Trans-Tasman Certificate of Proficiency in Unified English Braille

Background and Purpose

Since 2008, BANZAT and The Australian Braille Authority (ABA) have jointly conducted examinations for the Trans-Tasman Certificate of Proficiency in Unified English Braille (UEB). These open-book examinations, offered annually, test a candidate’s working knowledge of the UEB code. They also set a high standard of braille production to which we believe anyone wishing to produce braille should aspire. Those who pass the certificate demonstrate a real attention to detail and accuracy, something to be proud of indeed.

Who Should Apply?

The Trans-Tasman Certificate in UEB is available to people living in Australia and New Zealand. Those living in the South Pacific Islands are also welcome to apply if they do not have their own braille authority. Residents from elsewhere are asked to seek certification advice from the governing body for braille within their own country, as our Trans-Tasman Certificate in UEB will not serve as a recognised qualification elsewhere.

In order to be successful in obtaining the Certificate in UEB, a candidate must have good reading and writing knowledge of the UEB code and experience in the production of a variety of braille materials. Candidates should be well-practised in six-key entry and braille proofreading.

Those who have gained the certificate include:

  • Resource Teachers Vision;
  • Developmental Orientation and Mobility Specialists;
  • teacher aides supporting children in schools;
  • braille instructors at Blind Low Vision NZ;
  • braille transcribers and proofreaders;
  • parents and other family members supporting touch readers of braille; and
  • touch readers of braille.

In New Zealand and Australia touch readers of braille who are not necessarily teachers or transcribers have taken the examination to strengthen their knowledge of UEB.

A prerequisite to be accredited by BANZAT as a braille producer working in New Zealand is the holding of the Certificate in UEB.

We encourage candidates to check they’re ready for the examination by using the Sample Papers with Answers listed below.

Examination Period

In New Zealand in 2020 candidates choose to sit the examination:

  • either in the week Monday 28 September 2020 to Sunday 4 October 2020;
  • or in the week Monday 5 October 2020 to Sunday 11 October 2020.

Examination Structure

The examination consists of three parts.

Instructions Part A: Print to Braille Transcription

  • 1. Transcribe into Grade 2 Unified English Braille using six-key entry on a Perkins or in an electronic braille file saved on a memory stick three passages totalling approximately 10 braille pages in length. Simulated braille is not accepted. Use a maximum of 25 lines on the braille page and a maximum of 40 cells per braille line. Start each passage on a new braille page.
  • 2. Print page numbers are to be shown in the braille transcription, as well as braille page numbers.
  • 3. Do not divide words at the end of lines other than for hyphenated or compound words.

Marking

  • 2 marks will be deducted for each occurrence of the following:
  • Misused or omitted contractions
  • Incorrect use of capitalization, typeforms or other indicators
  • Text omitted or repeated
  • Incorrect punctuation
  • 1 mark will be deducted for each occurrence of the following:
  • Incorrect formatting, for example headings, paragraphs, pagination, incorrect page numbering, blank lines
  • Noticeable erasures.

Instructions Part B: Braille to Print

  • 1. Candidates are to transcribe from braille into print a passage of approximately 2-3 braille pages in length. The transcription is to be submitted as a hard copy typed passage on a separate sheet. Handwriting is not permitted.
  • 2. The transcription must NOT be written above the braille on the examination sheet.

Marking

  • 2 marks will be deducted for each error.

Instructions Part C: Proofreading

  • 1. An article is provided in braille containing errors. Using six-key entry on a Perkins or in an electronic braille file saved on a memory stick, candidates are to indicate on a separate sheet in braille any errors found.
  • 2. Each error is to be referenced using the braille page and line number in which the error was found.
  • 3. The corrected form of each error is to be brailled after the error. It is not necessary to braille any surrounding text. A gap of two braille spaces is to be left between the error and its corrected form. Take a new line for each error identified.

Marking

  • 2 marks will be deducted for each error not identified.
  • 2 marks will be deducted for identifying incorrect errors.
  • 1 mark will be deducted for identifying the error correctly but not brailling the answer correctly.

Touch Readers

Touch readers completing the examination are provided with uncontracted mark-up braille format of Part A and Part C print materials and also a list of the markup codes which are used.

Identifying the Candidate’s Own Exam Paper

We give each candidate a unique identification number to protect anonymity during the marking process.

Candidates need to make sure their unique number appears on all three parts of the examination paper. Suitable placement would be in the margin at the end of each part.

Writing Equipment/Technology

Candidates choose the writing equipment/technology they will use to complete the examination paper:

  • Either Perkins brailler;
  • or computer with braille software translation program switched off.

Special Note: Candidates completing the examination using Computer with braille software program must agree to use six-key entry and deactivate the proofing bar (if available). Candidates are asked to agree to this by signing and returning a declaration in the letter that comes with the examination paper.

Grades

Each candidate begins with 100 marks. Demerit points for all three parts are totalled to provide the grade.

  • 96 to 100 marks is high distinction
  • 90 to 95 marks is distinction
  • 80 to 89 marks is credit
  • 70 to 79 marks is pass
  • below 70 marks is a fail

Examination Results

  • Each candidate receives a report which gives the total of demerit points for each of Part A, B and C.
  • The report also lists the errors the candidate has made.
  • Results summaries will be sent out on Monday 9 November 2020.
  • The errors reports will be sent at the same time to both successful and unsuccessful candidates after the re-sits process has been completed by mid December.

Re-Sits Option

  • For New Zealand candidates, there is a re-sits option for those who are unsuccessful.
  • Only one re-sit is offered to each unsuccessful candidate in the current year.
  • Unsuccessful candidates who take up the re-sits option must apply by 16 November 2020 by emailing the Examinations Committee mailto:exam@banzat.org.nz.
  • The same exam paper will be provided for the re-sits option, with a maximum pass mark of 70 (30 demerit points), even if the actual number of demerit points is fewer than 30.

Queries About Examination Results

If after the candidate has received their results and the report about the errors in their paper they would like a review, please email the Examinations Committee mailto:exam@banzat.org.nz

If the candidate wishes to have a further review, they may appeal to the BANZAT trustees. Please email the BANZAT Secretary mailto:secretary@banzat.org.nz

Reference Materials

The Trans-Tasman Certificate of Proficiency in Unified English Braille examination is an open book exam. Essential references for those wishing to sit the exam in New Zealand are:

Applications and Questions

Applications to sit the examination are called for on the first Monday in August and close on the first Monday in September. The Event Calendar on the BANZAT website has the dates of the next Certificate examination. An invitation is emailed to several lists annually and posted to BANZAT’s website and Facebook page, and you can read it here. In New Zealand the examination is free of charge.

To apply to sit the examination, or ask any questions, please contact BANZAT at mailto:exam@banzat.org.nz or phone 0800 BANZAT (0800 226928), or download and complete the Application form.

Sample Exam Papers with Answers

Candidates are encouraged to use these sample papers to prepare for the examination and check they’re ready to sit it. Here are three practice papers with answers.

Practice 1 Exam Paper with Answers

Part A: Transcription of Three Print Passages to Braille

Part B: Transcription From Braille to Print

Exam

Answer

Part C: Proofreading

Exam braille

Exam print

Answer

Practice 2 Exam Paper with Answers

Part A: Transcription of Three Print Passages to Braille

Exam Passage 1

Answer Passage 1

Exam Passage 2

Answer Passage 2

Exam Passage 3

Answer Passage 3

Part B: Transcription From Braille to Print

Exam

Answer

Part C: Proofreading

Exam braille

Exam print

Answer

Practice 3 Exam Paper with Answers

Part A: Transcription of Three Print Passages to Braille

Exam Passage 1

Answer Passage 1

Exam Passage 2

Answer Passage 2

Exam Passage 3

Answer Passage 3

Part B: Transcription From Braille to Print

Exam

Answer

Part C: Proofreading

Exam braille

Exam print

Answer

Last updated: 10 August 2020