ATA Conference 2007: "certification exams are full"
Thread poster: Michael McCain
Michael McCain  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 16:21
Arabic to English
+ ...
Sep 28, 2007

I registered for the 2007 ATA conference in San Francisco last week with the intention of sitting for the certification exam. Since the conference program indicated that a certification examination would be held on Saturday, and since the online registration form listed the exam as an option, I assumed I would be able to sign up for the exam. However, the online form wouldn't allow me to tick the 'certification exam' option (which was not dimmed). Since there was no message informing me that the exam was full, I registered for the conference anyway with the intention of signing up for the exam separately. After contacting ATA directly, I was informed that the exams were "full". This was bad news since I'd paid the conference enrollment fees and made travel arrangements from Europe, where I live, in view of taking the exam.

First, I'm posting this to warn anyone intending to attend the conference to sit for the exam that the exam is full (since, to my knowledge, you won't read this on the conference program or registration form).

Secondly, I'd like to know how many other translators (if any) also signed up for the conference but probably wouldn't have had they been clearly notified the exam was full. If there are at least 20 or 30 of us, perhaps we could persuade ATA to find additional exam proctors/facilities to accommodate us. If, on the other hand, I'm the only one who made this mistake, then I suppose got what I deserved


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Suzette Martin-Johnson
Canada
Member (2007)
French to English
+ ...
I had noticed/ recruiting for your cause Sep 28, 2007

Hi Michael,

I am an ATA associate member (love the magazine, log into the site, etc) and had toyed with flying over to California for the exam this year. (Actually sitting this exam is quite an undertaking financially and otherwise because they never seem to have it in a location close to me - reminscent of my epic solo journey in 2003 to do the GRE!!) However I hesitated because I have another conference across the country until the Friday evening (Nov 2) and wasn't sure about flight schedules.

ATA does warn you that you have to book early for their exams (weeks in advance if you're lucky but usually months) and when I went back to the site a few weeks ago I wasn't surprised to see that the exam was no longer on the availability list. There was only one sitting left in Milwaulkee -a highly obsure location for someone like me - sorry!!

However, I think your idea of asking ATA to be flexible and schedule another exam, especially if you can muster up support from 20-30 others, is a good one. I'm not too optimistic about your success but who knows - if they can schedule it for the afternoon, I might even make the trip!!!:-)


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Lori Cirefice  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 16:21
French to English
That's too bad Sep 28, 2007

How unfortunate - but I'm sure you'll still get a lot out of the conference, even if you can't sit for the exam - look on the bright side !

I did not sign up for the conference as I'm not able to travel at that time of year, but I have been trying to find a suitable date to take the exam as well, and living in Europe that is difficult !

I had suggested to ATA that they organize a sitting at the ProZ conference in France, but received a polite, negative reply. Their proctors/correctors are too busy in November it seems.

I would be pleased if ATA scheduled more exam sittings in Europe in 2008.


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Tomasz Poplawski  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:21
English to Polish
+ ...
Some perspective Sep 29, 2007

Lori Cirefice wrote:
I would be pleased if ATA scheduled more exam sittings in Europe in 2008.

Lori, I do not mean to sound like a xenophobe but let's put it into some perspective: if I wanted to pass an exam offered by La Société Française des Traducteurs - if there is such a thing - how many times a year would I be able to do it in the US? How about other European translators' associations?
I am proud of the fact the ATA is so open to all people living outside the USA but when this turns into demands of these guest members, into their expectations that the ATA should come visit and accomodate them, something seems a bit off balance.
If you look into the ATA Chronicle, you will see that the exam is a big money loser for the association as it is, and turning it into a world-wide, on-demand exam is just not feasible, even if the most generous spirit prevailed.
I would like to stress that even though I help a little bit with certain aspects of the certification program, this is my private opinion only.


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Suzette Martin-Johnson
Canada
Member (2007)
French to English
+ ...
Hmmm... Sep 29, 2007

I guess I can see both perspectives. I notice ATA holds exams in the Americas but never seems to do it here. I'd love it to come here but understand the economic concerns.

However, has the ATA explored using an organization like local US embassies to help with the exam? The British Council does this for British exams from UK organizations and it works out for the organizations concerned.


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ATA Conference 2007: "certification exams are full"

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