Monday, May 16, 2011

Court Reporting

As some of you know, I am going to school for Court Reporting.  Sometimes it can be really confusing to understand what I am talking about, so I am going to try and explain a little bit about it here.  I'll probably be mostly talking about the schooling part.

Now, this may get a little confusing, so I'm sorry if it does!  You learn a whole new language to be able to write on the machine.  It's called steno.  It's an ongoing process.  You learn something new pretty much every day. 

It also takes a LOT of practice time.  You have to be able to write at 225 WPM on the machine.  So, you are basically learning a new motor skill and a new language at the same time.  Does this explain a little as to why school can take FOREVER to get out of?

There are three categories: Jury Charge (JC), Literary (Lit), and Question and Answer (QA).  In each speed class you have to pass 3 in each category to be able to get an A.  Each class has different speeds.  JC and QA are usually the same speed, and Lit is usually 20 WPM lower.  You cannot move on to another class until you have either gotten a B (2 passes in each category) or an A.  Another reason school can take forever. 

To pass the State Exam in the State of Texas, you have to pass a 225 QA, 200 JC, and a 180 Lit at 95% all at the same time.  My school requires you pass two mock exams at 97%.  Basically, the same speeds as the state exam, only at 97%.  Sometimes I wish they wouldn't, BUT I know that I can do it when I go take the State test.  There is also a knowledge part of the rules you have to follow according to your state.  Not all state's have a state certification.  Texas and California have the hardest.  Of course, I have to live in one of the toughest states!  Oh well...

I hope this helps explain a little bit more as to what I am doing in school, and if you ever read/hear me talk about it, you'll understand a little bit better.  I'm always more than happy to answer any questions.

As of right now (before summer semester starts) I need two more 200 QA's for an A, then I will be trying for my mock exams!  So, I am nearing the end...just hoping I can push it hard enough to be done with school this summer!!


  1. Wow...that was interesting! Now I have a better idea of what you've been up too....and it looks like a lot of hard work! =) You can do it!

  2. That's really interesting! When I was taking my Grammar and Linguistics classes I had to learn a new alphabet... the International Phonetic Alphabet. It was like learning a new language too... haha. Although, Joey definitely didn't appreciate me sounding everything out over and over and over again. Let's just say that the one time on a road trip when I was working on homework, he came very close to leaving me in the middle of nowhere. lol.

    Good luck with your tests/exams! You'll do fabulous!!!

  3. I tagged you in a post. I hope you participate, I would love to see your favorite things. :)


  4. My sister has been a court reporter and is now a closed captioner for over 13 years. It is a tough program!!! Take care of your hands, she is having issues now after so many years. (and she's only 35!) And look into hand insurance -- no joke. Good luck on exams. And let me know if you ever want to talk with her about her career.

  5. Thanks so much, Amy! I already consider getting my hands insured when I graduate. I'm doing my best to take care of my hands the only way I know how! I noticed they are girly hands today when I was helping my parents move some stuff from their house for my sister. Oh man!

  6. My daughter passed the board in Texas right after school, first take..Her mentors said she is the best the school has ever had (Court Reporting Institute, Houston). We're so proud of her achievement in school. She started working at the courts in Houston but only as a sub and could not get enough hours to cover her bills. The cost of the machine, the program etc. is really VERY expensive. She then started to train in closed captioning and of course, there is a different program for that...which costs her several thousands of dollars again..But like i said, she is good at her craft (her maternal grandma was a stenographer til she retired). I guess closed captioning is paying off, she just started at $70/hr and is getting more hours and she works at home. And yes, we are definitely concerned about how she should take care of those coverage for the hands is a must for those who do this kind of job. Hopefully she insures those hands soon as she rakes in those hard-earned $$$$.