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Preparing for our Exams
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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 or your exam(s) will be cancelled.


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 "Resources" 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



RETAKE of either Knowledge Exam - $175 USD



Candidates may sit for either exam after payment is received AND after a letter of recommendation is submitted, if necessary.  Your registration process will then be taken over by Loyalist Exam Services (LES).  You will receive an email from them.  Their email address will be, and this email address should be placed in your "Safe List" in order to receive important test information.  (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
(3) vocabulary.

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 will need the following in order to take the Knowledge exam(s):

  • Computer or laptop with webcam.  Macs cannot be used due to their incompatibility with the testing system. 
  • Reliable high-speed internet connection (3Mbps) is required.
  • Headset with a microphone attached.
  • Google Chrome as your browser for the Digital Reporter Knowledge Exam
  • Internet Explorer as your browser for the Digital Transcriber Knowledge Exam

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. 


You will need the following in order to take the Transcriber Practical Exam:

  • Computer or laptop with webcam
  •  Reliable high-speed internet connection (3Mbps) is required
  • Headset with a microphone attached
  •  Chrome as your browser
  •  FTR Player downloaded to your computer or laptop


Passing Grade is 98%.  Total allowed testing time is 150 minutes.


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 two to three 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, and while members maintain their 3.0 CEU requirement.


CEU credits are available through our LMS, 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 CEU standards.

(See Recertification) 



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