The ATA Chronicle - November/December 2022 - 36

CERTIFICATION FORUM By David Stephenson
between the source and
target languages was tricky?
Transfer errors are in the top
section of the Framework.
Deciding on your next steps
will depend in part on the
answers to these questions.
If mechanical errors are an
issue, then consider formal
study or a refresher of your
target language, especially if
you're not a native speaker.
On the other hand, problems
understanding what's going
on in the passage could
point to a need for further
study of the source language.
If you're having trouble with
the transfer aspect, then
targeted translator training
may be in order.
" I Failed the Practice Test.
Now What? "
B
y now most people are
aware that taking a
practice test is a highly
effective way to assess one's
readiness to take ATA's
certification exam. Each
practice test is a former exam
passage that's evaluated by
a member of the same team
that grades the actual exam,
applying the same grading
standards and methods.
But unlike the exam, which
is not returned to the
candidate after grading,
the marked practice test is
indeed sent to the candidate,
together with feedback. By
closely examining the error
markings and the input
provided by the grader, test
takers can get a good idea of
the areas in which they need
more work before registering
for the exam.
Let's say you've taken this
strongly recommended step
before sitting for the exam-
and your practice test arrives
back with a failing score.
What do you do now?
First, consider the score.
A passing score on the exam
(and the practice test) is
17 error points or fewer. If
your score is, say, in the
low 20s, you might be ready
for the exam, and you just
need to be a little more
meticulous when testing.
But if your score is higher
than that-especially if it's
30 or higher-the chances
are slim that you'll be able
to pass the exam without
further practical training or
36 The ATA Chronicle | November/December 2022
education. So, let's consider
some options.
No matter what your
score, you should certainly
take a close look at the
specific error markings on
your test and try to identify
patterns. When your marked
exam is returned to you,
it's accompanied by the
Framework for Standardized
Error Marking1
http://www.atanet.org

The ATA Chronicle - November/December 2022

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