NIC Knowledge Exam Details

Applying for the NIC Knowledge Exam

You can apply and pay for the NIC Knowledge Exam in one of two ways:

  • Apply online by logging on to your Account (or creating an account if you do not already have one) and clicking on “Apply for NIC Certification” in the orange tile titled “Apply for Certification.” Payment can be made with a MasterCard or VISA.
  • Complete and send a hard-copy application form with payment of appropriate fees to CASLI.

*For group exam payment information please visit this webpage. 

It is recommended that you apply at least five weeks in advance of when you would like to take the exam to allow plenty of time for the application and registration process. It is your responsibility to ensure that CASLI receives all required documentation. Processing may be delayed if you submit an application that is outdated or incomplete.

Test Sites and Dates for the NIC Knowledge Exam

The NIC Knowledge Exam is a computer-based test (CBT) administered only by CASLI’s testing vendor, Castle Worldwide, a company with vast experience in the testing industry that provides testing in the most expeditious and secure manner possible. Castle has more than 1000 testing site locations available and 75% of candidates in the U.S. are less than an hour drive to a Castle testing site.

You can view Castle Worldwide’s List of Test Sites here.

Please note: This website will only allow you to view locations, it will not allow you to schedule an appointment.

Scheduling Your NIC Knowledge Exam

After applying and paying for the NIC Knowledge Exam, you will receive a registration email from Castle Worldwide within 10 business days.  This email will contain a unique username and password, as well as a link to their registration website and directions for scheduling your exam appointment through their scheduling system. After registering for your exam on Castle’s registration website, you will receive a registration confirmation email from Castle within 10 business days.  The information provided in the email from Castle is valid for 90 days; if you have not scheduled your exam within 90 days of receiving the email please contact CASLI and request a new registration email.

Inclement Weather Conditions for an NIC Knowledge Exam

Please visit Castle Worldwide’s webpage on testing site closures and/or delays for updates.

Rescheduling or Canceling Your NIC Knowledge Exam

If it is more than four business days from your scheduled exam date you can reschedule or cancel your exam. If you are eligible to cancel/reschedule your exam, you will need to go to the scheduling website listed on the registration confirmation email from Castle and log in with the username and password they provided. There is a $50 rescheduling fee that must be paid online at the time of the request.

If it is less than four business days from your scheduled exam date you cannot reschedule or cancel your exam. If you do not reschedule at least four business days prior to your exam appointment and/or you do not show up for the exam, it will be considered a missed appointment and you forfeit your exam and all related exam fees. You would then be required to register and pay for the exam again in order to sit for it in the future. Please note that the only exception to this rescheduling policy is a documented, excusable emergency situation. See the Castle registration confirmation email or visit the Castle Worldwide Website for details on Castle’s rescheduling policy.

NIC Knowledge Exam Missed Appointments

If you miss your scheduled exam appointment due to an excusable emergency situation, you must contact both Castle Worldwide and CASLI within three business days following the documented emergency (or the first available opportunity if the nature of the emergency prevents you from contacting us) to be considered for an approved, free, rescheduled exam.

Excusable emergency situations include:

  • The death of an immediate family member
  • Accident, illness, or hospitalization of you or an immediate family member (verified by a doctor)
  • A natural disaster

Documentation of the emergency must be submitted to CASLI and Castle Worldwide. If both CASLI and Castle Worldwide verify that the emergency qualifies, your application and exam fees may be applied to another exam appointment. After approval of a free rescheduled exam, Castle will contact you directly to schedule your exam appointment.

If the candidate cancels the scheduled exam appointment after the deadline or misses the scheduled exam appointment for any reason other than an excusable emergency situation that is approved by CASLI, it will be considered a missed appointment, which 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.

NIC Knowledge Exam Refunds

If you have paid for but have not yet scheduled an appointment for the NIC Knowledge Exam and decide you no longer wish to take the exam, CASLI will either refund your payment or credit the exam fee to your account, minus the $40 non-refundable application processing fee, within two years of the paid date. After two years, the exam fee cannot be refunded but can be credited to your account (minus the $40 non-refundable application processing fee). Please submit your request in writing to CASLI. Refunds will be processed in the same manner the original payment was made (e.g.. if you originally paid by check then you will be refunded by check).

Preparing for the NIC Knowledge Exam

The NIC Knowledge Exam tests for knowledge appropriate to an interpreter holding national certification and covering, among other topics, the RID Code of Professional Conduct, interpreting issues and theory, culture, and ASL linguistics.

The NIC Knowledge Exam evaluates a candidate’s understanding of the “Knowledge Statements” associated with the set of tasks that was developed through the RID Role Delineation Study (see Appendix C – RID Role Delineation). Additionally, see the list of suggested reference materials (see Appendix D – NIC Knowledge Examination 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.

9-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.

9-B. Comprehend ASL proficiently during the interpreting task, including sign vocabulary choice and sign modification to show variation in meaning and grammatical functions.

10-A. 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.

10-B. 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.

Feedback After the NIC Knowledge Exam

Candidates can provide a NIC Knowledge Exam Candidate Feedback Form to CASLI about their testing experience. This form can be emailed, faxed, or sent via postal mail to CASLI.

NIC Knowledge Exam Format

The NIC Knowledge Exam is a computer-based test (CBT) consisting of 150 multiple-choice questions that assess whether a candidate has the knowledge required to achieve national certification. Candidates have up to three hours to complete the exam.

To familiarize yourself with Castle’s online test delivery system, you can view a free demo.

NIC Knowledge Exam Scoring

The test consists of 150 multiple-choice questions. All questions are of equal weight and you will receive one point for each correct answer.  Incorrect and unanswered questions receive no points.  You are encouraged to answer all questions since there is no penalty for incorrect answers. The total number of correct answers achieved is converted to a scale on which scores range from 200 to 800. You must receive a scaled score of 500 or better to pass the exam.

NIC Knowledge Exam Score Reporting

You will receive a score report of your exam results at the test site immediately after completing the exam. The scores are not immediately provided to CASLI. Therefore, it can take up to 3 weeks for the results to be uploaded into your account.

You can access your exam results by logging into your account and clicking on the purple tile titled, “View Your Exam History.”  Next to the exam you would like to see your results for, please click on “Download Score Report.”  This PDF document will automatically downloaded to your computer.

NIC Knowledge Exam Retakes

If you fail the NIC Knowledge Exam, you may apply and pay for a NIC Knowledge Exam retake after a three-month waiting period.  The three-month waiting period begins from the date you originally took the Exam; this is regardless of when you received your exam results. The portal is designed so you cannot purchase a retake until your three months has passed. Then the link to purchase the retake will appear. There is a reduced price for exam retakes. If it has been longer than five years since the date on the results letter of your most recent passing of the NIC Knowledge Exam, you must start the certification process over and pay the first time NIC Knowledge Exam fee.

*Updated 6/29/2016