Cracking The Code To Testing And Passing Court Reporting Certifications

Cracking The Code To Testing And Passing Court Reporting Certifications, Part One

By Monette Benoit

Copyright 2008 by Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.

Cracking the code to tests and certifications is more than a metaphor.

Expanding our vision and our goals are part of our path as court reporters, the keeper of the record, historical conservator, and protector of spoken words.

If you are focused on changing your life, you are having internal conversations. As an experienced court reporter, tutor, coach and CART provider, I truly believe one can create and transform his or her goals.

For 20 years, I have been honored to assist students (to include home-study individuals), broadcast captioners and court reporters to earn their national, NCRA, and state certification tests.

My students have been my greatest teachers, my leaders. Your success is my goal.

I have authored a textbook, workbooks and a companion study guide to assist individuals to pass their NCRA and state court reporting certification exams the first time they register. We also assist students, captioners and court reporters to build and to expand their realtime and captioning dictionary with ‘CATapult Your Dictionary CDs’.

Thousands of students and court reporters have worked with CRR Books and CDs (Court Reporter Reference Books And CDs,

CRR Books And CDs has organized focused information on how to pass a NCRA, National Court Reporters Association, RPR, RMR, RDR, written knowledge examination – known as the ‘WKT’ since 1990.

States also have CSR, CCR certification examinations for court reporters. CRR Books And CDs has successfully assisted individuals there, too.

So you want to pass a test? My desire is to help you to shift your awareness.

If you want to pass a test in a court reporting program or a national certification test, ‘wanting’ is not enough. You need to prep with deliberate, focused intentions, conscious actions.

Recently, I received requests on how to prep from applicant test-takers for NCRA, California, Texas, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, New York, Florida, New Mexico, Colorado, Georgia, Maryland, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, and Arizona state examinations.

I desire to gift you with tips, information to focus your internal compass.

Thousands of students and reporters have accomplished huge goals – one step at a time, one step, one step – sometimes only in one tiny step – then there’s a wobble.

Now is the time to prepare your stimulus plan.

Now is the time to hone your conscious and unconscious thoughts and actions to crack the code to pass your test.

I firmly believe one-step-at-a-time awareness is where you find greatest progress. Even a step back is a step. This awareness is essential to your code, your internal compass.

Okay. So you registered to take a NCRA, National Court Reporters Association, or a state court reporting certification test? Or maybe not yet, but soon?

Are you enrolled in a court reporting school or home study program?

You now have an opportunity to stretch your boundaries. Stretching is good. Be gentle and remain focused on this goal, which is easier said than done – I know.

Many students and working court reporters can see and taste this lap while pedaling with an already busy schedule.

Below are tips to successfully crack your code — tips I coach to help many, many in your (busy) shoes. Part II will be added to assist you.

Nutrition Code Tips: Consciously focus on your blood sugar with smart eating, snacking. Vitamins are essential to preparing physical and mental compass charting of your code.

Carbohydrates create long-term energy while pasta and rice ensure your body functions at peak performance.

Proteins create short-term energy and if (when) you balance carbohydrates and proteins, you’re in athletic training. Hydrate ‘you’ (yourself) with water, perhaps green tea, Gatorade-type drinks. Sodas taste good, but many cause dehydration with additives and sugar. Stress contributes to depleting fluids. Avoid dehydrating your body; instead drink water and other helpful fluids.

Body, Toes, Fingertips Code Tips: Wear comfortable clothes, footwear. This awareness tip should be incorporated into your daily routine to prep for a court reporting (or any) test.

If you are taking a machine portion of any test, your fingertips (nails) must function at peak performance. Many students and reporters have manicures. I softly share that now is not the time to test a new length or style. What works best for you? Use that.

Radar Code Tips: As you move closer to your scheduled test, I want you to specifically notice your energy-awareness.

Code-cracking includes becoming aware that you may be more sensitive at work and school with family and yourself. Some call this “cranky,” but I prefer “sensitive.” This is normal. Once you are aware this energy is part of your preparation, you can acknowledge the awareness, and then let these test prep code tips work for you. I know you can learn a lot about yourself as you hone and fine-tune your radar, your sensitivity meter.

Inspiration Code Tips: Take time for you. Have you listened to a favorite CD? Is there a movie where you find inspiration? Have you laughed recently? When we focus on a long-term goal, I firmly believe it is the little moments (note it’s plural) in our world wherein we most effectively gain momentum toward our goal.

Common Sense Code Tips: Pack equipment – and you – before the test. Avoid gassing the car en route. Make sure there is no construction near the site. I coach that you should be packed by mid-afternoon the day before. This ensures reducing, “Dang, where did I put …?”

Oxygen Code Tips:
Stretch and breathe. When stressed, we sit with our shoulders hunched up and breathe shallowly. (Every time I proofed this sentence I noticed I was not breathing evenly.)

Consciously focus on a steady rhythm of evenly breathing in and breathing out to maximize your body’s ability to work for you.

Focus on regulating your breath. If your voice is higher than normal, you are shallow breathing. Become aware of your breath. Your body will respond with a good-sized release of stressed energy. Tip: The more oxygen your brain receives, the better you function.

Nest Code Tips: Ah, sleep. Focus on your nesting routine. The final two nights before the test, I suggest taking a warm bath or shower, curling up with a human, pet, or book, and being quiet. In your quiet moments and quiet rituals, you will find great focus, comfort. This is how you recharge.

Toxic Decoding – Code Tips: Avoid high maintenance people – really. We all know people who have toxic moments. If someone has multiple toxic moments, focus on removing your energy (you). You want to be comforted and remain focused. When there are multiple pulls (drains) for your energy, your internal compass will recognize the problem. It does. Please remember you earned the right to this peaceful, focused prep toward your goal.

Realtime Focus Code Tips: The morning of your test, consciously monitor fluids. Caffeine takes you up in an energy burst; then drops you when the burst has bust.

I coach that each person should pack red grapes and a packet of non-salted pretzels and nuts. There is an amazing abundance of energy in red grapes and snacks. (The last time I went to the movies my mother whispered, “Want some?” I tilted my head, looked to her hand in my ribs. She held a small bag of red grapes and two paper towels. Mom, “They are so good, and quiet, too.” I softly groaned and looked to where my dad sat. He shrugged, slowly shaking his head as my mother handed me red grapes in a paper towel. Mom added, “And I washed them.”) Red grapes are portable and good for you – at the movies or within a test site. Yes, I know food is not allowed. But you can snack at appropriate times. You can.

Entrance Code Tips: When you enter your testing site, consciously arrive with your shoulders back and chin up. If this is a return walk, focus on the now. If this is your virgin stroll, a click of your fingers or a sacred moment in prayer may serve you to focus. Now is where you need to be.

People Red-Alert Code Tips: Avoid huddled groups and agitated chatting. Specifically avoid anyone who asks: “What does this mean?” “How do you write…?” “How many times did it take you to …?” Now is your time. You need to consciously remain focused on your code, your test prep awareness.

Understanding Code Awareness: When you consciously perform at your peak and focus on your success, with step-by-step awareness, you can achieve greater results with less effort – with less stress, resulting in greater success. You will. Your internal compass will guide you. It will.

This month I shared tips to add for deliberate, conscious thoughts and actions. Next month, I share tips on what to eliminate with part two of Cracking The Code To Testing and Court Reporting Certifications.


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Monette, named the Court Reporting Whisperer by students, may be reached: and

Monette Benoit, B. B.A., CCR, CRI, CPE, Paralegal
Realtime Court Reporter, CART Captioner, Instructor, Columnist, Career Coach, Tutor
Multiple-Title Author of Books & Test Prep for the Court Reporting and CART Captioning Industry

** Purple Books: ** Blog: Monette’s Musings,

Purple Books “Done in One” has a 98% successful pass rate on NCRA and State exams with Purple Books Complete Set (4 books) or Purple Books Trio Set (3 books) as evidenced by thousands of court reporting students and professionals who pass their RPR, CSR, and RDR exams on the first test. Testimonials from students, instructors, program directors, CART Captioners, novice and senior court reporters:

Purple Books are pedagogically sound, covering a wealth of material with facts, tips, and comprehensive information. Since 1990, Purple Books are time-tested and proven in the classroom with educators and with independent study.

Revised, Updated Purple Books Complete NCRA RPR, RDR, and CSR Prep Textbook has testing tips, and sections covering legal, Latin, court, English -multiple grammar, vocabulary sections, medical, computer technology, NCRA COPE Ethics, and review. *Learn the foundation of material.

Purple Books Workbook contains **2,002 practice questions. Purple Books Companion Guide cross-references every word in the workbook’s 2,002 multiple-choice questions -explaining why words are correct, incorrect, and may be used as distracting answers. *Reinforce your knowledge and expand your skills to pass the first time.

Monette will help you to pass your test and to exceed schooling and career goals. No two are alike. Specific custom-designed guidance efficiently assists you!

Tutoring and career coaching topics include: Motivational skills to keep you moving forward; Time-management; Process learning for more effective retention.

Who comes to Monette for tutoring and career coaching?
• Professionals who want to achieve their goals, advance their career, author their book, and to develop the dream within,
• Veteran and novice court reporters, CART (Communication Access Real-Time Translation) providers, and broadcast captioners brushing up on their skills for test-taking requirements,
• In-class students who feel they’re “stuck” and falling behind, or aren’t ready for the required tests,
• Students and veterans who struggle with focus, goal-setting, time-management or other life skills that might be interfering in their upward success,
• At-home students who want to ensure they’re on track for their exams and for their career goals,
• Veteran court reporters, CART Captioners expanding their career options in related fields,
• Students and veterans alike who find they’re struggling with key areas of daily practice.

Check out: Reach Your Goals with Tutoring and Career Coaching

About Monette Benoit:
As a 25+ year court reporter, CART Captioner, author of NCRA test-prep material, and an instructor, public speaker, Monette Benoit has taught multiple theories, academics, all speed classes, and the 225 homeroom within NCRA-approved schools and a community college. She understands the challenges.

Monette Benoit has worked with thousands of professionals, court reporters, CART Captioners, students, and instructors.

She has also helped to create new court reporting training programs, worked with federal grants, and assisted instructors in developing curriculum for both in-class and at-home students.

Her one-on-one tutoring, private coaching, has greatly assisted thousands of students, novice and experienced professionals to privately reach the next level.

Monette’s Musings is a blog containing information for busy professionals, students, and individuals who seek to reach higher. Reach up. Bring it. * Bring it today!

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