How to become freelance Spanish interpreter

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Terry in Los Angeles, California

76 months ago

I have learned that in order to become an interpreter/Spanish for the Los Angeles Superior Court, I have to take some exam. Is there anything else? I would like to work as an interpreter, freelance preferably, part-time. Anyone know how I should get started? My native language is English and I have a master's in management with a lot of public school teaching experience. My Spanish language skills are intermediate.

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carciniegas in Lawrenceville, Georgia

75 months ago

If you would like to become a legal spanish interpreter yes you have to take a test but you can receive a two day training course that will prepare you for it. You also have to be fluent in spanish and this test will definetly prove that. Have you tried healthcare interpreting? You can take a 40 hour class and get started in this right away the most recognized one is "Bridging the Gap" but there are also others that can offer you the same skills you need. I would call your local hospitals they sometimes offer "Bridging the Gap". Don't let people get you down with negative comments like the person above. Interpreters are needed and it's a growing field especially in your area. I'm from Georgia and currently legal and healthcare interpreter, you have a good education it just seems you might need to brush up on your spanish and take the necessary classes to train you, so go ahead everything is possible if you put your mind to it. Good Luck!!

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carina in Irvine, California

75 months ago

i am a spanish speaker and i would like to work as an interpreter in orange county california, i worked for the early intervention program in chicago il, now here in california they tell me i need a certification , how do i get it???

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apmorga in Chicago, Illinois

68 months ago

interested in position

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apmorga in Chicago, Illinois

68 months ago

I'm interested in be part of your staff

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ggonzalez in Los Angeles, California

68 months ago

Terry in Los Angeles, California said: I have learned that in order to become an interpreter/Spanish for the Los Angeles Superior Court, I have to take some exam. Is there anything else? I would like to work as an interpreter, freelance preferably, part-time. Anyone know how I should get started? My native language is English and I have a master's in management with a lot of public school teaching experience. My Spanish language skills are intermediate.

There is a really good school in Santa Fe Springs called Souther California School of Interpretion. They prepare for to take the exam, it is are really good school. They have 87.9% average of students that pass the state exam.

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Julie in Chino Hills, California

68 months ago

ggonzalez: the pass rate stats you mention are impossible. Think about it.

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Neil5 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

68 months ago

Julie in Chino Hills, California said: ggonzalez: the pass rate stats you mention are impossible. Think about it.

Uh, they'd need an actual BRAIN for that.

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ggonzalez in Los Angeles, California

68 months ago

you can say what ever you like, but it is true. Just check out the website from the school. And yes you do need a brain to pass the test, like anything else.

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carola in Garden Grove, California

67 months ago

carina in Irvine, California said: i am a spanish speaker and i would like to work as an interpreter in orange county california, i worked for the early intervention program in chicago il, now here in california they tell me i need a certification , how do i get it???

Hola como esta, cuentame como te fue yo vivo en Irvine tambien me gustaria saber que averiguaste ya conseguirste trabajo o que paso porque a mi tambien me gustaria hacer lo mismo....

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ggonzalez in Los Angeles, California

67 months ago

Hola Carolina, mira lo mejor que puedes hacer es ir a una buena escuela. Yo estoy en una escuela que se llama Souther California School Interpretation. Se encuentra en Santa Fe Springs como a 30 minutos de Irvine. Son 3 Semestres y ellos te preparan para que pases tu examen o California Certified para que puedas ser una Interprete Certificada por el estado. Despues puedes conseguir trabajo en un tribunal en cualquier para en California o trabajar en cualquier Hospital como Interprete. Te puedo dar mas informacion si tu quieres, contestame si te interesa.

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rcolin in Norwalk, California

67 months ago

ggonzalez in Los Angeles, California said: Hola Carolina, mira lo mejor que puedes hacer es ir a una buena escuela. Yo estoy en una escuela que se llama Souther California School Interpretation. Se encuentra en Santa Fe Springs como a 30 minutos de Irvine. Son 3 Semestres y ellos te preparan para que pases tu examen o California Certified para que puedas ser una Interprete Certificada por el estado. Despues puedes conseguir trabajo en un tribunal en cualquier para en California o trabajar en cualquier Hospital como Interprete. Te puedo dar mas informacion si tu quieres, contestame si te interesa.

hello I am looking into that also. Una preguntita, como cuanto se tarda uno en esa escuela? son 3 semestres pero cuanto dura un semestre. Me acabo de recivir con mi B.A in Human Services but the job market is tight right now. i was thinking of going into social work but I also want to get certified in spanish translation. Any info please let me know.

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ggonzalez in Los Angeles, California

67 months ago

Para responder tu pregunta, cada trimestre en la escuela de Southern California School of Interpretation son 11 semanas por trimestre o sea serian 33 semanas como 9 meses mas o menos. Es muy buena escuela tiene una alto porcentage de estudiantes que pasan el examen del estado de California. Puedes buscarlos por google.com se encuentran en Santa Fe Springs.

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rcolin in Norwalk, California

67 months ago

Quality Control in Austin, Texas said: Here's some info: drop the Spanglish. People who shift constantly from one language to another usually don't speak EITHER ONE correctly. More info; LEARN TO SPELL. 'Recibir' is written with a B, as in BEANER.

Someone as a bad attitude. For your information my Spanish and English are very good and who are you to judge because of a mistake? Oh and you could of used another word instead of "beaner" (which is somewhat offensive to some) or just left it as "written with a B".

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Julie in Chino Hills, California

67 months ago

rcolin, Quality Control does have a point. Your entry re 'bad attitude' contains numerous spelling and grammar usage errors. Take it as constructive criticism.

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ggonzalez in Los Angeles, California

67 months ago

Thank you for your advice. I presently work for a Superior court and get a chance to see interpretor's in action all the time and it is very true what you say. To actually watch and see the interpreters in action is the best way to find out if it is as easy as some people may say.

Thank you for you good advice and the tips.

Gus

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Ana in Los Angeles, California

67 months ago

ggonzalez in Los Angeles, California said: Hola Carolina, mira lo mejor que puedes hacer es ir a una buena escuela. Yo estoy en una escuela que se llama Souther California School Interpretation. Se encuentra en Santa Fe Springs como a 30 minutos de Irvine. Son 3 Semestres y ellos te preparan para que pases tu examen o California Certified para que puedas ser una Interprete Certificada por el estado. Despues puedes conseguir trabajo en un tribunal en cualquier para en California o trabajar en cualquier Hospital como Interprete. Te puedo dar mas informacion si tu quieres, contestame si te interesa.

Hola, yo soy Ana y a mi si me interesa saber mas. te voy a dar mi email para que me escribas con la info. alencastro.fam@gmail.com Gracias..

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Ana in Los Angeles, California

67 months ago

ggonzalez in Los Angeles, California said: Thank you for your advice. I presently work for a Superior court and get a chance to see interpretor's in action all the time and it is very true what you say. To actually watch and see the interpreters in action is the best way to find out if it is as easy as some people may say.

Thank you for you good advice and the tips.

Gus

De casualidad no hay trabajo para mi ahi en la superior court???
email please with any responce. Nesesito trabajar y me serviria de mucho trabajar ahi.

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ggonzalez in Tustin, California

67 months ago

En este momento no hay trabajo pero puedes buscar en el websit de occourts.com.

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Joaquien in Antioch, California

66 months ago

I agree with you, it is highly unlikely to pass the state exam with a two day seminar. It's as if saying you'll pass the bar exam with a two day seminar, or worse, being that the Bar is less difficult.

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Patricia in Winston Salem, North Carolina

66 months ago

Terry in Los Angeles, California said: I have learned that in order to become an interpreter/Spanish for the Los Angeles Superior Court, I have to take some exam. Is there anything else? I would like to work as an interpreter, freelance preferably, part-time. Anyone know how I should get started? My native language is English and I have a master's in management with a lot of public school teaching experience. My Spanish language skills are intermediate.

I would like to become a freelance medical interpretere, I alrady took the course but don't know where to start or what I have to do, any suggestions?

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MP in Walnut Creek, California

63 months ago

I have a doctorate degree in the humanities and have native-level fluency in both Spanish and English (all skills). I've taken and done well on the toefl, sat, gre as well as Latin American college entry exams. I have ample experience as an interpreter and as a translator. Having said all this I will state unequivocally: the reading comprehension sections of the prometric spanish english exam for the California Courts contain errors and ask questions for which more than one response option is perfectly correct. In other words, I do hold the exam has "trick" questions that have NOTHING to do with your ability to understand texts.

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Joaquin in Antioch, California

63 months ago

Interesting, how would you suggest for someone to handle these obstacles?

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Jules in Chino Hills, California

63 months ago

MP - Did you pass the exam?

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NONE in Minneapolis, Minnesota

62 months ago

My Aunt is working as a medical interpreter from home. She completed a course from a company called mitio in 6 weeks - www.mitio.org
the median salary for medical interpreters is over $38000 according to

swz.salary.com
I don't speak a second language, even though my mother is from Panama but I just thought I'd let you know about the opportunity

carina in Irvine, California said: i am a spanish speaker and i would like to work as an interpreter in orange county california, i worked for the early intervention program in chicago il, now here in california they tell me i need a certification , how do i get it???

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nina in Minneapolis, Minnesota

62 months ago

Patricia in Winston Salem, North Carolina said: I would like to become a freelance medical interpretere, I alrady took the course but don't know where to start or what I have to do, any suggestions?

www.mitio.org

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gustavo in Santa Ana, California

62 months ago

You should try to go to interpreting schools that may offer job referrals and also look online craigslist, indeed.com. Look for jobs as a medical interpreter and you may find some openings.
good luck.

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gustavo in Santa Ana, California

62 months ago

HI Karina,

Well there is a very school in Santa Fe Springs, called Southern California School of Interpretation. You can go here and start taking some classes to prepare you for the state exam.

good luck.

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future interpreter in Pacoima, California

62 months ago

Joaquin in Antioch, California said: Interesting, how would you suggest for someone to handle these obstacles?

My suggestion:Read the answer choices first. Then, relax and read, not too intently. This worked for me. Keep in mind, the reading comp. section of the exam is near the end of a l-o-n-g exam. You will be tired and tempted to quit. DO NOT QUIT! Give yourself a mini- break. Try to think of absolutely nothing for a few minutes.
I can't imagine passing if I hadn't paced myself. STUDY the vocab in the downloadable practice exam. Learn the words. Also, practice reading comp. try www.collegeboard.com & take the freebie
critical thinking test. 'Hope it helps.

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future interpreter in Pacoima, California

62 months ago

Hi, did anyone pass the state oral exam this summer?

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Kate in Fountain Valley, California

62 months ago

Being bilingual doesn't guarantee that you can be a professional interpreter. Only 6% of the people that take the Californa state exam pass it. The Southern California School of Interpretation is the first step, it requires lots of legal terminology and vocabulary, once you master this you can concentrate on speed and acquiracy. If anybody tells you that you can do it in 40 hours, or two days, beware "its a scam".

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Billy in San Diego, California

62 months ago

Being certified doesn't guarantee anything either, because NO ONE CHECKS for certifications. Every agency I know is using UNcertified interpreters and paying them KRAP while passing them off as 'certified' in order to charge top dollar AND KEEP THE DIFFERENCE FOR THEMSELVES.

Also, SCSI has FLOODED the market with HUNDREDS of Spanish-speaking interpreter-wannabes.

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Kate in Fountain Valley, California

62 months ago

You missed the point. You said it yourself, uncertified people are not getting paid enough because "they are not certified". As far as I know SCSI better prepares people to take the state exam, it doesn't guarantee that they will pass it, and being bilingual doesn't mean you can be an interpreter.
Being certified means that you're licensed to work for the court if you choose to apply.
Google or any other translator on internet will never replace the human element.

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Amonté Jesús Rodríguez in Urbana, Ohio

61 months ago

Esta opurtunidad es muy bueno por personas que habla dos idiomas y pienso que si encontras una opurtunidad hacer que encantas entonces usted lo debe tomar no importa lo que.

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angelica in Palm Desert, California

61 months ago

Billy in San Diego, California said: Being certified doesn't guarantee anything either, because NO ONE CHECKS for certifications. Every agency I know is using UNcertified interpreters and paying them KRAP while passing them off as 'certified' in order to charge top dollar AND KEEP THE DIFFERENCE FOR THEMSELVES.

Also, SCSI has FLOODED the market with HUNDREDS of Spanish-speaking interpreter-wannabes.

TOTALLY AGREE....

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Spanish WA

61 months ago

Hi, I am an interpreter from WA and over here all agencies do require you to show your certification before they star giving you jobs.

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Spanish WA

61 months ago

Sorry "start"

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Justmoved

60 months ago

Why do people try to become legal interpreters with no other experience?

Kick-starting your career in the legal arena is trying to walk when you are born. The legal arena is the most complicated field in interpreting and comes with great responsibility, because you are charged with such a high standard of professionalism and skill level and there is not much leeway.

First you need to start off doing community interpreting or some low key medical interpreting, where you have the opportunity to learn about ethics, decision making, how to ask for clarifications, and generally find out if you are good at interpreting.

You also need to get some basic training in the field, especially about ethics (which is the skill that separates the wheat from the chaff), and try to get another interpreter to mentor you. Better yet, ask a professional to evaluate your skills.

I find that most new interpreters grossly overestimate their language skills. I hire interpreters and most applications (that are rejected) start out like this: "I took Spanish in college and am pretty fluent and would like to continue learning the language and helping people at the same time."

First of all, to be an interpreter, you need to be 100% fluent. Of course, we can always improve our language skills and vocabulary, but you need to be at least at college level with both languages. Until you are there, maybe volunteer, but definitely do not charge. You do everyone a disservice.

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Jose Cruz in Pomona, California

60 months ago

Who ever you are that wrote this comment sound more like racist than constructive words for others. I do agree that people aught to be fluent on both languages both Spanish/English. But let me ask you are fully fluent in both languages? If you are then help others improve their language skills by encouraging them and looking down on people like you are in this comment you made. Remember people are trying to make it in this difficult economy.

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future interpreter in Pacoima, California

60 months ago

Jose Cruz in Pomona, California said: Who ever you are that wrote this comment sound more like racist than constructive words for others. I do agree that people aught to be fluent on both languages both Spanish/English. But let me ask you are fully fluent in both languages? If you are then help others improve their language skills by encouraging them and looking down on people like you are in this comment you made. Remember people are trying to make it in this difficult economy.

I agree with justmoved. He or she is not being racist by just stating the facts plainly..no sugar coating. In my interpreting class 27 students started the course and only 10 passed the class and of those 10 only 1 of us passed the written 3 weeks before the course was over. Many believe being bilingual qualifies them as an interpreter, not so. Interpreting involves many more skills than just fluency.

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Justmoved

60 months ago

Jose Cruz in Pomona, California said: Who ever you are that wrote this comment sound more like racist than constructive words for others. I do agree that people aught to be fluent on both languages both Spanish/English. But let me ask you are fully fluent in both languages? If you are then help others improve their language skills by encouraging them and looking down on people like you are in this comment you made. Remember people are trying to make it in this difficult economy.

I am a Hispanic professional, and am not racist. I am fully fluent in both languages, and am an interpreter trainer. The reason I made the comment is because people who are trying to become interpreters often do not know where to start or what skills they need in order to be successful.

Not knowing what to expect from a profession sets people up for failure and frustration, especially starting the profession backwards; it's like training to become a surgeon without going to medical school first.

I respect anyone who needs to make a living. But if you are not fully fluent in the languages you are interpreting in, think about the money that your client is spending on you. Imagine if your mechanic charges you $50/hr but isn't trained and is just practicing on your car.

We have to remember we are providing people with a professional service.

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Maria A Moreno in Los Angeles, California

60 months ago

Jose Cruz in Pomona, California said: Who ever you are that wrote this comment sound more like racist than constructive words for others. I do agree that people aught to be fluent on both languages both Spanish/English. But let me ask you are fully fluent in both languages? If you are then help others improve their language skills by encouraging them and looking down on people like you are in this comment you made. Remember people are trying to make it in this difficult economy.

Jose, I don't agree with you. There's no racism in "Justmoved" comment. He is given a great insight, the big picture of the matter. See, many, many people go and spend their money in the courses, not knowing that is just a PREPARATION TEST and that you still have to pass the STATE EXAMINATION. This is a great advise NOT every bilingual person fits into the interpreting career; this is a Long process: some type of higher education, protocole knowledge, fluency, etc, etc. His was a great advice...

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Charoncita in Los Angeles, California

60 months ago

Remind me never to go to Pikesville, or at least not until you've moved again.

I am apalled at anybody who has charged money for interpreting services is unaware that the client is whoever pays the fee; in other words, the client is the insurance company or court or attorney and the person for whom you are interpreting is just that: the person for whom you are interpreting.

Your vituperative, bitter rant prods me to suggest that you may be happy looking for another kind of work, maybe one in which you don't have to bring any sort of professional attitude to the table at all -- hogswilling or crash-test dummy, perhaps?

To all the rest of you -- ¡Les deseo un feliz y próspero año nuevo!

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Justmoved

60 months ago

You are either very troubled or are an internet troll.

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1234 in San Jose, California

59 months ago

I do agree with most of what MoveAgainSoon has to say. There are alot of schools out there that will sell you any class you want to take. It is also true that there are greedy agencies that are actually looking for minimally qualified interpreters because these have not yet developed their skills and therefore do not have the confidence to charge a respectable rate. In my opinion if you not fluent in Spanish and English pick another profession as it will take you a long time to not only become fluent but fluid as in the words should slip effortlessly out of your mouth. (That's not to say that if you are just a little rusty you shouldn't try because if you practice you can improve. What I mean is if you have quite a bit of trouble constructing sentences of average difficulty.) This is a skill you will need especially if you are interpreting similtaneously. A good way to test where you are weak in either language is to Google English Spanish Federal Interpreter Exam where you will find a mock exam. Once you assess where you are weak THEN you can take classes that will help you improve in these areas. This same site will also tell you when the next written exam will be given. I don't usually proof read these types of communications so, please, if there are any grammatical errors don't shoot me I just dont' feel like prooff reading but wanted to pass along this info. Thanks.

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1234 in San Jose, California

59 months ago

One other comment I would like to pass along is that getting a certification from one of these schools in medical interpretation is valuable as this is usually one of the requirements to work for the hospitals as an employee interpreter as opposed to just a contractor with them.

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Futura Interprete in Inland Empire, California

59 months ago

Why is it that these forums start out nice and clean, and for some reason, someone has to get offended? It just makes me sad. :(
Well, anyway.....
I have had a very good experience with SCSI so far, I am currently taking Court Interpreting II online. I was really impressed when Mr. Wagner (the instructor) announced right after the first test of Court Interpreter I, that if you did not get a C or better on that exam, you might reconsider if this is the right path for you. Now, understand that because it was so early in the class, the students who quit then, would get some of their money back. That was not the only time I heard him mentioned something similar, he reminds us all the time.

I consider myself fluent in both languages, but let me tell you, the material I've covered so far was FOREIGN to me! It's like a whole other language! I have high hopes that if I study hard and practice, practice, and practice some more, I will pass the State Exam.

The best advise I can give anyone looking into this as a career is: Know what your limitations are AND.... follow JUSMOVED's advise and try to observe professionals already working in this field.

NO OFFENSE INTENDED FOR ANYONE, JUST TRYING TO GIVE MY OPINION :)

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future interpreter in San Fernando, California

59 months ago

Futura,
I believe many hopefuls find themselves in your situation. Just give this a try. Visit the Prometric website. Prometric is the testing company that administers the state exams; both written and oral for the Judicial Council. You can download a sample exam. Print it out and take the exam. This can give you an idea of what to expect. Yes it is different from conversational or everyday
Spanish.This is why so many who consider themselves "fluent" can get offended. But until hopefuls realize the level of vocab and grammar proficiency one must have to pass, someone will always be offended. I am glad you feel your instructor is being fair and realistic. I've heard he's one of the best instructors in this business. Best wishes

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Jules in Chino Hills, California

59 months ago

Futura Interprete, I advise you to review the use of advise vs. advice. This is just a friendly note re a common error.

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future interpreter in San Fernando, California

59 months ago

Jules got it right on the nose.
This type of error is exactly what the written exam tests for.

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