Medical Interpreter Certification Sample Test (2023)

If you’re considering taking a certification course to become a medical interpreter, you’ll need to decide which agency you’ll test with and prepare yourself. In this article, you’ll see the various sections of the test for each agency, get study tips, and learn more about CCHI and NBCMI exams.

Sections of the Medical Interpreter Certification Test

Both the Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters (CCHI) and the National Board of Certified Medical Interpreters (NBCMI) have written and oral exams that must be passed before becoming officially certified.

(Video) English- Spanish Bilingual Oral Proficiency test/ Medical Interpreter Terminology/ LINGUSTICS #1

Medical Interpreter Certification Sample Test (1)

CCHI Exams

The CCHI written exam covers:

  • Professional Responsibility and Interpreter Ethics (22%): Covers job tasks such as: maintain boundaries; maintain impartiality; assess the need for advocacy; address ethical dilemmas; present self in a professional manner; pursue professional growth; adhere to safety measures; manage stress.
  • Manage the Interpreting Encounter (22%): Covers job tasks such as: monitor one’s competence and limitations; manage unfamiliar terms and concepts; manage the flow of communication.
  • Healthcare Terminology (22%): Remain current on healthcare terminology and general vocabulary in working languages through research, continuing education, etc., to interpret accurately and completely.
  • US Healthcare System (15%): Maintain working familiarity with the US health system as a part of a legal and socioeconomic environment with its own culture and organizational structure to predict and respond to events appropriately and navigate the system effectively.
  • Cultural Responsiveness: (19%): Recognize that individuals have different levels of acculturation and intracultural variation to avoid making assumptions that may misrepresent a speaker’s meaning. Serve as a culture mediator by recognizing when there is risk of potential miscommunication and responding appropriately so that each person’s own beliefs are expressed.

The CCHI oral exam requires you to:

  • Interpret Consecutively (75%)
  • Interpret Simultaneously (14%)
  • Sight Translate a written message (9%)
  • Translate a written message (2%)
  • Stay true to the message by considering cultural context and nonverbal content that maintains original intent.

Both the written and oral exam are timed. The written test is a computerized, 100-question multiple-choice test, with 120 minutes allotted for completion. Candidates have 20 to 30 minutes before the test where the proctor explains the testing procedures, reviews the exam interface, and reads directions. A preliminary score is available as soon as the test is electronically submitted.

The oral exam is 60 minutes. The candidates have 20 minutes to test their audio equipment and controls to make sure everything is in working order, and that they are familiar with everything before they start.

(Video) BILINGUAL ASSESSMENT TEST: Medical Interpreter/ Key Words/ Oral Proficiency test/ bilingual brain

The final exam score is not an average of performance in each subdomain. Instead, they are calculated with a proprietary formula, and delivered on a scale from 300 to 600 points, with a score of 450 required to pass. If a candidate fails, a 90-day waiting period is required until they may retake the test. Candidates may attempt the test up to three times a year.

Medical Interpreter Certification Sample Test (2)

NBCMI Exam

The NBCMI written exam is a 51-question, multiple-choice, computer-based exam that’s only offered in English. Candidates must pass this portion before moving onto the oral exam. It covers:

  • Roles of the Medical Interpreter (8%): Covers the role of the conduit, the role of clarifier, the role of culture broker, and advocating for patients.
  • Medical Interpreter Ethics (15%): Confidentiality, impartiality, professional courtesy, accuracy and completeness, conflict of interest, the scope of practice, professional development, disqualification/impediments to performance.
  • Cultural Competence (8%): Cultural practices related to healthcare in relational and familial structures.
  • Medical Terminology in Working Languages (38%): Medical Terminology in Working Languages, Medical Apparatus, Medical Tests and Diagnostic Procedures, Pathologies, Musculoskeletal System, Nervous System, Endocrine System, Integumentary System, Urinary System, Digestive System, Cardiovascular System, Reproductive Systems, Respiratory System, Treatments, Anatomy, Symptomatology, Pharmacology, Acronyms and Abbreviations (e.g., MRI, CAT)
  • Medical Specialties in Working Languages (23%): Obstetrics and Gynecology/Genetic Counseling, Nutrition Counseling, Psychiatry, Pediatrics, Pharmacy, Organ Transplant, Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT), Emergency Medicine, Surgery, Orthopedics, Oncology, Urology and Nephrology, Radiology, Physical, Speech, and Occupational Therapy, Neurology, Endocrinology, Ophthalmology, Hematology, Dermatology, Cardiology, Respiratory Illness.
  • Interpreter Standards of Practice (CHIA, IMIA, NCIHC) (5%): CHIA (California Healthcare Interpreters Association) Standards, IMIA (International Medical Interpreters Association) Standards, NCIHC (National Council on Interpreting in Healthcare) Standards.
  • Legislation and Regulations (HIPAA, CLAS) (3%): Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), CLAS (Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services) Standards.

Medical Interpreter Certification Sample Test (3)

CCHI vs. NBCMI Certification Explained

CCHI

If you’re trying to decide which agency to certify with, it really depends on the languages you’re fluent in and your preference. Many interpreters opt to certify with both the CCHI and NBCMI.

(Video) Remote Dialogue Task (via telephone)

The CCHI certification costs $485 for both written and oral exams and is available for Arabic, Mandarin, and Spanish. For any other language without an oral test available, you’ll receive a CoreCHI certification and pay $210. Your certification will remain valid for four years. To be eligible for recertification, you’ll need to obtain 32 hours of continuing education (16 hours for years one and two, and another 16 hours in years three and four) and pay a $300 recertification fee ($150 for years one and two and $150 for years three and four). Certification also requires 40 hours of healthcare interpreting experience, with 20 hours in years one and two, and the remainder in years three and four.

NBCMI

Languages include Cantonese, Korean, Mandarin, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese. HubCMI is a written professional skills exam for languages where no oral exam is available from NBCMI. Pricing is the same as the CCHI.

Your certification will be valid for five years unless you certify in languages where no oral exam is available. In that case, your certification remains valid for four years. If you wish to certify in a language where there is an oral exam available but opt out of that exam, you’ll receive a non-renewable two-year certification.

For recertification, you must complete 30 hours of continuing education over the course of your certification period. No healthcare interpretation experience is required for recertification. The recertification fee is the same as CCHI.

The written exam can be taken at a testing center or at home online with a proctor, regardless of which certification agency you choose.

(Video) BILINGUAL ASSESSMENT TEST/medical interpreter/keywords/oral proficiency test BLTPT #1.1

Medical Interpreter Certification Sample Test (4)

Study Tips to Improve Your Test Results

  • Create a study schedule so you’re not cramming the night before. Procrastination isn’t your friend.
  • Get plenty of sleep the night before. Eat a healthy and filling breakfast the morning of your test.
  • Use flashcards to review medical terminology and practice sight translation. Use flashcards both ways and in a mixed order to stop you from simply memorizing things in order. Don’t be afraid to ask friends or family members to help you.
  • Take good notes throughout your interpreter training course. Study those notes often.
  • Practice conversations in your target language to improve your interpreting skills for your oral examination. You can use the video resources we’ve included below for help.

Practice Video Resources For Medical Interpreters

Additional Medical Interpreter Testing Resources

At MiTio, our medical interpreter training prepares you for your certification exam. Compare our courses and contact us today to learn more.

Topics:Medical Interpreter,Medical Interpreting

(Video) How to become a Certified Medical Interpreter (Part 3: Written Exam) + Practice Exam!

FAQs

Which medical interpreter certification is best? ›

9 Best Medical Interpreter Certifications
  • Certified Medical Interpreter (CMI) ...
  • Certified Medical Interpreter - Spanish (CMI) ...
  • Medical Assistant. ...
  • Certified Translator. ...
  • Certified Healthcare Interpreter (CHI) ...
  • Certified Interpreter. ...
  • Core Certification Healthcare Interpreter (CCHI) ...
  • Certified Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS)
9 Sept 2021

What are requirements in general to an interpreter? ›

Be 18 years or older. Hold a high school diploma or equivalent. Demonstrate bilingualism and literacy through language proficiency testing. Hold a certificate for professional interpreter training (at least 40 hours of training).

How do I become a certified medical interpreter in NY? ›

Be at least 18 years old. Have at least a U.S. high school diploma (or GED) or its equivalent from another country. Complete a minimum of 40 hours of medical interpreting training (academic or non-academic program) Possess linguistic proficiency in English and the primary language for which you are seeking ...

How do you pass a medical interpreter exam? ›

Study Tips to Improve Your Test Results
  1. Create a study schedule so you're not cramming the night before. ...
  2. Get plenty of sleep the night before. ...
  3. Use flashcards to review medical terminology and practice sight translation. ...
  4. Take good notes throughout your interpreter training course.
21 Oct 2020

How much do medical translators make? ›

Again, according to PayScale, an entry-level certified medical interpreter

medical interpreter
Medical translation is the practice of translating various documents—training materials, medical bulletins, drug data sheets, etc. —for health care, medical devices, marketing, or for clinical, regulatory, and technical documentation.
https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Medical_translation
with less than 5 years of experience can earn an average of $40,000. Those with 5 - 10 years of experience earn an average of $43,000. With 10 - 20 years, they can earn $47,000. Medical interpreters
interpreters
Noun. tolk m (plural tolken, diminutive tolkje n ) An interpreter, one who translates/interprets speech in another language and vice versa. Any content interpreter, who explains.
https://en.wiktionary.org › wiki › tolk
with late-career experience earn $52,000.

What are the 4 most important qualities an interpreter should have? ›

Qualities of a good Interpreter:

The ability to understand the spoken words so they can convey their meanings and accurate message. Ability to communicate well with people from all backgrounds or cultures. Have a broad vocabulary of multiple languages. Be culturally aware.

How do you introduce yourself as an interpreter? ›

of conversation). Interpreter Introduction I am (your first name), Professional MCIS (your target language) Interpreter. I will interpret everything said and keep it all confidential. Please speak to each other in short sentences, I may interrupt for clarification.

What skills should a medical interpreter have? ›

Fluency in relevant foreign language(s). Current knowledge of medical terminology and procedures. Ability to precisely and accurately translate critical medical information from English to the patient's native language. Strong interpersonal skills, flexibility, and customer service orientation.

How much does a medical interpreter make in New York? ›

$38,257 is the 25th percentile. Salaries below this are outliers. $108,761 is the 90th percentile.

Is medical interpreter a good career? ›

A medical interpreter

medical interpreter
Medical translation is the practice of translating various documents—training materials, medical bulletins, drug data sheets, etc. —for health care, medical devices, marketing, or for clinical, regulatory, and technical documentation.
https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Medical_translation
job can be highly fulfilling

There is a higher possibility of a wrong diagnosis or ineffective treatment. One of the most rewarding aspects of a medical interpreter's job is the fact that they can prevent any of these issues!

What is the difference between a medical interpreter and medical translator? ›

You've probably heard the terms “medical translator

medical translator
Medical translation is the practice of translating various documents—training materials, medical bulletins, drug data sheets, etc. —for health care, medical devices, marketing, or for clinical, regulatory, and technical documentation.
https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Medical_translation
” and “medical interpreter” being used interchangeably, but these two roles are quite different. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics even specifies that medical translators are trained to work with written texts, while interpreters
interpreters
Noun. tolk m (plural tolken, diminutive tolkje n ) An interpreter, one who translates/interprets speech in another language and vice versa. Any content interpreter, who explains.
https://en.wiktionary.org › wiki › tolk
focus on the spoken aspect
.

How hard is it to be a medical interpreter? ›

According to the Labor Bureau of Statistics an Interpreter is a Bilingual person who converts information from one language to another. For Medical Interpreters

Interpreters
Noun. tolk m (plural tolken, diminutive tolkje n ) An interpreter, one who translates/interprets speech in another language and vice versa. Any content interpreter, who explains.
https://en.wiktionary.org › wiki › tolk
, the task is made more precarious by the addition of the very intimidating and training intensive medical terminology and jargon added to the communication.

How do you prepare for an interpretation test? ›

Gather all the items with at least 48 hours in advance. Be prepared to pack layers of clothing (so you can be comfortable in any room temperature). The day before the test is all about relaxation. Take the day off before the test and pamper yourself with a massage, a long walk in the woods, a movie-binge day, etc.

How long does it take to get ATA certified? ›

To earn ATA certification, a translator must pass a challenging three-hour proctored exam. The exam assesses the language skills of a professional translator: comprehension of the source-language text, translation techniques, and writing in the target language.

What kind of interpreters make the most money? ›

Simultaneous Interpreters

Interpreters
Noun. tolk m (plural tolken, diminutive tolkje n ) An interpreter, one who translates/interprets speech in another language and vice versa. Any content interpreter, who explains.
https://en.wiktionary.org › wiki › tolk
Earn the Big Money. The highest paying jobs don't belong to translators. Simultaneous interpreters are the best paid in the language service industry.

Who Earns More translator or interpreter? ›

Their specialty and experience levels may influence their income. For example, a courtroom interpreter with ten years' experience may earn a higher salary than an interpreter who recently entered the field. Translators earn an average salary of $46,145 per year .

Can you make a living as an interpreter? ›

The median annual wage for interpreters and translators was $49,110 in May 2021. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less.

What makes a successful interpreter? ›

An interpreter should be able to speak just as well, and preferably better, than a native speaker. Superior grammatical knowledge and the ability to interpret idioms, nuance and metaphors in conversation is essential to effective communication.

How can I improve my interpretation skills? ›

Understanding the cultural environment is the key to success in the interpreting profession.
  1. Understand the Cultural Aspect.
  2. Continue Building Your Vocabulary.
  3. Listen Attentively.
  4. Take Notes and Research on Topic.
  5. Develop Communication and Customer Service Skills.
  6. Gain Relevant Experiences.
  7. Get Professional Certifications.
7 Dec 2020

What are the three most important skills that an interpreter need? ›

Interpreter Skills
  • Highly proficient in both English and the other language.
  • Impartiality.
  • Able to accurately and idiomatically turn the message from the source language into the target language without any additions, omissions or other misleading factors that alter the intended meaning of the message from the speaker.

What are four other main elements of a professional medical interpreter introduction? ›

  • I will interpret everything said.
  • I will maintain confidentiality.
  • Encourage patient and provider to speak to each other.
  • Make hand gesture if you need parties to stop.

How do I sell myself as a translator? ›

How can I promote myself as a translator?
  1. Join online forums related to your field.
  2. Join freelancing groups and create a post with your portfolio.
  3. Use social media as a networking tool.
  4. Keep your business cards with you at all times so you can share them with potential customers whenever needed.

What is an interpreting protocol? ›

Protocols establish what is and what is not to be expected from an interpreter and allow for a smooth interpreting session. We can talk about protocols by commenting on the correct conduct and procedures to be followed by the interpreter before, during and after the interpreting session.

What are the four roles of a medical interpreter? ›

Medical Interpreter

Medical Interpreter
Medical translation is the practice of translating various documents—training materials, medical bulletins, drug data sheets, etc. —for health care, medical devices, marketing, or for clinical, regulatory, and technical documentation.
https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Medical_translation
Duties and Responsibilities

They translate a wide range of medical information that includes medical conditions, treatment options, follow-up appointment details, billing, and insurance. They also accompany patients to office visits and provide drug information.

What do medical interpreters wear? ›

Business casual wear is always a safe option, and more conservative colors such as earth tones never hurt. While bright colors and patterns can be incorporated into business casual attire, you want to make sure you still keep things professional.

What level should interpreters be? ›

There are three main levels of interpreter credentials available through NAATI: Certified Interpreter (or higher) Certified Provisional Interpreter. Recognised Practising Interpreter.

What is the difference between Cchi and Nbcmi? ›

The CCHI written exam focuses on ethics while the NBCMI written exam puts more emphasis on medical terminology. The NBCMI oral exam tests interpreters

interpreters
Noun. tolk m (plural tolken, diminutive tolkje n ) An interpreter, one who translates/interprets speech in another language and vice versa. Any content interpreter, who explains.
https://en.wiktionary.org › wiki › tolk
on two interpreting modalities: sight translation and consecutive interpreting.

How do I get medical Spanish certification? ›

You must submit either: a Certificate of Completion from an accepted medical interpreter

medical interpreter
Medical translation is the practice of translating various documents—training materials, medical bulletins, drug data sheets, etc. —for health care, medical devices, marketing, or for clinical, regulatory, and technical documentation.
https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Medical_translation
training course of at least 40 hours. a transcript from a college or university where you took at least 3 credit hours of medical interpreting coursework.

What is the difference between a medical interpreter and medical translator? ›

You've probably heard the terms “medical translator

medical translator
Medical translation is the practice of translating various documents—training materials, medical bulletins, drug data sheets, etc. —for health care, medical devices, marketing, or for clinical, regulatory, and technical documentation.
https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Medical_translation
” and “medical interpreter” being used interchangeably, but these two roles are quite different. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics even specifies that medical translators are trained to work with written texts, while interpreters
interpreters
Noun. tolk m (plural tolken, diminutive tolkje n ) An interpreter, one who translates/interprets speech in another language and vice versa. Any content interpreter, who explains.
https://en.wiktionary.org › wiki › tolk
focus on the spoken aspect
.

Is medical interpreter a good career? ›

A medical interpreter

medical interpreter
Medical translation is the practice of translating various documents—training materials, medical bulletins, drug data sheets, etc. —for health care, medical devices, marketing, or for clinical, regulatory, and technical documentation.
https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Medical_translation
job can be highly fulfilling

There is a higher possibility of a wrong diagnosis or ineffective treatment. One of the most rewarding aspects of a medical interpreter's job is the fact that they can prevent any of these issues!

How long is the Cchi oral exam? ›

The CHI™ examination (for any language) is time-limited and is 60 minutes long. Before the examination is launched, candidates perform an audio check to ensure that their headset is working and audio is recorded properly.

What does Ncihc stand for? ›

National Council on Interpreting in Health Care. www.ncihc.org.

What does Cchi stand for? ›

CCHI
AcronymDefinition
CCHICalifornia Center for Health Improvement
CCHICouncil of Cooperative Health Insurance (Saudi Arabia)
CCHICompendium of Clinical and Health Indicators (National Health Service; UK)
CCHICambridge Cap Holdings, Inc. (stock symbol)
3 more rows

How long does it take to learn medical Spanish? ›

The medical Spanish curriculum itself has 40 hours of content across all three levels, with an average of 12-15 hours for each level. We have seen learners finish one level in 2 weeks to 12 months. But again, you determine your pace on your own schedule. The most common subscription length is 12 months.

How much does a medical interpreter make in California? ›

How much does a Medical Interpreter

Medical Interpreter
Medical translation is the practice of translating various documents—training materials, medical bulletins, drug data sheets, etc. —for health care, medical devices, marketing, or for clinical, regulatory, and technical documentation.
https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Medical_translation
make in California? The average Medical Interpreter salary in California is $54,174 as of August 29, 2022, but the range typically falls between $47,676 and $59,386.

What is ATA exam? ›

The exam is a three-hour, open-book, proctored exam, designed to test your ability to provide a professional translation. Home / Certification / About the ATA Certification Exam. The exam consists of three passages of 225 to 275 words each. Two of these passages must be translated.

Do interpreters make a lot of money? ›

PayScale reports that interpreters

interpreters
Noun. tolk m (plural tolken, diminutive tolkje n ) An interpreter, one who translates/interprets speech in another language and vice versa. Any content interpreter, who explains.
https://en.wiktionary.org › wiki › tolk
make between $25,000 and $83,000 in annual wages. Early career and entry level interpreters make an average of 9-19% less than more experienced interpreters, and interpreters who speak in-demand languages are likely to make 11-29% more than others in the field.

Can family members translate for patients? ›

Patients with LEP in the United States have a legal right to access language services, and clinicians have legal and ethical responsibilities to communicate through qualified interpreters when caring for these patients.

What are the benefits of an interpreter? ›

Understanding is the primary benefit of language interpretation. If a person is not able to speak more than one language, having an interpreter to make sense out of the unknown can be uplifting. Bridging linguistic gaps typically is the ultimate goal of language interpretation.

Can you make a living as an interpreter? ›

The median annual wage for interpreters and translators was $49,110 in May 2021. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less.

Is being an interpreter hard? ›

Being an interpreter is a demanding job: it takes years of experience, skill, discipline and hard work. What's more, professional interpreters

interpreters
Noun. tolk m (plural tolken, diminutive tolkje n ) An interpreter, one who translates/interprets speech in another language and vice versa. Any content interpreter, who explains.
https://en.wiktionary.org › wiki › tolk
often deal with difficult or emotional situations and have to maintain professionalism whilst consecutively thinking and speaking in different languages.

How long can an interpreter work? ›

Interpreting is mentally exhausting work so an interpreter should never work for more than 45 minutes at a time without a break. For simultaneous interpreting the guidelines are a lot stricter in that you should hire two interpreters for a whole day, with each interpreter taking turns of 20 to 30 minutes each.

Videos

1. Consecutive Interpreting Practice Eng-Spa | Medical 1 Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy NBCMI CCHI
(Interpret Your World)
2. How to become a Certified Medical Interpreter (Part 1: Why I chose NBCMI)
(Interpreter Academy)
3. CHI™ Oral Performance Healthcare Interpreter Certification Exam Structure and Interface
(Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters)
4. Medical Interpreter Consecutive Interpretation Note Taking Symbols and Abbreviations
(Bridging Words)
5. Tips on how to choose a medical interpreter training
(Interprepedia)
6. English-Spanish Bilingual Oral Proficiency test/ Medical Interpreter Terminology/ Multilingual #2
(MIT Interpretations)
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