Preparing for an AAERT Certification Exam
ELIGIBILITY: Who may take the exams?
AAERT members in good standing, who are eligible for notary public commissions in their states;
have obtained a high school diploma or its equivalent; and
have one year* of experience in reporting or transcribing.
*Note: A member with less than one year of experience may sit for examinations if referred by (1) an AAERT-certified member or (2) a current employer (for purposes of this referral procedure only, the Committee expands the standard definition of employer to include those who administer reporting or transcribing contracts, and who wish to recommend a qualified associate or subcontractor.)
A referral must be signed and submitted in writing to AAERT before you receive authorization to sit for the testing.
Apprentice Members MAY NOT sit for any AAERT certification exam. You MUST be an active Individual Member or Corporate Member to take an exam.
Best Practices Guide
AAERT's Best Practices Guide, which can be found on our Home Page under the "Store" tab, is a recommended resource tool in helping prepare you for certification testing. It not only outlines such items as log annotations, but it also guides you through courtroom procedures, deposition procedures, and transcription issues.
The guide also contains other resources and references used in the certification testing, as well as everyday use. Some of these references are Morson's English Guide for Court Reporters, The Elements of Style, and Black's Law Dictionary. For a complete PDF listing of resources and references, CLICK HERE.
Exam Fee and Payment Methods
DIGITAL TRANSCRIBER KNOWLEDGE EXAM - $275 USD
DIGITAL REPORTER KNOWLEDGE EXAM - $275 USD
RETAKE of either Knowledge Exam - $175 USD
Candidates may sit for either exam after payment is received AND the AAERT Office has emailed you your Testing Voucher. Then you may complete your Online Testing Location Registration via the Kryterion secured site. (See Fees and Deadlines for more information.)
Online Knowledge Exam Registration Steps and Information
Certification is an important milestone in your professional career; please read instructions carefully.
The timed online portion may cover these three areas:
(1) technical aspects of electronic practice — including, for reporters, microphone protocols;
(2) legal procedures and principles; and
The reporter and transcriber online exams are not identical, although there may be some areas of overlap where practices / principles converge. The exam is all multiple choice which will include some graphics and audio questions. You do not need to bring any equipment, such as a laptop or foot pedal. Some sites will allow you to use your own headset, so please bring it. In the event you are not permitted to use it, the proctor will advise you and supply you with one. AAERT uses the federal district court transcript format as our national transcription test standard.
A passing score is 80%.
(See Taking an Exam for complete information)
Transcriber Practical - What do I need to have?
Transcriber Exams are in (2) two parts. First, you must pass the Online Knowledge portion of the exam. After passing the Online Knowledge portion, then you may go to the second portion, which is the Online Practical. The Online Practical portion can be taken at your home or office, with no traveling involved.
The Transcriber Practical is a Home/Office-Proctored exam. You will be required to have a PC or MAC. Windows 7 or higher. Operating systems can be either Internet Explorer 10+, Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome (recommended). Webcam with minimum 640 x 480. Click for complete technical requirements.
Passing Grade is 98%. Total allowed testing time is 120 minutes.
To view more information on the Online Practical portion and to view a tutorial CLICK HERE.
When will I know my test results?
Online Knowledge tests are scored immediately, and the results are shown to you before you leave your seat upon completion of the exam(s). Reporters will receive a formal letter and certificate, if applicable, to the membership address of record, usually within six to eight weeks after the examination(s).
How will I maintain my certified status over time?
Will continuing education (CE) credits be required?
The Association maintains certified reporters and transcribers on its public-access rolls while they remain members in good standing.
CE credits are available, and can be earned by attending Conference seminars, lectures, and other presentations. AAERT provides an attendance / participation record upon request. Not all jurisdictions or employers have established CE standards.