NIC Performance Scoring

The NIC Interview and Performance Exam is a pass/fail exam used to determine whether a candidate can demonstrate the skills and abilities needed for National Interpreter Certification. The scoring algorithm for candidate responses to the vignettes on the NIC Interview and Performance Exam is designed to accurately determine whether a candidate does or does not demonstrate at least the minimum level of competency expected of an interpreter holding national certification. It determines only the pass/fail status of each candidate.

The NIC Interview and Performance Exam and the scoring process for the vignettes in the exam are not designed or intended to be used to rank candidates or to assess the degree to which candidates are above or below the pass/fail point. While the process includes a numeric score and some feedback from the raters for failing candidates, the feedback is only intended to give failing candidates an indication of how far they were from passing and the areas in which they most need to improve. Exam results are neither designed as nor intended to be used as a diagnostic examination.

Candidate responses to vignettes are scored by trained and continually-monitored raters. The number of different individual raters evaluating a vignette will depend on the scores assigned by initial raters and the need for additional scorings. There are seven (7) vignettes and each vignette may be scored by as many as three (3) different raters to ensure accuracy and prevent bias.

The NIC Interview and Performance examination is rated using problem-specific scoring criteria (rubrics). These criteria identify the features that must be present in a candidate’s response to demonstrate competence. Since these scoring criteria are specific to the actual content of the vignette, they must remain confidential and cannot be provided to candidates.

CASLI encourages all candidates to prepare by truthfully assessing one’s own  individual strengths and weaknesses in interpreting skill and concentrating on improving areas of weakness. Not only will this help prepare for the exam, it will also help become better interpreters in real-life.

  The scoring criteria and rubric were developed by a scoring group composed of Deaf and hearing interpreter Subject Matter Experts.  The group selected and reviewed each vignette.  They determined the minimum level of competence that is expected of an interpreter holding national certification.a Scoring criteria (rubrics) identified specific critical and non-substantive elements of the communication and the exact types and number of errors that are associated with four levels of candidate performance:

  • Pass
  • Borderline Pass
  • Borderline Fail
  • Fail

The following description serves as an example of a general guide for defining each of these score levels. It is not the actual scoring criteria for any of the vignettes in the exam. Each vignette has a different and individual rubric, based on the specific tasks that are being evaluated in that vignette. As such, sharing the actual exam criteria would essentially be giving away the answers to the exam.

Pass A good interpretation that accurately conveys the meaning and the substantive details of the communication
Borderline Pass An acceptable interpretation which contains some errors concerning non-substantive details but conveys the essence of the communication
Borderline Fail A weak interpretation which contains errors affecting some critical components of the communication
Fail A poor interpretation which fails to accurately convey the essence of the communication

In addition to developing the scoring criteria for each vignette, the scoring group also determined the combination of scores across the entire exam that represents the minimum passing score. In order to pass the NIC Interview and Performance Exam, candidates must achieve at least a minimum score on the ethical “interview” vignettes, at least a minimum score on the interpreting “performance” vignettes and at least a minimum combined score.

CASLI will endeavor to score the NIC Interview and Performance examination and to report scores to candidates as quickly as possible, Score Reports are estimated to be available 90 days post the exam date.

Following the examination scoring process, you will receive your exam result via e-mail from CASLI. Please keep your contact information in your account up-to-date to prevent notification delays. Also keep a copy of your exam result for your own record. 

If you have passed your NIC Interview and Performance Exam, CASLI will notify RID’s Certification Department of your eligibility for their certification program.

Candidates who pass the exam will receive a score of “Pass.” No additional score information will be provided.

Candidates who fail the exam will receive a score of “Fail.” Failing candidates will not be advised of the scores earned on specific vignettes; however, they will receive feedback from raters. This feedback is an indication of the areas in which the candidate needs to improve the most. Raters select the areas for feedback from a pre-established list. The feedback is not diagnostic and does not represent a custom critique of a candidate’s performance.