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Pick up some PDCs when you help with Contest grading

NCRA’s Contests Committee is seeking volunteers to help with on-site grading for the Guinness Challenge and the National Speed and Realtime contests being held during the Association’s 2021 Conference & Expo happening July 29-Aug. 1 at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nev.

Graders are needed beginning the afternoon of July 28 through July 30. Volunteers who sign up to help grade can earn 0.25 Professional Development Credits (PDCs) for every two hours they assist, and they will be able to brag about their roles in participating in the making of Association history.

This year marks the 81st annual National Speed Contest, which will draw more than two dozen of the fastest stenographic court reporters and captioners to compete on July 28 for bragging rights. Contestants are tested on their ability to accurately transcribe dialogue that increases in speed and difficulty throughout each round. The first round begins at 220 words per minute while the final round ends at 280 words per minute. Similar to a traditional court reporter setting, contestants are allocated time to convert their stenography into a final transcript before scoring begins. Scoring is based on the accuracy of their transcriptions given the increasing difficulty of dialogue speed.

On July 29, many of the same contestants will gather to compete in the 21st annual National Realtime Contest, where they will be judged on their ability to transcribe dialogue in real time. Much like a closed-caption setting, all activity happens live, meaning participants are unable to edit their transcript once the audio session is complete. This fast and furious competition is scored based on sheer translation speed and accuracy.

Winners of the Contests and top scorers in each leg of the competitions are announced at a special awards luncheon where they are recognized as champions before their peers.

Also happening on July 29 is the 2021 Guinness Challenge where 10 contestants will compete to top the current world record of 360 words per minute at a 97.23 percent accuracy rate held by NCRA member Mark T. Kislingbury, FAPR, RDR, CRR, from Houston, Texas, who set it at the 2004 NCRA Convention & Expo. The last Guinness Challenge was held at NCRA’s 2013 Convention & Expo.

For more information or to sign up to serve as a volunteer grader and earn 0.25 PDCs per two hours of time, please contact NCRA Director of Communications & Public Relations Annemarie Roketenetz at