The Blog

Seeking BEI Certification, Part 1: Eligibility requirements and TEP

Perhaps you are thinking of sitting for a BEI Interpreter Certification test. Good for you! The thing is, you aren’t sure where to begin. There are so many different tests. Well, start by reviewing the DARS-DHHS website. Get to know its contents, this will help to orient you. While you’re at it, why not bookmark the BEI study guide, it’s a great reference.

Find the BEI eligibility requirements link. All the requirements are listed here. Get to know what those requirements are. You might be surprised that you meet the requirements, or that you are pretty close to meeting them. If nothing else, it gives you a check list. It’s a good idea to visit the site often, because the eligibility has, on occasion, changed.

You meet the requirements if you:

  1. Are at least 18 years old;
  2. Have earned a high school diploma or its equivalent;
  3. And don’t have a criminal conviction (see the eligibility link above for additional important information).

Notice that in order to apply for any BEI examination you must meet these very basic requirements. In order to take the first step, which is to take the Test of English Proficiency (TEP), you must meet all of the requirements in the previous section and have earned at least 30 credit hours from an accredited college or university.

The TEP grade level is from the 11th to the 12th grade. The following information is found on the DARS-DHHS FAQ page:

“The grade level of the TEP is from the 11th to 12th grade. An extensive analysis of the job and language tasks performed by ASL/English interpreters documented that competent interpreters require a minimum English proficiency at the 11th to 12th grade level. Candidates who pass the TEP are then eligible for the more rigorous performance tests, which assess their ability to competently interpret in settings representative of authentic job and language tasks.”

Unlike the SAT, which has a trick answer meant to increase the difficulty of the test, the TEP is straightforward and only provides one true answer. How can you brush up on your English skills? READ, READ, and READ, extensively. This will not only help you to improve your vocabulary, it will also help you to see phrasing, styles of usage, idiomatic expressions, etc.

Why not go to your local library and borrow the latest SAT books to help you practice taking English tests. You can also find countless free resources on the internet just by doing a simple search. The work you put into it will likely yield beneficial results. In the next issue, we will discuss: “What’s inside the TEP?”


Stay tuned for upcoming Blogs on this website:

  • What’s inside the TEP?
  • I’m ready for my performance exam, Mr. De Mille.
  • How do I know what kind of situations are right for me?
  • Why the need for Certification?

SLS COVID-19 Response:

We here at SLS highly value communication access. The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly affected all of our lives. We are responding to these changes by maximizing safety while still prioritizing effective communication. We are happy to announce that SLS has adopted Virtual Video Interpreting (VVI) services. VVI services are available anywhere there is internet access, and in any setting where an interpreter is needed, such as school, court, hospital, doctor’s office, etc.


To all in our communities, we wish you to stay at home whenever possible, stay healthy, and stay safe! While we are still offering in-person interpreters as a last resort at this time, we want to partner with you in adhering to social distancing, and other suggested safe work practices. In this way we can all limit the risk to ourselves, to those in our households, and to those we work with. It is our sincere hope that we can successfully navigate this crisis together.


Let us provide you with interpreters for your SAFE appointments! Please click the tab and request further information on our VVI services.