NIC Interview and Performance Exam Details

 

PREPARING FOR THE NIC INTERVIEW AND PERFORMANCE EXAM

The NIC Interview and Performance Exam tests the ability to apply the RID Code of Professional Conduct to ethical dilemmas in interpreting situations and real-world interpreting skills appropriate to an interpreter holding national certification. The NIC Interview and Performance Exam evaluates a candidate’s understanding of the “Skill Statements” associated with the set of tasks that was developed through the RID Role Delineation Study. Additionally, see the list of suggested reference materials. The main tasks are:

  1. Assess each interpreting situation to determine if qualified for the assignment.
  2. Prepare for assignment by determining logistics and purpose of interaction for all parties involved.
  3. Maintain competence in the field of interpreting (e.g., attending workshops and classes, reading professional literature, working with a mentor).
  4. Apply the Code of Professional Conduct for the interpreting profession.
  5. Provide interpreting services that reflect awareness and sensitivity to culturally and ethnically diverse groups.
  6. Facilitate the flow of communication during the interpreting process.
  7. Apply the appropriate communicative mode and language register.
  8. Construct equivalent discourse in the target language while monitoring message comprehension and feedback to modify interpretation accordingly.
    1. A. Use ASL proficiently within expressive interpreting tasks, including choice of sign vocabulary, use of sign modification to show variation in meaning and grammatical function, and appropriate use of space, facial expression, and body movement.
    2. B. Comprehend ASL proficiently during the interpreting task, including sign vocabulary choice and sign modification to show variation in meaning and grammatical functions.
    1. Use English proficiently to construct an equivalent message in the target language, including appropriate vocabulary choice, tone, grammar, and syntax, with appropriate use of register, pausing, rhythm, intonation, pitch, and other supra-segmental features.
    2. Comprehend English proficiently to construct an equivalent message in the target language, including appropriate vocabulary choice, tone, grammar, syntax, appropriate use of register, pausing, rhythm, intonation, pitch, and other supra-segmental features.

Test candidates should prepare for the NIC Interview and Performance Exam by strengthening their real-world skills in interpreting. They should also ensure that they have a detailed working knowledge of the RID Code of Professional Conduct.

 

EXAM STRUCTURE

The NIC Interview and Performance Exam consists of seven (7) video-based “vignettes”: two (2) ethical “interview” vignettes and five (5) interpreting “performance” vignettes. A vignette is a short problem that contains a real world problem or interpreting activity. The subject matter of these vignettes is as follows:

 

ETHICAL “INTERVIEW” VIGNETTES

The first two (2) vignettes in the exam assess a candidate’s ability to evaluate ethical situations and apply the RID Code of Professional Conduct. Candidates are expected to demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the RID Code of Professional Conduct and the ability to interpret and apply the tenets contained in the code. Note: the previous format of this exam required the candidate to choose one (1) of five (5) signers. The current ethical “interview” vignettes do not offer this option.

The ethical “interview” vignettes are formatted as follows:

  • Stimulus – Candidates are presented with: A written description of the context of a real-world written description of the action that an interpreter chose to take in response to the ethical dilemma.
  • Problem Statement – Candidates are instructed to evaluate the interpreter’s actions from a prescribed point of view (i.e. either to criticize or to defend the interpreter’s actions), as indicated in the problem statement. The candidate’s evaluation must be based on the RID Code of Professional Conduct. Candidates are required to refer to specific tenets and sections of the RID Code of Professional Conduct in their response.
  • Response – Candidates are required to provide their response to the problem statement using ASL only.

 

INTERPRETING “PERFORMANCE” VIGNETTES

The last five (5) vignettes assess the candidate’s skill in performing spoken English-to-ASL and ASL-to-spoken English interpreting. These vignettes present real-life interpreting situations and require candidates to perform simultaneous interpreting in the same manner as in a real-life assignment. In some cases, the candidate may be instructed to begin interpreting at a given point in an ongoing conversation. This is similar to the situation that occurs when an interpreter is taking over for another interpreter. In such cases, candidates are provided with information about the proceeding conversation.

The interpreting “performance” vignettes are formatted as follows:

  • Stimulus – Candidates are presented with:
    1. A written description of the context of a real-world interpreting situation;
    2. A written description of the people involved in the conversation;
    3. A written description of the conversation that precedes the point in the conversation that the candidate is to begin interpreting (if applicable); and
    4. A written indication of when to begin interpreting.
  • Problem Statement – Candidates are instructed to interpret all spoken communication into ASL and to interpret all ASL communication into spoken English, just as they would in a real-world interpreting assignment. Vignettes may contain all ASL, all spoken English or a combination of both.
  • Response – Candidates provide their interpretation simultaneously to the stimulus presented.

 

ON THE DAY OF YOUR NIC INTERVIEW AND PERFORMANCE EXAMINATION

Candidates must complete the following steps in order to take the NIC Interview and Performance Exam.

STEP 1: WEAR APPROPRIATE ATTIRE

You should wear professional attire, which is appropriately color-contrasted to skin tone. However, you should not wear whites or reds, as these colors may cause problems for color video recording equipment.

STEP 2: ARRIVE AT THE TEST SITE EARLY

Your test administrator will provide you with the location of your test site. Plan your travel carefully so that you arrive at the test site at least 20 minutes before your scheduled appointment time. If you arrive at the test site less than 10 minutes before your scheduled appointment, you may be denied access to the test site, and it will be considered a missed appointment. You may not be admitted to the exam if you arrive after your scheduled starting time. A missed appointment forfeits the exam and all related fees. You would then be required to register and pay for the exam again in order to sit for it in the future.

STEP 3: BRING YOUR ENTIRE AUTHORIZATION TO TEST (ATT) LETTER

You must bring a hard copy of your entire Authorization to Test Letter, including the Candidate/Vignette Indicator Card. You can access your ATT Letter by logging into your account and clicking on “Download ATT Letter” in the yellow tile titled “Certification Application Status.” Your ATT Letter is your proof of eligibility to take the exam.

STEP 4: PRESENT ACCEPTABLE PERSONAL IDENTIFICATION

CASLI employs very strict testing security measures. One level of security involves your identification. You must bring at least one form of identification that meets the following requirements:

Your identification (ID) must:

  • Display your first and last name exactly as it appears on your Authorization to Test Letter
  • Have a permanently-affixed photograph of your face
  • Be current — expired IDs will not be accepted
  • Be an original document — no photocopies will be accepted

Acceptable forms of identification are:

  • Government-issued driver’s license
  • State ID card
  • Passport
  • Military ID (except those with chips)
  • Permanent resident visa or green card

Unacceptable forms of identification include:

  • Employee identification or work badge
  • University/college identification

If you do not present acceptable identification, you will not be allowed to take your exam, and it will be considered a missed appointment, even though you appeared at the test site.

A missed appointment forfeits the exam and all related fees. You would then be required to register and pay for the exam again in order to take the exam in the future.

STEP 5: CHECK-IN FOR YOUR EXAM

The test administrator at each test site has been trained in the procedures specific to CASLI exams. The test administrator will guide you through the steps that have been developed by CASLI. The following is what you can expect when you arrive at the test site:

  1. Personal items will not be allowed in the testing room. You may not bring any personal items with you to the test site, other than your personal identification and your ATT Letter. (This includes purses, wallets, watches, jewelry, cell phones, calculators, etc.) If you do bring personal items to the test site, the test administrator will show you where to store them. Neither test administrators nor CASLI will be responsible for lost or stolen items.
  2. You must provide one form of acceptable identification. The test administrator will verify that the name on your government-issued identification card matches the name on the ATT Letter, that the photo is of you, and that your RID number is correctly displayed on the Candidate/Vignette Indicator Card. You must keep this identification with you at all times during the exam.
  3. You will be provided five (5) pieces of scratch paper. You will be provided with scratch paper and a pen with which you can take notes during the exam. These will be collected at the conclusion of the exam. You cannot take any notes from the test site.
  4. You will not be allowed to bring any food or drink into the testing room.
  5. You will be escorted into the testing room by the test administrator. The test administrator will show you where to sit and will adjust the video camera to ensure that you are being properly recorded. You must remain in your seat during the entire exam. Keep the Candidate/Vignette Indicator Card on your lap or within reach at all times during the exam.
  6. The test administrator will play a short video clip to verify that the sound level is acceptable to you.
  7. You must complete the RID Candidate Agreement form, indicating agreement to abide by the policies and procedures of the RID testing process and to maintain confidentiality in regard to exam materials. If you do not sign this form, you will not be allowed to take the exam and it will be considered a missed appointment, even though you appeared at the test site. A missed appointment forfeits the exam and all related fees. You would then be required to register and pay for the exam again in order to sit for it in the future.
  8. The test administrator will start the exam and the webcam which will record your responses.

STEP 6: TAKE THE EXAM

Here are the general instructions for taking the exam:

  • You must remain seated during the entire exam.
  • The exam will take approximately one hour to complete. The exam will not stop. The exam video will continue to play and the webcam will continue to record you throughout the testing period.
  • You will not be able to stop or rewind the exam video.
  • There are built-in two-minute breaks from testing after each exam vignette. You will see the break time displayed on the screen. You cannot change the length of these breaks, and you must stay in the testing chair during these breaks.
  • You should not leave the testing room until the exam is complete. Only in cases of a significant irregularity should you leave the testing room to contact the test administrator once the exam has started.
  • There are no “warm up” vignettes. However, there is introductory information for you to review before each vignette, which will orient you to the next problem. Please review this material carefully. You may make notes while viewing the introductory material if you wish and as time permits; however, all notes will be collected at the end of the testing session.

At the beginning of each vignette, you will be instructed to hold up an 8.5” by 11” Candidate/Vignette Indicator Card, so that it can be recorded by the webcam. The Candidate/Vignette Indicator Card will be provided on the last page of your Authorization to Test Letter. You must bring this card with you, along with the entire ATT Letter, to the test site.

The filming of Candidate/Vignette Indicator Card before each vignette will ensure that CASLI can identify the correct candidate for each vignette clip. Do not give your name or social security number or otherwise identify yourself or your background. Raters are only able to see the candidate’s RID number and are not provided with any candidate names, background or any other personal information at any time.

Note: if a rater opens a vignette and recognizes the exam candidate, the rater will close the vignette without assigning a score and move on to another candidate’s vignette. The skipped vignette will automatically show up in different rater’s queue for scoring.

The exam will begin and flow as described in the Test Flow and Timing section of this handbook. You will complete each vignette in order and then contact the test administrator when the exam is complete.

 

REPORTING EXAM ADMINISTRATION IRREGULARITIES OR CONCERNS

Report problems when they happen. If you experience problems with any part of the exam administration process, including issues with exam materials, the facility, or other difficulties, tell the test administrator immediately. You must allow test administrator at least 30 minutes to correct any problems. If the problem continues for more than 30 minutes, you have the choice to stay until the problem is corrected or to have your appointment rescheduled.

CASLI cannot help to resolve a problem that has not been reported to the test administrator at the time it occurs. Any significant incidents occurring during the exam administration process should be recorded on the Candidate Post Test Reporting Form before the candidate leaves the test site.

The test administrator is not able to respond to questions about the exam content or testing process (other than the exam administration). If you have questions, comments, or concerns regarding your testing experience or with the exam vignettes, contact the CASLI at testing@casli.org or (571)527-1463. Please note that while CASLI will review all comments provided regarding an administered exam,
CASLI will not re-evaluate or otherwise change a candidate’s scores or results based on these comments.

 

GROUNDS FOR CANDIDATE DISMISSAL FROM TEST SITE

Any candidate who engages in any form of misconduct or does not comply with the test administrator’s warnings to discontinue inappropriate behavior may be immediately dismissed from the test site. Some examples of misconduct are:

  • Creating a disturbance, using abusive language, or being uncooperative or disrespectful
  • Attempting to take the examination for someone else
  • Using any prohibited aids that would provide an advantage while taking the exam
  • Tampering with the operation of the exam recording equipment or stimulus materials
  • Giving or receiving assistance of any kind

Dismissal from a test site due to misconduct forfeits the exam and all related fees. The candidate would then be required to register and pay for the exam again in order to sit for it in the future, as long as RID determined that the candidate’s behavior did not warrant a permanent ban from taking the exam.

 

Additional details on the exam:

  1. Applying for the NIC Interview and Performance Exam
  2. Scheduling a NIC Interview and Performance Exam
  3. Test Sites
  4. Testing Process Timeline, and Extensions
  5. NIC Interview and Performance Scoring
  6. Certification
  7. Retakes and Appeals for the NIC Interview and Performance Exam
  8. Suggested Reference Materials