Court Interpreter Exam Preparation Class

Wechat Online Lessons Possible
Also See
Court Interpreter Continuing Education Seminar
Court Interpreter Oral Exam - Sample Exam CD
Pay Rate of Certified Court Interpreters (as of 2019)
Upcoming Events:
洛杉矶中文书籍出售 象征性出价$1/本

ChinaSona Foundation will be holding Court Interpreter Exam Preparation Class, also known as  the CA Court Bilingual Exam with the following details:

Instructor: Samuel Chong, resume

  • Certified court interpreter in California and New York, federal court registered interpreter
  • One of the earliest certified court interpreters who taught classes and many of his students passed court interpreter examinations
  • Former evaluator of an interpretation exam in Los Angeles
  • Taught at UCLA Extension for its Programs in Interpretation and Translation
  • Taught at LA Institute of Translation and Interpretation
  • Published court exam preparation materials

Course Content

  • Basic information about the CA Court Bilingual Exam
  • Basic introduction about the California Court Bilingual Exam written exam and oral exam
  • Simulated California Court Bilingual Exam
  • California Court Interpreter Exam preparation (consecutive interpretation, sight translation, simultaneous interpretation
  • One on one preparation in class
  • Court interpretation practice
  • Business interpretation, fundamentals and practice
  • Medical interpretation, its basics

Course Details

Starting Date: March 8, 2024. Once a week, on Fridays from 5:00pm to 7:30pm (PST), with practice/intern opportunities on weekdays.

Wechat Video Lessons.
Location: Online
Tel: 626-282-9186
Maximum Number of On Site Participants: N/A
Cost: $550 for a five week program

Books and Materials

Acebo Interpreter's Edge
Simulated California Court Bilingual Exam
Sight Translation and Written Translation Practice

Frequently Asked Questions

1. I cannot attend your class in Los Angeles as I live elsewhere.  Do I need to attend your court interpreter's class in order to take the exam?

No. You do not need to take my class in order to take the exam.  You can purchase the mock or sample oral exam CD (found on our website) and practice at home

2. As a court interpreter, do I need to be really good in memorizing and having skills of a shorthand specialist?

No.  You don't have to learn the skills of a shorthand.  However, you will probably need to take good notes using symbols in order to assist you with the memory, especially for long sentences.  We teach ways to take good notes in class.

3. Are there study materials and mock exams?

Yes, a sample exam can be purchased through our website.

4. Does your program guarantee passing the exam?

No, we do not make any guarantees.  However, when I started teaching back in 2006, all of my students passed the exam and they are now certified interpreters.  It really depends on how well you prepare.

5. What is the outlook for interpreters?

There is always the demand for Mandarin and Cantonese interpreters in California.  The licensing system in California and other states created a barrier to entry, resulting in a high market price for certified interpreters.  Generally speaking, in 2016, at a minimum, a freelance certified court interpreter can earn bout $175 for half day, or $250 for a full day if you work for the court.  The ongoing market rate for certified Mandarin interpreters is at least $250 for a half day and $500 for a full day if you work for the private sector. 

6. Where should I register for the exam?

Please see more information at

7. How long does it take to complete a court interpreter certification?

You will be able to register as a certified court interpreter in California once you pass the written exam, and the oral exam.  Please see for details. 

8. Is there continuing education requirement and a requirement to pay annual fees?

Yes, continuing education is required every two years, and an annual license fee of $100 is also required.  Please see for details.

9. How difficult are the written test and the oral test?  Is it true that many people cannot pass it?  Is it sufficient if I only study it one hour per day?

According to different statistics, about 50% of people can pass the written test, and among those who pass the written test, about 10% of them can pass the oral test.  Therefore, it is true that many people don't pass the exams to become certified court interpreters. 

Depending on your current level of proficiency in interpretation, it may or may not be sufficient to study only one hour per day.

10. Is it easy to find jobs as a certified court interpreter?  Is it a lot of pressure to work as a certified court interpreter?

With the recent law that mandates that interpreters are to be provided in certain civil proceedings such as small claims court, the demand for certified court interpreters has increased.  Therefore, it is fairly easy to find jobs as a certified court interpreter.  In the bay area, many certified court interpreters (Mandarin and Cantonese) are booked weeks in advance.

There is pressure in every job.  I would say there is some pressure, but not as much pressure as working as an attorney.

11. What do you teach?

We practice different modes of interpretation for the preparation of the oral exam.  These include consecutive interpretation, sight translation, and simultaneous interpretation.  So far, 50% of the students of our first class have passed the oral exam and have become certified court interpreters.  Congratulations to them!

12. Could recommend legal dictionaries or online resources for common legal terms in contracts to us?

Right now, Google Translate does a very good job translating legal terms.  You may also search on Amazon to find Chinese/English legal dictionaries.  Please use Google to find online resources.  We also give out certain resources in our classes.

13. I have an upcoming interpretation assignment.  Is there anything I need to prepare?

I would suggest you to prepare as much as possible by reading materials related to the assignment.  Then, relax, and be prompt at interpretations.  It takes practice to be perfect.

14. I have a question regarding buying books from ACEBO. Do you recommend just the generic edition or the bundle with three books? Do you have used book for sale?

I recommend the bundle with three books.  ACEBO alone is not sufficient in passing today's exam.  You would need more practice to pass the oral portion of the test.

No, we don't have used books for sale.

15. I want to know if I want to pass the written exam, what would be the study guides that I look into. I only have a month to study, will that be enough?

The written exam tests your levels of Chinese and English.  If your Chinese level is equivalent to high school level in mainland China or middle school level in Taiwan, then you will be able to pass the Chinese portion of the English exam.  For the English portion, it is very similar to the SAT exam in the US.  If you can get more than 70% correct on the SAT English test, then you will pass the English portion of the court interpreter's written exam.

If you are a native Chinese speaker and you only have one month to study for the written exam, then, I would suggest you to focus on preparing for the SAT exam.