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Preparing for Exams FAQs
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Preparing for Exams FAQs

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

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


Q. What resources do I need to purchase to study? Is it the Best Practices Guide? Is there anything else I need?

A. The Best Practices Guide is your #1 resource for helping prepare you for the CET. You will also need to know federal formatting, as that is what we base our exams on. You will need to use headers, have a proper title, index and certificate page. The Best Practices Guide is $50 for members and $75 for non-members. Take advantage of the information found on our website under the "Certification" tab, also.


Q. Do I need to become a member in order to take the exam?

A. You need to be either an Individual/General member or a Corporate member in order to be eligible to take AAERT's exams.


Q. Where is the CET® exam held? Will I be required to travel?

A. AAERT's exams are held across the US and in many other countries. Depending on your location, you may have to travel to take the knowledge portion of the exam. Once you pass the knowledge portion of the exam, you will then be permitted to take the practical portion from your home or office.


Q. Are we allowed to use any resources when we take the exam? For example, do I need to know EVERYTHING in my head such as specific language for cover pages, certification pages, etc.?

A. When taking the CET® knowledge portion of the exam, you are not permitted to have any resources. You will be provided scrap paper and pencil(s) at the test location. Upon completion of the exam, you will be required to hand those in to the proctor. You may bring your own headsets, though, as most of the testing facilities will allow you to use your own.


Q. Are we allowed to use our own computers during the exam? I'm nervous about using a computer I'm not used to.

A. You are not permitted to use your own computer at the test site; however, you may use your own for the practical portion, which is taken at a later date and time. For the practical portion of the CET®, you will be provided information ahead of the scheduled date and time of the exam. You should have your template ready to go before the exam date and time, and have as much information filled out as possible from the documents you will be provided at the time you receive your confirmation email from AAERT. The information contained in that email will be self-explanatory.


Q. Are there any type of review or study materials available for preparing to take the exams?

A. There are materials suggested by AAERT to help prepare you for AAERT exams. One is our Best Practices Guide, which can be found and purchased through our website at the “Resources” tab.

Other references to review are Morson's English Guide for Court Reporters, Bad Grammar/Good Punctuation, and the Chicago Manual of Style. Since the AAERT transcriber practical is based on the federal format, we suggest you review and understand formatting as well.


Q. I am new to the court transcription field and would like to purchase the study exam to get ready to take the certification. I do not plan to do this within the next year. Would I be eligible to buy the study guide if I have an apprentice membership?

A. If you join AAERT as an Apprentice member, you will be able to purchase AAERT's Best Practices Guide in the amount of $50 to help prepare you for our certification testing. As you've mentioned in your email, you cannot test during that year of Apprentice membership, nor will you have voting rights in any Association business.


Q. I registered for the Digital Reporter Exam and have been reviewing the Best Practices Guide in preparation for it. However, I just wondered if there was some sort of sample test that I could take beforehand. As you know, there is a lot of material in that guidebook and I'm not sure how technical the test will be. For example, should I memorize margins and settings, etcetera, for transcripts under the federal guidelines for this test, or will that be covered on the transcription portion of the test? Any guidance you could provide would be greatly appreciated.

A. The only sample questions we have are located on our website under the “Certification” tab at the Sample Questions/Info link.

Since you have registered for the Digital Reporter Exam, the focus of the exam is on the court reporting sections, not the transcribing sections of the Best Practices Guide. We do feel strongly that reporters should read through the sections concerning transcribers, and transcribers should read through the sections on court reporting. If each one of us understands what the other is responsible for, it makes for a better end product, which is the transcript.


Q. I am interested in obtaining my Certified Electronic Reporter certification, and I am wondering what my options are for preparing for the exam. Are there online courses I can take?

A. To help prepare for the AAERT Digital Reporter Exam, AAERT offers the Best Practices Guide, which is a PDF downloadable document. It can be found under the "Resources" tab on our Home Page. I would also suggest you go through each tab and link on our website because it is packed with information about testing and digital court reporting and transcribing.

There is a list of AAERT Approved Schools/Courses on our website under the “Education” tab. Most, if not all, provide online training.

Becoming a member of AAERT can help with your preparations, too, by having the ability to network with other members. Membership with AAERT will allow you to take part in various Groups and Forums through our website that are only open to members.

We also suggest you check out the social media options open to you on our website as a non-member. Twitter, Facebook Page, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and WordPress are great ways to network and find much more information regarding court reporting and transcribing issues.

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