One big concern that comes up when one is considering pursuing a freelance career is what about benefits, like health insurance, retirement, vacation?  

While the faculty here at Scoping International are not claiming to be financial experts, by any means, we do have a few years of freelancing under our belt, and we’re happy to pass along some gems we’ve gleaned from our personal experiences.  Here are some tips to consider when deciding if scoping will work for you, especially if it is your or your family’s sole income.  

Plan for the ups and downs 

A factor that can cause a lot of hesitation when we’re deciding if we want to let go of the 9:00 to 5:00 lifestyle is letting go of the predictable income.  While freedom and flexibility call to us, not knowing exactly how much will land in your bank account is definitely something that can give us pause, and that is a completely valid concern.  There are ups and downs in this career, absolutely, and we will not deny that.  But you’re the business owner, and just because your monthly income may ride bit of a roller-coaster doesn’t mean your daily heart rate has to.   

After you’ve established what your monthly expenses are – your rent/mortgage, food, gas, phone bill, utilities, and so on – add on how much you need to save every month in order to have a buffer.  We recommend setting aside at least three months’ worth of saving in order to cover those necessary expenses, six months, if you can do it, is even better.  (Note:  This is recommended by financial experts even if you are employed.)  This is not money for a pair of shoes that just went on sale that you have to have. This is money you do not touch unless you haven’t earned enough to cover your monthly expenses.  If you need to dip into this account, fill it back up the next time your monthly income is exceeding your expenses. 

Budget in health care 

In some parts of the world, you may have to cover your own medical costs.  Do research regarding where you live to find a health care plan that covers your needs.  Then add those costs to your monthly expenses.  In places like the U.S., if you end up having a high-deductible plan, you may be able to take advantage of services like the Health Savings Account, where you can put away pre-taxed dollars to cover out-of-pocket medical costs, including deductibles. 

Budget in your retirement savings 

Once you have your buffer in place and your health insurance squared away, it’s time to tackle your retirement savings.  In places where retirement is funded by the individual, there are sometimes programs that can help you increase that bank account.   In the U.S., there are programs such as S.E.P.-IRA, Solo 401(k), and Roth I.R.A. accounts that can assist you in setting aside money for your golden years.   

Budget in your vacation 

Decide how much time you would like to take off, calculate your earnings for that time and spread that out over 12 months.  Add in that cost to your monthly expenses, set up a vacation-time savings account, and pay yourself paid time off.  And guess what?  You decide how much time you take off every year.   How cool is that!? 

You’re the boss 

And there are advantages and disadvantages with that.  On the positive side, because you’re the boss of a job that allows you to decide how much you want to work, after looking over your expenses and taking our Complete Scoping Course, you have the ability to earn what is needed to cover your costs and decide when you will work to meet those costs.  There is incredible freedom and power in that.   

That being said, there is no payroll department deducting these costs and putting them into accounts for you.  You have to have the discipline to do that for yourself.  And, yes, it takes a lot of self-control to set that money aside and be wise with it.  Remember, you are paying your future self, whether it’s to have a month off to travel Southeast Asia or to set up your 55-year-old self to retire early, whatever your dream is, you are worth the planning and sacrifice it takes now to reach those dreams.   And now, with your new freelance career, you have more power than ever to make those dreams come true. 

Start Module 1 of the Complete Scoping Course for free today to take your first step into freedom.


All right, buckle up and get ready for a wild ride! We’re about to share a story that will make you laugh, cry, and maybe even cringe a little bit. But don’t worry, it’s all worth it because it’s going to help you learn how to turn negative feedback into a long-term client. So, grab some popcorn and get ready for a tale about how Nordstrom turned into a Walmart for a hot minute. 

Forty years ago, a man rolled a pair of tires into a Nordstrom department store in Fairbanks, Alaska.  The Nordstrom employee, Craig, asked the man how he could help despite the fact the man was bringing car parts into a store that sells high-quality clothing, shoes, and makeup.  Imagine his surprise when the man said he wanted to return the tires!   

The customer insisted he had bought them at that location, which of course is a bit absurd.  The thing is Nordstrom had bought the location of a store that used to sell everything from towels and linens to automotive supplies.  That company had a guarantee policy that he could bring back the tires at any time.   

Most of us, understandably, would scoff at the idea of accepting the tires and giving the man money for them.  How would that even work?  But Craig was amazing at customer service.  He saw things from the customer’s perspective.  The man had driven over 50 miles to return the tires.  Craig was flexible and resourceful.  He called a tire company and got some information on how much the tires would be worth.  Then he accepted the tires and gave the man money in the estimated amount of their worth.   

From Nordstrom’s blog itself, we learn how this story helps us if we are willing to step back, take a hit, and use the power of responding instead of reacting in order to turn a potential lost client into one who will keep coming back every week with a job for you to scope:   

“Lost over the years is the exact dollar amount the customer received in exchange for those tires, but no doubt it’s been earned back a thousand times over when you consider the scope and resonance of the story today.  In fact, the tire story has become so important to our culture, we even hang tires in some of our stores and break rooms as a reminder of our commitment to our customers.”

Here’s the thing, good customer service, we mean really, really excellent customer service is a thing of the past.  Each one of us regularly experiences a customer service representative saying, “There’s nothing we can do for you.  Sorry.”  And that’s it.  There is not an ounce of empathy, understanding, or compassion for the frustration you feel as a customer when you’re trying to get help or aren’t satisfied with your purchase.  “The customer is always right” motto no longer exists.  And I think all of us, as customers, really miss that, if we’re fortunate enough to be old enough to remember it! 

Now, how does this story relate as you build your own business as a scopist?  

There will come a day when you get negative feedback.  It sucks.  We know.  We’ve all experienced it.  You are human.  We are human.  And we all make mistakes. 

So right now, accept the fact that it will happen and read on to get our checklist of what to do in order to turn that client who might be ready to continue their search to find a great scopist into a super loyal client who provides you steady work for years to come.   


  1. Breathe.  We know it sounds silly, but this is really important.  As soon as you see that you’ve made a mistake or are accused of making a mistake, your flight or fight response kicks in, and that is not a state in which you can recover the situation.   
  2. Step away from your phone or computer.  Give yourself a minimum of 30 minutes before you reply.  You’re much more likely to do more damage if you reply immediately than the teeny, tiny delay of 30 minutes would do. 
  3. Read the email again once you’re sure you’re out of flight or fight .  Find what they are talking about in the transcript.  Look it over and understand what the mistake was and if it was your fault.   
  4. Come from a place of gratitude when you start to compose your response.  Thank them for taking the time to let you know what happened.  Really, that is huge of them.  Some people would ghost you and you’d never know what happened or why.  This is an opportunity for you to learn something, to check yourself and make sure you’re focused when you work.  They are giving you the gift of growth.  So sincerely thank them for their feedback. 
  5. Acknowledge their feelings.  Most often, when you get negative feedback, the client is NOT happy.  They often have big feelings in the moment that they are writing out their message to you.  You most likely do exactly the same thing when you’re upset by an experience or a product you’ve purchased.  Think about how you would feel if you were in their position. 
  6. Apologize.   Once you’ve thanked them and acknowledged them, say you are sorry.  We understand that this isn’t easy for everyone.  But this is a really important step in repairing the damage you caused.   
  7. Make it right.  Think about what you can do to make this right for them.  Depending on the situation, it may be offering to read over the transcript free of charge, offering to relisten, offering a discount, or even offering to not charge them at all for the job if the mistake is grave and damaging enough.  

Yes, we know it hurts to offer to give away money or time.  That’s why we told you the Nordstrom story.  The money or time you lose out on will come back and then some if you use the tools above.  You will not only keep your client, you will bolster your reputation in the industry.  Ask yourself:  Do you want to be a Nordstrom or a Walmart? Behave accordingly.   

Dealing with negative feedback is not easy, but it is an essential skill to master if you want to keep your clients and maintain a good reputation. We hope that our story has shown you the importance of turning negative feedback into a positive outcome and how it can help you gain a long-term client. Remember, there’s always room for improvement. 

In Section 9 of our Complete Scoping course, you’ll find valuable insights on how to keep your clients once you get them. At Scoping International, we care deeply about your success and reputation, and we’re here to help you become a five-star-rated scopist. 

So, don’t wait any longer and register for Module 1 for FREE and get started on your journey to becoming a successful scopist. 


Hey, Freedom Lover!    We totally get the allure of having the ability to decide for yourself when you’ll work, how much you’ll work, and where you’ll work.   From the barista dreaming of becoming a digital nomad, traveling the world, tasting amazing food, and seeing incredible sites to the mom who desires to be with her children as much as possible AND has a need to have her own identity and career as well as the satisfaction of contributing to her family’s finances and everyone in between – we see you and we are you.   

And we know we are not the only solution out there to those of you who are searching for a flexible job.  In this post-COVID era, there are more ways than ever to find a way out of the 9 – 5 corporate lifestyle.  We also get that for many of us understanding exactly what the freelancer lifestyle looks like is unclear, and that makes leaving the security of our more traditional line of work scary.  A lot of location-independent professions sell the freedom aspect hard.  It speaks to the dream so many of us have.  We want to take a minute to talk about the other side of the coin.  While, yes, we do offer you a way of achieving your dream and you can have white, sandy beaches in your life, what we are not (unfortunately) offering is financial independence.  Even if you have the ability to work from anywhere, you still have to work.  So how does that look for a scopist?  What does having a flexible schedule mean?  Can you make enough to support your lifestyle?  Is there enough work out there? 

One of our core values at Scoping International is transparency.  We respect that, while many of you are dreamers, you’re practical too. So we’re showing up here to answer these questions honestly to help you decide if scoping is the career for you.   

Because Coralie, one of the founders of Scoping International, is both a mom (she has a one-year-old and a three-year-old at the time of this writing) and started her scoping career while living outside of the United States, the rest of this blog post will be an honest look at how she as a mom and a (sort-of) nomad manages her freelance lifestyle in order to help you decide if this will work for you too. 

So what does freelance work life look like for a scopist? 

Hi, all!  I’m happy to give you a peek into freelance life.  I will tell you the good and the not-so-good aspects.  This past year of my life has been particularly intense because we had a new baby, bought a new home, and we were renovating.  I also had my own scoping business as well as Scoping International.  So there has been a lot to do!   

One thing to understand about scoping is there are different deadlines or turnaround times on jobs.   The length of time that you have to work on a job determines the rate you can charge for the job.   A typical “regular” turnaround time to complete a job is five to seven days.  The other end of the spectrum is immediate turnaround, so you have edited the file and are sending it back to the court reporter within a couple of hours.  We do this using a technology where we are editing the file while the court reporter is writing it.  The longer, five- to seven-day turnaround is the lowest pay.  Immediate turnaround is the highest pay.   But while some might think, “Why wouldn’t you just always take the highest paying jobs,” the reason is that key word – flexibility.   

As a mom with two young kids, I could NOT be on my computer for eight hours straight in order to meet that deadline.  I worked during naptime, so two hours here, one hour there.  And if you have small babies and children, you know that naps are NOT guaranteed.  So for this season of my life, having five to seven days to work on a file was much better.   

However, once life got a little more settled with the addition of our second child, I was able to consider some of the immediate turnaround jobs that were out there.  As a mother who is also living in Europe, doing immediate turnaround jobs with court reporters in the US was perfect.  My kids’ bedtime is at about 7:30 ,and there was quite often a deposition or arbitration that was starting right around bedtime in Europe with a court reporter on the West Coast.  So I teamed up with another scopist and was able to make top dollar after bedtime.   Before kids, I often did immediate turnaround jobs here in Europe and worked during the day, which is obviously much more convenient but at this time, convenience isn’t a reality.  So I was happy I still had immediate turnaround available to me! 

Of course, I don’t want to work every night, but I’m the boss, so I could say no to jobs if I felt that it was too much and I would like an evening where I’m binging Netflix instead. 

So the good aspects were that I could use what might be perceived as a potential setback, being a mom to littles and living in Europe, to my advantage.  Everything coincided beautifully and helped me to have some of my most profitable months ever.   The downside?  Yeah, I’m not really getting to clean the house or “sleep when the baby sleeps.”  So I had to let go of the idea of having a perfectly organized home, which I think even people who have to work 9 – 5 struggle with!  I had to intentionally schedule in rest time and “me” time and stick to it.  So that meant saying no to some jobs or other, more social things.  Again, we’re all adults here, and that’s life.  But what I got out if it, getting to be with my kids as much as possible and paying for our renovation, was totally worth it for me. 

What does having a flexible schedule mean? 

We really mean it when we say you can work from anywhere.  We’re not kidding.  As long as you have intermittent internet access, this is a job you can do from anywhere in the world at any time of day.  So if your dream is to travel Southeast Asia, this job can support you while you do so.  This is a job where you can spend the day at the beach.  But, yeah, you do have to find time to work.  And you’re the boss so you decide when that is.  You can do two hours in the morning and two hours in the early evening and spend the rest of the day doing whatever you’re passionate about.  But as we said at the outset, we’re not offering financial independence.  It won’t be beach time all day, every day.  And even if there are Instagram-perfect posts out there of laptops on the beach, we don’t recommend it – you can’t see the screen and sand will kill your laptop!  So the dose of reality is that maybe you have to stay in your Airbnb on the most perfect, sunny day because you procrastinated and now you have a deadline to meet.  It still happens to us.   

The cool thing about this work is that, if you really need to be on the beach on the best days, you’re in control.  You can pull out the weather app, your calendar, and plan to work when it’s cloudy.  Or if a sudden rain storm comes, you don’t have that horrible feeling of “This was my only chance to be at the beach.”  You can go inside, get some work done and get back out there when the clouds break. 

For me, Coralie, one thing I really love about the flexible schedule is that, as my life circumstances have changed, I get to change my work schedule to meet those circumstances.   I didn’t have to find a new job when we had kids; I didn’t have to find full-time childcare and give away half, if not more, of my income (only to be home anyway because sick kids!).  I changed my schedule, was able to meet my family’s needs while honoring my own personal values AND had my most profitable months ever in my career as a scopist.  I’m so incredibly thankful for this career.  

Can you make enough to support your lifestyle? 

That depends on your lifestyle, of course, and where you’re living.   

Honestly, if you’re living somewhere like San Francisco or New York, no, scoping alone will not be able to cover your expenses.  It is really great for teachers, for example, in those high-cost regions.  It’s a job that you can work lightly on during the school year to supplement your income and pick up more work during the summer break.   

If you’re living as an expat in a country like Bolivia, Thailand, Indonesia, yes, this job can support you.   

Here in Sweden for me, Coralie, my family is living on two incomes, mine and my husband’s.  I make about the same as my husband.  Sweden is a pretty expensive country and we have two kids, so the two incomes make our life comfortable and not so tight.  One of our students who also lives in Sweden is single, lives simply, and is able to support herself with just scoping.   

So you have to take a look at your circumstances –  How much do you want to make?  How many hours do you want to work – and plan out your schedule.  Then take our course, and we’ll teach you how to make the money you need to make in the time you have.  

Be sure to check out our Instagram account, @scopinginternational, at the end of every month to see Coralie’s earnings for the month and how many hours she worked.  

Is there enough work out there? 

Yes.  Really, there is a shortage crisis in the court reporting industry.  There is a shortage of court reporters.  Scopists alleviate the crisis by doing the editing work for the court reporters so they can go out and take down the record instead of spending a couple days at home editing their own jobs.  But there is also a scopist shortage.  It would take a LOT to saturate this market, and we don’t see that happening in the near future.  The pandemic seriously worsened the backlog of proceedings happening in the US court system and other international law proceedings around the globe.  And, as far as we can see, the litigation process is not slowing down.  There will always be work.  

If you’re are a scopist who does excellent work, your issue will never be “I don’t have enough work”; it will be “I have too much work, and I need to say no to some jobs!” 

We genuinely hope this post helps you to be able consider what a freelance lifestyle would look like for you, and if we get to have a part in making your dreams come true, we will be thrilled!  Follow us on Instagram at @scopinginternational for more freelance lifestyle insights and book a meeting with us at hello@scopinginternational.  We’re happy to help you decide if this career is the one for you. 


Are you a court reporter finding yourself saying things like:  

  • “I can’t find a good scopist.”  
  • “Is there anyone out there who has actually worked with a good scopist?”   
  • “I just scope my own work because there are no good scopists.” 

Scoping International sees comments like this all the time.  Court reporters are desperate to find a good scopist, dare to try one, and are disappointed when they find all sorts of errors in the transcripts.  They feel cheated; they don’t want to pay the sometimes hundreds of dollars it costs to have their file scoped, and throw their hands up in frustration, giving up on ever finding someone who would take care of their transcript like they would.   

On the other side, there are scopists out there earnestly doing their best on a file, nervously uploading it to the court reporter, and agonizing as they wait to find out if this reporter will be a long-term client providing a steady stream of income.  They feel disappointed and confused when they don’t hear back from the reporter or, even worse, when the reporter refuses to pay them because they did a “bad” job. 

Basically, all around, both sides feel disappointed, frustrated, and burned.  Why!?  Why is this happening?  Well, we have some ideas as to why, and we have some suggestions to help court reporters finally find a good scopist! 

Why are both sides finding it difficult to find a good match in the court reporter-scopist relationship? 

Here’s the thing.  Scoping is a, for lack of a better term, unregulated profession.  There is no clear job description out there that provides details as to what exactly a scopist does.  Ideas range from scanning the document without listening to audio and correcting any raw steno or obvious errors by reading the steno notes and doing zero audio to doing a full audio listen, creating an absolutely exact, verbatim record without a missing a single “uh” and proofread to perfection with every comma in place.   Reporter A, the reporter who doesn’t want the scopist listening to audio, might be confused and frustrated that a scopist cluttered up their clean, beautiful transcript with dashes, false starts, and partial words.  Reporter B, the exact verbatim reporter, might feel baffled that someone would claim to call themselves a scopist when they clearly didn’t listen to the file, didn’t fill in testimony, and feel cheated when they have to spend hours listening to the audio again themselves to fill in everything their scopist missed.  It’s not at all surprising that neither court reporter would want to pay for such “poor” work and would definitely never work with that scopist again. 

What so many reporters don’t realize is that there is quite the spectrum of opinions as to what a finished, scoped file looks like.  Their own idea comes from their training, their experience, and their own preferences.  The way a freelance reporter in California writes and edits a file varies vastly from a freelance reporter in New York.  The way an official reporter reports is very different from a freelance reporter.  So there’s that, the differences from one court reporter to the next in how they were trained and what their expectations are. 

Then there are the scopists.  A common scenario a scopist may be found in is as follows:   The scopist has been trained by a reporter to scope files specifically how that individual reporter likes their file to be.  The reporter who did the training and the scopist have no idea that there are hundreds of different ways to edit that file.  (I’m being conservative.  It could be thousands!)  The scopist decides they want to get more work and finds another reporter to work with.  The scopist scopes the file exactly as trained and is shocked when the new client says they are really disappointed in the file and doesn’t want to pay.  

How in the world can a court reporter find a “good” scopist when these scenarios are all too common?  Scoping International wants to help fix this.

What is a “good” scopist?

In its simplest terms, a “good” scopist is one who scopes the file how the reporter would scope it.

The scopist has the same idea of how verbatim the transcript should be, punctuates as the court reporter would, turns in the file with time for it to be proofed and checked over by the court reporter.  The reporter has full faith that the file is in good hands and being taken care of as the reporter would themselves. 

So how can you find a GREAT scopist? 

We want to help prevent court reporters from being victimized by “bad” scopists and take matters into their own hands.  We want to give you, the court reporter, the tools you need to find your “good” scopist.  And here they are: 

  1. Create an SOP.  If you implement one thing from this blog post, let this be it.  An SOP is a standard operating procedure.  It’s used in business to clarify the process of any job, big or small, to streamline and create consistency.  This way, whoever is doing the job, does it the same way.  So the next time you scope one of your files, take a little extra time to write down the steps you do.  Be very detailed!  The more details you can describe, the closer you will be to finding your ideal partner in turning out transcripts.  We know it will take time to do this, but just remember you are investing time now to save time later.  Just think of the things you will be able to do when you no longer have to come home and scope a file after being on the record all day!  Bliss!  Heaven!   
  1. When you get in contact with a potential scopist, whether through another court reporter, Facebook, or an app like Stenovate, have an idea of how many pages a week you would like to send to a scopist.  A range is fine.  We get that there is a lot of unpredictability in pages. 
  1. Fill out a preference sheet.  Really, most scopists do want to edit your file according to your preferences, but it takes a lot of time to figure out what those preferences are as we go along.  If you are clear and upfront, a lot of misunderstandings will be avoided and you will be closer to getting your transcript edited exactly how you would do it yourself.   
  1. When communicating with a potential scopist for the first time, send them your SOP and your preference sheet.   Before sending them a job, make sure you are on the same page about what their rates and turnaround times are.   Neither of you want any surprises. 
  1. Our final tip is to give the relationship a chance and give the scopist lots of feedback.  Again, we understand that this is an upfront investment in time, and you’re already drowning in pages and work.  But in our experience, it takes about six or seven transcripts before the reporter and scopist really start to get in sync.  So don’t write the scopist off after one job.  Send them your notes on the job, anything they did that you want them to do differently.  Remember, maybe what they did isn’t “bad” according to another court reporter and how they were taught.  It’s just “different.”  Having that in mind will help you to be able to deliver clear and constructive feedback.   But you should see them immediately applying your feedback on the next transcript.  

As we said, we believe most scopists out there genuinely want to do a really good job.  This job tends to attract the conscientious, perfectionist type.  Almost every scopist the faculty encounters quietly agonizes over their jobs, really wanting to do excellent work.  That being said, we won’t argue that, as in every profession, there are people who are cavalier and are looking for shortcuts and have no hesitation in turning in shoddy work, getting paid, and moving on to their next victim.   If you don’t see the scopist applying your feedback on the next transcript you give them, by all means, let them know it’s not working out, and move on to your next candidate.  We do believe you will be able to find one quickly by applying our tips and investing a little time upfront in solid and clear communication. 

Comment below what your experience is with scopists. And if you are still looking for a well-rounded scopist who understands how to work with reporter’s preferences email us at and the team at Scoping International will connect you. 


One of the biggest anxieties our students face, whether prospective or currently enrolled, is the critical tests in the Complete Scoping Course.  There are three – the punctuation test, the software test, and the final transcript – and students can’t access the rest of the course without passing these tests.   That means that potentially a student has taken the leap, invested time and money in themselves and then can’t pass a test.  Then what?  Have you just paid close to $5,000 and spent hours and hours learning and that’s it?   That feels so overwhelming and scary, and we get it.  We’ve been there ourselves.   

So let’s talk about this.  Why do we have critical tests in the course?  How do we recommend that you prepare for them?   And what should you do if you fail? 

Why do we have critical tests in the Complete Scoping Course? 

Believe it or not, these tests are really for you, our students and potential scopist.  In our opinion there are two really big reasons why these tests benefit you: 

  • Testing ensures that Scoping International only produces the best scopists.  We feel very passionately about Scoping International’s reputation in the court reporting industry.  We want court reporters to see a Scoping International student and snatch them up before anyone can work with them.  We want our graduates to be the best of the best and have really profitable careers so that, when you start out professionally, you only have to say “I’m a Scoping International graduate” and you’re booked; you’re set.  This can only happen if we make sure that you truly understand and are applying what we teach you, and these tests, especially the final transcript, help us to see your caliber as a scopist and give you the feedback you need to become a successful scopist.   
    • Now, don’t panic if you’re about to tackle your final transcript.  We do NOT expect you to be perfect.  We will NOT fail you over one missed comma or any other one-off errors we find in your submission.  We are looking at the overall picture.  Overall, are you showing you understand when to shift from Q and A to colloquy?  Overall, are you showing that you understand and follow reporter preferences?  Overall, are you showing a grasp of grammar and are able to apply your knowledge to the verbatim record? 
  • The second reason is to help you face any fears you will experience when you are scoping professionally.  That feeling of clicking “Send” on a job and waiting for feedback does not go away once you complete our course.  In fact, those of us who have been scoping for years still feel that old anxiety popping up anytime we’re sending a job for the first time to a new client.  It’s scary!  What if they don’t like my work?  The testing process in the Complete Scoping Course allows you to confront that fear and get familiar with it.  It’s not a comfortable feeling, and we really understand that.  Unfortunately, that discomfort never really disappears, and this is a good opportunity for you to work through being uncomfortable and not let that stop you from achieving what you have set out to do. 

“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” 

– Jack Canfield 

How does the faculty at Scoping International recommend that you prepare for the critical tests? 

We’re going to give you the scoop on how to pass our tests.  We’re doing this because we really, really want to see you succeed, and we want to give you all the tools you need to do so!  You still have to do the work, but we’ll make sure you know where to focus.  

Here’s a breakdown of each critical test and our top tips for preparing for each one: 

The punctuation test: 

  • Make sure you’ve done all of the worksheets provided in the course. 
  • Make a list of each section and subheading.   Note which sections you aren’t clear on and get more information.  Look up quizzes, go through blog posts on the subject.  If you’ve already invested in the resources recommended in this course, use those to work on firming up your understanding.   
  • Ask for tips and further explanations from your fellow students in the Facebook group. Ask for help at our drop-in sessions.   
  • Book a one-on-one coaching call with Coralie at

The software test: 

  • The biggest tip we have here is use the transcript that you download in the section to physically practice what you’re learning.  None of the concepts you’re studying will really stick until you’ve been applying them kinetically.  It’s okay if you completely “mess up” the practice transcript.   That’s the whole point of this – make your mistakes, figure things out.  This is a safe place to do that.  You can always close the transcript without saving your changes and you’ll have it back to its original form the next time you open it.  And the transcript is available to download as many times as you need to “play” with it.  So get in there, explore, make mistakes, learn from them, then take the test! 
  • Again, reach out to your fellow students in the Facebook group and ask them for suggestions and help and attend our drop-in sessions to ask your questions to one ?of the instructors. 
  • Book a one-on-one coaching session with Rachel at

The final transcript: 

  • Do the practice transcripts.  I’m going to say it again because it’s simple but serious:  Do the practice transcripts.  Compare your version to the scoped version provided.  Notice grammar decisions, formatting decisions, make notes, and learn why those decisions were made.   When we are grading your final transcript, we can tell if you’ve utilized those practice transcripts or not.  So don’t cheat yourself.  Do the work. 
  • Pay very close attention to preferences when you’re doing the practice transcripts.  Learn to follow them closely.  Following preferences is one of the most important skills an excellent scopist has, and we pay attention to your ability to follow them when we grade the final. 
  • Follow the Scoping Recipe Card provided in Section 4.  Using this tool will help you to avoid the pitfalls both new and experienced scopists fall into. 

What should you do if you fail? 

“We are all failures – at least the best of us are.”  

– J.M. Barrie

Oh, the heart-sinking-into-your-stomach feeling you get when you see you’ve failed a test.  Trust me, all three of us course instructors are all too familiar with that horrible feeling.   We’ll share a little secret with you that we hope will give you hope.  Very nearly every student who has taken our critical tests have failed on the first try.  You are in the company of greatness.  It’s not about failing; it’s about not giving up.  So when you fail, after your heart has emerged from your stomach and returned to its proper place, take some time to think about the parts of the test that were difficult for you.  This is why we give you more than one chance.  We all need an opportunity to try again and room to grow and apply our lessons, and that’s what we are giving you.  

 We recommend writing down notes soon after failing a test so that you can capture what your biggest struggles are while they are fresh in your mind.  Then take a break.   Give your brain a rest and time to process.  Then go back and study the portions that you see you need more information on.  Again, attend drop-in sessions and ask for clarification on those points you’re struggling with or book a coaching call for a one-on-one conversation. 

Now while we do give you chances to retest, those chances are not limitless.   There are three chances to pass the punctuation section and the software training.  There are two chances to pass the final.   If you have used up all three chances, there is still hope.  You can pay a fee to take the test.  Every retest after that point will incur a fee.  And we strongly advise you to be taking full advantage of all of the resources we’ve mentioned many times in this post – drop-ins, coaching sessions, and the Facebook group – as you continue to study. 

Also, please remember that you have lifetime access to the information you’ve gained access to so far.  We are sure there is a reason this career appealed to you.  It may just be that you need to take more time, take a break and come back to it later.  You can come back a couple months later.  You can come back 10 years later.  It’s always yours.  And after that time, you may have gained the knowledge and skills you need to pass these tests.   

“It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.”

– Bill Gates 

The faculty at Scoping International truly wish you success in your scoping career, and we offer as much support as we can.  We hope this post has encouraged you to work through your fear, face and take those tests, and to calmly approach each setback or failure as a chance to learn.   

We look forward to seeing you at our future drop-ins and in our Facebook group with all of your questions! 


So you’ve finally found a profession that you feel meets all of your requirements.  You’re a word nerd; you’ve always geeked out on legal dramas; you want the freedom to work wherever and whenever suits you; you want to earn a decent living being your own boss.  But which scoping training program should you choose? 

We want to show you what sets Scoping International apart and why you should choose us! 

You get the benefit of three instructors.  Here’s the thing, there are a wide variety of preferences in the court reporting industry.  We are the only online training course available that offers the benefit of multiple instructors.  Because there are three instructors who are actively working as scopists now, you get the most up-to-date and well-rounded education in scoping.  You learn about the different ways to do things in the industry, why they’re done differently, and gain the experience to find your ideal match in clients, ensuring success and satisfaction for both you as the scopist and for your future court reporting clients.  All three of the instructors have scoped for clients who live and work abroad and have or are living abroad themselves.  Each of us know how to get clients around the world and can teach you to do the same. 

In-depth and comprehensive training in grammar and software.  We believe that knowing how to spell correctly and punctuate the verbatim record is vital to being a good scopist, and we love the English language and are excited to teach you about the unique way we work with it in scoping.  But what really puts our scopists light years ahead of graduates from other programs is our in-depth and exclusive software training.  There are two reasons it is vital that a scopist know how to use the software:  Accuracy and profitability.  If you don’t know how to use the software completely and properly, you can create serious problems in the transcript and add hours of extra work for yourself, or worse, the court reporter.   And the software is a powerful tool that, when thoroughly understood, can help you to edit more accurately and more quickly.  And in this industry, speed is essential to profitability.  On average, our graduates are scoping 50% faster than graduates of other programs immediately upon graduation, helping them to earn more earlier on in their career.  

Lifetime access to the course.  As the industry changes, we adapt our content to keep up.  You can always come back to the course to get a refresher in grammar, software, finding clients, and editing tips. 

Our drop-in sessions.  We really believe this is one of the most valuable benefits to our course.  Every month, our students get free, live access to the instructors.  We answer any and all of your questions from grammar to formatting, addressing any uncertainties or insecurities you have as you enter your new career.  We also offer a breakout room to graduates where they can get one-on-one assistance from the instructors regarding all things business, how to get clients, any questions they have about client interactions, and tips for improving profitability. 

Private Facebook groups for students and graduates.  While this is a self-paced, online school, you’re by no means on your own.  Your fellow students and instructors are readily available to offer advice and support as you go through the course. 

Thorough and personalized marketing training.  Because you have multiple instructors, this is the only course that addresses the fact that there are different types of reporters and different types of scopists.  We teach you about the different reporters that are out there and help you learn what type of scopist you are, helping you to be confident and excited when getting your first court reporting clients. 

Need more convincing?  Book a time with Coralie, Heidi, or Rachel here:  We are happy to answer any other questions you have as you consider making scoping your future career.  


Starting a new business is unlike starting a new job. You don’t have any co-workers, assistants, and everything is up to you. You don’t have the same systems in place, and there are very few checks and balances when you start your own business unless you institute them yourself. But let’s face it, that’s the main reason you probably want to start working from home this year, right? The best reason to start working as a scopist from home is the flexibility and the freedom it affords you and your family.  

Start your own business online

Imagine you’ve enrolled in the first section of the scoping course. You’ve finished reading through all the requirements, and you’ve decided to take the plunge and enroll in the Complete Scoping Course by Scoping International. The second section is a little more involved, and there are lots of things coming at you. Perhaps, you’ve been a bit derailed with family life or the holiday season. Not to worry, we are here to help you get back on your feet and help you reach your goal of starting your scoping business this year.

One of the most proven techniques for staying focused is knowing exactly why you have invested in this new venture. Investing time, money, and effort can take a lot out of you if you aren’t quite sure of your reasons for doing it. This course is an investment, not only monetarily, but timewise too. Even though the course is self-paced, you will be busy studying and learning new things. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and full of self-doubt at this stage. But now is the right time to remember why you started and what your end goal is.  


  • Freedom to work from anywhere.
  • Flexibility to work from where you want to be.
  • Financial independence and the ability to reach your financial goals.

Figure out your approach to the course. Will you take it a bit easier and do it part-time, or will you devote six to eight hours a day of learning? This, of course, is entirely up to you. This course is self-paced, and you have lifetime access to it.  Keep in mind your goals. If you are hoping to set up as a working scopist before the end of the year, then here are a few tips and techniques to help you stay focused and productive.


  1. The Pomodoro Technique: A time management method, the technique uses a timer to break down work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks. 
  2. Self-affirmations: According to, affirmations can help strengthen self-worth by boosting both your positive opinion of yourself and your confidence in your ability to achieve your goals. They can also help counter the feelings of panic, stress, and self-doubt that often accompany anxiety.
  3. Support system: Having a strong support system gives you a group of people that you can go to for assistance with your issues. Besides family and friends, Scoping International has a student forum and one-on-one calls to give you the support you need, when you need it.

Whether you have the extra time because you are out of work or you’ve set time aside to work on the course, there is no need to feel overwhelmed as to what your future as a scopist will look like. You don’t need the best or most powerful equipment, but you will need a laptop or desktop to begin. Although the software will most likely be your biggest investment, if you don’t already own headphones, you’ll need to get those to use during the main part of the course when you begin listening to files.

Once you’ve made a commitment to yourself and registered for the full course, set time aside each day to work on it. Take advantage of the student forum and the one-to-one support calls from the Scoping International faculty. You can purchase up to two support calls with the initial complete course. These one-on-one calls are also available to purchase at any time for students of Scoping International, past or present. Step-by-step, you are moving closer to starting your new career as a scopist.


  • Laptop or Desktop
  • Headphones
  • Software

Before you can officially start your own scoping business this year, you will need to find clients. You are probably wondering how to get work in your new field. As a scopist, you are self-employed, but at the same time, you are dependent on work flowing from various court reporters. Some scopists work for one court reporter and others take work from a variety of court reporters. 

Typically, scopists get work through their networks. Networking for a scopist looks a little different than most jobs, especially if you are new to the online job market. Initially, you will be connected with the faculty at Scoping International, and that is the beginning of your network.  The faculty will get to know your strengths through the course and any one-on-one calls you book.

Once you get your first job, it is imperative that you do the best job you can. This court reporter will be your personal advertising agent. Word of mouth is huge in this industry, as scopists are usually the unseen and unheard freelancers working behind the scenes. 


  • Job Boards
  • Networking
  • Referrals

As you begin your career as a scopist, stay connected with us. We are here to support you all the way. Our goal is to create a network of modern scopists on the cutting edge of industry standards. Starting your scoping business this year starts with successfully finishing the Complete Scoping Course. Are you ready to take step one of starting your own scoping business? Start our signature scoping course today.


Are you looking for a work from home job that has clients that are looking for you?

The year 2020 has been a year of upheaval and change. The pandemic pushed many employers into sending their employees to work from home. With phones, email, texting, Zoom, Google Hangout, Slack, and a plethora of other software to help coworkers work together remotely, the possibilities of working from home have skyrocketed. 

Maybe you are someone who was laid off from your job because it’s not possible to work from home and you’re sick and tired of job searching and going on interviews. You’d like to work from home but don’t know where to start or what to do. You’ve been researching and scouring the internet for days, maybe weeks and months even. But what job will actually suit your needs and be a success for you?

We’ve seen that many teachers have found themselves in a difficult position when returning to the classroom during the pandemic. That’s if they were able to do so. Teachers and support staff alike have had to reorganize and set up online classrooms. This has caused a lot of stress, and no doubt many have had to weigh the cost and benefits of returning to working with the public. It’s not uncommon to hear about women in the workplace making the difficult decision to stay at home with their children to homeschool. All these life-altering decisions that you’ve either made or have been imposed on you have led to a sort of mass pivot in the workplace. More and more are choosing to take control of their work-life and looking for options that will enable them to stay home and make a decent living.

So here we are at the end of 2020, and you might be finding yourself without any translatable skills, and you’re tempted to join an MLM company so you can have the freedom to stay home. It seems like many women are doing just that and attempting to live the influencer lifestyle. But did you know that the statistics show that your success rate is less than 1%? We know this from the income disclosure statements the companies post every year.

If you’ve been looking for work from home options, then probably you are being followed by ads everywhere you go. Facebook, Instagram, every website you visit with ads is showing you a new work from home idea. Have you seen ads for any of the following?

Work from anywhere as a scopist.
  • Make or design jewelry
  • Designing stickers
  • Etsy shop 
  • Affiliate marketing 
  • Amazon shop
  • Thrifting resale
  • Ask your current employer to work from home

You’re most likely reading this blog because you are still looking for the best option for you.

There is a lot involved in starting your own business from home and possibly even more needed to work in a more traditional office-type job for a big corporation from home. It can all be very scary with huge investments of time and money, but what if you could find a work from home job that has clients that are looking for you? If that appeals to you, then a career as a scopist might just be for you.

Scoping isn’t your typical work from home job. Most likely, before today, you hadn’t even heard of scoping or scopists. Court reporters hire scopists to make sure that the final court transcript is complete and accurate. Because there is a worldwide shortage of court reporters, the work for them is limitless and hiring a scopist frees them to take more reporting jobs instead of editing their own files. This keeps the work flowing for scopists. Scoping is a viable career with strong future growth. Most scopists work as freelancers, running their own business, deciding how much to work and where to work. They don’t even need to have an internet connection the entire time. 

If you’ve gone through the different options and decided you are ready to make a commitment to professional development, our scoping course is now available. It will teach you everything you need to know to start your career as a scopist, from technical skills to marketing and connecting with court reporters who need scoping services.

“Three years ago, I trained to be a scopist when I was searching for a career change from a government Monday to Friday, 9 to 5 job…I can truly say that scoping has given me the flexibility in my schedule that I had been dreaming of.”

-Heidi Yaeger, Cofounder, Scoping International

Visit our FAQ here to learn more detail about scoping. Next week on the blog we will go more in-depth about scoping and the day in the life of a scopist.

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