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Certified Verbatim Reporter (CVR), Certificate of Merit (CM), and Real-Time Verbatim Reporter (RVR) Exams

If you want to be respected in the world of court reporting, a good way to jump start your reputation is to get certified. The National Verbatim Reporters Association (NVRA) offers two of the most well-respected certifications in the field of court reporting. First, they have the Certified Verbatim Reporter (CVR). If you achieve this certification, employers know that you are qualified for the stenographer job. However, the NVRA also has the Certificate of Merit (CM). The CM can only be obtained after someone has already achieved a CVR (or the equivalent RPR) certification. The CM is a kind of higher level certification that requires you to do basically the same things as the CVR only the transcriptions must be quicker and more accurate. The CVR can be obtained after someone has completed and passed the CVR Workshop, the CVR Skills Test, and the Written Knowledge Test. The CM is attained after someone has completed the CM Skills Test and the Written Knowledge Test.

            Assuming the test taker is a member of the National Verbatim Reporters Association, the fee for the CVR Workshop is $125. The CVR Workshop is a wonderful tool because it removes the guess work from the test. For many other exams, like the SAT for example, companies that are not the test givers compile study guides, but cannot be sure if what they are teaching will help the student because they do not know what will be on this year’s test. The NVRA removes the middle man, and creates a workshop themselves, thus giving you all the information they know you will need to pass the test. The NVRA CVR-CM Certification Testing Rules, Policies, and Procedures Manual says their workshops focus on things like “proper dictation techniques, transcription, breathing and volume, readback situations, equipment, court reporting procedures, and ethical practices.” At the end of the CVR Workshop there is an optional practice test session available. Though it may be painful to sit through a standardized test, it is helpful that they give you the opportunity to see exactly what the testing environment will be like. The NVRA is not one to surprise their test takers.

            The next thing the aspiring CVRs, and the first thing aspiring CMs have to worry about are the Skills Tests. Assuming the test taker is a member of the NVRA, the fee for the Skills Test is $150. There is a CVR Dictation Skills Test and a separate CM Dictation Skills Test. Both Skills Tests are broken up into three sections: literary, jury charge, and two-voice question and answer. The CVR Skills Test requires 95% accuracy when transcribing the three five-minute test dictations that include a 200 word-per-minute literary, a 225 word-per-minute jury charge, and a 250 word-per-minute two-voice question and answer. The CM Skills Test is a bit harder and requires 97% accuracy when transcribing three five-minute test dictations that include a 225 word-per-minute literary, a 250 word-per-minute jury charge, and a 300 word-per-minute two-voice question and answer.

            The last thing one must worry about is the Written Knowledge Test. This test consists of about 100 multiple-choice questions that quiz the test taker in three categories. According to the The NVRA CVR-CM Certification Testing Rules, Policies, and Procedures Manual the breakdown of the test is something like this: verbatim record questions taking up about 45% of the test questions, transcript production questions taking up another 45%, and professional responsibilities rolling in at about 10% of the questions. Assuming the test taker is a member of the NVRA, the fee for the Written Knowledge Test is $125. The good news about all this, is that you will probably have a good handle on the content of the exam, as you have already been briefed on it in the CVR Workshop. If one is going for the CVR certification this test must be passed with a 70%. If, however, you are going for your CM this test must be passed with at least a 90%.

            So, there you have it, the in’s and out’s of two of the most respected certification processes the National Verbatim Reporters Association has to offer. So, jump start your future and register!

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