Every year as spring begins, we find ourselves at the threshold of scholarship season. At Scoping International, it is a time we eagerly anticipate, for it allows us to reaffirm our commitment to uplifting individuals worldwide through education.  

We have held steadfast to the belief that education should be accessible to all, regardless of geographical location or economic circumstance. Whether you are a retired teacher, a digital nomad, or a devoted stay-at-home mom or dad, we recognize that the pursuit of knowledge knows no boundaries. 

In a world where economic disparities persist and educational opportunities remain unevenly distributed, we envision a future where individuals from all walks of life can harness their potential and pursue fulfilling careers. Through our comprehensive Complete Scoping Course, we aim to equip aspiring scopists with the skills and knowledge necessary to thrive in today’s digital landscape. 

Our dream is simple, to foster a global community of scopists empowered to create their own paths, support their families, and find fulfillment in their work, regardless of where they reside or their financial means. 

The annual Scoping International Scholarship Program embodies our unwavering commitment to this vision. Each year, we are honored to offer one full scholarship and two partial scholarships to deserving candidates. The application window opens during Q2 and the recipients are announced at the beginning of Q3. 

We invite individuals from every corner of the globe to apply, regardless of their background or circumstances. Whether you’re embarking on a new career path, seeking to enhance your skill set, or simply yearning for a fresh opportunity, we welcome your application. 

To apply, candidates are invited to submit a compelling personal essay of 500 words or less, sharing their personal journey and explaining why they believe they are deserving of the scholarship. Whether you choose to highlight your aspirations, recount your challenges, or articulate your passion for scoping, we eagerly await to read your stories. 

Applications are distributed via email and to apply all you need to do is fill out the personal information and then attach your essay. The team at Scoping International carefully considers each application and then conducts interviews with the short list of candidates. We strive to award the scholarship to those that are deserving and committed. Please consider your participation seriously as it’s not our goal that these scholarships end up unused. We encourage you to spread the word to friends, family, and colleagues who may benefit from this opportunity. Together, let’s ensure that education remains accessible for all. 

Typically, the Complete Scoping Course can be started at any time but please note that scholarship recipients must enroll and be prepared to commence the course by September 1 of the year they apply. 

As we embark on this journey together, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to each member of our community for your unwavering support. Your belief in our mission fuels our determination to make a difference, one scopist at a time. 

For the latest updates and announcements, be sure to follow us on Instagram and Facebook @scopinginternational. 

Thank you for joining us on this transformative journey. 

Warm regards, 

The Team at Scoping International 


In the world of court transcripts, where the mundane meets the bizarre — occasionally — lies a
realm where scopists embark on adventures sometimes that are akin to the game of “Never
Have I Ever.” Did you ever play that game growing up?

Here’s a BTS of the transcript. Ready?

Picture this: A defendant, determined to outwit the system, adds in major complications for me
by weaving his own let’s call it “G” language in with English, his first language.

Instead of the English word “twenty,” he introduces us to the highly cryptic G language version,
“twigenty.” When I first heard it, I played the audio again and again and thought to myself, “Is he
speaking Italian?” Not quite.

This defendant, trying his level best to prove that his intelligence is far superior to any
government official secretly listening to his calls, peppered his speech with the letter ‘g,’
rendering his recorded jail phone calls a confusing puzzle for the uninitiated, namely me.

However, the veteran government official helped me out four lines down by interpreting every
single word in high detail. After all, according to him, he spent dozens and dozens of hours
listening to the defendant’s G language.

Needless to say, I secretly giggled and then began cackling at how silly this was and how
desperate this made the defendant look to the official, the jury, his legal advisor, the judge, and
anyone within earshot, including myself.

This official recited every word in English with a very flat, unamused, monotone delivery that
made me laugh for the next 40 pages of this “Never Have I Ever” transcript.

As a scopist, tasked with the very serious duty of transcribing the sometimes untranscribable
spoken word, I found myself thrust into eight hours of deciphering gibberish. Each ‘twigenty’
(twenty) and ‘phugone’ (phone) added a layer of intrigue to an already quirky transcript full with
made-for-TV content. Did I mention the defendant was representing himself? It was like
decoding a secret language spoken by criminals cosplaying kindergarten children during recess.

But amidst the chaos and confusion, there was a measure of fun that I had in all this madness. I
contacted the court reporter to ask how on earth she wanted me to handle these words. Her
answer was simple, phonetically and leave a check at each place. After some more giggles, I
did just that.

Each stroke of the keyboard, in that section, felt like unraveling a cryptic clue in a story that
would lead the victim of this crime to hopefully getting justice and prove to this short-sighted
criminal that they weren’t as clever as they thought they were with, fingers crossed, a jury
returning a guilty verdict.

The defendant’s linguistic game transformed a routine job into one of my favorite “Never Have I
Ever” transcripts.

Oftentimes while scoping, challenges are not hurdles to overcome but rather opportunities for
creativity and amusement. Whether it’s deciphering a defendant’s linguistic games or navigating
the complexities of legal jargon, punctuation, style, and format, every transcript is a story waiting
to be told by the skilled record keepers, court reporters, with us, scopists and proofreaders, by
their side.

So the next time you find yourself knee-deep in a sea of gibberish — transcripts or life —
remember this: Embrace the quirks, enjoy the eccentricities, and let the curiosity and
commitment to a well-kept record guide you through the world of scoping. After all, in the game
of “Never Have I Ever,” every transcript is a wild card waiting to be played.

If you haven’t already checked out our free assessment to determine whether or not you are up for all of the gibberish, eccentrics, and legal jargon of scoping, click on the link and find out for yourself today.


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.


In today’s fast-paced world, many of us spend long hours sitting at our desks, whether for work, studying, or browsing the internet. Prolonged sitting can lead to various health issues, including stiff muscles, poor posture, and decreased energy levels. Incorporating simple stretching exercises into your daily routine can help counteract the negative effects of sedentary desk work and promote overall well-being. That’s what we try to do at Scoping International, but let’s face it, we all can use some helpful reminders to get up and move. Here are some effective at-home desk stretching exercises that will help you stay healthy, energized, and productive. Give them a try right now.

Neck and shoulder stretches

Sitting for extended periods can cause tension and stiffness in the neck and shoulders. To relieve this tension, try the following exercises:

Neck Roll
Sit up tall and gently tilt your head to one side, bringing your ear towards your shoulder. Slowly roll your neck in a circular motion,bringing your chin to your chest and then to the other shoulder. Repeat 5-10 times in each direction.

Shoulder Shrugs
Lift both shoulders towards your ears and hold for a few seconds. Relax and repeat 10-15 times. This exercise helps release tension in the upper back and shoulder area.

Upper body stretches

Sitting with poor posture can lead to rounded shoulders and a tight chest. These stretches will open up your chest and improve your upper back mobility:

Chest Opener

Stand or sit up tall with your arms extended behind you, interlacing your fingers. Gently squeeze your shoulder blades together as you lift your hands away from your back. Hold for 15-30 seconds and repeat 3-5 times.

Seated Twist
Sit with your feet planted firmly on the ground and your spine tall. Place your right hand on the back of your chair and twist your torso to the right, using your left hand to support the twist. Hold for 20-30 seconds and repeat on the other side.

Wrist and arm stretches

Typing and using a mouse for prolonged periods can strain the wrists and forearms. These stretches will help alleviate discomfort and prevent repetitive strain injuries:

Wrist Extension and Flexion

Extend your arm in front of you, palm facing up. Use your other hand to gently bend your wrist, pointing your fingers towards the floor. Hold for 15-30 seconds, then flex your wrist, pointing your fingers towards the ceiling. Repeat 3-5 times on each hand.

Forearm Stretch
Extend your right arm straight in front of you, palm facing down. With your left hand, grab your fingers and gently pull them towards your body until you feel a stretch in your forearm. Hold for 15-30 seconds and repeat on the other arm.

Leg stretches

Sitting for long periods can lead to tight hips and a weak lower body. Incorporate these exercises to keep your lower body active and flexible:

Seated Leg Extensions
Sit on the edge of your chair and extend one leg straight out in front of you. Flex your foot and hold for 10-15 seconds, then point your toes and hold for another 10-15 seconds. Repeat on the other leg for a total of 3-5 sets.

Hip Flexor Stretch
Stand tall and take a step forward with your right leg, keeping your left leg behind you. Bend your right knee and lower your left knee towards the ground. Lean slightly forward to feel a stretch in the front of your left hip. Hold for 20-30 seconds and switch sides.

These few simple stretches can improve your overall health, and the welcomed break from staring at the computer screen will even give your eyes a “stretch.” Incorporating these at-home desk stretching exercises into your daily routine will allow you to continue being productive and limber while pumping out the pages. A healthy body is a happy body.
Tell us which stretches you like doing at your desk.


In today’s digital age, more and more people find themselves working in sedentary desk jobs from the comfort of their homes. While the flexibility and convenience of remote work are undeniable, it also presents a unique set of challenges, particularly when it comes to maintaining self-care routines. Sitting for prolonged periods, lack of physical activity, and the blurring of boundaries between work and personal life can take a toll on both our physical and mental well-being. However, with a mindful approach and intentional habits, it’s possible to thrive in a sedentary desk job while prioritizing self-care. 

Scoping International wants the best for our students and graduates.  We are here to support you and make sure that your new scoping career enhances your life.  So in this blog, we’ll explore practical strategies and effective self-care practices that can transform your work-from-home experience.

  1. Prioritize Ergonomics: Creating an ergonomic workstation is crucial for maintaining good posture and reducing the risk of physical strain. Invest in a comfortable chair that supports your back and promotes proper alignment. Adjust the height of your desk and monitor to ensure that your screen is at eye level. Consider using a standing desk or incorporating movement breaks to break up long periods of sitting.
  2. Incorporate Physical Activity: Counterbalance the sedentary nature of your job by incorporating physical activity into your daily routine. Schedule regular exercise breaks throughout the day, such as stretching, yoga moves, or short walks. Utilize fitness apps or online workout classes to stay motivated and engaged. Even small activities like taking the stairs instead of the elevator or doing household chores can make a difference.
  3. Practice Mindful Breaks: Take intentional breaks during your workday to recharge your mind and prevent burnout. Engage in mindfulness practices like deep breathing exercises, meditation, or simply stepping away from your desk and focusing on the present moment. Use these breaks to disconnect from work-related stressors and engage in activities that bring you joy, such as reading a book, listening to music, or pursuing a hobby.
  4. Establish Boundaries: Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is crucial when your workspace merges with your living space. Set clear boundaries between your work and personal life by defining specific working hours and creating a designated workspace. Avoid checking work-related emails or engaging in work tasks outside of your defined work hours. Create a shutdown ritual that signals to your body that the workday is over, i.e., power down your computer, tidy your workspace, or turn off the light at your desk. Embrace the freedom of remote work by intentionally scheduling time for leisure activities, spending time with loved ones, or pursuing personal interests.  
  5. Nourish Your Body and Mind: Proper nutrition is essential for sustaining energy levels and maintaining focus throughout the workday. Plan and prepare healthy meals and snacks in advance to avoid relying on quick and unhealthy options. Stay hydrated by keeping a water bottle at your desk and making it a habit to drink regularly. Additionally, prioritize getting enough sleep each night to support overall well-being and cognitive function.
  6. Foster Social Connections: Working from home can sometimes feel isolating, so it’s important to nurture social connections. Schedule virtual coffee breaks or lunch dates with colleagues to maintain a sense of camaraderie. Engage in online communities or join professional networks related to your field to connect with like-minded individuals. Social interactions, even in a virtual setting, can boost morale and provide a sense of belonging.
  7. Seek Variety and Stimulate Your Mind: Stagnation and monotony can contribute to a lack of motivation and creativity. Seek variety in your work tasks by exploring different projects or taking up new challenges. Set aside time for learning and professional development to stimulate your mind and expand your skill set specific to scoping.  Have you considered joining Margie Holds Class?  What about subscribing and/or regularly watching educational YouTube channels on grammar? Engage in creative activities like painting, writing, or playing a musical instrument during your leisure time to promote mental well-being.

We know what it’s like to get in the “five more pages” trap. While a sedentary desk job at home may pose challenges to self-care, by implementing these techniques, you will ensure the longevity of your career as a scopist, boost productivity, and therefore profitability, and ensure scoping enhances rather than takes over your life.  

Happy scoping!


Studying is an essential part of the learning process. Whether you are in school, pursuing a career, or simply expanding your knowledge, studying is a vital aspect of achieving your goals. However, studying can be challenging and overwhelming at times. Therefore, it’s important to have effective study tips to help you stay on track and achieve your goals.  Here’s some tips we put together so you can achieve success in the Complete Scoping Course.

  1. Create a schedule: One of the most effective study tips is to create a schedule. You should allocate specific times for studying and stick to it. Maybe you have heard it called “time block.”  This helps to create a routine, which is essential for long-term success. Moreover, having a schedule ensures that you are making time for everything else in your life, such as work, family, and social activities – we’ll talk more about work-life balance in a future blog.
  2. Find a quiet place to study: Another important study tip is to find a quiet place to study. Distractions can be a major obstacle to effective studying.   TURN OFF YOUR NOTIFICATIONS!   It’s important to find a quiet and comfortable environment where you can focus. This could be your local library, your favorite coffee shop, or even a designated study area in your home.
  3. Use the Pomodoro technique: The Pomodoro technique is a time-management method that helps you stay focused and motivated while studying. The technique involves breaking your study sessions into 25-minute intervals, followed by a 5-minute break. This method has been proven to increase productivity and reduce procrastination.  Did you know that for the majority of us, our attention diminishes after 20 minutes.  You’re not doing yourself any favors by trying to break any world records here.  Stick to the 25-minute intervals and you’ll see an overall increase in memory retention, that means satisfaction in retaining all those grammar rules!
  4. Take breaks: It’s important to take regular breaks while studying. Your brain needs time to rest and recharge, and taking breaks can help improve your focus and concentration. However, it’s important to use your breaks wisely.  When you have been working or studying on a computer, instead of scrolling through social media or watching TV, try doing something active, such as taking a walk or doing some stretches. Your brain will thank you, and so will your eyes.
  5. Use active learning techniques: Active learning techniques involve engaging with the material you are studying actively. This could involve taking notes, summarizing information, creating flashcards, or teaching the material to someone else. Active learning techniques have been shown to be more effective than passive learning techniques, such as reading and highlighting. I wrote out flashcards for every single grammar rule in the book.  Let me tell you, it worked!
  6. Stay organized: Staying organized is essential for effective studying. This involves keeping track of your assignments, notes, and deadlines. You should also keep your study materials organized and easily accessible. This can help reduce stress and improve your focus.  Try to set a completion date for the course, then after looking at all the modules in the Complete Scoping Course, map out when you want to accomplish them.  This then leads to the next point… 
  7. Stay motivated: Finally, it’s important to stay motivated while studying. Set realistic goals for yourself and reward yourself when you achieve them. Surround yourself with positive influences, such as supportive friends and family. Moreover, remember why you are studying and the benefits it will bring you in the long run.  Don’t forget to reward yourself once in a while for big accomplishments, like passing that grammar final and then graduation! 

In conclusion, effective studying requires discipline, focus, and motivation. By using these study tips, you can improve your chances of success and achieve your goals. Remember to create a schedule, find a quiet place to study, use the Pomodoro technique, take breaks, use active learning techniques, stay organized, and stay motivated. With these tips, you can make studying a more productive and enjoyable experience.

We would love to hear what techniques you have been using while studying for the Complete Scoping Course.  Follow us on Instagram at @scopinginternational and send us a DM.  We’d love to hear from you! Happy studying! 


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! 

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