1.7 The Performance Tests

1.7.1 Performance Tests Eligibility Requirements

(Revised 04/1107/12)

Applicants meet the following performance test eligibility requirements to apply for a performance test:

Certification Status Performance Test Eligibility
Not certified Basic Level
BEI Level I, Signing Exact English (SEE), Morphemic Sign System (MSS), Level II
BEI Level I, Basic, Level II, Level III, Level IV, Level V Advanced Level
RID Comprehensive Skills Certificate (CSC), Certificate of Interpretation (CI), Certificate of Transliteration (CT), or CI and CT
NAD-RID NIC or Advanced
Certified Level III or higher from another state
BEI Level III, Level IV, Level V, OC:C, or Advanced Master Level
NIC Advanced or Master
Not certified and the applicant is deaf Level III Intermediary
Level III Intermediary Level V Intermediary
Level I Oral Oral Certificate: Basic (OC:B)
Level I Oral or OC:B Oral Certificate: Comprehensive (OC:C)
Not certified and the applicant is deaf Oral Certificate: Visible (OC:V)

Holders of RID, NIC, or certification from another state must submit a copy of their certification for verification purposes if applying for the Advanced or Master Performance test.

1.7.2 Applying for a Performance Test

(Revised 06/1004/1107/12)

The applicant must

  • complete Form 3909, Interpreter Performance Test Application;
  • attach the following items to the form:
    • a copy of a valid photo ID or driver’s license;
    • an official college transcript for an associate degree or for 60 credit hours from an accredited college or university; and
    • a check, money order, or cashier’s check payable to DARS DHHS for the designated fee; and
  • mail the form with the attachments to DARS DHHS at least 60 calendar days before a scheduled test date.

Current BEI certificate holders who are applying to upgrade their certification level are exempt from the educational requirement, but are required to pass the TEP.

An application does not guarantee a request for an appointment on a specified day, location, or time. Appointments are given on a first-come, first-served basis, and requests for dates and locations cannot always be accommodated. The DARS DHHS staff member contacts applicants when necessary to arrange alternate testing dates.

When DARS DHHS receives and processes the application form, a DARS DHHS staff member

  • sends a letter to the applicant to acknowledge receipt of the form and fees, and
  • provides information about scheduling an appointment for testing.

1.7.3 Testing Fees Schedule

(Revised 04/11)

The nonrefundable testing fees are shown in the following table:

Certification Test Applicable Fee
Test of English Proficiency $95
Basic Performance Test $145
Advanced Performance Test $170
Master Performance Test $195
Level III-Intermediary Performance Test $50
Level V-Intermediary Performance Test $50
MSS Performance Test $85
OC:B Performance Test $85
OC:C Performance Test $105
OC:V Performance Test $50
SEE Performance Test $85

1.7.4 Testing Sites and Schedule

(Revised 04/11)

DARS DHHS has agreements, which are subject to change, with numerous sites for annual testing sessions.

The sites and dates for testing are available at the DARS DHHS office or at BEI Testing Dates and Sites.

1.7.5 Confirming an Appointment for a Performance Test

(Revised 06/1004/1107/12)

Before a scheduled testing date, a DARS DHHS staff member sends a letter to the applicant to confirm an appointment for testing. Appointments are

  • given on a first-come, first-served basis; and
  • offered only one time.

Fees are not refundable. The appointment is confirmed by mail or with a confirmation email. The letter or email includes directions to the testing location and instructions about the specific performance test. After the appointment is confirmed, the applicant may not reschedule the appointment except for reasons outlined in the Forfeiture of Fee section below. For more information about test expectations, formats, and samples, see the BEI Study Guide for General Interpreter Certification Candidates available online or by request from the DARS DHHS office.

Forfeiture of Fee

Testing fees are forfeited if an applicant cancels a confirmed appointment or fails to appear for a confirmed appointment without notifying DARS DHHS staff in advance. An applicant may reschedule a test appointment without an additional fee at the discretion of DARS DHHS and if he or she provides proof of one of the following:

  • illness of the applicant or an immediate family member,
  • death of an immediate family member,
  • inclement weather conditions, or
  • reasons beyond the applicant’s control that made attendance impossible.

If an applicant cancels a testing appointment and provides proof of one of the above, the applicant must reschedule the test within 30 days and take the newly rescheduled test within six months.

1.7.6 The Day of the Performance Test

(Revised 04/1107/12)

Applicants must arrive at least 30 minutes before the scheduled appointment time and may bring only photo identification and the confirmation letter to the site. Applicants who arrive later than 15 minutes after their scheduled appointment forfeit the testing opportunity and fees.

Water is provided for applicants. Applicants must not bring electronic devices such as cell phones, pagers, tablets, or PDAs into the testing room. Handbags, wallets, briefcases, backpacks, jackets, coats, and other personal items are not allowed in the testing room and should be secured in the applicant's vehicle before the appointment. This prohibition is necessary for test security. Applicants are required to sign a confidentiality statement before testing. Any action that can be viewed as cheating on an examination is grounds for denial, suspension, or revocation of a certification.

A DARS DHHS staff member or designee administers the performance test and records each applicant. Once the test begins, the recording may not be stopped, rewound, or replayed, but the testing materials may be paused briefly between each section. An applicant is not permitted to rewind or review his or her performance test DVD. The applicant may not leave the testing room after the test has begun, but may sit or stand.

1.7.7 Notification of Test Results

(Revised 12/0904/1107/12)

DARS DHHS reports test results within 90 days after the test is administered. If additional delays occur, DARS DHHS staff notifies the applicant. Applicants who are awarded certification are

  • added to the database of certified interpreters;
  • notified of the results; and
  • mailed:
    • a certificate,
    • a wallet-sized card, and
    • information about applicable laws, rules, and policies that pertain to the requirements for annual certificate maintenance and five-year certificate renewal.

Unsuccessful applicants are notified of the results and must

  • wait to retake the test six months after the test was administered,
  • submit a new application and fee to retake the test, and
  • comply with all eligibility requirements.

The notification letter contains valuable feedback about test results and provides information for getting training before retaking the performance test. The applicant should use the BEI Study Guide to help understand the rating criteria.