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How Fast Can a Court Reporter Type? October 8, 2019

Downtown Honolulu, Honolulu
How Fast Can a Court Reporter Type?, Honolulu, Hawaii

With the ability to accurately transcribe upwards of 200 words per minute (wpm), the skills of court reporters are impressive. The position requires incredible listening and typing expertise as well as specialty tools. Here's a closer look at how these professionals can complete their job efficiently.

How Do Court Reporters Type Fast?

Instead of utilizing a traditional QWERTY keyboard, court reporters use a stenograph machine. The equipment utilizes only 22 keys, and each one represents phonetic sounds, not letters. This process requires reporters to ignore context and standard spelling, and instead, type using specific sound combinations to create words. By transcribing phonetically, court stenographers and reporters can type less while covering more material, saving time and increasing accuracy.

What’s Involved in Their Training?

court reportersProfessionals in Hawaii must obtain a National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) license and be accepted by the Hawaii Board of Certified Shorthand Reporters. For the former, individuals must take the two-part Registered Professionals Reporter (RPR) exam. The first part of the certification process is a multiple-choice test focused on industry best practices and the ability to utilize the necessary technology.

Part two of the RPR exam focuses on skills. Broken into four parts, the practical exam tests the individual’s speed and accuracy. Testers must type 180 wpm in the literary section, 225 wpm in a testimony question and answer, and 200 wpm for jury charges. They’re also required to transcribe the accompanying notes for the three main sections within 75 minutes and at 95% accuracy.

Once receiving their NCRA certification, the reporter applies to the Board of Certified Shorthand Reporters. This certification process involves passing a written test that proves their knowledge of Hawaii, including language, geography, and history. After entering the court reporting industry, individuals are required to renew their license annually and take continuing education courses.


If your law firm needs court reporters or transcription services, turn to the trained team at Ralph Rosenberg-Court Reporters in Honolulu, HI. These professionals provide services across the Hawaiian Islands, and the firm offers convenient conference rooms statewide. Learn more about their services online, and request assistance by calling (808) 524-2090.

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