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Spoken Language Certification

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Court Interpreter Certification Exam

Advanced and experienced interpreters who want to specialize in court work are encouraged to take the Certification Exam to become a Minnesota Certified Court Interpreter.  The courts are required to appoint certified interpreters first.

 Exams will be offered again November 2015.

Exams will be available in the following languages:  Spanish, Hmong, Somali, Arabic (Modern Standard for sight and simultaneous portions & Egyptian Collloquial for the consecutive portion), Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Haitian Creole, Lao, Korean, Russian, French, Khmer, and Portuguese. 

To Prepare for Certification Exam:

Certification Exam Resources:

Prerequisites for taking the Certification Exam for all Interpreters:

1. Candidates for the certification exam should already be fluent in their non-English language at levels equivalent to that of highly educated native speakers.

2. Are you ready for the exam?  Find out if you are ready by using the Certification Exam Self Assessment Tool

3. Interpreters MUST read Overview of the Oral Performance Examination (PDF) for information abou the certification exam.

4. Interpreters are encouraged to purchase a Court Interpreter Practice Examination Kit - All-English to study prior to the Certification Exam.  Information on purchasing the kit is available on the NCSC website.

Additional Certification Requirements

In addition to completing all requirements for inclusion on the statewide roster, interpreters who wish to become certified must prove to the State Court Administrator that they are at least 18-years-old, have good character and fitness as evidenced by a background check (cost is $15), and have passing scores on a legal interpreting proficiency exam (certification exam) administered or approved by the State Court Administrator's Office.

Please note the following rules regarding the spoken language certification exams:
  1. To be eligible for certification in Minnesota, you must pass all three sections of the exam (Simultaneous, Consecutive, and Sight Translation) with a score of at least 70 percent in each section.
  2. To be eligible for certification in Minnesota, you must take and pass all three sections on the same day or within the same testing cycle.  Minnesota will administer the exam only in this fashion.
  3. Interpreters are limited as to the number of times they may take the same version of the test.  The rationale behind this is that if an interpreter continued to take the same test version over and over, that interpreter may easily memorize the exam contents and the exam would no longer hold validity as a measure of interpreting skills.  The number of versions varies depending on language. 
  4. Some people assume that being certified in one state automatically qualifies them to be certified in other states.  This is not necessarily true.  To find out whether you qualify for certification in another state, please contact that state's Court Interpreter Program Manager. See List of state court interpreter program contacts.