7 Mistakes You Need To Avoid In the CCL exam

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The NAATI CCL exam is a crucial step to anyone’s migration journey. However, getting it right in the first go is extremely important. Many a time, inadvertent mistakes due to lack of practice or know-how result in wasted money and time. We have come up with the 7 Mistakes You Need To Avoid In the CCL exam in order to ace it smoothly. Let’s go over them one by one.

 1. OMITTING information!

In the NAATI CCL exam, omitting information means you are missing or cutting out information in your target language (the language you are interpreting in). It causes your answer to be incomplete. Omissions in the CCL exam result almost always from poor short-term memory and sometimes inadequate note-taking. Omissions are considered a major error and can cost you an entire segment worth of marks, therefore this is not the time to be concise.


2. DISTORTING information!

Distortions in NAATI CCL exam mean you are altering or changing the meaning/content of the source language. For example, in your answers, confusing a “grandson” with a “nephew” or more seriously, confusing “ulcer” with “cancer”, will lead to penalties. If the information in a CCL exam segment is interrelated with conditionals and conjunctions, a small distortion can cause the entire meaning to change. Distortions are considered a major “transfer of meaning” error caused mostly due to poor comprehension (listening) and memory. This is certainly NOT the time to answer a segment by guess or hunch.

3. INSERTING information!

Insertion means you are adding information in your answer that DID NOT EXIST in the original speech. In the NAATI CCL exam, adding information into your answer can cause the meaning of the segment to change and result in penalties. It is, therefore, crucial to stay as close to the original meaning as possible.


4. LITERAL, WORD-FOR-WORD Interpreting

In NAATI CCL, literal or word-for-word interpreting means your answer follows the same exact structure of the speaker (source language) making it difficult for the listener to understand your meaning. Word-for-word or literal interpreting makes it difficult to answer and also in many languages it is just not possible. Instead, you should focus on conveying the meaning idiomatically.

5. EXCESSIVE Note-Taking

Note Taking is optional in the NAATI CCL exam but we highly recommend it. However, when a candidate excessively focuses on note-taking, memory is compromised and leads to incorrect responses. You may have a tendency to write the entire segment down but it will only cause more confusion and difficulty. Remember! the test is about your ability to convey the meaning accurately so your main focus should be on memory and comprehension. Therefore, make short and concise notes using keywords, symbols and concepts.


In the heat of the CCL exam, many candidates forget that they are allowed to request a repeat of a segment in case they forget or don’t understand it. As mentioned earlier, conveying complete and accurate information is key. Listening to a segment another time by repeating helps overcome the problem of omitting or distorting information. In the NAATI CCL exam, the first repeat in both dialogues is free whereas any subsequent repeats are penalized.


7. Exceeding the time limit – “MAXIMUM TIME REACHED”

It is important to remember that in the NAATI CCL exam a 20-minute time limit exists. That means you need to complete both dialogues in the above duration. Any incomplete segments will result in ZERO marks. Incomplete tests mostly result in a “fail”. Time limit is not met due to long pauses (before and while answering) or excessive repeats and self-corrections.




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