For NIC Candidates

This is an overview of exam process  and requirements to fulfill for hearing individuals that are pursuing the National Interpreter Certification (NIC).

National Interpreter Certification Exams

Created by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf and licensed to CASLI to administer for RID. The NIC-K is a 150 multiple choice question exam administered through a computer-based testing platform with the questions presented in written English. Upon completion of the NIC-K, the exam is auto-scored and a score report is generated at the test site for the candidate. The NIC-Knowledge Exam sunsets at the end of 2020.

Created by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf and licensed to CASLI to administer for RID. The NIC-IP is a constructed response exam consisting of two ethical “interview” vignettes where a candidate is presented with a problem set and is asked to defend or criticize an interpreter’s ethical decisions applying the RID Code of Professional Conduct. The “performance” assessment consists of five scenarios of various community-based interpreting assignments that use generalized vocabulary and may include consecutive or simultaneous interpreting from ASL to English and English to ASL. The NIC-IP exam is a computer-based exam administered on the CASLI Exam System with videos presented on screen while the candidate is simultaneously recorded. Upon completion of the NIC-IP, the individual video vignettes are sent a queue to be rated by anonymous raters across the country. NIC-IP exam results may be expected within 90 days.

This exam will sunset when the CASLI Generalist Performance Exam for Hearing Interpreters is ready for release.

This is an edited version of the NIC Interview and Performance Exam created for hearing candidates who have passed the CASLI Generalist Knowledge Exam. The is a stopgap for those candidates during the COVID-19 pandemic to have a way to complete their certification becasue CASLI was not able to complete the filming of the CASLI Generalist Performance Exam for Hearing Interpreters.

Once the CASLI Generalist Performance Exam for Hearing Interpreters is completed and administered on the CASLI Exam System, the NIC-Performance exam will be retired.

The NIC-P is a constructed response exam consisting of five scenarios of various community-based interpreting assignments that use generalized vocabulary and may include consecutive or simultaneous interpreting from ASL to English and English to ASL. The NIC-P exam is a computer-based exam administered through the CASLI Exam System with videos presented on screen while the candidate is simultaneously recorded. Upon completion of the NIC-P, the individual video vignettes are sent a queue to be rated by anonymous raters across the country. NIC-P exam results may be expected within 90 days.

This exam will sunset when the CASLI Generalist Performance Exam for Hearing Interpreters is ready for release.

Generalist Exams

Administered beginning December 2020, is a selected-response exam (meaning the answers can be selected on screen) consisting of 120 multiple choice questions and eight (8) case studies. Both Deaf and hearing candidates can take this exam.

  • Fundamentals on Interpreting Multiple Choice Questions: A total of 120 questions, sixty (60) questions are presented in written English and the answer selections for these questions are also in written English. Sixty (60) questions are presented in ASL and the answer selections for these questions are also presented in ASL. Candidates are expected to be able to comprehend all items in both English and ASL. Candidates will not be able to choose a language of preference for any item or items. These questions will assess a candidate’s knowledge of effective practice within the profession.
  • Ethical Decision Making and Cultural Responsiveness Case Studies: Eight (8) cases will be presented in ASL in narrative structure and the candidate will be instructed to select the best option or options from a list presented in written English. These case studies will assess a candidate’s ethical decision-making abilities and their cultural competencies within the framework of their tasks ASL-English Interpreters.

This exam is for candidates who have taken and passed their NIC-Knowledge exam and will be taking the CASLI Generalist Performance Exam for Hearing Interpreters. 

Consists of Ethical Decision Making and Cultural Responsiveness Case Studies exam. These case studies will assess a candidate’s ethical decision-making abilities and their cultural competencies within the framework of their tasks as ASL-English Interpreters.

This “gap test” (which will be administered when the CASLI Generalist Performance Exam for Hearing Interpreters is developed and released) is used as part of the bridge plan to transition from those who have taken and passed the NIC-Knowledge Exam and will be taking the new CASLI Generalist Performance Exam for Hearing Interpreters or the NIC Performance Exam.

A constructed response exam (meaning the candidate must produce something from a prompt on screen) where the candidate will interpret various scenarios that may include consecutive or simultaneous interpreting from ASL to English and English to ASL involving community-based interpreting assignments that use generalized vocabulary. *NOTE: This exam is still in development and is anticipated to be released in late 2021.

Eligibility for the NIC exams:

For more specific policy on eligibility requirements, see this document.

At the time of this writing, there is no eligibility requirement to take the Knowledge exam. Candidates need to have an existing RID ID number and to start the NIC Certification process, they can log into the RID member portal and apply their NIC Certification and pay for the Knowledge Exam.

PASSING RESULTS: If the candidate passes the knowledge exam, they must submit eligibility requirements to apply, pay for and schedule their performance exam. *Note: The testing cycle timeline starts from when a candidate successfully passes their knowledge exam and is five (5) years.

FAILING RESULTS: If the candidate fails the knowledge exam, they will become eligible to retake the knowledge exam in three (3) months from the date they first took their knowledge exam. If a candidate passes one portion of the knowledge exam and fails the other, they only need to retake the portion they failed.

Meet eligibility requirements for the performance exam. The eligibility requirement to take the performance exam for hearing interpreters is:

  1. Pass the knowledge exam
  2. Submit verification of educational requirement or equivalent to certification@rid.org
  3. Request that the performance exam to be added to your CASLI account. Include RID membership information and accommodations request as needed
  4. Pay for and then schedule appointment to take the exam

PASSING RESULTS: If the candidate PASSES the performance exam, CASLI will send their exam results to RID’s Certification Department.

FAILING RESULTS: If the candidate fails the performance exam, they will become eligible to retake the knowledge in six months from the date they took their performance exam. * NOTE: The testing cycle timeline starts from the date of successfully passing the knowledge exam and is good for five (5) years.