Please read this document before signing up or paying for the STV Exam.
The STV Certificate exam tests your written proficiency in both the English and Spanish languages, as well as your ability to translate from one language to another. The exam is administered online only.
The exam is given in two parts. Both parts have to be taken on the same day:
Part 1 is a 50 question exam containing both multiple choice and true or false questions. The questions can relate to standard translation practices and terms, the origins and use of the Spanish and English languages and the best ways to translate certain words or phrases from one language to another. Some questions may present you a passage in either language, and then present you various possible translations, out of which you would select the best one (the best translation may not be 100% correct, but will be the most correct one). There may also be some questions that test your reading comprehension of a brief passage in either language. You would have 80 minutes to complete this part of the test, after which the test would automatically end. You can end the exam early if you are finished before your time expires.
Part 2 of the exam is composed of four different passages of anywhere from one to three paragraphs each. Two passages would be in Spanish, while the other two would be in English. You would be tasked with translating all four passages into the target language within a certain time limit. The passages do not have to be translated literally. Rather, your translation of the passages needs to make sense to a potential reader while still adhering as close as possible to the wording, tone and intent of the original text. Words from the source language may need to be changed, moved around or omitted in order for the translated passage to make sense. We will grade your translations with that criteria in mind, but may take points off for incorrect syntax, misspellings and accentuation errors (the latter only if translating into Spanish). One percentage point will be deducted from your score for every major error found in your translated passages (grammar, syntax or context errors), while one half of a percentage point will be deducted for each minor error found (spelling, punctuation). Your time limit to complete Part 2 of the exam is 100 minutes.
A minimum score of 75% on each part of the test is required in order to pass and receive your Spanish Translator Verification Certificate.
If you were to fail your first attempt at passing the test, you would be entitled to take the test again for an extra $10.00 USD within two (2) months of your first attempt. If you retake the test more than two months after your first failed attempt, you would have to pay the full fee of $65 USD again. If you were to fail your second test attempt, you have the option of taking it for a third time, no later than two (2) months from the date that you failed the first attempt for an additional $10 USD. If you were to fail the test for a third time, you would not be allowed to take it again for one (1) year after the date when you took the test for the first time. After a year, you can pay the full $49 fee and retake the test. Keep in mind that test questions will change regularly, and the test may not be the same any two times that you take it.
The fee for taking the exam (both parts) is $65.00 USD and must be paid before the exam is taken. After your payment is processed, you will receive an email within three business days offering you a choice of upcoming test dates. Exams are given four to six times a month, usually on Fridays and Saturdays. You will be offered exam dates that will provide you with at least one week to prepare for the exam. If you are already fully proficient in both Spanish and English, this should be more than enough time to prepare. Please reply to your welcome email as soon as you can and let us know your preferred test date. Your welcome email will also include a copy of the STV Exam Study Guide.
On the night before your test date, you will receive another email which will include a link to the Classmarker website, along with a username and password that you can use to access the exam on the designated date (the exam is not given on our own website). Once you complete the exam, STV will be notified and we will then grade the exam.
Once you successfully pass the exam, it may take anywhere from 3 to 8 business days for your test to be graded. You will then receive an e-mail at the email address you provide upon registration telling you your score and whether you pass. The email will also include a .PDF copy of your STV Certificate, which you can save and/or print out. If you wish to receive an official printed certificate from STV, we can send you one for a cost of $12.99 USD (shipping included) for shipping within the United States ($17.99 USD for international shipping). Once you go to our website and make your payment for the certificate, please allow 2-4 weeks to receive it in the mail within the U.S. (6-8 weeks internationally).
If you pass our exam, your certificate will be valid for three (3) calendar years from the date it is issued. You have the option of renewing your certificate for an additional 3 years for a fee of $15.00 USD. Your new certificate would be valid for another three years. STV will keep your name and information in our database as a current certificate holder for as long as your certificate remains valid, and we will verify your certificate to any employer or institution that requests confirmation during the validity period.
Remember, the STV Exam has been designed to test the ability that you should already have to translate between English and Spanish. We don’t teach you how to translate; we merely verify your ability to do so to third parties who may be interested in confirming your Spanish <-> English translation ability. The exam is meant to gauge ability to carry out everyday Spanish <-> English translation, and may not serve as proof that you can effectively translate technical, medical or legal documents. The STV Certificate is meant more for those who carry out business-related, journalistic, educational, literary or other common freelance translation work. It proves that you can be trusted to correctly translate a typical, non-technical Spanish <-> English assignment.