Hello everyone. I'm considering either the Self Study Court Reporting Program with theory written by Mark Kislingbury or the Court Reporting and Captioning At-Home program. I favor the latter a little more because captioning is taught with this program, whereas it's not with Mark Kislingbury's program. However, Mark offers A LOT of teaching aids. Any thoughts would be kindly appreciated.

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Thank you Laurie for your response. This morning, I did call them (CRAH), and I spoke with "Ron," an on-staff court reporter, who was very nice and knowledgeable. He told me all about Linda Bland, and the fact that I'm in California, she'd definitely steer me the right direction in terms of what I need to know for the California court reporter requirements. I'll make my decision by the end of this week, but it's definitely leaning towards CRAH. Thanks again for your thoughts. Wishing you well with your studies! :)

What did you end up going with? Are you using CRAH, and how is it going? Let me know what you think.

Christie, I am so impressed that you, as a California candidate, were able to make this discrimination when choosing a school. I am a California CSR and have always maintained that these are two different animals -- the CSR and the RPR. It's like training for two different sports. California schools are challenged to prepare their students for both. As a practical deciding factor, I have to believe that most of us would choose our state credential as our first-to-pass test.

I went to another school and transferred to Downey, which is very similar to the Cerritos program. Downey was a great program and a phenomenal deal.

I, too, have spoken with Linda Bland, and she really is wonderful. So much so that it was painful to write the above paragraphs. I have to admit, if I were striving to pass the RPR, I would highly recommend her program. She seems to care a great deal for the profession of court reporting.
Hello Tami. I too am a CSR and Nevada CCR. When I read your comment about the CSR and the RPR being "two different animals," it made me curious to know what your opinion is on preparation for the RPR skills test portion. Is there a different approach to preparing for the 2-V/Lit/JC than what one would do to pass the 4-V CSR test? I once read that one writer would drop sign changes, like answers, because they were easy to spot once the test was read back during typing and that it helped her with speed. I always found lits to be challenging, not very many phrases or briefs there. I do use briefs with JCs and 4-Vs, but how do you prepare for those lits? Or for the other two for that matter? Any advice? Sure would appreciate it. Thanks.
Mark K, Mark K, Mark K! If you have a chance to start with his theory, by all means, do yourself a favor and do it! The few students that did this have had great success.

As for captioning being taught as part of a program, I think if you can learn a theory's principles soundly and learn to write quickly, any approach will eventually lead you to the option of captioning.

The general approach for achieving realtime capability I have heard time and again is to simply achieve a lot of reserve speed on your machine. That is to say, being able to write a sloppy but editable top speed which is very, very fast will pretty well automatically give you the ability to also write realtime at a fast speed (so long as you have a sound knowledge of your starting theory's principles and briefs). Mark K says your realtime speed should naturally be 25-30wpm below such a top speed and is a captioner himself.

Whichever theory you start with, you are likely to incorporate bits and pieces from other theories along the way, but a lot of people will tell you their starting theory wasn't the most ideal. There's a reason Mark K. has the huge fan he has.

Also, one of the advisers to the brick-and-mortar school I attend taught himself to a theory all on his own way back when. While I would advise anybody with the option of being taught in a classroom setting to take the route over trying to learn things on your own at home, there are definitely people out there who succeed taking a different route. The self-taught adviser is a RMR, a CRR, and a California CSR and has been an official reporter for a long time.
I think I need to chime in here, as I am arguably the biggest Magnumsteno fan (Mark K.) out there.

I'm not for sure, but I believe the "Self Study Court Reporting Program with theory written by Mark Kislingbury" has little to no support, and the Court Reporting and Captioning At-Home program has Ms. Linda Bland, who I've never met, spoke to, etc., but I have always heard great things about her and her program.

The little I know about Linda's theory, I believe it is head and shoulders above Phoenix, Gonzalez-Walsh, etc.

If you think you can learn the Stenomaster theory with little support, I believe you should contact Mark K. directly at magnumsteno.com and purchase the books directly through him. I think you'd be saving yourself a whole lot of cash. (I remember hearing the "Self-Study" program being pretty expensive.)

I know a couple students on this site who have successfully learned the Stenomaster theory/Magnumsteno.com on their own. Since I personally taught the theory to my son, I know it's a challenge, and I find it remarkable that they were successful. I admire them so much.

If you think you could make it that route -- you'd have to be extremely disciplined -- my advice is to go that direction. After theory, if a brick and mortar is not in the equation -- I'm partial to public schools, by the way -- I'd suggest perhaps Simply Steno. You do need to know a theory before you can sign up with that program. (He might not even be taking new students right now.)

We all come from a different mold, and what works for one person doesn't come close to working for another. Personally I don't think I would have ever been successful learning theory and speed building on my own. I needed a classroom environment. I'm a competitor, and I loved the competition. The drive to get out of school first in my class did it for me. To someone else that wouldn't even be a fleeting thought.

Good luck on your decision, Tausha.
Thank you, Christie!

I look forward to meeting you in the future, Neighbor!!
I agree with Tami. If I had to do it over I'd learn Magnum Steno theory, then enroll in a public school for speedbuilding and academics, and practice a lot more than I did.

You can probably find a used machine on Ebay or on a message board and buy supplies from Mark K.

As far as captioning goes, I'm sure there are lots of fantastic captioners out there who went to school when they weren't even talking about captioning at school, so I wouldn't worry about that.
Definitely go with Mark's. Don't even consider anything else. Nothing can hold a candle to him.
Well, but I hope I made it clear that I believe "Mark's" isn't really "Mark's." It's a person selling Mark's books, and I've heard there's little support to go along with his books through that online "school," which I remember being pretty costly.

I may be wrong, but that is what I remember.

If you just want Mark's books and think you can do it on your own, go direct: magnumsteno.com.
Tami, don't spend a lot of money on a court reporting program if you can't really afford it. If you find a program that you think will "fit you", then go with it -but don't go just because it has Mark's books and is expensive.

Your purpose in court reporting school:
(1) Learn theory and briefs.
(2) Build speed so you qualify to take the RPR and CR tests.
(3) Learn medical terminology, legal terminology, and the court system.
(4) Learn how to use CAT.

You can take classes at a community college for medical terminology and legal terminology and basic law. Almost all steno theory is the same, but some teaches more tricks than others.


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