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Abstract

This study reports on the development and application of two bilingual interpreting tests given to master’s students during three academic years (2009–2012) at the University of Alcalá, Madrid, Spain. Its main objective is to compare trainees’ test performance at two different points in time. The study analyzes the degree of accuracy and the speed of response, considering the variables of mother tongue, gender, age, and undergraduate education. Our customized tests drew upon two aptitude tests developed by Pöchhacker (2009) and Russo (2009) and combine oral-aural exercises with tasks requiring listening skills, expressional fluency, and public-service-setting terminology. The tests are administered in a 24-seat multimedia lab, which allows recording students’ performance for further evaluation. The results show the validity of the tests (Baker, 1989) to measure the students’ aptitudes before and after training, and thus the tests prove to be useful tools to predict professional performance as well.

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