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 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. 

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.

Test Description

The Certified Specialist (Health) Interpreter Knowledge Test consists of a three hour long online test, composed of six sections and 60 questions of different types. The test will be principally in English but may include some LOTE elements.

Domains & Situations

The Knowledge Test covers a wide range of health sub-domains. All tasks deal with high level scenarios between specialists; or between specialists and well-informed lay speakers, in different areas of the health domain, including in hospital, clinical and specialist contexts. There will be at least one Knowledge Test question on interpreting in the field of speech pathology.

Duration

Each Knowledge Test is run over a single three-hour long session. You may need to wait for your test to start, 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.

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
    • Differences between health systems across nations
  • 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
  • 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.

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 testing platform; 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 a maximum 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. There is a total of seven essay questions in each test, all in section 4.

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

Assessment

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

There is a total of 200 marks available, divided across 60 questions in six sections. You must gain an overall score of 70% and at least 50% in each section to pass the test. 

The question types in the Knowledge Test are weighted differently. Multiple choice questions are worth one mark each. Short answer questions are worth two marks each. Match, drag and drop, and long answer questions are worth four marks each; and essay questions are marked out of ten. It is possible to gain partial marks for all question types. 

The different question types are marked in different ways. Multiple choice, match, and drag and drop questions are automatically marked. Short answer, long answer and essay questions are marked by at least two trained examiners based upon detailed marking guidelines.

You must pass the Knowledge Test to be eligible to apply to sit the Interpreting Test.

Knowledge Test results are valid for 3 years after the date you passed your test.


Summary of Knowledge Test Questions and Points Per Section
SectionsNumber of QuestionsNumber of Points
Section 1: Medical Terminology2041
Section 2: General Medical Knowledge1536
Section 3: Knowledge of Health Systems1024
Section 4: Ethics, Culture, & the Role of the Interpreter975
Section 5: Advanced Interactional Management312
Section 6: Research & Preparation312
Total60200