not use your real name. NAATI examiners will not assess this introductory part of the task. 

The English-speaking Role-Player will begin the timed assessment part of the task by saying “ok, let’s start” or similar. You must interpret what the Role-Players say from this point on. You should interact with the Role-Players to accurately transfer the meaning between them. 

The task will finish when the dialogue between the two Role-Players ends, or about 17 to 20 minutes after the start of the assessed part. 

One Consecutive Interpreting Remote Dialogue Task (via Telephone)

You will have 15 minutes to prepare for this task in the Preparation Room. 

You will use the consecutive mode to interpret a remote dialogue between two Role-Players about the topic and situation described in the interpreting brief. The Role-Players are in a separate room from you for this task. 

In the Test Room, the test supervisor will direct you to sit at a table with a telephone. You are required to use the hands-free function on the phone, which the supervisor will explain to you. 

When the telephone rings you should answer it and say ‘hello’. The role-play dialogue begins as soon as you answer the telephone. 

An English-speaking telephone operator will ask if you are available to do a telephone interpreting job. You will accept the job, then the telephone operator will connect you to the Role-Players. The Role-Players will introduce themselves. You should introduce yourself to both Role-Players (in English and LOTE as appropriate) as ‘the interpreter’. Do not use your real name. NAATI examiners will not assess this introductory part of the task. 

The English-speaking Role-Player will begin the timed assessment part of the task by saying “ok, let’s start” or similar. You must interpret what the Role-Players say from this point on. You should interact with the Role-Players to accurately transfer the meaning between them. 

The task will finish when the dialogue between the two Role-Players ends, or about 17 to 20 minutes after the start of the assessed part.

Interacting With Role-Players (Dialogue Tasks Only)

Role-Players
The age and gender of the Role-Players may not accurately represent the age and gender of the characters described in the brief. In some briefs, characters are given female and male names because their role is not gender-specific. You should refer to the Role-Player by the name with which they introduce themselves.  

Under the test situation, the candidate should not ask the Role-Players to speak in short sentences or segments for the entire dialogue. The Role-Players will not be able to accommodate the candidate with regards to such a request. 

Managing Interaction
As the interpreter, you should listen to what the Role-Players say and transfer the meaning accurately. You are also expected to demonstrate your ability to manage the interaction with the Role-Players to make sure you accurately transfer the meaning.  

There may be instances, during the test, which make it challenging for you to capture and comprehend what has been said, including:  

  • the Role-Players speak for an extended period 
  • the Role-Players mumble or talk at the same time 
  • there is a distracting noise or other interference 
  • the phone cuts out 
  • the Role-Players use a phrase you don’t know. 

You should use a range of techniques to deal with these instances, including: 

  • cutting-in in an unobtrusive way by making use of the Role-Players’ natural pauses, and indicating that you are about to interpret by using conversational cues 
  • asking the Role-Player to repeat or clarify what they have said 
  • asking the Role-Player to pause or slow down 
  • asking the Role-Player to speak louder or softer 
  • inserting a correction if you realise you have made an error 
  • using other techniques to manage the interaction and transfer meaning. 

The use of these techniques is considered acceptable if: 

  • they result in accurate transfer of meaning. 
  • you are courteous. 
  • you inform the other Role-Player about what occurred in the other language. 
  • the flow of the conversation is NOT hindered.
Two Sight Translation Tasks (One in Each Direction)

For each sight translation task, you will be required to sight translate a written document into spoken LOTE/English. The text will be about 200 words long. The Sight Translation into LOTE task will immediately follow the FacetoFace Dialogue task. The Sight Translation into English task will immediately follow the Remote Dialogue task. 

In the Test Room, NAATI will provide you with an interpreting brief and sight translation text. You will have 5 minutes to review the text and write notes. You cannot ask for any clarifications about the text. 

The test supervisor will ask you to start sight translating the text once the preparation time is over.  

The task will finish when you complete the sight translation, or about 7 minutes after the start of your sight translation.

Two Consecutive Interpreting – Monologue Tasks (one in each direction)

For each consecutive interpreting monologue task, you will use the consecutive mode to interpret a monologue of about 300 words divided into 3 segments. The monologue is played from an audio recording for you by a test supervisor. 

One week prior to the test, you will receive the interpreting briefs for the consecutive monologue tasks so that you can prepare. On the day of your test, you will not have any preparation time for these tasks.  

In the Test Room, the interpreting brief will be played to you as part of the audio recording. The monologue that you need to interpret will begin immediately after the interpreting brief. You will hear a chime sound at the end of each segment. You should start interpreting no more than 5 to 10 seconds after the chime. You may take notes during the task. You cannot ask for any clarifications, repeats or pauses of the audio recording. 

The task will finish when you complete the interpreting, or about 15 minutes after the start of the source monologue audio.

Two Simultaneous Interpreting – Monologue Tasks (one in each direction)

For each simultaneous interpreting monologue task, you will use the simultaneous mode to interpret a monologue of about 300 words. The monologue is played from an audio recording for you by a test supervisor. 

One week prior to the test, you will receive the interpreting briefs for the simultaneous monologue tasks so that you can prepare. On the day of your test, you will not have any preparation time for these tasks.  

Once you are in the Test Room, the test supervisor will explain how to use the microphone and headset.  

First, the interpreting brief will be played to you as part of the audio recording. The monologue that you need to interpret will begin immediately after the interpreting brief. You should start interpreting as soon as possible after the monologue begins and continue to interpret for the duration of the monologue. You may take notes during the task. You cannot ask for any clarifications, repeats or pauses of the recording. 

The task will finish when you complete the interpreting, or about 5 minutes after the start of the source monologue audio.

Assessment Method & Criteria

At least 2 NAATI examiners will independently assess your performance in the test. They will assess each task separately, using assessment rubrics with 5 bands (with Band 1 representing the highest level of performance and Band 5 the lowest).

Your task performance will be marked against each criterion, outlined below.

For the Consecutive Interpreting Face-to-Face Dialogue and Consecutive Interpreting Remote Dialogue tasks, NAATI examiners will assess your: 

  • transfer competency: meaning transfer skill, application of interpreting mode, Interactional management skill, and rhetorical skill  
  • language competency: language proficiency enabling meaning transfer into the target language (both English proficiency and LOTE proficiency). 

For the Consecutive Interpreting – Monologue, Simultaneous Interpreting – Monologue and Sight Translation tasks, NAATI examiners will assess your: 

  • transfer competency: meaning transfer skill, application of interpreting mode and rhetorical skill  
  • language competency: language proficiency enabling meaning transfer into the target language (either English proficiency or LOTE proficiency). 

You should aim to achieve at least Band 2 for each criterion, and you must pass all eight tasks to pass the test. You can find detailed information about the assessment rubrics and criteria on the website.

Supplementary Testing

If you attempt all tasks and pass at least five tasks, but fail the test overall, you are eligible to apply for a supplementary test. You must apply for the supplementary test within 6 months of receiving your test results. The supplementary test will involve re-sitting only task(s) from the task type(s) that have been failed, but with different situation(s). 

If you pass the supplementary test, NAATI will award you the Certified Interpreter credential. If you fail the supplementary test, you will fail the overall Certified Interpreter Test, and you can apply for another test if you wish.

Conceded Certified Provisional Interpreter Certification

If you fail the test, but pass both dialogue tasks, NAATI will award you a Certified Provisional Interpreter Certification if you don’t already hold one.