MA TIS: Admission Exam and Exercises

In September 2017, I graduated from the University of Essex, after passing all my exams and writing the dissertation for a Master in Translation, Interpreting and Subtitling.

To get a place in the course I had to pass, not only the IELTS exam, but also an interpreting and translation exam. The  oral exam was the consecutive oral report of two videos in Italian and English to be done via Skype using the opposite language. For what concern the translation exam, I had two hours to translate three short texts, two from my A language and one from my B language.


At the time I didn’t know how to prepare for this two texts, but during this year I’ve been using websites and tips that would had been useful at that time.



A good way to practice is to take a video (in your A or B language), listen to 1 minute, stop it, and summarize what it was said using the other language. While the video is playing you should take notes, they will help you to remember and give a shape to your rendition.

This is a good exercises for consecutive interpreting.


It’s a good idea to keep on practicing everyday during the year, at least one video per day. We usually pick the videos we use for the exercises from these websites:


A second step, as they will teach you, is to develop a good note taking method. As showed by this video as well as a series of symbols that will help you to take notes quicker.



Using Google translate is never a good idea, in fact, there are sever online dictionaries which can be useful – if you know how to use them – to build your own dictionary (or Term Base, see other article).

  • trunk_-_reverso_-_eng-itaReverso: good to understand the meaning of complex pairs of words or long sentences since it shows a series of sentences where the word appears and their translations;
  • trunk_-_french_-_lingueeLinguee: similar to Reverso, but probably
    slightly better;
  • Wordreference: single word dictionary, helps with new vocabulary.


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