Test expectations

1. Getting started

Our test philosophy

We carry out translator testing because it gives our customers a dependable service. By passing a test, all translators who work for us have proved they can translate to a similar level. However, this means that our motivation for testing is not the same as the motivation of schools and universities. In an academic context, an examiner will look through an applicant’s submission in its entirety and give that person an overall grade based on their performance. Whether the applicant receives an “A” or a “D” grade, the examiner will spend an equivalent amount of time reviewing the submission, because they have a duty to correctly judge the performance of the applicant regardless of the level they attain. Our test review process is not like that at all.

Our duty is not to educate or to find the hidden talents of test applicants. Instead, we want to find skilled applicants and reject unskilled or careless applicants.

As such, the moment the test reviewer discovers that an applicant has failed to meet the standards we expect, the test will be rejected.

Know the style guide

It’s important that you’re intimately familiar with the Style Guide. All test review decisions and any errors you make will be judged according to the Style Guide. Read the Style Guide now if you haven’t already!

Severity levels

Gengo uses the concept of “low,” “medium” and “critical” to divide errors based on their severity, and decide whether to approve or reject a test.

A “low” error has a low impact on the overall translation. This type of error does not significantly change the meaning of the translation.

A “medium” error is a noticeable error, including a misrepresentation of the source or a clearly ungrammatical rendering of the target.

A “critical” error is a significant error that changes the meaning of the original text and would require a retranslation for the text to be usable.

For both Standard and Pro-level tests, we are able to overlook one “medium” error or a certain number of “low” errors. However, we never approve a test containing a “critical” error, or more than one “medium” error.

2. What to expect

Test results

Your test will be reviewed within 7 days of submission, and you have 3 tries to pass our tests.

All test decisions are final

We have made the testing procedure as straightforward as possible, and provide you with the necessary resources and tools to help you prepare. Please reciprocate by accepting our test decisions as final.

System problems

In the rare case that you encounter a system error and your test submission is negatively affected, send us a support ticket immediately to let us know.

3. Error types

4. How to pass the tests

Standard & Pro level

Your test submissions must accurately convey the complete meaning of the source text and read naturally for a native speaker.

Error Thresholds

To pass, a test submission should have 0 Critical errors, no more than 1 Medium error or 3 Low errors. The moment the test reviewer spots 1 Critical error, over 1 Medium error or more than 3 Low errors, they will stop reviewing the test and reject it. Here are some examples:

5. Common reasons for rejection

Wrong test submitted

We differentiate some languages by region/country (e.g., Spanish (Spain) vs. Spanish (Latin America)). If a test is submitted in the wrong language pair, it will be rejected.

A bad translation

If the test submission is far from meeting our standards, the test will be rejected and we will suggest that the test should not be retaken.

Machine translation

Don’t try to cheat our system. If you submit a machine translation, we always know.