Graduate Foreign Language Reading Translation Exams (GFLRTE)

If required for your graduate program, we offer the graduate foreign language reading translation exam. You may request to test in a particular language once per academic session.

In consultation with your academic department, you’ll determine the language and proficiency level (average or high) for which you’ll test. You may test only in languages offered by the Department of World Languages and Cultures.

Plan Ahead

It takes several weeks from when you register until your exam is ready to take, and additional time is needed for scoring and reporting results. 

Choosing Text

You’ll select text(s) to use in the exam, in consultation with your advisor. For Latin and ancient Greek, you’ll select 500 lines each from two texts. For other languages, you’ll select 200 pages of text. It’s important to choose appropriate text(s) for the exam:

  • For average proficiency, the text should correspond with knowledge of a language comparable to that acquired through two years of college-level instruction in the U.S.
  • For high proficiency, the text should correspond with knowledge of a language sufficient to enable you to use appropriate literature in your field.

Your department chairperson or director of graduate studies must approve the text(s) before you register. The examiner can reject a text if they find it to be inappropriate, which can cause a significant delay.

How to Register

  1. Print and complete the graduate translation exam registration form (PDF). Get it signed by your department chairperson or director of graduate studies.
  2. Register for the test and pay the fee ($50 for average proficiency, $70 for high proficiency).
  3. Bring the signed registration form, confirmation of your online registration and the selected text(s) to Testing Services.
  4. Check your NIU email account for a message from us indicating whether the Department of World Languages and Cultures approved your text(s). It can take several weeks for them to decide.
  5. After you’re notified that the text was approved, call us at 815-753-1203 to schedule a testing time. You must take the test within one month of the date you were notified of its availability.

Taking the Test

An examiner will select passages from the text(s) you submitted for your exam. You may use a foreign language/English dictionary.

The following time limits apply:

  • Latin and ancient Greek, average proficiency: 90 minutes to translate two passages of 10-15 lines
  • Latin and ancient Greek, high proficiency: one hour to translate a passage of 20-30 lines and two hours to summarize (not translate) another passage of 100-125 lines
  • Other languages, average proficiency: 90 minutes to translate a passage of 575-625 words (all parts of speech included)
  • Other languages, high proficiency: one hour to translate a passage of 200-300 words (all parts of speech included) and two hours to summarize (not translate) a passage of five-seven pages

Results

When complete, your exam will be evaluated on a pass/fail basis. Approximately two weeks later, Testing Services will report the results to you, the Graduate School (if pass) and your department chairperson or director of graduate studies.

The registration fee is non-refundable after your text is approved by the examiner. If the text is not accepted by the examiner and you decide not to take the exam, you’ll receive a partial refund. If you cancel after an examiner has been selected, you’ll need to register again and pay the registration fee.

Contact Us

Testing Services
Peters Campus Life Building 120
815-753-1203
testing@niu.edu

Hours

Monday-Friday
8 a.m.-noon
1-4:30 p.m.

Back to top