Exams are offered in a computerized format, allowing candidates to use their own laptop.

Candidates can opt to handwrite their exams if they prefer or in case of equipment malfunction. While this is a computerized exam, it is not an online exam. It is still an in-person, proctored exam.


Candidates may complete the exam on their own laptops, but they must also adhere to the guidelines below to ensure that the work is the candidate’s own and that the carefully vetted exam passages are not shared.


  • must bring their own laptop with
    • plain-text editor installed (WordPad for Windows or TextEdit for Mac)
    • USB port for ATA-supplied USB drive
    • Wi-Fi capability
    • power cord
  • may use most resources stored on their laptops, including dictionaries and glossaries.
  • may use non-interactive internet resources, such as online dictionaries and other reference materials. See the list of permitted and prohibited resources.
  • may bring and use any print resources they wish.
  • may not use CAT tools or translation memories.
  • may not use email, chat rooms, forums, or MT tools, such as Google Translate.
  • may not use more than one screen.

In the event of a technical malfunction, you can still complete the exam by hand. Therefore, you may wish to bring paper dictionaries and other print resources as a backup.

How Does the Computerized Exam Work?

Candidates input their translations using WordPad for Windows or TextEdit for Mac onto an ATA-supplied USB drive, with grammar and spell check utilities disabled.

Signed Statement Required

Candidates who opt for the computerized format must sign a statement acknowledging that certain activities are prohibited during the sitting (e.g., use of email and chat, copying the exam passages) and the consequences of noncompliance.

Candidates who violate the rules applicable to computerized sittings are likely to face restrictions on future certification eligibility and could face ATA ethics violation proceedings.

Information about the statement candidates will sign and consequences of violations is available from the ATA Certification Program Manager.

How to Prepare for the Exam

Exam-taking strategies, articles, checklists, and advice have been gathered from successful candidates and exam graders.

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Take a Practice Test

The practice test is an excellent way to measure your readiness. It consists of an actual exam passage from a previous year.

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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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Register for an Exam

See the schedule of upcoming exams and learn how to register.

Exam Schedule and Registration