2020 Interpreter Program Calendar

Thank you for your interest in the Interpreter Certification Program.

Events are subject to change, rescheduling or cancellation depending on demand, space availability and any other special circumstances related to program or event management. Changes will be posted on this web site when necessary. It is the candidate’s responsibility to keep informed about program events. 

Orientation Workshops

All new interpreter candidates must attend an orientation workshop. Before being eligible to attend an orientation, candidates must first register with the program. For complete information visit the orientation page.

orientation workshop calendar
Date Location Deadline Open To Requirement
May 2-3 online April 9 * Sign & Foreign Int. Register w/program
July 18-19 Harrisburg June 12 * Foreign Lang Int. Register w/program
Oct. 3-4 Philadelphia Sept. 4 Foreign Lang. Int. Register w/program

Written Examinations

Interpreters must attend an orientation workshop before being eligible to register for the written examination. The written exam consists of 135 multiple choice questions and a foreign language assessment exercise consisting of translating 10 items into the candidate’s working language. The test is given during a 4-hour morning or afternoon session and is limited to fifty examinees each. For more information visit the written examination page.

Written Examination calendar
Date Location Deadline Requirement
June 10 
(p.m. only)
Pittsburgh May 15 Attend Orientation
Sept. 2 Harrisburg Aug. 7 Attend Orientation
Nov. 20 Philadelphia Oct. 16 Attend Orientation

 

Oral Proficiency Examinations

The oral examination consists of two phases administered on separate dates: (1) simultaneous and (2) consecutive and sight. Candidates in languages with abbreviated oral exams will be advised which sections are available for them to take. Candidates cannot register for an oral exam until they receive the results of the written examination. Oral exam dates and locations are subject to change. For more information visit the oral examination page.

oral proficiency examination calendar
Date Location Deadline Requirement
June 25 Philadelphia May 29 Pass written exam
Aug. 5
(p.m. only)
Pittsburgh July 10 Pass written exam
Oct. 28 Harrisburg Sept. 25 Pass written exam
Dec. 11 Philadelphia Nov. 13 Pass written exam

*See the postponement announcement on the Program Updates page.

Oral Proficiency Interviews (OPI)

Oral Proficiency Interviews are conducted for candidates interpreting in languages for which there are no full or abbreviated oral exams and must be scheduled no later than six months after passing the written exam. The OPI is a telephone-based interview with a trained rater who assesses a candidate’s command of their foreign language. Candidates must perform at the superior level in order to pass the test. The OPI is administered at specific locations on weekdays during business hours in Philadelphia, Harrisburg or Pittsburgh. Candidates will receive information and instructions about how to register for the test once they pass the written exam.

Versant Spoken English Test

When there is no full or abbreviated oral proficiency exam in a candidate’s language, the candidate must take the Versant Spoken English language test. This test evaluates the spoken English skills of non-native speakers. It is administered in the same manner as the OPI. Candidates travel to a location with secure access to a phone line in Philadelphia, Harrisburg or Pittsburgh and after verifying their identity the test is administered over the phone. The test is automated and the candidate’s responses are recorded. The test is approximately 20 minutes long and tests six areas: reading, sentence construction, vocabulary, fluency, pronunciation, and overall comprehension. The minimum passing score is 47.

OPI and Versant Testing Dates and Locations

OPI and Versant Testing Dates and Locations
Location Date  Time
Philadelphia

Jan. 27-31
Feb. 24-28
March 9-13
April 13-17
May 18-22
June 22-26
July 13-17
Aug. 10-14
Sept. 14-18
Oct. 5-9
Nov. 16-19
Dec. 7-10

9 a.m. - 12 p.m. and
1 p.m. - 4 p.m.

Harrisburg

Feb. 11-13
March 19-20
June 16-18
July 21-23
Sept. 1-3
Oct. 27-29

9:30 a.m. - 12 p.m. and
1 p.m. - 4 p.m
Pittsburgh

March 24-26
May 1 & 4-5
June 10-12
Aug. 4-6
Sept. 22-24
Oct. 13-15

1 p.m. - 4 p.m. only

Testing Sequences

The calendar events are organized in sequences that allow candidates to complete each step in the certification process in the required order. Each sequence consists of orientation, written, and oral exams. They allow enough time between events to give candidates preparation time for each event. Candidates who attend an early orientation will have more options for completing all requirements in one calendar year; however, candidates may attend any of the scheduled events statewide when and where it’s most convenient for them.

Sequence 1

Testing Sequence 1
Date Event Location
Feb. 29 - March 1 Orientation Philadelphia
April 15 Written Exam Philadelphia
June 25 Simultaneous Exam Philadelphia
Oct. 28 Consecutive/Sight Exam Harrisburg

Sequence 2

Testing Sequence 2
Date Event Location
May 2-3 Orientation Pittsburgh
June 10 Written Exam Pittsburgh
Aug. 5 Simultaneous Exam Pittsburgh
Oct. 28 Consecutive/Sight Exam Harrisburg

Sequence 3

Testing Sequence 3
Date Event Location
July 18-19 Orientation Harrisburg
Sept. 2 Written Exam Harrisburg
Oct. 28 Simultaneous Exam Harrisburg
Dec. 11 Consecutive/Sight Exam Philadlephia