NCRA certifications help members prove their ability at the national level and increase their earning potential. While not required in every state, NCRA certifications set members apart while providing credentials that are universally recognized by the profession.
What is online skills testing?
Online testing means that candidates will take the RPR, RMR, CRR, and CRC skills tests using the advanced technologies of Realtime Coach and ProctorU. Candidates will test at the convenience of their home, office, or other secure location (see Technical area below). The test will be administered by a live, professional, online proctor using pre-recorded dictation.
How can NCRA be sure that candidates will not share content?
Testing information is confidential. By registering to take an online test, the candidate agrees that the subject and words of the test will not be disclosed to other candidates. Failure to adhere to the policy will result in being banned from future testing and termination of NCRA membership.
ProctorU's proctors are connected to candidates in realtime, with live audio and video connections. Additionally, proctors view a live feed of the candidate’s monitor through screen-sharing technology. After authenticating their identity, candidates must show (using an external webcam) that their workspace is secure by giving a 360-degree pan of the entire room and desk or workspace.
ProctorU uses multiple levels of recording and reporting, including full session video and audio, and screen capturing. ProctorU’s screen-sharing software provides the proctor with a list of current running processes. Proctors are able to remotely disable or close unauthorized software on the test-taker’s computer. Additionally ProctorU will require you to remove secondary monitors and will disable unnecessary software.
Candidates will be required to acknowledge that they are aware of NCRA’s policy concerning testing honesty and integrity. That failing to follow NCRA Testing procedures may result in my automatic failure and being barred from taking NCRA-administered tests for a minimum of three testing cycles or permanently depending on the nature of the violation. NCRA members may also be suspended or expelled from the association. They must acknowledge that the tests are the exclusive property of NCRA and that copyright law protects the NCRA Tests. That no part of these tests may be copied or reproduced in part or whole by any means whatsoever, including memorization.
They will further attest that the skills exam they are submitting is solely their own and developed during the exam. That they used no notes, materials, or other aids other than those provided by NCRA. They will further attest that they will not retain a copy (either audio, text or stenographically) of the skills exam. They will further attest that they will not share any copies of the skills test with others including its content (terminology or topic), either privately or on a public forum. The theft or attempted theft of an NCRA Test is punishable as a crime.
How will ProctorU know the correct person is taking the test?
ProctorU has a layered authentication process that establishes the candidate’s identity:
- Via a webcam, a live proctor sees the user, checks their photo ID and takes their photo to keep on file. (Please note that if the webcam is moved after its location is approved by the proctor, the proctor will interrupt the session due to security concerns, and the exam will be terminated.)
- Using techniques based on industry leading fraud protection and banking standards, the user answers challenge questions to validate their identity.
- Sophisticated keystroke analysis software creates a profile for each user.
What equipment/technical requirements do I need?
Click on: (CRITICAL!)
The above link contains detailed instructions on the three mandatory uploads that must be performed in order to complete your exam:
- Upload your notes file (2 minutes)
- Upload your transcript (time varies based on exam)
- Copy and paste your transcript into the Transcript area (time varies based on exam)
If you skip any of three steps above, your exam will result in an Autofail.
Software and Writer Setting Information
Note: The proctors are not trained or allowed to help you with your CAT software. You MUST know how to do the following processes before testing:
- How to place your writer in test mode.
- How to connect your writer to your CAT software (for realtime) or how to read your steno notes into your CAT software (non-realtime).
- How to edit a transcript in your CAT software (transcription tests).
- Where to locate your CAT files on your computer.
- How to distinguish the various parts of the CAT file from one another, such as a note file versus a transcript file.
- How to mark and copy a chunk of text in your CAT software. This part may be new to you because you don’t necessarily do this on a regular basis. If that’s the case, refer to the CAT-specific instructions above or contact your CAT software vendor for assistance.
NCRA strongly recommends that you take your first online test Monday through Friday, between 10 AM and 7 PM Eastern Time, so that Realtime Coach's technical support team is standing by.
Click Realtime Coach Technical Support to bookmark the site to quickly reach RTC's technical support in the future or to ask them a technical question that is not covered in the critical link above.
ProctorU recommends scheduling your test in advance and outside of their busiest period which is 4 PM - 8 PM Eastern Time. Always allow yourself ample time in case there are delays in getting a proctor or if there are technical issues that must be addressed prior to taking your exam.
What equipment is not supported?
At this time, ProctorU does not support the following; however, it is working on solutions to accommodate every platform:
- Android tablets (Nexus 7, etc.)
- iOS tablets (iPad, iPad mini, etc.)
What if I am unable to complete my test due to a poor Internet connection?
The likelihood of this happening is slim as you will have tested your bandwidth before logging in to take the exam. The recommendations set forth by ProctorU and Realtime Coach (such as not using a wireless internet connection, shutting down all unnecessary programs running on your computer, using their suggested browsers, and taking advantage of the free proctored practice) will also help you avoid this scenario. You will be responsible for reregistering to take the exam again at a later date.
What type of location/environment do I need?
A quiet one that meets the mandatory technical requirements. Place a sign on the door/entrance stating that you are taking a test and cannot be disturbed. Other things to consider: turn off all phones, if you are sharing an internet connection with other members of your household ask them not to play video games or stream movies, remove all distractions that may make noise (animals, etc.) prior to putting on your headphones to take the exam. For security reasons, do not speak during your exam or the proctor will terminate the session. Pick the best location that is conducive to a secure, quiet testing environment. Read through the candidate instructions to make sure you meet the criteria such as a cleared desk with only one monitor and keyboard or a laptop. If your exam is interrupted for any reason that is beyond ProctorU and Realtime Coach's control, you will be responsible for reregistering to take another exam at a later date at your expense.