The Federal Court Interpreter Certification Examination, often referred to as the FCICE, is administered in two phases. Candidates may take the examination multiple times if necessary. Eligibility to sit for the oral exam is dependent on successfully passing the written exam. To become federally certified, one must pass both the Written and the Oral examination.
Phase One: Written Examination
The written examination may be taken only once per testing period. It is a computer-administered screener examination which includes a multiple-choice test of English proficiency and a multiple-choice test of Spanish proficiency. You must pass the written examination in order to qualify to take the oral examination. You will receive your scores on the same day of testing.
Phase Two: Oral Examination
The oral examination tests the ability to effectively perform the three modes of court interpreting: sight translation and simultaneous and consecutive interpretation of discourse, all of which must reflect the correct form and content of authentic interpreting functions encountered in the federal courts.
Accordingly, the candidate is required to demonstrate the ability to effectively carry out these functions bi-directionally. Test items include both formal and informal/colloquial language, technical and legal terminology, and special vocabulary or other specialized language use which is part of the active vocabulary of a highly articulate speaker. The FCICE is offered only for Spanish/English, since that is the primary interpreting need in the federal judiciary.
Practice exams are available for both the Written and Oral Examinations. The practice exams include representative items from previously administrations.
The practice Oral Examination is a one-half length of an actual examination. The prompts are provided to offer representative experience, but professional scoring is not provided as part of the oral practice exam. It is suggested that candidates record their responses and evaluate those responses using the scoring keys provided.
As part of your preparation for the tests it is important that you review and understand the information contained in the Examinee handbook.