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Federal Court Interpreter Certification Examination

The Federal Court Interpreter Certification Examination is offered for Spanish/English testing only. 

Examination Phases

The Federal Court Interpreting Certification Examination, often referred to as the FCICE, is administered in two phases.

Phase One Written Examination - Updated Due to COVID-19

We previously announced that the written examination would be administered May 21-23, 2020, and that registration would open on March 20, 2020. In light of the growing concerns around COVID-19, registration for the next written examination will be postponed until a determination is made that the exam can be administered safely and effectively. Postponement of the May 2020 written examination, if necessary, will not impact successful candidates’ ability to register for the phase two oral examination, which will be administered in 2021. 

When testing resumes, the examination may only be taken 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. Since you must pass the written examination to take the oral examination, you will receive your scores on the same day of testing.

Phase Two Oral Examination

The oral examination will be offered in 2021 in various locations nationwide. 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. Learn more about the oral examination.

If you have any questions, please email fcice@ao.uscourts.gov.