Interpreter/Translator Testing & Training Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do I register for the training?
  2. What can I expect out of the training?
  3. Do I need to complete the required trainings for Interpreters/Translators before I take the proficiency exam?
  4. How do I register for the exam?
  5. What is the cost of the exams?
  6. What will the exam test for?
  7. How much time will I have for the exam?
  8. What will the oral exam include?
  9. What can I expect from the written exam?
  10. What do I need to bring the day I take the proficiency exam?
  11. Is there anything else I need to know about the day of the exam?
  12. Can I do both the oral and written exam on the same day?
  13. How will the scores be reported?
  14. What if I don't pass the exam? Can I take it again?
  15. What do I do after I get my results?
  16. The Illinois Early Intervention Training Program DOES NOT accept interpreter/translator applications and DOES NOT employ interpreters/translators.

How do I register for the training?

Check the Illinois EI Training Program website www.illinoiseitraining.org and search by title to find the dates and location for the next training. Registration can be completed online or by contacting the Illinois EI Training Program at 866-509-3867. Effective July 1, 2010, interpreters/translators must complete the System Overview for Bilingual Interpreters/Translators in the Illinois Early Intervention System. Interpreters/Translators will be required to complete all trainings in their entirety in order to receive a certificate of completion.

What can I expect out of the training?

The System Overview for Bilingual Interpreters/Translators in the Illinois Early Intervention provides a general knowledge base on the Illinois EI System as a whole. It includes an overview of what it means to be an Interpreter/Translator within Early Intervention. The role of an interpreter/translator as well as the practice and ethics of being an EI Interpreter/Translator are covered. The training also provide important instructions for billing and documentation. There is a fee of $30 for the System Overview for Bilingual Interpreter/Translator in the IL Early Intervention System.

Do I need to complete the required trainings for Interpreters/Translators before I take the proficiency exam?

It is important that each candidate meet the training requirements prior to completing the proficiency exam.

How do I register for the exam?

Visit the "Training" page on the Illinois Early Intervention Training Program's website and search Bilingual Interpreter/Translator Proficiency Testing for dates and locations near you. Contact the Illinois EI Training Program toll free at 866-509-3867 to make an appointment for the written and/or oral proficiency exam.

What is the cost of the exams?

The oral interpretation exam is $85 and the written translation exam is $85 which totals $170 for those planning to take both tests. There is a payment of $30 required to participate in the System Overview for Bilingual Interpreters/Translators in the IL Early Intervention System training.

What will the exam test for?

Proficiency testing will measure interpreter candidates' interpretation ability, or the ability to render a speaker's dictation from a source language into a target language, and vice/versa. Candidates completing the oral exam will be graded on accuracy & completion, terminology, pronunciation/intelligibility, and grammar. With regards to written translation, candidates will be graded on areas such as spelling, grammar and word usage (including accents, sentence structure, verb, tenses, etc.).

How much time will I have for the exam?

2 hours is the maximum time allowed to complete the written exam. 30 minutes is the maximum time allowed for the oral exam.

What will the oral exam include?

The oral exam will be recorded and is broken down into three sections. There are two sections on sight translation, one section of sight translation from the family's native language into English and another section from English into the family's native language. The third section of the oral exam is an audio recording of a dialogue and the candidate will be required to interpret the dialogue. You MAY NOT use a dictionary for the oral portion of the exam. Note taking is NOT allowed for any part of this exam.

What can I expect from the written exam?

You will be allowed up to 2 hours to complete this exam. Once you begin the exam you may not leave the room until you are finished. If you leave the room during the exam you will be considered finished with the exam. You will be required to turn your cell phone off. Applicants are allowed to use one dictionary, and no additional books, notes, notebooks, or reference aids will be allowed. Electronic dictionaries are not acceptable. There are four sections of this exam which include translation from English to the target language and from the target language to English. There are two sections on word translation and two sections on paragraph translation. You will be graded on areas such as spelling, grammar and word usage (including accents, sentence structure, verb, tenses, etc.).

What do I need to bring the day I take the proficiency exam?

  1. You should arrive 15 minutes prior to your testing time and you will be required to show photo identification. For those who plan to complete the written exam you should also have a black or blue ink pen and you may bring one dictionary. Electronic dictionaries are NOT acceptable.
  2. Is there anything else I need to know about the day of the exam?

  3. It is important to remember that you will not be permitted to leave the testing room during the test. If you need to leave the testing room, the exam will be considered completed. Please plan accordingly. The proctor will not be able to provide you any assistance other than giving basic instructions. You will not be allowed to leave with the exam or any notes you have made under any circumstances. Furthermore, there are multiple versions of the exam. Your testing experience may be different from another interpreter's depending on what version of the exam you complete.
  4. Can I do both the oral and written exam on the same day?

  5. Yes, as long as you pre-register and provide pre-payment for each exam prior to the day of the exam. Those who are completing both exams in one day will need to allow at least 2.5 hours to complete their exams.
  6. How will the scores be reported?

  7. Results are reported in a pass/fail format and you will be notified by mail if you have demonstrated proficiency. The written and oral exam grading is outsourced to independent grading companies and the EI Training Program will notify the applicant by mail when their grade comes in. It will take approximately 30 business days (45 calendar days) to have the exam graded.
  8. What if I don't pass the exam? Can I take it again?

  9. Applicants may take the test up to 2x in a 6 month period and must pay each time they take the test ($85 for the oral exam and $85 for the written exam). If you do not demonstrate proficiency you may choose to visit the Interpreter/Translator Resource list which can be viewed and/or downloaded on the Illinois Early Intervention Training Program website (www.illinoiseitraining.org).
  10. What do I do after I get my results?

  11. If you have demonstrated proficiency you will receive a certificate of completion in the mail. It is the interpreter/Translators responsibility to send Provider Connections their certificates of completion for the written and/or oral exam, as well as the training certificate documenting completion of System Overview for Bilingual Interpreters/Translators in the Illinois Early Intervention System. Interpreters/Translators should send both their certificates to Provider Connections together. Interpreters/Translators should also inform the Child and Family Connections office(s) that they plan to work with of their services after they become enrolled with Provider Connections. All interpreters/translators are required to enroll with Provider Connections in order to provide services in the Illinois Early Intervention System. Interpreters/Translators may download the enrollment application by visiting the Provider Connections website at http://www.wiu.edu/ProviderConnections/. Interpreters/Translators should send the aforementioned certificates along with their enrollment application to the following address:

Center for Best Practices in Early Childhood Education

Western Illinois University

1 University Circle

Macomb, IL 61455

Interpreters/Translators should contact Provider Connections at (800) 701-0995 if they have additional questions with regards to their enrollment in the Illinois EI System.

The Illinois Early Intervention Training Program DOES NOT accept interpreter/translator applications and DOES NOT employ interpreters/translators.