Online Skills Testing - FAQs, Requirements, and Policies

Online Testing FAQs



What is online skills testing?
Online skills testing provides a platform for candidates to test for the RSR, RPR, RMR, CRR, and CRC Skills Tests using the advanced technologies of Realtime Coach and ProctorU/Record+. Candidates test in the convenience of their home, office, or other secure location. Tests are administered via the Realtime Coach platform and candidates are in the driver’s seat launching their own testing session which is captured for review by proctors and NCRA staff.
What type of location/environment do I need?

You need a quiet location and internet access that meets the mandatory technical requirements. Place a sign on the door/entrance stating you are taking a test and cannot be disturbed. If possible, position your desk so the door is behind you and visible from your camera, and all windows should be in front of you.

For security reasons, do not speak during the exam or your testing session may be flagged, and an incident report will be sent to and reviewed by NCRA Staff. Pick a secure and quiet testing environment and remove anything that could make noise or otherwise be a distraction, such as animals. Read through the candidate instructions to ensure you meet the required criteria. For example, your desk should be cleared and have only one monitor and keyboard or a laptop. If your exam is interrupted for any reason beyond ProctorU/Record+ or Realtime Coach’s control, you will be responsible for re-registering to take another exam during a future testing period at your expense.

Other suggestions to consider: If you are sharing an internet connection with other members of your household, ask them to disconnect from all video games or streaming prior to your scheduled testing appointment. 

How is my testing session proctored?

NCRA partnered with ProctorU/Record+ to provide online testing in the comfort of your home, office, or other secured location of choice. You will be in the driver’s seat for your testing appointment. You will follow the online testing instructions and launch your exam through Record+, completing self-authentication by following the steps (with a current government issued photo I.D.) and launching your own exam when you are ready to begin. Your entire testing session is captured for review by a proctor and if necessary flagged for additional review by NCRA Staff. Proctors reviewing your session will be reviewing the NCRA-provided testing guidelines to ensure compliance.

Should you violate any NCRA testing rules, such as removing your headphones, moving the camera, speaking during the exam, leaving the room, or moving outside the camera’s range, the reviewing proctor is required to submit an incident report. All incident reports are reviewed by NCRA Staff and could result in an automatic failure if NCRA testing rules were violated.

What is NCRA's testing policy?

All online testing candidates are required to sign the following disclaimer prior to test taking.

I acknowledge I am aware of the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) policy concerning testing honesty and integrity. Failure to follow any NCRA Testing procedures may result in my automatic failure and being barred from taking NCRA-administered tests for a minimum of three testing cycles or permanently depending on the nature of the violation. NCRA members may also be suspended or expelled from the Association. I understand that the test is the exclusive property of the National Court Reporters Association. Copyright law protects the NCRA Tests. No part of these tests may be copied or reproduced in part or whole by any means whatsoever, including memorization, unless previously authorized by NCRA.

I further attest that the skills exam I am submitting is solely my own and was developed stenographically during the exam. I have used no notes, materials, or other aids other than those provided by NCRA. I further attest that, to the best of my knowledge, I have not retained a copy (either audio, text or stenographically) of the skills exam. Further, if I discover at any time that I have accidentally retained said copy, I will immediately delete it (any and all formats),and notify NCRA promptly of the discovery. I further attest that I will not share any copies of this skills test with others, nor will I share its content (terminology or topic), either privately or on a public forum. The theft or attempted theft of an NCRA test is punishable as a crime.

How are the tests graded?

At the end of your test, you will copy and paste your transcript to generate a preliminary score. Tests are graded against NCRA’s Test Advisory Committee (TAC) approved master transcript for each test. All preliminary test scores 92 percent or above are reviewed by NCRA qualified graders. Test scores less than 92 percent are final grades. You will receive an email from NCRA with your official score within ten to fifteen business days of completing your test.

NOTE: For more information on how tests are graded, visit our What is an Error? guides for:

Where do I locate NCRA testing forms?

All forms are found under Testing Forms.

How do I request special accommodations for testing?

Should you require special accommodations for testing, please notify NCRA at immediately upon registration. Please attach medical documentation and specify the desired accommodations.

NOTE: Special accommodation requests require significant additional planning and must be submitted upon registration for a test at least two (2) weeks prior to your desired testing appointment for adequate time to secure your accommodation.



Scheduling and registration

What is block scheduling?
Block scheduling is used to simplify the registration and testing process, making it more efficient for our members. Candidates may register for a single attempt for each eligible Skills Test during the open registration period to test during the subsequent testing period.
What is the schedule for registering and testing?
Skills Tests are valid only during the testing period you register for and expire at the end of the testing period (20th) if not taken or canceled. (i.e., register August 1-20 for RPR to test September 1-20 for RPR. August registration is for September testing only and will expire September 21 if tests have not been completed or canceled.)
Can I register for more than one test at a time?
No. Only one testing period is open at a time during each registration. Testing is the 1st through the 20th of the month following each registration period. (i.e., register August 1-20 and test September 1-20).
Can I register for future test months in any registration period?
No. Only one testing period is open at a time during each registration. Testing is the 1st through the 20th of the month following each registration period. (i.e., register August 1-20 and test September 1-20).
How do I register?

Visit Online Skills Test Registration to register during an open registration period. After registration, please allow three (3) business days to receive an NCRA email confirmation with instructions on scheduling your tests. If you do not receive an email confirmation within three (3) business days please contact You must take your tests within the valid testing period for which you registered. NCRA tests are not deferrable; therefore, you cannot take the test in a different testing period from which you registered.

CRITICAL NOTE: NCRA is not responsible for incorrect test registrations. If you register for the wrong test during the registration period you must submit a cancellation form prior to the end of the testing period to request a refund. A $35 processing fee will be assessed for each test you cancel. You must then reregister and pay for the correct test during the next open registration period.

How do I take my test after I register?
Candidates will receive a confirmation email within three (3) business days of registration. If you do not receive an email confirmation within three (3) business days please contact Candidates will then be able to take their test on-demand any time during their 1-20 registered testing period up until 11:59 p.m. Eastern on the 20th of their testing period. Official results will be emailed within ten to fifteen business days of completion of your test.
Can I take my test any evening or weekend during the testing period?

NCRA Skills Tests can be taken any day and time that is convenient for you within the valid testing period you registered for up until 11:59 p.m. Eastern on the 20th of the testing period for which you are registered

NOTE: NCRA staff is not available after hours, on weekends, or on any Federal holidays. NCRA office and Member Service hours are Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Eastern.

Do I have to test during the subsequent testing window following my registration window?
Yes. Tests not taken during the testing period immediately following the registration period will expire unless canceled before the testing period ends on the 20th of the testing month. If you are unable to test within the testing period for which you registered you MUST return a cancellation form to by the end of the testing period.
Can I extend my test registration from one testing period to the next?
No. Tests are not deferrable. Tests must be taken during the testing period immediately following registration (i.e., if you register in June, you must test during the July 1-20 testing period; tests will expire on July 21). There are NO extensions.
Can I cancel a test?

Yes. Candidates needing to cancel an Online Skills Test must cancel by the end of the testing period based on the test registration(s) being canceled. A signed SKT Cancellation Form  must be sent to All refunds processed by NCRA fee will be credited back to the original form of payment used at registration. There is a $35 processing fee for each test canceled.




Can I practice the online testing procedure before taking the real test?

Yes. Candidates are eligible to take six exam preview tests every calendar year. These exam preview tests allow the candidate to test their equipment and familiarize themselves with the testing process. They are NOT for speedbuilding practice. Speedbuilding material is available in NCRA’s Learning Center. You can also access practice material through Realtime Coach at Use the login information provided in your online skills testing confirmation email. 

NOTE: If you accidentally click on the real test, you will receive a warning indicating it is the real test; not the practice.

Can I use my current Realtime Coach account to test?

Use the login information provided in your online skills testing confirmation email. If you do not use the login information provided in your confirmation email for your online skills test, you will not have access to your test.




What equipment/technical requirements do I need?
What equipment is not supported?

Currently, ProctorU does not support the following equipment or operating systems (OS):

  • Google Chromebooks
  • Tablets of any kind
  • Smartphones
  • Linux OS
  • Windows 10 in S mode
  • Microsoft Surface RT
  • Any programs/OS no longer supported by the manufacturer will not be supported for testing (i.e., Windows 7 is no longer supported by Microsoft; therefore, it is not supported for testing).

Only one monitor is permitted during testing. If you have additional monitors, you are required to unplug and remove them from the testing area or cover with a towel/blanket.

What are the standard testing procedures?

The above link contains detailed instructions on all three mandatory uploads that must be performed to complete your exam:

  1. Upload your notes file – 3 minutes
  2. Upload your transcript file (time varies based on exam)
    • Realtime Exams (CRR/CRC) – 5 minutes, no editing allowed
    • Transcript Exams (RSR/RPR/RMR) – 75 minutes
  3. Copy and paste your transcript into the transcript area –  2 minutes

CRITICAL NOTE: If you skip any of the three steps above, your exam will result in an automatic failure.

Candidates taking transcription tests (RSR, RPR, RMR) are authorized to print test documents, including paper notes, ONLY if all materials are shredded before closing the exam window.

Candidates taking realtime tests (CRR, CRC) are not authorized to print any materials as the transcript cannot be edited before it is submitted.

Realtime Coach offers videos on testing in their system: Realtime Coach Tips & Tutorials.

Software and Writer Setting Information

Software and Writer Setting Information


You MUST know how to do the following processes prior to testing:

  • How to place your writer in test mode
  • Temporarily disable any Cloud automatic backup or storage features within your CAT software
  • How to connect your writer to your CAT software (for realtime) or how to read your steno notes into your CAT software (non-realtime)
  • Where to locate your CAT files on your computer
  • How to distinguish the various parts of the CAT file from one another, such as note file vs. transcript file
  • How to edit a transcript in your CAT software (transcription tests: RSR, RPR, RMR)
  • How to mark and copy a chunk of text in your CAT software
    • This part may be new to you because you don’t necessarily do this on a regular basis. If that’s the case, refer to the CAT specific instructions above or contact your CAT software vendor for assistance.
    • If you are taking a realtime test (CRR, CRC) and choose to transcribe in ALL CAPS, this step includes knowing how to maintain capitalization when copying and pasting. In some CAT software, you must select a certain setting or accept conflicts prior to copying. Refer to the CAT specific instructions above or contact your CAT software vendor for assistance.

NCRA strongly recommends you take your first online test as early in the testing period (1st-20th) as possible. This provides more opportunity to resolve testing issues within the same testing period.

Are exam preview tests graded?
Candidates will not receive any official results after completing the exam preview tests. These exam preview tests allow the candidate to test their equipment and familiarize themselves with the testing process. 
What if I am unable to complete my test due to a poor internet connection?

The likelihood of this happening is slim. You are required to test your bandwidth before logging in to test. The recommendations set forth by ProctorU/Record+ and Realtime Coach — not using a wireless internet connection, shutting down all unnecessary programs running on your computer, using the required Guardian browser — will help you avoid this scenario.

If you are disconnected from the test site, follow the online skills test instructions and notify

NOTE: The testing platform timer WILL continue to count down while you are disconnected.

  • If you did not run out of time and are still not able to reopen the test, or if you have any issues uploading your files to the test site, stay connected to your testing session while you email with both your notes and transcript file attached. After sending the email and while still connected to your Record+ testing session, delete your test files, including the email in your sent folder, per NCRA testing policies. NCRA will review your test session to determine if your test is eligible for manual grading.

IMPORTANT: Your test will automatically be ineligible if:

  • You exceeded the time allotted (NOTE: The timer WILL continue to count down while you are disconnected).
  • You were not connected to your testing session with Record+ for the duration of the test (including deleting the files and email with them attached).
  • You did not attach both the notes and the transcript files to the email.




How can NCRA be sure that candidates will not share content?

NCRA testing information is strictly confidential. By registering to take an online test, candidates agree the subject and words of the test will not be disclosed to other candidates. Failure to adhere to the policy will result in being banned from future testing and termination of NCRA membership.

All ProctorU/Record+ testing appointments are recorded and reviewed by live proctors and NCRA Staff for any security or integrity violations. After authenticating their identity (with a current government issued photo I.D.), candidates must show their entire secured workspace by providing a 360-degree scan of the room, desk, and/or workspace.

ProctorU/Record+ uses multiple levels of recording and reporting. ProctorU/Record+ requires you to remove secondary monitors and disable unnecessary software.

Candidates are required to acknowledge they are aware of NCRA’s policy concerning testing honesty and integrity. See for the full policy.

How will ProctorU/Record+ know the correct person is taking the test?

Candidates will self-authenticate (with a current government issued photo I.D.) following the instructions at the beginning of each testing session to establish the candidate’s identity.

Via a webcam, the candidate will show and capture their current government issued photo ID, and take their photo to keep on file. NOTE: If the webcam does not capture a full view of the candidate during the entire testing process, and after review, the test will be reviewed and evaluated to determine if there are integrity or security concerns and may be invalidated.