Court Reporters Certification
Applications must be received by the established deadline date. If forms are incomplete, missing documentation, or are not received by the deadline, the applicant will be considered ineligible to take the current CSR exam and must reapply for the next exam. Once exam registration closes no further exam items will be accepted.
The next Skills exam date has not yet been announced due to COVID-19 restrictions and testing facility availability.
Please continue to check the schedule below for future dates. Additional dates are added, per calendar year, once confirmed.
Important Note: If new exam dates are not posted, please wait to apply until the dates are listed as you will be required to include the date on your application.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Please continue to monitor schedule below for updates. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, dates may be subject to change.
|Exam Part & Date||Exam Location||Deadline Date|
The exam registration process is two-fold and must be followed prior to when you first apply to test.
- First, all first-time applicants (i.e., those who've never applied with us before) must submit their Application for New Court Reporter Certification to the Judicial Branch Certification Commission (Commission or JBCC).
- non-first time applicants (i.e., those who've already submitted Applications for New Court Reporter Certification to us before) would just go to step #2 (i.e., register to test with TCRA).
- 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. You must register with TCRA each time you wish to take the exam.
Please refer to the Exam Dates section for dates, deadlines, and locations of upcoming exams. The deadline to register for the exam is 30 days prior to the exam date.
Before the Exam
- All applicants must get fingerprinted using the Texas Fingerprint Service Code Form.
- Applicants apply for certification with the JBCC. You must apply for certification via our online licensing and certification system. To apply online, please go to the online certification and licensing system on our home page.
- Applicants register (apply for) for the exam, and pay exam fees, to TCRA using their website. (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. We will provide this number directly to TCRA.
- Please do not submit exam registration applications via the JBCC online system. Exam registration applications submitted via the JBCC online system will not be processed.
Fingerprinting Required for Background Checks
All applicants must get fingerprinted using the Texas Fingerprint Service Code Form.
- First-time applicants that apply for certification online will receive the service code form via the automated email confirmation they receive after submitting their application for certification online. Please ensure to check your inbox (and spam folder) for this email.
- Staff will email the finger print service code form to:
- initial applicants who are required to apply by mail, including those reinstating, (after their applications are received), and
- to non-first-time applicants who have not yet been fingerprinted for the JBCC (after receiving the list of registered examinees from TCRA).
After the Exam
- TCRA will provide test results to examinees after the results have been confirmed.
- Applicants can confirm their certification via the JBCC's online certification and licensing system (i.e., an automated email confirmation will be issued once certified). Certification cards will also be issued to the mailing address on file.
- TCRA conducts all exam regrades and/or exam reviews. (Refer to TCRA's website for details such as forms, fees, etc.)
How to Apply for Certification:
First-Time Applicants Not Seeking Certification by Endorsement or Reinstatement (i.e., those who have not applied with the JBCC before):
- Create your online profile, and submit your application for certification, following the instructions in section I of the pdf Guide to Using the Online System on the home page of our website.
First-Time Applicants Seeking Certification by Endorsement:
- Please refer to the Initial Certification page of our website for information on this process and to download the Application for Certification by Endorsement.
First-Time Applicants Seeking Reinstatement:
Please refer to the Reinstating an Expired Certification section of the Initial Certification page of our website for information on this process, including how to obtain the required paperwork.
How to Apply for the CSR Exam:
Existing Applicants (i.e., those who’ve applied for certification with the JBCC):
• Go to TCRA’s website and follow their instructions on applying for the exam. Do not apply for the exam using the JBCC online licensing system.
Effective September 1, 2019 applicants are no longer required to submit proficiency documentation to take the oral exam.
ADA Accommodations. Upon request, reasonable accommodations will be made for ADA conditions. Send your request for accommodation to the JBCC as far in advance as possible, but at least 10 days in advance of the exam date (weekends and holidays not included). Requests received less than ten days before the exam date cannot be honored. Your request for accommodation may accompany your exam paperwork, or may be sent separately. Either way, the request for accommodation is subject to the ten days in advance of the exam date deadline, per section 3.10 of the JBCC Rules.
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. Test results are not provided by phone, fax, or to third parties. 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.
Notwithstanding Rule 3.11 (d), an applicant who passes Part A or Part B of the examination but fails the other part will not be required to be reexamined on the part that the applicant passed.
Regrade deadline for the October 2019 exam is November 18, 2019.
Note: It is possible that results may not be available prior to the exam registration 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 meeting the registration for the next exam if for any reason you should have to re-test.
Please be advised that passing the exam is one part of the certification process; therefore, receiving a passing score does not equate to being certified. Certifications will be issued by regular mail after the Supreme Court certifies the names of the successful examinees. Once you’re certified, you will receive an automated email from our system advising that your new certification application has been approved. Once you receive this email, or you get your certification card in the mail, or verify your certification online, whichever comes first, you may begin to provide court reporting services.
All fees are non-refundable.
Acceptable forms of payment: Credit Card
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.
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.
- The oral exam cannot be passed in legs.
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:
- Each wrong word;
- Each omitted word;
- Each added word not dictated;
- Each contraction where read as two (2) words;
- Two (2) words where read as a contraction;
- Each misplaced word;
- Each misplaced period that materially alters the sense of a group of words or a sentence;
- Each misspelled word;
- Each plural or singular if the opposite was dictated; and
- Each wrong number.
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:
- Systematic Guide to Medical Terminology
- Grammar for Shorthand Reporters
- 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:
- Chapter 52 of the Government Code, V.T.C.A.
- 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.