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Meet the NCRA Committees: The Skills Test Writing Committee

The Creative Content Task Force (CCTF) was created in 2021 to assist with identifying and providing content that can be shared internally and externally to help promote the stenographic court reporting and captioning professions. Among the group’s charges is the promotion of NCRA committees and the work their members are doing to help move the professions into the future. To meet this charge, the CCTF reached out to committee chairs and vice chairs with several questions to learn more. These profiles will appear periodically in the JCR Weekly.

Focus on: NCRA Skills Test Writing Committee

Chair: Diane L. Sonntag, FAPR, RDR, CRR, CRC, CPE (Ret.), Rogersville, Mo.

Vice Chair: Gail Inghram Verbano, RDR, CRR, Boothwyn, Pa.

Committee Description: The Skills Test Writing Committee writes content for the RSR, RPR, RMR, CRR, and CRC exams. Members serving on this committee cannot take the RSR, RPR, RMR, CRR, or CRC certification exams for three years after serving on the committee.

CCTF | Briefly, what are some of the main initiatives this committee is especially focused on this year?

GV | As always, the committee’s focus is to write tests for every level of skills exams, including the apprentice level exams (RSR) and closed captioning exams. 

CCTF | What drives the committee members to feel so passionate about the work this group is doing?

GV | The members of this committee are committed to helping in the certification process, enlarging the membership of NCRA, and using the knowledge of the profession to help grow future reporters.

CCTF | What impact do the committee members hope their work meeting the charges of this group will have on the profession both internally (on NCRA members) and externally (on the public and those working in the legal arena)?

GV | It may not seem like it, but we really do try to write skills tests that are “gettable.” We want reporters to pass our tests! The more certified RMRs we have, the better!

CCFT | As vice chair, what is the one message you would like to share with NCRA members about getting involved in committee work?

GV | This career has been so good to me, has afforded me wonderful opportunities. I love being able to give back, hoping to grow the profession and keep it alive and thriving. It takes a ton of committed professionals in all areas of education and training to move us ahead, and it’s important that we all find a way to get involved.

CCFT | Please feel free to include any additional comments you think will add to this profile. 

GV | The members of the Skills Test Writing Committee are reporters who are writing at the highest skills level. It’s fun to be on the lookout, in our daily lives, for the perfect material — just the right syllabic density, not too difficult or esoteric, not too boring, not too racy or emotional — to turn into a test. And the process of turning found material into a “gettable” test is a combination of a word game and steno knowledge (i.e., I need a 3-syllable word that means “get,” hopefully that there is a good brief for).   

Interested in joining an NCRA committee? Find out more information about NCRA committees and how to volunteer at NCRA.org/volunteer.

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