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ATA Certification Exam - Example of a Corrected Passage
Auteur du fil: Pavel Zalutski

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Espagne
Local time: 01:15
Membre (2005)
anglais vers espagnol
+ ...
Of course! Jul 7, 2011

inesventu wrote:
Tomas, "a rant" really? All I can tell you is that I gave a detailed description of what was my experience of the exam and certification process. I will not enter into any further discussions. People can decide for themselves. I did it with the hopes it might help someone and as much as you may disagree I am sure you would agree that everyone has a right to their just opinion.

But of course! And I am happy that you reported your experiences and feelings about this, so that other colleagues can also contribute to the matter and explain things that might be unclear, for others to see in the long run.

I also definitely think you should send a letter to the examinations people at ATA to express your concerns about the physical conditions of the exam venue and about any lack of clarity in the materials posted in the website or sent to you before the exam. This can certainly help improve things and make a difference.

Good luck!


 
Physical conditions of the exam Jul 7, 2011

For the sake of clarity and to explain why I felt a lack of professionalism I would like to describe in more detail just this aspect.
You mention you had a meter and 1/2 of table space. That would have been lovely that seems like a nice space. Our space was so restricted I couldn't expand my elbows well enough to write. Writing which I did mostly on top of a tower of unmatched, asymmetrical unbalanced dictionaries. I didn't have enough space to lay two sheets of paper side by side essentia
... See more
For the sake of clarity and to explain why I felt a lack of professionalism I would like to describe in more detail just this aspect.
You mention you had a meter and 1/2 of table space. That would have been lovely that seems like a nice space. Our space was so restricted I couldn't expand my elbows well enough to write. Writing which I did mostly on top of a tower of unmatched, asymmetrical unbalanced dictionaries. I didn't have enough space to lay two sheets of paper side by side essentially. Pages I kept misplacing because they would become hidden by a dictionary I had placed on top for lack of space. A woman present described it as a "ratonera" for those that don't speak spanish that is a mouse hole or trap; a mouse hang-out of sorts. It was so uncomfortably hot we would leave the door open, but that would make it noisy so we would then shut it making it hot again. Repeating this in succession. All this was pretty distracting and there is more. I and those sitting upfront lost at least a good 10 m to 15m of exam time because as folks exited we were forced to get up and leave our tables to allow them to pass, there was simply no room between us and the wall for anyone to get out. It was also probably a fire hazard but let's not get into that, whatever. I have taken several other certification exams I can't say I remember the locations at all. I was entirely concentrated in my exam as it should be. This time I lost my concentration more times I can remember between the outside noise, the heat, my teetering tower of dictionaries, the getting up to let folks through, my crawling under a table to research my dictionaries....Very unprofessional in every way.
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Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Espagne
Local time: 01:15
Membre (2005)
anglais vers espagnol
+ ...
Wow. Definitely a report would help! Jul 8, 2011

inesventu wrote:
You mention you had a meter and 1/2 of table space. That would have been lovely that seems like a nice space. Our space was so restricted I couldn't expand my elbows well enough to write. Writing which I did mostly on top of a tower of unmatched, asymmetrical unbalanced dictionaries. I didn't have enough space to lay two sheets of paper side by side essentially. Pages I kept misplacing because they would become hidden by a dictionary I had placed on top for lack of space. A woman present described it as a "ratonera" for those that don't speak spanish that is a mouse hole or trap; a mouse hang-out of sorts. It was so uncomfortably hot we would leave the door open, but that would make it noisy so we would then shut it making it hot again. Repeating this in succession.

I see. Indeed this sounds terrible. This should definitely be reported to ATA. The exam location is often arranged by the proctor (sometimes the head of an ATA division or of the local translation association) in his/her home city, and quite clearly this place was not chosen wisely. In my venue in Novi, MI, the place was one of the study halls of the local library, and the location was both spacious and comfortable, compared with what you describe.

I think the organiser made a mistake choosing the place, since quite clearly it was not adequate for the number of people present. I insist: you should definitely complain about it to ATA in writing so that they can research what happened and make sure it does not happen again. Please do write them! You will be helping fellow translators who take the exam at the same city next time.


 

Alexandralm  Identity Verified
États-Unis
Local time: 18:15
anglais vers espagnol
+ ...
How can I prepare better Jul 11, 2011

Hello Tomas,

I will be taking the test for a second time in late September, but I need to know the best way to prepare.

I have taken two practice tests, but I do not feel too confident about it anymore.

Any advice?

Thank you,

Alexandra


Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:

Joanna Wachowiak-Finlaison wrote:
Tomás Cano Binder, CT wrote:
and a low pass rate

I'm taking the exam on the 15th and, well, now you got me real worried...:o

From what I see in your profile, you should not have any problems as experience in professional translation is already half of the challenge. However, if you take my advice, I'd recommend the following:

1. Don't take anything for granted. The texts are short but full of little pitfalls (risk of cognates, uncommon spelling situations where you must really know all rules --at least in Spanish--, difficulty in creating a fluent target text...).

2. Take a ton of dictionaries with you. In my sitting I was the one feeling ridiculous carrying the suitcase with about 20 dictionaries (and I carried them all the way from Madrid to Michigan)... but now it does not seem ridiculous at all anymore! If you can also take books about grammar and spelling in your target language it will be a big help (at least it is in Spanish with our rather complex spelling rules). You can also take your own printed glossaries or other printouts (for instance from Wikipedia about units and measurements if you feel like it, although you are not required to convert units).

3. If you are a believer, don't forget to visit your preferred temple near the venue and ask for help and clarity of mind. A little push from a mighty friend is always handy!

Just do not hesitate to email me via Proz in case there is anything you would like to ask!

And GOOD LUCK!!!!! I know you'll make it.


 

Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Espagne
Local time: 01:15
Membre (2005)
anglais vers espagnol
+ ...
Some suggestions Jul 11, 2011

Alexandralm wrote:
I will be taking the test for a second time in late September, but I need to know the best way to prepare.
I have taken two practice tests, but I do not feel too confident about it anymore.

This is what I wrote some months ago in another forum. I can't guarantee that doing these things will grant you the certification, but it worked for me at least:

1. Get used to handwriting. I think ATA still does not accept the use of a computer and you have to handwrite your passages. You should use a pencil so that you can also correct your text. The time is usually NOT enough to write a draft and then transfer it to the final form, so being able to correct on the fly is vital.

2. Get used to translating texts of the length of those of the exam, within the time allocated for the exam. Track the times needed for each stage of the translation (first reading, terminology clarification, spellchecking, final style check... whatever steps you usually take).

3. Bring a nice set of dictionaries with you. Don't feel ashamed to take a whole suitcase of them. Please notice however that a dictionary cannot replace good translation skills, and that checking too much in the dictionaries will consume your time and might kill your first instinct. "Follow your instinct!"

4. If possible, hire an experienced translator or an ATA certified translator to send you mock exams and evaluate them for you. Half a dozen texts might help you pinpoint your weaknesses (we all have them) so that you can work on them.


 

Susan Welsh  Identity Verified
États-Unis
Local time: 19:15
Membre (2008)
russe vers anglais
+ ...
How to prepare better Jul 11, 2011


Any advice?



I failed one (language A) and am trying to decide whether to try again, in that language pair or my second one (language B). I passed the practice test in language B by just 1 point, so it's risky!

I noticed that quite a few of the "errors" were actually highly disputable issues of English style. The graders have a style guide which is available at the ATA site, and the American Heritage guide to English style (I forget the exact title--it's on the website) is the "bible." I think it's unfair to take off points because someone writes "two-thirds of the population is" rather than "two-thirds of the population are." I happen to think that the first is correct, but the grader wanted the second. I think this has nothing to do with one's translation ability, but that's how they do it. So you really have to study those style guides to your target language. (I assume that all the languageX-to-English pairs use the same style guides.) And bring these English style guides to the test.

Also, I made a couple of errors on the language B practice test that were careless mistakes due to too-quick reading of a rather long word the source text. I now have the idea that I should "read it aloud" (silently), to make sure I am not glossing over something due to nervousness, or overconfidence, or whatever.

Some of the graders are apparently finicky about consistent use of non-technical terms. I might prefer to vary the translation of a simple word that has many synonyms (such as "happy," "cheerful," just to pick a random word), so that it doesn't sound boring. But the grader of my language A practice test wanted everything exactly the same.

At the test that I failed, I finished early, and thought I had aced it. Of course, I don't know what they marked wrong on this real test. But I think anyone who finds they have extra time at the end should use all of it to double- and triple-check everything.

Hope this helps.


 

Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
États-Unis
Local time: 19:15
Membre (2002)
anglais vers hongrois
+ ...
Webinar on the topic on July 14 Jul 11, 2011

I just received an email from the ATA announcing a webinar on the very topic of preparing for the exam.
More can be found here:
http://www.atanet.org/webinars/ataWebinar93_certification.php


 

Marcelo Bornscheuer  Identity Verified
États-Unis
Local time: 19:15
Membre (2012)
anglais vers espagnol
+ ...
ATA practice exam - corrected papers Jul 17, 2011

mariana24 wrote:

Hi All,

I took the ATA practice exam for the English>Spanish pair and have the corrected papers.

As far as I know, I can show them to anyone I decide and so I have to others preparing the same exam, and also to translation teachers for their "public" use in class. I would find it ridiculous if they actually asked people not to show them to anyone else after what they charge for them!
I also took a course in order to prepare for the actual exam, and this course was basically the review, by everyone in the group, of past, corrected exams.

Pavel, send me an e-mail through the page and I will scan my corrected papers and send them to you.

Bye now.


Mariana

[Edited at 2007-06-27 02:15]


Hola Mariana,

If it's not too late, would you please send a copy to me too, please?

My e-mail is mbornscheuer(AT)gmail.com

¡Gracias!

Marcelo


 
ATA practice tests Jun 7, 2012

hi
i'm new here.
i wonder if anyone still have these practice test and are willing to share with me. pretty please. my email address is:
[email protected]

thank you so much

ATA practice exam for the English>Spanish pair and have the corrected papers.


 

Margaret Sumner  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:15
espagnol vers anglais
Me too! Jul 13, 2012

I am also planning to take the ATA certification exam and have been searching the web in vain for sample texts. Could someone please send me one (or more)?

Thanks!

[email protected]


 

Matthew Trulandzev
États-Unis
just wanted to say Sep 16, 2012

Interesting topic!

 

Clara Nino
Canada
Local time: 19:15
espagnol vers anglais
+ ...
Hi, Mariana, Apr 12, 2013

Marcelo Bornscheuer wrote:

mariana24 wrote:

Hi All,

I took the ATA practice exam for the English>Spanish pair and have the corrected papers.

As far as I know, I can show them to anyone I decide and so I have to others preparing the same exam, and also to translation teachers for their "public" use in class. I would find it ridiculous if they actually asked people not to show them to anyone else after what they charge for them!
I also took a course in order to prepare for the actual exam, and this course was basically the review, by everyone in the group, of past, corrected exams.

Pavel, send me an e-mail through the page and I will scan my corrected papers and send them to you.

Bye now.


Mariana

[Edited at 2007-06-27 02:15]


Hola Mariana,

If it's not too late, would you please send a copy to me too, please?

My e-mail is mbornscheuer(AT)gmail.com

¡Gracias!

Marcelo


Hi, Mariana,
I am also planning to toke the ATA exam in June this 203, I wonder if your offer is still standing as to share the corrected practice exams. Please, let me know, my email is [email protected]

Thanks on advance

Clara

[Edited at 2013-04-12 22:21 GMT]


 

Francisca Turner
États-Unis
Local time: 19:15
anglais vers portugais
+ ...
ATA pratice test May 23, 2013

Mariana, I am new at all this but can you PLEASE send me a copy or any other information you may have on the ATA practice test? [email protected] I need to take it but have not been able to find anything anywhere. Thank you!!!

mariana24 wrote:

Hi All,

I took the ATA practice exam for the English>Spanish pair and have the corrected papers.

As far as I know, I can show them to anyone I decide and so I have to others preparing the same exam, and also to translation teachers for their "public" use in class. I would find it ridiculous if they actually asked people not to show them to anyone else after what they charge for them!
I also took a course in order to prepare for the actual exam, and this course was basically the review, by everyone in the group, of past, corrected exams.

Pavel, send me an e-mail through the page and I will scan my corrected papers and send them to you.

Bye now.


Mariana

[Edited at 2007-06-27 02:15]


 

Ganna Gudkova  Identity Verified
États-Unis
Local time: 16:15
anglais vers russe
+ ...
exam/practice test(s) Sep 16, 2013

Pavel, have you taken the exam or practice test(s) yet?

 

epr111 (X)
États-Unis
Still available? Nov 5, 2013

Hi Mariana,
I'm an aspiring translator looking for anything that might help with the ATA test. Do you still have a copy of the practice exam? Could you send it to me? Thanks so much, -Eli
mariana24 wrote:

Hi All,

I took the ATA practice exam for the English>Spanish pair and have the corrected papers.

As far as I know, I can show them to anyone I decide and so I have to others preparing the same exam, and also to translation teachers for their "public" use in class. I would find it ridiculous if they actually asked people not to show them to anyone else after what they charge for them!
I also took a course in order to prepare for the actual exam, and this course was basically the review, by everyone in the group, of past, corrected exams.

Pavel, send me an e-mail through the page and I will scan my corrected papers and send them to you.

Bye now.


Mariana

[Edited at 2007-06-27 02:15]


 
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ATA Certification Exam - Example of a Corrected Passage

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