Qualifying Exam for Translation Applicants

All applicants to the MA or the Graduate Certificate program in Translation must pass a qualifying exam to be considered for admission. Exams are offered two times per year in May and December. Applicants who would like to begin classes in fall are encouraged to take the exam the previous December; applicants who would like to begin classes in spring are encouraged to take the exam in the previous May.

Candidates must:

  • translate a 300-word text from their second language into their first (dictionaries allowed).
  • write a 300- to 500-word essay in English on a general topic related to translation.

Exam Format & Sample Texts

The two-hour, computer-based exam is administered remotely using e-mail and MS Word (or a Word-compatible program).  Sample texts for translation are available in the language pairs listed below.  These practice texts are provided as models of the translation section of the exam only; new texts and essay questions are used for every exam.

Arabic to English  |  English to Spanish   |   French to English   |   German to English    |   Russian to English   |   Spanish to English

Exam Schedule

Thursday Aug 14 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm Central Standard Time
Saturday Aug 16 10:00 am -12:00 pm Central Standard Time

Monday Dec 1 9:00 am - 11:00 am Central Standard Time
Wednesday Dec 3 10:00 am - 12:00 pm Central Standard Time
Wednesday Dec 3 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm Central Standard Time
Saturday Dec 6 10:00 am - 12:00 pm Central Standard Time

Candidates register for the exam by completing the online form below. UWM strongly recommends that you select the exam from your second language into your native language. For example, if you are a native English speaker and your second language is Spanish, choose the "Spanish to English" exam. If you have a bilingual background (from childhood), choose the language you feel most comfortable in as your native language. Add a comment to the exam registration form if you have questions about selecting a language pair or if your exact native language is not available. Please be advised that a very high level of second language fluency is required to be successful when translating into a non-native language. The exam coordinator will contact you to discuss options.

The exam is free, and candidates who do not pass on the first attempt may retake the exam the next time it is offered, or on a subsequent occasion. A positive exam result is valid for two years.

Exam Registration

After submitting the exam registration form below, you will receive a brief confirmation e-mail immediately. You will subsequently receive detailed exam instructions from the coordinator via e-mail. 

Fields marked with * are required.