RPR Written Knowledge Test Study Guide

by AbbyFitz

Signed up for the RPR WKT exam but not sure what to study? This guide to preparing for the written knowledge portion of the RPR will show you what areas you should focus on.

When I was preparing for the WKT portion of the RPR, I had no idea what to study. Some reporters said to study everything, others said it's everyday information that every working reporter would already know.

I felt like I was shooting in the dark in the days leading up to my exam date. When I finally sat down to take my test, though, I breathed a sigh of relief for the most part.

It wasn't as bad as I feared, and afterwards I was rewarded with a "you passed" letter. I want you to have the same experience, and I've included several study guides that will help you pass your WKT exam.

What Should I Study for the RPR Written Exam?

It's a hodgepodge of different subjects.
Study smarter, not harder.
Study smarter, not harder.

Before taking my test, I talked to every RPR I could to find out what types of questions were on the written knowledge exam because I wanted to know what I had to prepare for. I got a different answer from everyone I asked.

It's difficult to know what to study because the NCRA changes the 115 multiple choice question, 110 minute exam each testing rotation, so not everyone gets the same mix of subjects.

Which is good, because it keeps test-takers from cheating. However, it makes us honest folk have to feel like we have to study everything under the sun because there's a possibility it could be on the test.

Study smarter, not harder. For students, getting the right study guides to use in conjunction with your newly learned knowledge in court reporting school spells success. For working reporters, work experience and a review of weak areas should be just what you need to pass the RPR written exam.

RPR Study Guide and Flashcards

For students who want RPR exam questions and examples.

I agree that a lot of what is on the RPR written knowledge exam a veteran reporter who has worked any amount of time should already know.

But for court reporting students that have just graduated, study guides are a must have. Students have learned the basics in school, but for questions on the areas of court reporting ethics and how to handle difficult situations, there is no better teacher than experience.

These study helps fill in for that lack of experience that every court reporting graduate will have. They give a basic overview of real-life reporting scenarios of procedural issues, ethical questions, and technical equipment.

A lot of people like to study from test questions so they have a sense of what the real test will be like. Both of these study guides do just that, ensuring there are no surprises on exam day.

Build Your Skills in English Grammar, Spelling, and Punctuation

They make up a good portion of the test.
Morson's English Guide for Court Reporters

A comprehensive English guide for court reporters or those who are seeking to improve their spelling, punctuation, and grammar skills.

View on Amazon

One Word, Two Words, Hyphenated?

One Word, Two Words, Hyphenated? is a real time saver (or is that timesaver, or maybe time-saver?). Anyone who writes, edits or prepares manuscripts ought to have this meticulously compiled book close at hand.

View on Amazon

I learned from my own experience, and from other RPR's I questioned, that, not surprisingly, English was a major component of the exam. Even though other subjects may vary, grammar was always on the test.

If you study no other subject preparing for the RPR, I would suggest brushing up on your English skills. Even if you think you're an English whiz, it wouldn't hurt to review because a third or more of the examination is going to be about using grammar and punctuation properly.

Morson's English Guide for Court Reporters is considered the stenographic bible. And it's not something that you will only use in preparation for test day, you will use this comprehensive English guide even after you're reporting.

Do you have trouble remembering whether a group of words should be one word, two words, or hyphenated? One Word, Two Words, Hyphenated will clear up the confusion. It's also a book that you'll use often during your career.

Legal and Medical Terminology

If you've been out of school for a period of time, these are great refreshers.


Sometimes some of the hardest portions of the test are the areas of legal and medical terminology.

Newly graduated court reporters should have no problem with these subjects because they were covered extensively in court reporting school.

For working reporters, however, a review is a good idea. If you're not reporting med mal or other similar types of cases on a regular basis, your memory of medical terminology could be a product of "if you don't use it, you lose it." 

It's always a good idea to study over legal terminology as well, too. Latin terms, even if we hear them on a regular basis, have a way of all sounding the same when it's asked in the form of a multiple choice test question.


Updated: 07/05/2014, AbbyFitz
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AbbyFitz on 02/28/2014

I have to disagree with you. Goog grammar doesn't become outdated. They are both still highly recommended by the NCRA.

Lee on 02/28/2014

Please note: Morson's and One Word, Two Words were published approximately 17 years ago. Styles and words have changed rendering these two books outdated.

AbbyFitz on 11/11/2013

Yeah, when I took it there were a few questions that left me going huh? Lol

Mira on 11/11/2013

Congrats, Abby! It's like some (other) job tests. You do there and discover you have all sorts of questions: math, logic, etc.

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