Court Reporters Certification

Exam 

Exam Dates 

Envelopes must be postmarked before midnight on the deadline date. If forms are incomplete, missing documentation, or are not sent by the deadline, the applicant will be considered ineligible to take the current CSR exam and must reapply for the next exam. Once eligibility registration closes no further exam items will be accepted.

The deadline to apply for exam eligibility with the Board office is 45 days prior to the exam date. Examinees will not be registered to take the CSR exam until deemed exam eligible by the Commission.

Please continue to check the schedule below for future dates. Additional dates are added, per calendar year, once confirmed.

Exam Dates & Deadlines
Exam Date Exam Location Deadline Date
11/11/2017 Waco, TX 09/27/2017

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Exam Procedures

The exam registration process is two-fold.

  1. First, applicants must apply for exam eligibility with the Judicial Branch Certification Commission (Commission or JBCC).
  2. Second, applicants must register for the certification exam with the Texas Court Reporters Association (TCRA), which is administering the certification exam on behalf of the JBCC.

Please refer to the Upcoming Exam Dates section for deadline details.

Before the Exam

  1. Effective 09/20/16, all applicants must get fingerprinted using the Texas Fingerprint Service Code Form, located in the Criminal History Forms section on the Forms page of our website, prior to applying for the exam. 
  2. Applicants apply for exam eligibility with the JBCC. You can apply for exam eligibility by mail or via our online licensing and certification system. 
    1. See Qualifying for Oral Exam section of this page for details on qualification requirements.
    2. Applicants must refer to the online certification and licensing system to confirm their eligibility status prior to registering with TCRA. All applicants will obtain their file numbers from the online certification and licensing system as well. 
  3. Applicants register for the exam, and pay exam fees, to TCRA. (Refer to TCRA's website for registration details such as forms, fees, etc.)  (Please note that any references to a file number on exam paperwork for TCRA refers to the file number assigned to the applicant by the JBCC.)

After the Exam

  1. TCRA will provide test results to examinees after the results have been confirmed.
  2. Applicants can confirm their certification via the online certification and licensing system. 

Applying for the Exam

You can apply for the exam by mail or via our online licensing and certification system. Forms are located on the Forms page of our website. If you cannot access the forms online, you must submit a written request to the Commission to have them sent to you. Requests may be submitted to (Fax) 512-463-1117, (Email) courtreporting@txcourts.gov, or to our general correspondence address of PO Box 12066, Austin, TX 78711-2066. Form requests are not accepted by phone.

Click here to use the online certification and licensing system.

For First-Time Applicants

Mail the items below to: JBCC, Attn: Court Reporters Certification, PO Box 13122, Austin, TX 78711-3122.

  1. Application for Certification (with the $85 app fee),
  2. Application for Exam Eligibility for First-Time Applicants, and
  3. Statement of Proficiency (SOP) or NCRA/NVRA letter (if taking oral exam).

For Non First-Time Applicants (No Fees Due)

Mail the items below to: JBCC, Attn: Court Reporters Certification, PO Box 12066, Austin, TX 78711-2066

  1. Application for Exam eligibility for Non First-Time Applicants, and
  2. * Statement of Proficiency or NCRA/NVRA letter (if taking oral exam)

(*) Please note that you do not need to re-qualify if your previous SOP has yet to expire (as it is valid for 1 year), the same applies to your RPR letter (as it is valid until the certification expires). If your qualifying documentation has not expired, you do not have to resubmit it. Qualifying documentation must be valid on the exam date for which you are applying. No exceptions.

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Examination Results

Exam results shall be provided to examinees according to section 3.11 of the JBCC Rules. Additionally, per subsection (b), the Commission requires the vendor, the Texas Court Reporters Association (TCRA), to provide results to examinees. Results will not be provided by the Commission. Candidate numbers will not be provided by the Commission; applicants must obtain their numbers from the vendor. Please refer to TCRA's website for additional details.

Regrade deadline for the June 2017 exam is August 02, 2017.

Note: It is possible that results may not be available prior to the exam eligibility deadline for the next exam. We strongly advise non first-time applicants not to hold off on applying for the next exam until results are posted as this may prevent you from being eligible for the next exam if for any reason you should have to re-test.

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Reinstating an Expired Certification

See section 6.3 of the JBCC Rules for CSRs reinstating an certification that been expired for 1 yr. or more.

Applicants reinstating an expired certification must meet the same requirements as new applicants. They must:

  1. submit the same exam paperwork (see form requirements in Exam Procedures section below),
  2. submit the same qualifying documents to take the oral exam (statement of proficiency or RPR letter), and
  3. submit the same fees (application and\or exam fees)

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Fees

Examination Fees (due to TCRA)
Both Written & Oral Exams $190.00
Oral Exam $125.00
Written Exam $75.00
Application Fee (due to JBCC)
Application Fee $85.00

All fees are non-refundable.

Acceptable forms of payment: Check, Money Order, or Cashier's Check

Make payable to: The Office of Court Administration

There is a one-time application fee. First time applicants must pay the application fee. Those reinstating their certifications by taking the exam must pay the application fee the first time they retest.

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Oral Exam (Part A)

Part A Component

  • Part A will be composed of five (5) minutes of two-voice dictation of questions and answers given at 225 words per minute, five (5) minutes of dictation of jury charge given at 200 words per minute, and five (5) minutes of dictation of selected literary material given at 180 words per minute.
  • Each applicant shall personally take down the test and shall reduce the takedown to writing on a manual or electric typewriter or computer.
  • The minimum passing grade on each section of Part A is ninety-five percent (95%) accuracy.
  • Applicants may use a dictionary during Part A.
  • Applicants will be allowed three (3) hours to complete the transcription of Part A of the test.  If time permits, an applicant may review his or her transcript but may use only the original takedown from which the transcript was prepared to review the transcript.

Grading of the Oral Certification Exam

The minimum passing grade on each section of Part A is ninety-five percent (95%) accuracy.  An error shall be charged for:

  1. Each wrong word;
  2. Each omitted word;
  3. Each added word not dictated;
  4. Each contraction where read as two (2) words;
  5. Two (2) words where read as a contraction;
  6. Each misplaced word;
  7. Each misplaced period that materially alters the sense of a group of words or a sentence;
  8. Each misspelled word;
  9. Each plural or singular if the opposite was dictated; and
  10. Each wrong number.

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Qualifying to Take the Oral Portion of the Examination

  1. If you're an RPR/RMR (NCRA) or CVR/CM (NVRA), you may submit a letter from NCRA/NVRA, as an attachment to your application.  The letter must be on their letterhead. It must attest to the fact that you have passed the RPR/RMR exam or CVR/CM exam and are currently certified and in good standing. It must also indicate the date your national certification expires. Said letter must be valid on the exam date applied for in order to be a substitute for the Statement of Proficiency (SOP).  The letter is valid until the expiration date of your national certification.
  2. If you're not an RPR/RMR or CVR/CM, or are either by way of grandfathering, you must file a Statement of Proficiency (SOP) form with the Commission. The SOP shall be on the official form provided by the Commission. It must be certified by an instructor of a court reporting school and countersigned by the appropriate administrative officer of the court reporting school if the applicant attended the school. The person so certifying that the applicant has satisfactorily passed at the rate of 95% accuracy at least two tests on new material, dictated and graded by the person so certifying and taken by the method of shorthand reporting for which the applicant has applied for examination.   The proficiency tests shall consist of new material and shall be administered all at one time (i.e., each test must consist of 180 wpm literary, 200 wpm jury charge, and 225 wpm Q&A.)  Proficiency tests cannot be administered/passed in legs. Proficiency tests cannot be reused (i.e., proficiency dates cannot be recycled). The proficiency is only valid for one year and must be valid on the exam date for which you are applying.

Failure by the applicant to submit the SOP, or NCRA/NVRA letter, shall preclude the applicant from assignment to the oral examination.

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Written Exam (Part B)

Part B Component

  • Part B of the test shall consist of objective questions touching on elementary aspects of court reporting, spelling, and grammar and Texas rules and procedure.
  • Applicants may not use a dictionary during Part B.
  • The minimum passing grade on Part B is seventy-five percent (75%).

Please be advised that the Commission does not provide study guides for the exam.

List of TCRA Recommended Study Materials for the Written Exam

Materials recommended for study in preparation for the written portion of the examination include, but are not necessarily limited to:

  • National Court Reporters Association Publications:
    1. Systematic Guide to Medical Terminology
    2. Grammar for Shorthand Reporters
    3. Punctuation for Shorthand Reporters.
  • The Texas Rules of Civil Procedure applying to the duties and responsibilities of court reporters.
  • The Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure.
  • All Texas Statutes relating to the duties and responsibilities of court reporters, especially the following:
    1. Chapter 52 of the Government Code, V.T.C.A.
    2. Articles 36.27, 36.28, 52.07 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
  • Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (Eleventh Edition), and
  • Black's Law Dictionary relating to vocabulary and spelling.

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