Frequently Asked Questions About Court Reporting


1.  What characteristics make a good reporting student?

     Are there any enrollment prerequisites?

2.  I can type fast.  Will that help me?

3.  How long is a court reporting program?

4.  How much will it cost?  Can I get financial aid?

5.  How are classes scheduled?  How many weekdays is this school closed per year?

6.  What theory will I learn at Golden State?

7.  I'm debating between online training and on-campus training.

     Why should I attend Golden State?  Who accredits, approves, and recognizes this school?

8. How many test opportunities are given each week at Golden State?

    How many hours per week is live dictation offered?

9.  How do I get my Certified Shorthand Reporter (CSR) license?

10. What kind of jobs can I get?

      Does Golden State have a graduate placement program? 

      What percentage of graduates are placed after receiving their California license?


Do you have more questions?  Never hesitate to contact us if you ever have any questions or if you need additional resources.  We are here to help you discover the career path right for you!


1. To be successful, the prospective student should be English speaking with the following characteristics:

  • Intelligent
  • Motivated
  • Disciplined
  • Computer-literate
  • Ambitious
  • Persistent
  • Above-average language skills

Court reporting students need to be able to meet deadlines, work well under pressure and concentrate for long periods of time.

The level of intellect needed to complete a court reporting program is equal to that needed to earn a college degree.

 Enrollment Prerequisites:  A student must be at least 18 years old with a high school diploma or GED.


2. It sure can't hurt!  There is a lot of transcribing that goes on while you're in court reporting school.

But if you are not a strong typist, or can't type at all, don't worry.  GSC will help you with that. We have successfully trained students who had to learn to type while they also learned the court reporting keyboard.  They are now on the job as CSRs!


3. This is probably the very first question everyone asks, and it is the most difficult to answer.

Court reporting is a skill, and the program is about the development of that skill.

Just as every person is wonderfully unique, each student will acquire the ability to write 200-225 words per minute at their own unique time based on their natural abilities.  A student may graduate any day at any time!  (Beware if any school or program promises you completion within a certain amount of time.  It is impossible to predict.) 

The program at Golden State College is structured to allow students to complete as quickly as they are able.  We are proud that many students (now licensed CSRs) have been able to complete our program from beginning to end in as little as 11 months to two years.  Other successful graduates needed more time.  This is a challenging course.

To promote quick progress, a student must focus and dedicate themselves to the task at hand.  Be prepared to treat school like a job.  Attendance, listening/testing to live dictation and practice at home are essential elements that will complement your natural ability and move you toward completion.

As with any college, a student should set aside at least two to four years for enrollment toward their goal. 


4. Current tuition and fees are discussed at the time of your personal visit to the campus.

At Golden State College, before you sign an Enrollment Agreement, we make certain you understand every part of your financial picture.  We disclose and calculate for you the costs for attending various lengths of time.

How much can I borrow in student loans?

Based on eligibility, a first-year dependent student can borrow up to $5,500; a second-year dependent student can borrow up to $6,500; and a third-year student can borrow up to $7,500. The aggregate loan limit for a dependent student is $31,000.

A first-year independent student can borrow up to $9,500 for the first two semesters; a second-year independent student may borrow up to $10,500; and a third-year independent student can borrow up to $12,500. The aggregate limit for independent undergraduate students is $57,500.

 Pell Grants and Parent Plus Loans are available for those who are eligible.

Go to to apply for financial aid.   Golden State College School Code:  041501      

Contact our financial aid director for assistance:  Tiffany Taylor (925) 223-6604, ext. 3


5. Golden State College is open Monday through Friday year-round.

The school is open 8:30AM - 3:30PM.

Live dictation classes are every day in every speed every hour between 9:30AM - 2:30 PM (1-Hr Lunch).

(See Question #8.)

The school is closed a total of 4 weeks each year:  one week in the spring, one week around July 4th, and two weeks at Christmas.  In addition, federal holidays are observed during the year.

(See the School Catalog for the complete Academic Calendar.)


6. Golden State College teaches the StenEd Theory.


7. The benefits to an on-campus court reporting program are endless.

At Golden State College, we believe court reporting is best taught "in-your-face."  We are court reporters ourselves and feel we can best motivate our students in person.  We can direct study, correct bad habits, listen to concerns, coach and serve our students on a daily basis by being under the same roof.  Our  dictation and instruction can be designed around the needs of each individual student.  Students share information with each other.  There is camaraderie, friendship, and encouragement that students and staff share that can never be equaled with an online program.

Online programs are widely advertised in today's busy world.  While we understand the appeal, we prefer to work directly with our students.  Many students at Golden State College have transferred here after spending too much time and money on online court reporting programs that have not served them well.

Why Golden State College?

Golden State College was founded and is owned by two seasoned California court reporters. These women have also owned a deposition reporting firm since 1985.  Their vast knowledge and experience in court reporting is available on a daily basis for GSC students as students work the program, and then, as graduates, launch into the job market.   See "About Us" for more history.

ACICS Accreditation/Honor Roll Institution:

Golden State College is accredited by the Accrediting Council of Independent Colleges and Schools, (ACICS). 

GSC was among only 33 ACICS-accredited schools recognized by ACICS as an Honor Roll institution "for demonstrating quality, integrity and excellence."   Dr. Al Gray, Executive Director of ACICS, said, "ACICS prides itself in establishing and enforcing the highest standards of educational excellence, and evaluates the success of its member schools through a comprehensive process approved by the Department of Education and Council for Higher Accreditation. By achieving Honor Roll status, Golden State College of Court Reporting has distinguished itself as an outstanding institution dedicated to the success of its students."


8. We know what students want:

Live dictation classes are M-F in every speed every hour between 9:30AM - 2:30 PM (w/ 1-Hr Lunch).

This equals approximately 20 hours of live dictation every week for every student in every speed! 

Topics of dictation include Jury Charge, Q&A, 4-Voice, Literary, and Current Events.

The daily schedule is broken into four class periods.  Tests are given each class period.  Students are given between nine (9) to thirteen (13) test opportunities each week to pass their speed level. 

Three Qualifier Exams are given each week for students preparing to graduate.



The decision to participate in the licensing exam administered by the State of California is entirely up to the student.  As part of the exam, the Certified Shorthand Reporters Board of California will administer proficiency tests in English grammar, legal terminology and medical terminology, (the “written” portion.)  The Board will also test the student on the verbatim transcription of dictated material, (the “machine” portion.)  To that end, students shall pass a “Qualifier Exam” provided and administered by the College:


Schools are prohibited from requiring more than one qualifier examination as defined:

The qualifier exam shall consist of unfamiliar material. 

The material shall be 4-voice testimony of 10-minute duration, dictated at 200 wpm and graded at 97.5% accuracy, and in accordance with the method by which the board grades the licensing examination.

(More Information on the California CSR can be found in the School Catalog or at


10. Wouldn't it be nice to be in demand for a change? Wouldn't it be nice to choose between multiple job offers....every day?

You will be and you can, as a court reporter.

Court reporting has always been an exciting career.  Well, good news!  Jobs continue to be abundant. 

Once you have your state license (CSR), the judicial field awaits.  You may choose to work in the courtroom or be your own boss freelancing in depositions.  It's really up to you!    

As a graduate from Golden State College, you will have had the opportunity to shadow working CSRs out on the job.  You will have spent many hours in a courtroom and in depositions.  During that time, you begin to see which arena holds the most interest for you.  Then later when you are licensed, Golden State College will assist you in finding the right place for you to get started.   

While completion from a court reporting program is always a challenge, placement is the reward. 

100% of Golden State College licensed graduates are working. In addition, some graduates are working with the hard-of-hearing at local state universities (CART).


Other Employment Options:

If state licensure is not your desire, there are other wonderful professions that court reporters enjoy:

  • State Hearing Reporter/Workers Compensation (California Department of Industrial Relations)
  • State Hearing Reporter (Public Utilities Commission)
  • Broadcast Captioning
  • Media-Room Reporter
  • CART Reporting
  • Webcasting & Reporting to the Internet
  • Political/Congressional/Government Reporters
  • Corporate Transcriptionist ( e.g., Board Meeting Minutes)
  • Scoping for Licensed CSRs