Frequently Asked Questions

What will I need to purchase for school?

You will need:


  • Course: Theory
    • Magnum Steno Theory book, Fourth Edition (once you contact the academy for enrollment, you will be given instructions on how to purchase this book as a student)
  • Course: Medical Terminology
    • You will not need this until your second quarter of Theory.
    • Medical Terminology: A Short Course (5th edition) by Davi-Ellen Chabner. *MUST BE THE 5th Edition
      • You can purchase this on Amazon, Ebay, or any online book retailer that you can find that carries this edition of the book. Price can vary depending on if you buy it new or used. 
  • Course: English Terminology
    • This is an optional purchase and not required for the course. If you would like to use it to supplement the course, you will not use it until your second quarter of Theory.
    • How to Say It and Write It Correctly NOW (2nd Edition) by Dr. Santo J. Aurelio. **MUST BE THE 2nd Edition
      • You can search the same online retailers for copies of this book. Price may vary. 


  • Laptop:
    • 1. Must not be a Mac or a netbook; and run on Windows, Vista, 7,8, and 10
    • 2. Should have at least one USB port, 8 GB or more of RAM, at least a 256 GB SSD drive, and a 2.0+ GHz processor.
    • 3. Microsoft Office and PDF reader required. (For more information on purchasing Microsoft Office separately, please visit the Microsoft website.)
  • Writer:
    • Required features:
    • 1. Extended asterisk key to the right;
    • 2. Extended -DZ keys;
    • 3. Realtime cable.
  • CAT Software:
    • DigitalCAT student software can be purchased at

Does Your Academy Teach Reading Back?

Every court reporter should be good at reading back and this takes practice. Although reading back in no way helps increase writing speed, you need to practice it and become good at it. We will teach you how to read back at a good pace and how to practice to keep that pace.

Will Attending Your Academy Also Help Increase My Control

As well as training you how to increase your speed, you will also be increasing your control at each level of higher speed you attain.

There is no real way to "practice" for control. What happens is, as you practice at higher speeds, this automatically gives you better control at lower speeds. The overall faster speed you can form strokes at, the more control you will have the lower speeds.

How Will Attending Your Academy Help Build My Speed?

At the Mark Kislingbury Academy of Court Reporting we focus not only on increasing your speed, but also your accuracy.

We train you to increase your speed by teaching you how to move your fingers faster, initially at all costs, even sacrificing accuracy, in order to improve your ability to record strokes faster.

We focus on four main areas in order to increase your speed:

  1. We teach you how to get a stroke for everything and to not drop any strokes at all.
  2. We teach you how to keep up with the speaker at all times and at all costs, even a stroke, so that you never lag behind the speaker.
  3. We teach you how to always form the right stroke based on your own personal ability. We teach you how to "feel" yourself approximating the stroke, even if it is not 100% right.
  4. We teach you how to stay focused and give all of your concentration to the speaker and what he is saying at all times.

What if I do not live in Texas?

There are two enrollment options for online students: Online Live and Online Non Live. 

We only enroll Onlive Live students in the Fall Quarter. Online Live students must be available to stream and connect to class live via the internet during the times classes are held. We are located in Houston, Texas. All class times are in Central Standard Time. Online Live students will complete the Theory program in 9 months, just as if they were an Onsite student.  

Online Non Live students are enrolled for a start date of the beginning of each new quarter if the enrollment deadlines have been met. Online Non Live students will watch the recorded classes when it fits in their schedule each day. Online Non Live students are also given an extra month to complete each quarter's classes. This means that while we complete a quarter in 3 months, online non live students will have 4 months to complete each quarter. 

All students, regardless of enrollment type, are held to the same hour completion and grade requirements to stay in good academic standing. 

What kind of person makes a good court reporter?

Although it is hard to narrow down, the best court reporters are sharp individuals who are strong in English and quick with their fingers. Playing a musical instrument, typing fast or excelling at video games may also be an indicator of court reporting talent.

What will I learn at the Mark Kislingbury Academy of Court Reporting?

This program will fully prepare you to pass the state and national tests that may be required in certain venues, such as Certified Shorthand Reporter (CSR) and Registered Professional Reporter (RPR).

The principal occupational skills that will be taught on-site include using machine shorthand to write literary dictation at speeds up to 180 words per minute, jury charge dictation at speeds up to 200 words per minute, and question-and-answer testimony in legal settings at speeds up to 225 words per minute, all at a minimum of 95% accuracy.

You will receive advanced schooling in English vocabulary and usage, punctuation, proofreading and editing skills, current events, as well as law, legal and medical terminology.

Do you accept student loans?

We do not accept student loans or participate in FAFSA. 

You can find scholarship opportunities through Project Steno ( as we are a partner school with them. Please see their website for their requirements for application. 

How do I sign up?

Please submit a contact request form to receive up to date information on the current enrollment period we are in. In that response, you will receive information on how to sign up if you are interested in proceding with enrollment. 

How long will it take to complete the Mark Kislingbury Academy of Court Reporting Program?

Our program is designed to be completed in 18-24 months.

The Theory portion of the program is 9 months (or if you are a non live student, you may take up to a year to complete that portion if needed).

Speed Building varies dependent on how quickly your fingers can pick up speed and stamina. Speed Building is greatly impacted by how well you learn your briefs in Theory, which is why we have chosen to focus first and foremost on Theory as your solid foundation for getting through Speed Building. It is possible to complete the Speed Building portion of the program in 12-15 months with dedicated practice, focus, and solid knowledge of the Magnum Steno Theory. 

How much can a court reporter make?

According to the Occupational Employment Statistics website ( the average annual salary for court reporters is $52,460.

What is court reporting?

A court reporter, also known as a stenographer, is hired to transcribe spoken or recorded speech into written form. The National Court Reporters Association has produced a short program that aired on PBS stations around the nation. To view this video, go to: