Courses Professional and short courses
Diploma in Translation admissions test FAQ
Why an admissions test?
- to assess your level in translation skills prior to the Diploma in Translation course
- to advise you whether you are ready for the course
What is the test?
- a short text (about 220 words) in the source (foreign) language to translate in limited time without a dictionary into your dominant (native) language
- the texts chosen are non-technical and non-specialised – their purpose is not to test specialised vocabulary
What is expected of a good candidate?
The lecturers will assess whether you have:
- a truly good understanding of the source language
- an excellent command of your target language
- the ability to transfer the message from one language into the other
What should a good test look like?
The translation should:
- be accurate and relevant
- use changes in word order, sentence structure, minor adaptations, perhaps clarification where needed
- read like the product of an educated native speaker (style, cultural expectations)
Are past sample texts available?
- no, but reading non-specialised discursive articles from the quality press will give you a feel for what you can expect
- some past (IoLET) Diploma in Translation examination papers are available from the IoLET website
Do some people fail?
Yes, if they have produced:
- an unnatural, word-for-word translation
- a loose interpretation of the source text
- an incomplete translation
- a translation that includes spelling, grammar and syntax mistakes
What happens after the test?
Test results are communicated under three headings:
- a 'pass', with an invitation to enrol on the Diploma in Translation course
- a 'pass over two years' with an invitation to enrol on the Diploma in Translation course – some weakness in your test indicates that your studies are expected to take more than one year
- a 'fail' for which you normally receive a feedback form with a brief outline of the issues and suggestions on how to best address them