Why candidates fail NAATI translation and interpretation tests

Reason for the failure in NAATI CCL

Minimize the fear with these tips
The National Translators and Interpreters Accreditation Authority (NAATI) is the accredited certifying authority that certifies Australia’s translating and interpreting competencies. NAATI is charged with the setting, preserving and supporting high professionals standards for the translation and interpretation of industries.
For that matter, it certifies credentials to those professionals working in Australia as Translators and Interpreters. An accreditation from NAATI sanctions the membership of the Australian Institute of Interpreters and Translators (AUSIT) or the New Zealand Society of Translators and Interpreters (NZSTI).
Another important attribute of NAATI is accrediting the community interpreting competency under their Credentialed Community Language (CCL) program. We will be inclined more towards the latter attribute here in this article, for the purpose of shining light on the comprehension of the CCL accreditation.

An Overview of the NAATI CCL

The CCL credential is basically intended towards those immigrants from foreign lands living in Australia on a temporary visa. Based on a verbal interpreting competency, the process to attain the CCL credential is as simple as clearing a single 20-minute online assessment test.

You will pay AUD 800 including GST to show up in the online CCL check. These tests are delivered via Microsoft Teams over the Internet. This fee should be paid before lodging the test date and is non-refundable whether you pass or fail the test.

Candidates who pass the CCL test obtain the accreditation from NAATI, which then becomes leverage for 5 permanent residencies (PR) points to add onto the PR table. That is why many candidates appear for this test. Despite being the easiest approach to obtain the 5 cherry points, some candidates appearing the test fail to crack it.

Better to stay on the safe side than regret about it later on. The NAATI tests, unlike other tests, are not based on rankings. Your test score in ranking with the other candidate’s score has nothing to do with you obtaining the credential. You are your only competition.

The only criteria for you to pass the test is to achieve a score more than 63 out of a total mark of 90 with not less than 29 marks in each of the two dialogue sets.

Now we come to why some candidates are still not able to attain the minimum score to pass the test.

  • The testing format of the test is an online test with two different settings. Each dialogue set comprises 45 marks accruing to the 90 marks in total.

Let us suppose the score of 40 in the first dialogue and 23 in the second fulfills the minimum score requirement of 63 out of 90, however the score less than 29 in the second dialogue set determines the outcome of the test as failed.

Similarly passing both of the dialogues with the minimum score of 29 in each would add up to only a score of 58 out of 90, which though satisfies the passing marks in each set but in the overall do not meet the minimum test score of 63 marks. Hence the test score is not enough to pass the exam.

There are candidates who have failed with such a marginal score so the objective of the test should be to score higher than the marginal score.

As for the marginally failed candidates who wish to review their score can request the respective officials as per the NAATI’s policy within the first week after the result is published by paying the allotted AUD 165.

Mistakes to avoid on the day of exam

After your preparation, on the actual day of your exam, when you will be taking your online CCL test from your personal space, be aware that your interpreted answers will be evaluated based on the following points.

You should keep in mind these points to avoid the deduction of your assessment score:

  • Accuracy: You have to deliver the actual content and intent of the dialogues in the right meaning. Incorrect information will cost you to deduce marks.
  • Distortions: The information that you intend to interpret must not misrepresent the actual information of the conversation.
  • Omissions: Omitting facts or figures, or removal of information that gives context to the dialogues causes the marks deduction.
  • Insertions: Likewise, the addition of information, directed off the actual substance of the setting will lose you marks for insertions.

Now that you have known the causes as to why candidates fail in the NAATI test, restrain yourself from making least of these errors that we discussed. My suggestion to you would be to comprehend these above mentioned points in your head and put them in action onto your preparation for the assessment test.

With persistence and perseverance, you will become competent to pass the CCL test and gain those 5 PR points.


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Contact us if you want any information related to NAATI CCL. We are always there to help you. We can also help you with booking the NAATI CCL Test Dates.


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