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.

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 the test has started.

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

You may only use your laptop to complete the Knowledge Test, but you are not allowed to use your laptop at other times during the test day.

You may only access the internet on your laptop in the Knowledge Test Room to complete the online test. You cannot access any other websites during the Knowledge test or during the rest of the day.

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

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

Resources
You may bring hard copy materials and resources to use in the waiting room, for example, but not limited to hard copy dictionaries, glossaries and thesauri, including self-developed glossaries.

Equipment
You must bring one laptop to complete your knowledge test, with the following:

  • A web browser installed which has java and video capabilities
  • A power cord/connector
  • A mouse if you usually use one
  • Headphones

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

In the Test Rooms NAATI will provide:

  • Internet access and access to a power point for your laptop (Knowledge Test Room only)
  • A pen and paper for note taking (to be returned at the conclusion of the task), and
  • A glass of water.

NAATI will not provide:

  • Technical equipment, including laptop, mouse, adaptors and power cords/connectors
  • Technical support should you experience issues with your equipment
  • Resources to prepare
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 knowledge test will be recorded on the online testing platform. Your interpreting test will be audio and/or video-recorded for assessment by NAATI examiners.

Test Description

The Certified Specialist Health Interpreter test consists of a knowledge test and four interpreting tasks. The tasks will involve different situations from the health domain, focussing on specialist and hospital interactions.

  • One Medical Knowledge Test (English with LOTE elements)
  • One Consecutive Interpreting (English into LOTE) – Monologue task
  • One Consecutive Interpreting (LOTE into English) – Monologue task
  • One Simultaneous Interpreting (English into LOTE) – Monolingual exchange task
  • One Simultaneous Interpreting (LOTE into English) – Mental Health Monologue task

Each Certified Specialist Interpreter test is bidirectional i.e. there are tasks into both English and LOTE; however, each interpreting task is in a single language direction.

Domains & Situations

The Knowledge Test covers a wide range of health sub-domains. There will be at least one Knowledge Test question on interpreting in the field of speech pathology.

All interpreting tasks deal with high level interactions between specialists; or between specialists and well-informed lay speakers, in different areas of the health domain. There will be at least one task focussed on interpreting distorted speech in the area of mental health.

Duration

Each test is run over two sessions conducted in a single day. The first session is for the Knowledge Test, which takes 3 hours. The second session, after lunch, is for the interpreting tasks. Each interpreting task should take no more than 15 minutes, but you may need to wait, both for your test to start and between tasks. This can add up to several hours, depending on the number of candidates on the 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 sit in the Waiting Room.
You will wait in this room until it is time to start your test. You will place any electronic devices, including electronic dictionaries, glossaries or thesauri, phone, laptop, tablet or other smart device in a secure storage area.

In the Waiting Room, you can only access your hard copy resources. You cannot use any electronic devices in this room.

Test Room/s – Knowledge Test

The Knowledge Test Room is where you will complete the knowledge test. There will be no further explanation of the task or conditions once you enter the Test Room.

You are only allowed to use your laptop in the Test Room. You may only access the internet on your laptop in the Knowledge Test Room to complete the online test. You cannot access any other websites during the Knowledge test or during the rest of the day.

You can only bring your laptop into the Knowledge Test Room. You may write notes during the test. You must leave any handwritten notes in the Test Room.

Test Room/s – Interpreting Tasks

The Test Room is where you will complete the interpreting tasks. There will be no 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. You will be given a clean copy of the interpreting brief for each task. You may write notes during the test. You must leave the interpreting brief and any handwritten notes in the Test Room.

One Medical Knowledge Test (English with LOTE Elements)

The Knowledge Test is an online test consisting of 60 questions (a selection of multiple choice, match, drag and drop, short answer, long answer and essay questions).

The test is made up of 6 sections:

  • Section 1: Medical terminology (20 questions)
  • Section 2: General medical knowledge (15 questions)
  • Section 3: Knowledge of health systems (10 questions)
  • Section 4: Ethics, culture, and the role of the interpreter (9 questions)
  • Section 5: Advanced interactional management (3 questions)
  • Section 6: Research and preparation (3 questions)

The Knowledge Test does not require a deep knowledge of particular medical sub-fields, but rather is intended to test the broad medical interpreting knowledge necessary to be able to work across a wide range of medical specialities. These questions come from a range of sub-domains, and will include questions on:

  • General specialist knowledge and medical terminology
    • Anatomy
    • Physiology
    • Pharmacology
    • Terminology
    • Knowledge of health systems
  • Ethics and code of practice
    • AUSIT Code of ethics
    • Guide for Clinicians Working with Interpreters in Healthcare Settings (Migrant and Refugee Women’s Health Partnership)
    • Mental Health Interpreting Guidelines for Interpreters (Language Loop VITS/Monash University)
  • Culture and health
    • Differences between health systems across nations
  • The role of the interpreter in the health setting
    • The role of health professionals
    • How an interpreter’s role interacts with health professionals
    • Post-interpreting specialist consultations (speech pathology)
  • Advanced interactional management
    • Interpreting for adults and children
    • Interpreting for multiple interlocuters
    • Conflict management
  • Advanced Research Skills
    • Preparation for an interpreting assignment
    • Knowledge of available resources

You will be given a unique log-in on the day and the task will begin as soon as you open the test. You will have 3 hours to complete the test. The task will end once three hours have passed or as soon as you click submit. You can move backwards and forwards through the test sections during the 3 hours, but once you have submitted your test, you will be unable to make any changes. If you submit your test before three hours have passed, you can leave the venue until the afternoon session.

If you experience any difficulties moving through the test, you can ask an invigilator for assistance. You cannot ask for any clarifications regarding the test content.

You can only use a laptop and the internet to complete and access the online test. You cannot use the internet at any time to research the Knowledge Test questions. The system will close your session and submit your test if you attempt to navigate away from the LMS; if this happens, you will not be able to continue your test and will be assessed on your submitted responses.

Question Formats

  • Multiple choice questions: you will have to choose the correct answer from a series of possible answers. The question will indicate whether there is a single, or one or more possible answers.
  • Match questions: you will have to match the correct answer (from a drop-down list) for each of a number of test items – there may be more or fewer options than the number of correct answers.
  • Drag and drop questions: you will have to place an item in the correct position or order on an underlying background.
  • Short answer questions: you should respond with a single word, acronym or phrase.
  • Long answer questions: you will need to write 1-4 sentences or a maximum of five lines.
  • Essay questions: you will need to provide detailed responses (up to 300 words or amaximum of 20 lines); however, you may also use bullet points to address the key points , as you will be assessed on the content, not the form of your answer.

Language use is not assessed in the knowledge test, so long as the answers are clearly articulated.

One Consecutive Interpreting (English into LOTE) – Monologue Task

For the consecutive interpreting monologue task, you will use consecutive mode to interpret a 3-part monologue from English into LOTE delivered from an audio recording, played for you by a test supervisor. The monologue is about 500 words long, and each segment will be no more than 200 words.

One week prior to the test you will receive the interpreting brief for the consecutive monologue task so that you can prepare. Twenty-four (24) hours before the test you will receive a Patient Summary Sheet with details on the patient’s condition and details of tests/test results. On the day of your test, you will not have any preparation time for this task.

This task will start shortly after you enter the Test Room. The interpreting brief will be played to you as part of the recording. The monologue that you need to interpret will begin immediately after the interpreting brief. You will begin interpreting no more than 5 to 10 seconds after each part has been played, indicated by a chime sound; a second chime will sound to indicate the speaker is about to continue. You cannot ask for any clarifications, repeats or pauses of the recording.

The task will end as soon as you finish interpreting the third segment of the recorded monologue.

One Consecutive Interpreting (LOTE into English) – Monologue Task

For the consecutive interpreting monologue task, you will use consecutive mode to interpret a 3-part monologue from LOTE into English delivered from an audio recording, played for you by a test supervisor. The monologue is about 500 words (English equivalent) long, and each segment will be no more than 200 words.

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

This task will start shortly after you enter the Test Room. The interpreting brief will be played to you as part of the recording. The monologue that you need to interpret will begin immediately after the interpreting brief. You will begin interpreting no more than 5 to 10 seconds after each part has been played, indicated by a chime sound; a second chime will sound to indicate the speaker is about to continue. You cannot ask for any clarifications, repeats or pauses of the recording.

The task will end as soon as you finish interpreting the third segment of the recorded monologue.

One Simultaneous Interpreting (English into LOTE) – Monolingual Exchange Task

For the simultaneous interpreting monolingual exchange task, you will use simultaneous (chuchotage) mode to interpret an exchange between several English speakers into LOTE for a third party. The exchange will be delivered from an audio recording, played for you by a test supervisor. You do not need to whisper. The exchange is about 800 words long.

One week prior to the test you will receive the interpreting brief for the simultaneous monolingual exchange task so that you can prepare. On the day of your test, you will not have any preparation time for this task.

This task will start shortly after you enter the Test Room. The test supervisor will explain how to use the microphone and headset.

The interpreting brief will be played to you as part of the 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 cannot ask for any clarifications, repeats or pauses of the recording.

The task will end when you finish interpreting after the end of the recorded monologue.

One Simultaneous Interpreting (LOTE into English) – Mental Health Monologue Task

For the simultaneous interpreting monologue task, you will use simultaneous (chuchotage) mode to interpret a monologue of distorted speech in the mental health domain (e.g. schizophrenia) from LOTE into English delivered from a recording, played for you by a test supervisor. You do not need to whisper. The monologue is about 300 words (English equivalent) long.

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

This task will start shortly after you enter the Test Room. The test supervisor will explain how to use the microphone and headset.

The interpreting brief will be played to you as part of the 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 cannot ask for any clarifications, repeats or pauses of the recording.

The task will end when you finish interpreting after the end of the recorded monologue.

Assessment

At least 2 NAATI examiners, who are experienced in the area of specialisation in the relevant language pair, will independently assess your performance in the test.

They will assess each interpreting 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.

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

  • Transfer competency: Meaning transfer skill, Application of interpreting mode, and Rhetorical skill; and
  • Language competency: Language proficiency enabling meaning transfer into the target language; and
  • Thematic competency: Subject matter specific knowledge

For the Simultaneous Interpreting – Mental Health Monologue task, NAATI examiners will assess your:

  • Transfer competency: Meaning transfer skill, Application of interpreting mode, and Rhetorical skill; and
  • Language competency: Language proficiency enabling meaning transfer into the target language

You need to achieve at least Band 2 for each criterion. You can find detailed information about the assessment rubrics and criteria on the website.

For the Knowledge Test, you need to achieve a score of at least 70% overall, and at least 50% in each section of the test. You must pass the Knowledge Test and all interpreting tasks to pass the test.

Supplementary Testing

You must attempt all tasks and pass at least three interpreting tasks and the Knowledge Test to be eligible to apply for a supplementary test. If you fail the Knowledge Test, you will not be eligible for a supplementary test.

You must apply for the supplementary test within one month of receiving your test results. The supplementary test will involve re-sitting only the failed task(s). If you pass the supplementary test, NAATI will award you the Certified Specialist Health Interpreter certification.