Qualifying Exam

  • All applicants to the MA or the Graduate Certificate program in Translation must pass a free qualifying exam (QE) to be considered for admission. Those applying to two language pairs must take the full exam in one language pair and the translation portion only in the second language pair.

QEs are offered in fall and spring terms. Applicants who wish to begin in fall should take the exam the fall prior to entry; those who wish to begin in spring should take the exam in the spring prior to entry.

International applicants must: pass the QE and present a minimum TOEFL iBT score of 92; TOEFL CBT score of 237; or IELTS score of 7.0 to be considered for admission.

All applicants must:

  • translate a 200-250-word text from their second language into their first (with dictionaries)
  • write a 300- to 500-word essay in English on a general topic related to translation

Exam Format & Sample Texts

The two-hour, computer-based exam is administered remotely using e-mail and MS Word (or a Word-compatible program). Sample exams are provided below as models of the translation section of the exam only. New texts and essay questions are used for every exam.

Exam Schedule

Fall 2015
Sat, Oct 31, 10:00am – 12:00pm CDT
Mon, Nov 2, 11:00am – 1:00pm CST
Mon, Nov 2, 5:00pm – 7:00pm CST
Tues, Nov 3, 9:00am – 11:00am CST
Tues, Nov 3, 6:00pm – 8:00pm CST


Exam Registration

Complete the online form below to register for the exam. Excellent writing skills are required to be successful, so we strongly recommend that you select the exam from your second language into your first language. For example, if you first spoke English and subsequently spoke Spanish, choose the “Spanish to English” exam. If you are bilingual from childhood, choose the language in which you feel you have stronger writing skills. If you are applying to two language pairs or have another question, please indicate this in the “Comments” box and the exam coordinator will contact you.

Applicants who do not pass on the first attempt may retake the exam. A positive exam result is valid for two years.

After submitting the exam registration form, you receive a short confirmation e-mail immediately. Then you receive detailed exam instructions in a separate e-mail.

Qualifying Exam Form

  • International Students Only