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Certification - CER®/CET® FAQs
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Certification - CER®/CET®FAQs

If you still have questions regarding certification after reviewing the following FAQs, please contact Sherry Simmons, Certification Liaison, at or 302-475-2173.

If you have membership or LMS questions, please contact Maria Tannen, Membership Liaison and LMS Administrator, at or 302-475-2417.

Q. I would like to have more information about the certification for a digital court reporter.

A. You can find a wealth of information on our website regarding the certification process. You'll find it under the "Certification" tab on our Home Page.

Q. Can you provide me the schedule for both the reporter and transcriber "Retake" exams and the reporter and transcriber knowledge exams? Or, in the alternative, if not the entire year's schedule, could you tell me when the NEXT exams are scheduled?

A. Our testing schedule can be found under the "Certification" tab on our Home Page at the "Fees and Deadlines" link. Just scroll down to the bottom of the page for the schedule.

Q. What format is used for the AAERT transcriber practical test?

A. AAERT uses the federal format as our standard for testing.

Q. Is certification necessary?

A. Although it isn't strictly necessary, it's highly encouraged. Even those who have experience in the field are seeking certification now. It's the pathway to finding more and better-paying jobs. Certification also allows others to see your skill level.

Q. My jurisdiction doesn't use the federal format. Can I use the template I usually use?

A. No. Since every jurisdiction has their own requirements, AAERT has to test with one overall format. Therefore, the federal format is the standard chosen for our transcriber practical exam.

Q. How are the test transcripts scored?

A. The AAERT Certification Committee has gone to great effort to prepare a grading key based on the following references: AAERT Best Practices Guide, Morson's Guide for Court Reporters by Lillian Morson, Bad Grammar/Good Punctuation by Margie Wakeman Wells, the Chicago Manual of Style, Merriam-Webster Dictionary, and Oxford Dictionary.

Q. How does the certification process work?

A. Briefly, the tester has to be either an Individual/General member or a Corporate member of AAERT before they can register for an exam during an open registration period. We offer the Best Practices Guide, which can be found under the “Resources” tab to help you prepare for the exams.

Q. To apply for certification for the CER® and the CET® is there a fee of $275 for each, as well as a membership fee for AAERT if you have 14 years experience as a court reporter?

A. There is a separate fee for each certification exam you register for. Each one is $275. You also need to be either an Individual/General member of AAERT or a Corporate member in order to register for an exam. This applies to everyone, no matter how many years you've been in the industry.

Q. I purchased and downloaded your Best Practices Guide and plan to take the certification test soon. Can you tell me what recording software you recommend to purchase?

A. Consider saving the Best Practices Guide PDF to a flash drive and take it to your nearest office supply store to have them print and bind it for you. It's a good investment. Ask for the least expensive way.

AAERT does not recommend any particular recording software. There are many to choose from. Some examples are JAVS, FTR, Visionary, Soniclear, and Superscope Technologies. There are still many more out there. Recording software is not required for taking the reporter exam.

Q. Can I use the Gregg Reference Manual or Morson’s English Guide for Court Reporters during the Practical Portion of the exam?

A. No. Only a piece of paper to take notes is permitted, as well as the documents sent to you in your confirmation email from the certification liaison.

Q. How many days after the knowledge portion of the exam do I have to schedule the practical portion?

A. Upon successful completion of the transcriber knowledge exam, you will receive an email from the certification liaison asking you to provide a few dates and times that would be convenient for you to take the practical portion of the exam. We ask that you do this within 3 business days of receipt of the email. Once the exam has been scheduled, you will receive a confirmation email with your case information and other important documents attached, as well as your date and time of the exam.

Q. Do I have to take the CET® practical portion on a weekday?

A. No. The practical exam is available 7 days a week, including evenings.

Q. I am interested in beginning my courses for legal transcription. How much does it cost to get my CET® certificate and is it valid for the State of Florida?

A. AAERT is not a school, so we don't offer courses. We are a professional association whose membership is made up of digital court reporters, transcribers, and other industry-related fields. The list of AAERT approved schools is under the “Education” tab of our website.

To become an Individual/General member of AAERT, the annual dues are $125. We offer the Best Practices Guide, which will help you prepare for our exams. The cost of the guide is $50 for members and $75 for non-members. Testing fees are $275 per exam. AAERT's certifications have been recognized in Florida, but you would have to check with the specific court or agency you are interested in to make sure they will accept our certification.

All of the above information can be found on our website.

Q. Can I do a member search for certified AAERT members in a particular state?

A. Yes. You can search for members who have a CER® or CET® by logging into the AAERT website. Hover over the "Membership" tab and click on Member Search. In the "Search" box enter "CER or CET" and enter the state in the "Location" box. Enter the information without the quotation marks.

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