A Recap Of The Nevada Court Reporting Firm Examination

What I great day I had yesterday (photos posted below).  I took the Nevada Court Reporting Firm Examination administered within the offices of the State of Nevada Certified Court Reporters Board.  I feel very positive about my chances of having passed the test despite some minor annoyances that I will get into in a moment. 

My Las Vegas Itinerary:
4:15 a.m. - Alarm goes off
4:16 a.m. - Alarm keeps going off
4:20 a.m. - Shower, shave, get dressed
4:40 a.m. - Quick breakfast of Quaker Oatmeal Squares
4:45 a.m. - Drive to airport
5:15 a.m. - Arrive at airport
5:20 a.m. - Strip search
6:10 a.m. - Departure
7:10 a.m. - Arrival in Las Vegas
7:30 a.m. - Get rental car (a very masculine Chevy Cobalt)
8:00 a.m. - Head to Nevada CCRB
8:30 a.m. - Arrive at Nevada CCRB, realize I'm 2.5 hours too early
8:35 a.m. - Kill some time at Marie Calendars down the street
9:00 a.m. - Kill more time
9:30 a.m. - Bored killing time
10:00 a.m. - Decide to head back to the Nevada CCRB to see if they will administer the test early
10:10 a.m. - Debbie Uehara, Executive Secretary, is flexible and allows me to take the test early
10:13 a.m. - Begin taking Court Reporting Firm Examination
11:43 a.m. - End exam
12:00 noon - Relieved I'm done with the exam, head to the Las Vegas strip
12:30 p.m. - Get sidetracked on the wrong freeway, end up heading towards Reno accidentally... Reno Whoooo!
12:35 p.m. - Turn car around, head to the Las Vegas strip
1:00 p.m. - Get sidetracked on Freemont Street, take some pictures
1:30 p.m. - I realize I don't have nearly as much time to play as I had thought, sadly; head to airport  :(
2:00 p.m. - Rental car return - $70.00 bucks, what a deal
2:30 p.m. - Shuttle to airport
2:35 p.m. - Security lines are hideous
3:00 p.m. - Strip search
3:05 p.m. - Have a Subway sandwich, take nap on the airport lobby floor
4:05 p.m. - Departure Part 1 (plane delayed)
4:30 p.m. - Departure Part 2 (finally in the air)
5:30 p.m. - Arrival, head home
My Opinion of The Nevada Court Reporting Firm Exam
Overall, I feel that the Exam was fair and tested what it should have tested.  The study materials referenced by the Board (http://crptr.state.nv.us/forms/FirmForms/Firm_Examination_Guidelines.pdf) were an accurate guide as to the content of the exam.  As I posted earlier on my blog Nevada Court Reporting Firm Exam, the Nevada Revised Statues, Codes, Civil Procedures, Opinions, et cetera, were all relevant.  My test-taking experience definitely benefited from my time spent studying those sources.  Mostly, of course, I hope my test-passing experience benefits as well.  The results take approximately seven days, so I'm pleased that the wait is not too bad.
Just Say No To Notary?
However, one of the references listed -- The State of Nevada Notary Handbook -- purportedly available for sale for $35.00, was never available to me.  Further, Debbie Uehara told me yesterday that court reporters in Nevada no longer need to be notaries.  While I was relieved to hear that, I wish their website could have been more up-to-date and saved me the trouble of studying something that wasn't going to be on the test.  However, despite Debbie's information, there was indeed a question about notaries on the exam.  Hopefully, I chose the correct answer.  Still, I wish there was more congruity on this particular topic.
Double Negatives Make A Positive?
My biggest pet peeve about the exam was that some of the questions were asked in the negative.  For example, in my case, the very first question was something structured like the following:

    When such and such situation is NOT the case, what should the court reporter NOT do?
Now I may be a bit of an EPS -- Exam Preparer Snob -- based on my experiences helping to put together the California Court Reporters Exam - My Trip To The Board - Court Reporter In Sacramento and 2nd Trip To The CRB - HOWEVER - even at face value, the above question is confusing.  From my CRB exam item writing workshops, I've learned that one of the biggest no-nos is to ask something in the negative.  A better way to ask the material would be to structure the question as follows:
    When such and such situation IS the case, what should the court reporter DO?
Fortunately, not all of the exam items were constructed so poorly.  To fix a question with that kind of problem wouldn't take someone too long, I think.  Just rephrase it in the positive. 
In conclusion, I think the test was fair overall and I can't wait for my results.  Wish me luck, Everyone!
 My 65-mile-per-hour view of the Luxor Hotel

Long lines in Vegas airport!

And finally, what trip to Las Vegas is complete without a photo under the Cowboy sign on Freemont Street?

Notice my Steno T-shirt? Buy one!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Todd Olivas

Todd Olivas is a court reporter and entrepreneur.
He founded TO&A in 2003.

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