Perhaps you have seen in magazines self-interest quizzes that rate your ability to do certain things. Some of them are meant for pure entertainmcnt, but some of them can help determine whether you may have an interest in a particular field. On the next few pages, you will have an opportunity to take such a quiz. Approach it with an open mind. with the idea that it may help you decide whether to enter the court reporting field. However, do not let it be your sole determining factor. If you have doubts or questions, talk to a court reporter and get answers.

What Are the Positives and the Negatives?

A series of statements that relate to court reporting are listed below. Rate each statement as a positive or negative statement. If a statement bothers you in any way or if you have difficulty with a statement, consider it a negative (-). If you have no problem with the statement or if it does not bother you in any way, consider it a positive (+). Circle the + or – after each statement. Directions for scoring your quiz appear at the end.Circle the first response that comes to your mind. Try to be as honest as you can in responding.

Put a + or – next to each of the following statements:

01. Court reporting is a challenging career that will require a great deal of dedication on my part.

02. I will probably have to set some priorities if I want to learn court reporting.

03. Court reporting is more than the skill of recording what is being said. It requires learning other academic subjects such as English, medical and legal terminology, and court procedures.

04. In order to become a competent court reporter, I will probably have to practice at least three hours a day for the next two years.

05. In order to learn how to become a court reporter, I may have to put some other plans on hold at this particular time.

06. When I become a court reporter, I probably will work for a freelance agency.

07. When I become a court reporter, I probably will work in a courtroom.

08. Court reporting requires a great deal of accuracy and concentration.

09. Court reporters sometimes work under a great deal of pressure and stress.

10. In order to complete a particular job, I may have to work beyond my normal working hours.

11. As a freelance reporter, I may be required to keep an account of all my expenses and pay self-employment taxes on my income.

12. As a court reporter, I am going to be responsible for producing an accurate transcript of whatever I record.

13. I will be responsible for making sure that the transcript is delivered on time.

14. I will be responsible for the accuracy of the entire record.

15. Occasionally, I will have to ask a witness to speak up or ask a lawyer to repeat what was said.

16. Some of the testimony that I will be required to record may be very graphic in nature.

17. Some testimony may be very emotional.

18. Some cases may involve murder, rape, incest, child abuse, spouse abuse, abandonment, pornography, prostitution, drug trafticking, and drug overdose.

19. Once I become a court reporter, I will have to keep up-to-date with the changing technology.

20. I will benefit from joining a court reporting organization that offers seminars and workshops.

21. Court reporters earn a high income, but they work hard for it.

22. The amount of money I earn will depend on my ability and experience.

23. Beginning reporters usually start at the bottom of the income ladder and climb up after years of gaining experience.

24. Only about one-third of those who study court reporting complete a program of study.

25. Although learning to become a court reporter may require a great deal of time, energy, and money, the effort will be worth it in the long run.

Now, count the number of + and – and enter here and use the following chart to rate your interest in court reporting.

If you had over 20 positives. . . . . . . . . . You are very interested in court reporting.
15-19 positives. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . You are somewhat interested in court reporting.
8-14 positives. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . You have a little interest in court reporting.
0-7 positives. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . You have very little interest in court reporting.

Should You Become a Reporter?

Do you think you should go into reporting? Only you can answer that question. If you are even slightly interested, I would implore you to investigate, ask questions, read books, conduct interviews, learn anything and everything you can about the field, and then make your decision after thoroughly talking it over with those closest to you.

To help you decide, you might consider the following questions. Respond to each question with either a Yes or No.

01. Do you have a high school diploma or equivalency? Yes No

02. Do you have a college degree or any credit earned for attending college? Yes No

03. Are you able to spend at least three hours a day practicing and studying without interruption? Yes No

04. Can you keyboard, using the standard touch system, at the rate of 40-50 words a minute? Yes No

05. Are you able to punctuate simple and complex sentences by using commas, semicolons, periods, question marks, quotation marks, etc.? Yes No

06. Do you have a good basic vocabulary? Yes No

07. Do you understand most words you hear or read? Yes No

08. Can you memorize simple definitions fairly well? Yes No

09. Do you take pride in your work? Yes No

10. Can you follow basic instructions? Yes No

11. Can you follow complex instructions, if you are allowed to ask questions? Yes No

12. Can you take criticism? Yes No

13. If someone said you did something wrong, would you try to find out what you did wrong and correct it? Yes No

14. Do you have a basic grasp of computers and their operating systems? Yes No

15. Are you willing to learn? Yes No

16. Do you speak a foreign language? Yes No

17. Do you play a musical instrument? Yes No

18. Are you curious and inquisitive? Yes No

19. Are you patient? Yes No

20. Are you consistent? Yes No

21. Can you afford the schooling and other expenses of learning to become a court reporter at this time in your life? Yes No

22. Can you spend the time required to become a court reporter? Yes No

23. Do you have an active imagination? Yes No

24. Are you persistent? Yes No

25. Can you see yourself as a courtroom reporter in the future? Yes No


Now, count the total number of Yes and No responses and use the chart below to help determine whether you should become a court reporter.

Yes Responses:
21-25 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . You should begin studying immediately.
11-20 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . You should begin as soon as possible.
6-10 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . You should begin when you feel you’re read.
0-5 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . You might reconsider your career goals.

Will You Succeed?

Will you succeed at becoming a court reporter? Many variables go into answering that question-your motivation, drive, enthusiasm, personal circumstances, and a myriad of other considerations. Only you can determine whether you will succeed.

For fun, let’s use your scores in the previous quizzes and apply them to an arbitrary “success scale.” Use the following formula to determine your success score and then apply it to the success scale.

For every positive and yes response, give yourself 2 points
For every negative and no response, give yourself 1 point


Number of positive/yes responses = ________ X 2 = _________
Number of negative/no responses = ________ X 1 = _________


Subtract your negative/no score from your positive/yes score to obtain your success score:


Your Success Probability

you’re court reporter material

exceedingly successful

very successful

somewhat successful

sort of successful

maybe successful

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Copyright © 2007 TextStream Institute of Court Reporting