NIC – Interview and Performance Exam Overview

May 21, 2021 | Interpreter Education

by: Lisa Hendrickson, CI - NIR Interpreter Coordinator

Whether you are a seasoned interpreter who has been in the field for decades, or a recent graduate of an ITP, one of your goals may be to obtain a certification from the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID). The certification test we will focus on for this article is the National Interpreter Certification, or NIC. The NIC is authorized by RID, and administered by the Center for the Advancement of Sign Language Interpretation (CASLI).

TEST FOCUS

There are two main foci for the NIC Interview and Performance Exam:

  • Ability to apply the NAD-RID Code of Professional Conduct in interpreting situations when posed with an ethical dilemma. (Interview Section)
  • Exhibit of appropriate real-world interpreting skills. (Performance Section)

INTERVIEW TEST STRUCTURE

This section consists of two vignettes highlighting real-world interpreting ethical dilemmas.

  • Candidates are given a written description, or Stimulus, of the real-world dilemma and an action that a hypothetical interpreter chose to take in the situation.
  • Candidates are then provided with a Problem Statement which instructs them to either criticize or defend the hypothetical interpreter’s actions. Support must reference specific tenets/sections directly from the NAD-RID Code of Professional Conduct.
  • The final section is the Response- Candidates are recorded as they provide their response to each of the two vignettes using ASL only, remembering to include the specific tenets/sections.

Interview Section Timing

2 minutes -   Introduction to the ethical dilemmas section.

4 minutes -   Vignette 1 – Ethical dilemma is presented & candidate prepares a response.

3 minutes -   Candidate presents response in ASL only.

2 minutes -   Break

4 minutes -   Vignette 2 – Ethical dilemma is presented & candidate prepares a response.

3 minutes -   Candidate presents response in ASL only.

2 minutes -   Break

PERFORMANCE TEST STRUCTURE

This section consists of five vignettes highlighting real-world interpreting situations.

  • Candidates are provided with a Stimulus for each of the five situations. This includes a written description of the context of the situation, a written description of the people involved, and a written description of the conversation prior to the start of the scenario.
  • Candidates are then faced with the Problem Statement portion of the exam. In this section, they are given instructions to interpret the following stimulus either from spoken English into ASL, ASL into spoken English, or a combination of interactive communication.
  • Finally, candidates must provide the interpretation for the stimulus, also called the Response, for each of the five vignettes. Candidates are recorded as they simultaneously interpret the stimulus.

Performance Section Timing

2 minutes -   Introduction to the interpreting “performance” stimuli.

2 minutes -   Vignette 3 – Presentation of interpreting situation/context.

4 minutes -   Vignette 3 – Candidate interprets stimulus material.

2 minutes -   Break

2 minutes -   Vignette 4 – Presentation of interpreting situation/context.

4 minutes -   Vignette 4 – Candidate interprets stimulus material.

2 minutes -   Break

2 minutes -   Vignette 5 – Presentation of interpreting situation/context.

4 minutes -   Vignette 5 – Candidate interprets stimulus material.

2 minutes -   Break

2 minutes -   Vignette 6 – Presentation of interpreting situation/context.

4 minutes -   Vignette 6 – Candidate interprets stimulus material.

2 minutes -   Break

2 minutes -   Vignette 7 – Presentation of interpreting situation/context.

4 minutes -   Vignette 7 – Candidate interprets stimulus material.

  • After the completion of both sections of the exam, approximately 60 minutes total, the test administrator will officially end the exam and collect all materials from the testing room.
  • Score Reports will be available approximately 90 days after the exam and can be accessed through the candidate’s CASLI Exam System Account.

This article includes just a brief overview of what to expect if you are considering taking the NIC Interview and Performance Exam. For full, comprehensive details and registration information, please visit the CASLI website at CASLI.org

Reference: Center for Assessment of Sign Language Interpreters (2016) About Casli Exams. Available at: casli.org/getting-started/about-casli-exams. Accessed 5/1/2021

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