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Realtime Systems Administrator

Realtime Systems Administrator Practical Exam

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In order to take the Realtime Systems Administrator practical exam, candidates must have attended the Realtime Systems Administrator Workshop within two years prior to their exam date. The Realtime Systems Administrator Workshop is held at the Annual Convention. 

Candidates must bring their own CAT system to take the practical exam.  The exam will include the following elements: 

  • Reporters bring their laptops and machines and must connect to attorneys’ computers and ensure effective realtime stream.
  • Test candidates will troubleshoot issues on attorneys’ computers that need to be fixed.
  • Test candidates are given 20 minutes to complete the exam - hooking up and sending a realtime feed simultaneously to two computers successfully, which are preloaded with two different Realtime Viewers (LiveNote and Summation).
  • Test candidates are encouraged to arrive earlier than their time slot to boot their computer and set up their writer prior to entering the individual exam areas. (Tables with power strips will be provided for booting and setting up.)
  • Test candidates are given 20 minutes to complete the exam - hooking up and sending a realtime feed simultaneously to two Windows 8 computers successfully, which are preloaded with three different Realtime Viewers.
  • The timer is started within two minutes of the candidate’s entry into the exam room. These two minutes may be used by the test candidate to ready their equipment and visually assess the testing environment.
  • The examiner/proctor will start the timer and will indicate to the test candidate when there are ten and five minutes remaining for the exam.
  • Multi-Line Block with appropriate cables and adapters are provided.
  • A StenoCast EZ Send device and three receivers are provided. (The candidate may preload drivers for the EZ Send)
  • Two USB-to-Serial adapters are provided.
  • CD and thumb drive with necessary drivers are provided.
  • Test candidates may choose either the cabling method or the Bluetooth method to send the realtime feed to the receive laptops.
  • Test candidates must provide the cable, Bluetooth or wireless feed from the writer to the CAT computer.
  • Test candidates must provide the USB-to-Serial adapter from CAT computer, if needed, to connect to the Multi-Line Block provided.
  • If choosing the StenoCast Bluetooth option for hooking up, the EZ Send device is provided for output from your computer.
  • A test candidate will pass the exam if he/she successfully delivers a realtime feed simultaneously to the two receive computers.  If the test candidate has not successfully hooked up one or both of the computers to realtime, the candidate does not pass. In this situation, the examiner/proctor will provide feedback as to why the test candidate failed to troubleshoot successfully.
  • In order to allow for feedback to the test candidate, the examiner/proctor(s) will be closely observing your troubleshooting process.  This may include standing nearby or looking over your shoulder.

In summary, if you are going to connect via wires, you will be required to bring all equipment necessary to send your realtime feed to the Multi-Line Block (Steno machine and cables, CAT computer, and your own USB-to-Serial adapter to output to the Multi-Line Block). If you choose the StenoCast option, NCRA will be providing all of the StenoCast equipment, including the EZ Send and the receivers and the driver. On one laptop you will have to connect to LiveNote for your feed and on the other laptop you will be allowed to connect to either Bridge (serial) or CaseViewNet (serial) as one of your feeds.



In order to ensure your success in sitting for the practical exam, it is recommended that you should practice working with realtime before sitting for the exam.  Only those who already have familiarity with realtime connectivity should attempt to sit for the practical exam immediately following a workshop.

Please note that due to the nature of this exam, attendance is very limited. Registration is first-come, first-served.

Retesting Policy

Candidates are not permitted to retest/sit for the same certification or certificate exam during a given test administration period.  This includes, but is not limited to, the following programs: RPR, RMR, RDR, CRR, CBC, CCP, CLVS, Realtime Systems Administrator, Trial Presentation Professional. 
Unless the retest is required due to an NCRA technical malfunction or other extenuating circumstances deemed appropriate by the Council of the Academy of Professional Reporters, candidates must wait until the next test administration to retest, and all expenses to retest (registration fee, travel expenses, etc.) will be covered by the candidate.