How to Get DipTrans Past Papers for the Diploma in Translation Exam

DipTrans candidate searching on her laptop for DipTrans past papers.

Written by Gwenydd Jones

Translator, translator trainer and copywriter

In this article, you’ll find out how to get DipTrans past papers for the IoLET Diploma in Translation exam.

Can you get official DipTrans past papers for free?

That’s one of the first questions trainees on our DipTrans preparation course ask. The answer is, a few. Some sample DipTrans exam papers are available for free on the CIoL website. But they’re available only in English. So, no use if you’re preparing for a DipTrans exam where you have to translate into English

DipTrans exam papers are protected by copyright. That is why it’s difficult to get hold of them for free on the Internet. But some bloggers who have sat the DipTrans exam share information about the papers.

For instance, trainees from our DipTrans course have told us about the papers they faced each year in the exams. You can find out more about them in our various reports on the DipTrans:

– “DipTrans Exam 2017 Report” by Gwenydd Jones

– “DipTrans Exam 2018 Report” by Alexandra Mollyneaux

– “2019 DipTrans Exam Report (Spanish to English)” by Gwenydd Jones

– “DipTrans Exam 2020 Report” by Gwenydd Jones

You may also like to see this article by Greg Hunt, on the 2010 exam papers

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Free mock Spanish-to-English DipTrans general paper with translation

You can find a mock Spanish-to-English DipTrans general paper on our website. It includes a sample translation, which is essential. This is because, if you’re working alone, it’s the only thing you have to compare against your work.

Buying DipTrans exam papers and examiner reports through the CIoL website

The Chartered Institute of Linguists has two options for buying IoLET DipTrans past papers.

1. Sign up for IoLET Affiliate membership

IoLET Affiliate membership will give you free access to a few past papers and examiner reports. It costs £25 a year and is compulsory if you want to sit the Diploma in Translation exam.
At time of writing, you can get Spanish-to-English DipTrans past papers from the 2009, 2010 and 2012 exams, but not the examiner reports. You can download examiner reports from the last three years. This isn’t ideal if you’re working alone, as you don’t have anything to check your translation against. You also lack the valuable insight into your work that a tutor provides on a DipTrans preparation course like ours.

“Another way to get your hands on DipTrans past papers is to sign up for a DipTrans preparation course, to help you get ready for the exam.”

DipTrans exam texts are edited versions of texts taken from the real world, e.g. from newspapers. As an IoLET affiliate member, you also get a PDF listing the source texts from recent DipTrans exams.

This list is useful to help you see the type of text you can expect in the Diploma in Translation exam. A problem is that the texts are in their original format, which means, as they were originally published. Some of them are just a bit longer than the texts used in the exam. But others are much longer and were heavily edited to create the DipTrans exam papers.

Finally, you also get the PDF from a 2008 Spanish-to-English language seminar. It includes a General paper and a Business paper from the 2007 Diploma in Translation exam. There is also an analysis of each one. It also contains lots of useful guidance for candidates.

2. Buy DipTrans past papers and examiner reports from the CIoL using the order form

Towards the end of this page on the IoL website you’ll find order forms for DipTrans past papers. They let you order DipTrans examiner reports and past papers without paying for affiliate membership. For Spanish to English, you can currently buy examiner reports from 2015 and 2016. Each full report costs £10 plus postage. DipTrans past papers are available from 2009, 2010 and 2012, at £10 plus postage.

Getting Diploma in Translation past papers through a DipTrans preparation course

Another way to get your hands on DipTrans past papers is to sign up for a DipTrans preparation course, to help you get ready for the exam. Most courses are run by universities or private academies. The usual format is that the teacher gives you a past paper, you translate it, and then you send it back to them. They mark it and give you feedback.

Our DipTrans preparation course for Spanish-to-English translators is much more comprehensive than that. It includes heaps of content on translation theory and practice in addition to an entire section dedicated to exam strategy. Your feedback will be highly personalised and extremely detailed. You also get one-to-one tutorials, bonus videos and an invite to our private Facebook group where you’ll become part of a network of Spanish-to-English translators.

On top of that, you get a sample translation of each text, so you have something to compare your work against. There are even extra texts, with sample translations, so you can get plenty of practice. We also give you a bonus module on getting started as a freelance translator, to help you get on your feet when you’ve completed the course. Look at what past trainees have written about the course on my LinkedIn profile (and why not connect with me while you’re there?).

Get your free translation level test!

Wondering whether you have the level to do the Spanish-to-English DipTrans exam? Wonder no more, get your free level test and find out!

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