What are the benefits of taking a practice test?

  • The practice test consists of an actual passage from a previous year’s exam. Taking a practice test will familiarize you with the format and difficulty-level of the exam.
  • Unlike the exam, your practice test will be returned to you after it is graded. Seeing what errors were assessed will help you prepare. You must allow at least 6-8 weeks to receive your graded practice test.
  • Instead of traveling to a scheduled exam sitting, you can download, complete, and upload a practice test at your convenience.
  • The practice test costs $80 for members and $120 for non-members. From a financial standpoint, it is a good investment to see if you are ready to take the exam which costs $525.

Getting the most out of a practice test

Because the exam is taken under specific conditions, it is recommended to simulate those conditions as much as possible.

  • The exam is strictly limited to three hours, during which you must translate two passages. When taking the practice test, you should adhere to the same time limits and translate one passage in 90 minutes.
  • Because you do not get to preview the exam, you should not look at the practice test until you begin.
  • To learn more about exam conditions, see About the Exam and Exam Day Tips.
  • Closely adhere to the detailed Practice Test Instructions that you will receive in your confirmation email after ordering a practice test.

Important points to keep in mind

  • Passing a practice test does not guarantee that you will pass the exam. But, if you fail the practice test, the chances are high that you will fail the exam.
  • Plan to complete and upload your practice test at least three months before taking the exam. It may take as long as eight weeks to receive your graded results.

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Practice Test FAQs

Do I have to take a practice test before I register for the exam?
No. The practice test is strongly recommended, but entirely optional.

When will I get my practice test?
Please allow 24 hours to receive instructions for downloading your practice test.

May I take more than one practice test?
Yes.

Do I have to be an ATA member to take a practice test?
No.

Will the grader know who I am?
No.

If I pass the practice test, will I pass the exam?
There is no guarantee that you will pass the exam.

If I fail the practice test, will I fail the exam?
The chances are high that you will fail the exam.

What do I do if I fail the practice test?
Look for ways to gain more translation experience and improve proficiency skills. ATA provides strategies, articles, and advice from successful exam candidates and graders. Read more

Why do people fail the practice test?
Important causes of failure are major omissions, major mistranslations where the meaning of the original is lost, or an accumulation of target-language writing errors. Tests taken from the candidate’s mother tongue into a second language account for a high percentage of failures.

How is the Exam Graded?

ATA exam results are pass or fail only. This is the prevailing practice of many high-stakes credentialing exams.

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