Oral Practice Exam
Part 8

8.1    Overview and instructions for the Oral Examination Practice Test 

This section contains all of the Oral Practice Examination material relating to the Oral Examination for the Federal Court Interpreter Certification Examination (FCICE). These instructions are for the web-based Practice Examination. You will need to follow the online instructions and use your computer to play .mp3 files. If you ordered a hard copy of the Handbook, these materials are included as Part 8 of the book and a CD is included, containing all of the audio files.

These materials contain everything you need to self-administer the Practice Test in a way that closely simulates the actual test experience. When you are finished administering the practice examination, you can then score your examination.  You can also listen to and score an example of a strong passing performance.

The practice test materials are presented in the same sequence that they are given during the examination itself, as follows:

  • Part 1-English to Spanish Sight Translation
  • Part 1-Spanish to English Sight Translation
  • Part 2 Simultaneous Monologue
  • Part 3 Consecutive
  • Part 4 Simultaneous Witness Examination

Do not look at the documents that follow the instructions for each test part, or play any of the audio files until you have read the instructions and are ready to take that part of the practice examination.  

8.2    Equipment you need and preparations 

To make the best use of these materials you will need a tape recorder, a blank recording tape and a minute timer. A stopwatch or other clock that shows minutes and seconds can also be used. It is best if you have a partner to keep time for you and tell you when time is up. For this online version you will need to be able to play .mp3 audio files on your computer. For more information about .mp3 audio files and information about how to get a free .mp3 player.

Arrange to have your equipment and partner, if one is available, and a quiet place where you will not be disturbed for the time required to take each part of the examination. If you take the entire test all at once, you will need about 45 minutes without interruption. We cannot predict how much time it will take you to play back your performance and score it. That will vary too much with each individual. We suggest that you allow at least one hour for this purpose.

It is a good idea to have a glass of water available, just as it will be available for you when you take the test. 

Note that parts of this test are not as long as the actual test. Therefore, it allows you to become familiar with the examination content and process, but the time required to complete the Practice Test is not the same as the actual test.

8.3    Sequence of events for taking the test 

First you will take the practice sight translation test (English to Spanish and Spanish to English). This Practice Test simulates the actual test procedure but without the panel of raters present.  This requires about 12 minutes without interruption. You will not need any equipment except the tape recorder to record your performance. 

Next you will take the simultaneous monologue part of the examination. To do that, you will need the appropriate sound player on your computer into which you can plug a set of headphones (you will need headphones for the final section of the test as well). 

Next you will take the consecutive portion of the examination. Again you will need the appropriate sound player on your computer, but you will not use the headphones.

Finally, you will complete the test with the simultaneous witness testimony section. Again, as with the simultaneous monologue portion you took earlier, you will need headphones.

After you have taken the test, you may score your performance at any time.  Specific instructions for how to score your test are provided next.

8.4    General instructions

Welcome to the Practice Test for the FCICE Oral Examination for Spanish-English interpreters. Relax, and let’s get started. These instructions are similar to what you will actually hear in the test room from your test administrator.

Throughout the examination, your interpretation should be complete, accurate, and faithful to the language level, style, tone, and intent of the speaker. When you interpret, you must not edit, summarize, delete, or add. If you give two versions of words or phrases, only the last thing you say will be counted in scoring your performance.

Use appropriate grammar, vocabulary, and idioms. Remember to speak clearly and do not mumble your words. If the raters cannot understand what is being said, they are not able to credit you for correct scoring units in that passage. In your renderings you may use words generally accepted in countries of the Spanish-speaking world, so long as the usage can be found in a standard dictionary.