1. I’m interested in joining USCRA. What membership category is appropriate
If you are a full-time Federal Official Court Reporter employed by the
United States District Court, you would fall under the Regular Member
category. If you are a Federal Official Court Reporter who job shares with
another reporter, you should join as a Job Share Member. If you are a court
reporter but you are not employed by the United States Courts, you are
eligible to apply for membership under the Associate Member category.
Student court reporters may join under the Student Member category, and
non-reporters interested in joining USCRA may apply for membership as a
Please note that pursuant to the USCRA bylaws, Associate and Supporting
Member applicants require endorsement by a Regular Member. The endorsement
box appears in the lower left-hand corner of the membership application. If
you don’t know a Regular Member, please write to email@example.com.
2. What benefits will I receive by joining USCRA?
There are many benefits to joining USCRA. USCRA is the only association
that concerns itself solely with issues that affect federal official
court reporters. Job Share and Regular Members receive online access to
USCRA’s private library, which contains invaluable information for the
working federal official court reporter. All members receive a
subscription to USCRA’s quarterly publication, The Circuit Rider, as
well as important updates regarding current issues. USCRA membership
also entitles you to be on the new e-Rider mail list in order to receive
e-mail updates on various information important to you and your career
as a federal official court reporter. As an USCRA member, you also have
the opportunity to sit for four Federal Certified Realtime Reporter
(FCRR) examinations per year. Regular, Job Share, and Student Member
applicants may apply for or renew their membership online.
Join us today!
3. I recently left the federal court in order to work as a freelance
reporter. Why should I maintain my USCRA membership?
Some former federal reporters enjoy working in federal court on a contract
basis. Maintenance of your USCRA membership will enable you to stay abreast
of current issues that affect reporters working in federal court. As a
freelance reporter, you would be eligible to join as an Associate Member at
$50 per year. What a bargain!
4. If I join in the middle of the year, how long will my membership last?
If you join at any time before the Annual Convention (held in October of
each year), your membership will be in effect to the end of the current
calendar year. If you join after Annual Convention, your membership will be
in effect until the end of the next calendar year. For instance, if you pay
your dues in September of 2005, your membership will expire December 31,
2005. However, if you pay your dues at the end of October 2005 after the
Annual Convention, your membership will expire December 31, 2006.
5. Do I have to be a member of USCRA in order to sit for the Federal
Certified Realtime Reporter (FCRR) examination or USCRA’s Realtime Speed
Yes, you have to be a member in good standing with the Association in order
to sit for the FCRR exam or compete in the Realtime Speed Contest. Any
category of membership will satisfy this requirement. The Realtime Speed
Contest has the additional requirement that you be registered to attend some
portion of the Annual Convention at which the contest is administered.
6. I’m a current member of USCRA. When do I need to pay my annual dues?
Membership renewals become due on December 31st of each year. Anyone who has
not renewed by April 1st will be removed from the USCRA membership rolls.
7. Why won’t the online form allow me to join as an Associate or Supporting
The USCRA bylaws require Regular Member endorsement for all applicants
wishing to join as an Associate or Supporting Member. There is no means by
which such an endorsement can be accomplished with the online form;
therefore, a hard copy form is required to join under these types of
membership. Please print out a hard copy of the membership application, fill
it out, and submit it with the appropriate payment for consideration by the
Board. If you don’t know a Regular Member, please contact
8. I have a question specific to my own membership, or my question hasn’t
been answered in this area of the website. What should I do?
Send further inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org
, and your questions
will be answered promptly.
FEDERAL CERTIFIED REALTIME REPORTER (FCRR) EXAMINATION
What is the FCRR Exam?
What is the format?
Can I write the examination in all caps?
Are reporters required to use the Test Mode of their writer?
Are reporters allowed to use a wireless hookup to their laptop during the FCRR?
Is the dictation live or recorded?
Who can take the exam?
Does the Administrative Office for the United States District Courts recognize the FCRR exam for purposes of realtime certification?
When is the FCRR exam given?
How many tests are given at each exam offering?
Do I have to register for both tests?
How much does it cost?
How do I register to take the FCRR exam?
Can I wait to register onsite on exam day?
Do I have to register for the seminars in order to take the FCRR exam?
Will I receive confirmation of my exam registration?
What if I need to cancel my registration?
How many errors are allowed on the exam?
Will I receive a numerical score with my results?
What is a test verification and how much does it cost?
What should I bring to the exam site?
Am I required to use a disk or paper in my writer for the exam?
How is the exam administered?
Is anyone allowed to help me during the exam?
Can I use a cheat sheet for briefs or special terms?
Does NCRA award continuing education units for the FCRR exam?
Are there practice tapes I can purchase?
Who can I contact for more information about the FCRR exam?
What is the FCRR Exam?
A. Five minutes of dictation at speeds ranging from 180-200 words per minute designed to test the basic realtime skills of federal official court reporters.
Q. What is the format?
Three-voice, question and answer, material taken from actual federal court transcripts. The third voice is colloquy, and the speaker identification is provided with registration confirmation.
Q. Can I write the
examination in all caps?
Yes, writing in all caps is allowed.
Q. Are reporters
required to use the Test Mode of their writer?
A. If a steno machine has a Test Mode
capability, the Test Mode must be used.
Q. Are reporters allowed
to use a wireless hookup to their laptop during the FCRR?
A. Candidates are
prohibited from using electronic devices of any kind once they
have signed in at the test site. Electronic devices
include, but are not limited to, audio sync, Bluetooth, wireless
connections, and digital recorders.
Q. Is the dictation live or recorded?
is recorded on CD.
can take the exam?
do not have to be a federal official court reporter, but some form of membership
in USCRA is required.
the Administrative Office for the United States District Courts recognize
the FCRR exam for purposes of realtime certification?
is the FCRR exam given?
Twice a year, at USCRA's Midyear Board Meeting and Seminars held in the
spring and at USCRA's Annual Convention in the fall. [See the
many tests are given at each exam offering?
I have to register for both tests?
You may elect to take one or both. If you choose to take only one test,
you are required to write both, but only the first one is graded. This
procedure is necessary in order to reduce delays and distractions for candidates
who register for both tests.
much does it cost?
for one test; $250 for two.
do I register to take the FCRR exam?
mailing in the registration form included with the brochure for either
the midyear seminars or annual convention which all USCRA members receive.
I wait to register onsite on exam day?
The registration deadline is the Monday prior to a scheduled exam. This
is strictly enforced in order to ensure adequate testing facilities.
I have to register for the seminars in order to take the FCRR exam?
I receive confirmation of my exam registration?
confirmation letter with instructions and special terms will be mailed
prior to the exam. If you provide an e-mail address, it will
be sent via e-mail. Please note that USCRA does not provide confirmation
for seminars, only for exam registration.
if I need to cancel my registration?
you need to cancel for any reason, you must contact the Chief Examiner
prior to the exam. A voucher will be issued to you deferring any exam fees
paid to a future exam date, not to exceed two years. There is a $25 processing
fee per test. You are required to pay the difference in exam fees, if any.
many errors are allowed on the exam?
accuracy is required; thus, 38 errors are allowed.
I receive a numerical score with my results?
Results are pass/fail only.
is a test verification and how much does it cost?
requesting a test verification, you receive a copy of your test to see
your numerical score and the types of errors you made. All text is blacked
out but for the errors. You have 30 days following notification of results
to request verification, and the fee is $35.
should I bring to the exam site?
A. Your confirmation letter, a picture ID, your writer, computer, realtime software, the cable that connects your writer to your computer, and a disk/thumb drive/CD on which you will submit your PDF file. Extra power strips are also helpful.
I required to use a disk or paper in my writer for the exam?
A. No. If you have the ability to write
diskless and/or paperless, you may
is the exam administered?
A. After showing a picture ID and being handed a numbered test envelope, you are given about 30 minutes for setup and practice. The proctor then gives step-by-step instructions for closing practice files, labeling the media used to turn in the exam, as well as opening and labeling the test file. The exam CD is then played, consisting of a 1-minute warm-up followed by a brief pause, then Test 1 followed by a brief pause, then another 1-minute warm-up followed by a brief pause, and finally Test 2. Because the warm-ups and tests are played continuously, the pauses are not long enough to allow you to open a new file and/or job dictionary. Thus, you will need to create just one job dictionary for use during the exam, even if you are taking both tests. At the end of Test 2, you will be instructed to step away from your equipment. A monitor will come to you and ask you to create a PDF of the test file and save it to your disk/thumb drive/CD, ask if you would like to verify that it is saved there, and instruct you to delete all test files from your computer and either reformat your steno disk and/or erase your writer's memory. After placing your PDF and paper notes, if any, in the test envelope and handing it to your monitor, you are free to leave.
anyone allowed to help me during the exam?
A. No. The exam is designed to simulate the work environment, so you are not allowed to seek assistance with either setup or the creation of your PDF file. You may, however, utilize a cheat sheet with step-by-step instructions.
I use a cheat sheet for briefs or special terms?
NCRA award continuing education units for the FCRR exam?
there practice tapes I can purchase?
A. Yes. Each volume of the
FCRR Practice Series consist of one cassette or CD containing
previously administered FCRR exams. Cost for each
cassette or CD is $25 for one and $40 for two
and can be ordered here: Practice Materials
can I contact for more information about the FCRR exam?
A. The Realtime Issues Committee at