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Oral Exam

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Certified Medical Interpreter (CMI)

The National Board oral exam covers the essential components to receive the CMI credential. The exam is computer-based, and candidates' oral responses will be recorded. For more information, please click on the attachment at the bottom of this page and refer to the CMI Candidate Handbook:

The oral exam is 45-60 minutes in length. Candidates have 30 minutes to complete 12 mini-scenarios and 10 minutes to complete 2 sight translation passages.

The components to be tested are:

  • 15% Topic 1: Mastery of Linguistic Knowledge of English
  • 15% Topic 2: Mastery of Linguistic Knowledge of Spanish
  • 25% Topic 3: Interpreting Knowledge and Skills
  • 10% Topic 4: Cultural Competence
  • 25% Topic 5: Medical Terminology in Working Languages
  • 10% Topic 6: Medical Specialties in Working Languages

Simultaneous interpreting, written translation, and sight translation into English are not tested. The job analysis showed that while medical interpreters sometimes perform these tasks, the frequency was not statistically significant.

Language available: Spanish, Russian, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean amd Vietnamese.

Requirement: Successfully pass the National Board Written Exam. Once a candidate successfully passes the written exam, he/she will receive information on how to schedule their oral exam online. Once scheduled, candidates will receive a Candidate Admission Letter with confirmation of their testing appointment and test center.

Cost of the test: $275.        

$235. for residents of Oregon due to a grant from your state.

Method of payments accepted: Major credit cards (except AMEX)

For locations of the testing sites for the oral exam please click here - the list is continually being updated.

Passing Score: 70% for Spanish, Russian, Cantonese and Korean; 80% for Mandarin; 65% for Vietnamese

Please be advised that the pass rates vary depending on the results of the pilot exams. For a complete explanation of how the pass rates were set, please go to the Reports and Publications page of our website and click on the link for the report titled: "Development and Validation of Oral Examinations for Medical Interpreter Certification: Mandarin, Russian, Cantonese, Korean, and Vietnamese Forms - Technical Report, November 2013" and refer to page 11.  Or click here.

If yes, you have 6 months to take the oral exam from the date you passed the written exam or the date the exam is available in your language. 

Test re-take
Candidates who do not pass the test will have the opportunity to re-take it after 3 months of taking the oral exam for the first time.

QMI - Qualified Medical Interpreter - for languages where the National Board does not have an oral exam. To achieve a QMI the candidate completes the National Board written exam and then an oral exam which is done in partnership with another national testing provider. (In development.)

SMI - Screened Medical Interpreter - for newly emerging and indigenous languages. The SMI credential is awarded to candidates who successfully complete the National Board written exam and provide a portfolio that includes education, training, experience and affidavits from employers and clients. (In development.)

For questions, please contact info [at] certifiedmedicalinterpreters [dot] org

To see and listen to the latest informational Webinar, go HERE.


For the latest Power Point presentation of our informational Webinar, click the link below.


NB_2014_Webinar_May.ppt1.04 MB