July 15, 2009


How does one effectively and efficiently study stenography when you simply do not have enough time? I've been trying to answer this very question myself for a while now, and I think I've finally come upon the best formula. It certainly works for me, so maybe it will hopefully work with you, too! I can't take credit at all, though, for this "formula." I give that to Trevor, a member of CSR Nation and a fellow court reporting student. (By the way, if you haven't joined CSR Nation yet, you're really missing out on SO MUCH! I liken CSR Nation as THE authoritative social networking site for court reporters, scopists, proofreaders, etc. See my previous blog post about CSR Nation being the Facebook for court reporters by clicking here. Click here to join today! It's FREE!) Trevor is in his final stretch of the court reporting program, and he is to be CONGRATULATED!!! ... which I did (congratulate him, that is)
... and then I asked him if he would share with me his tips for court reporting students, like myself (and maybe you, too), who just don't have as much time as other students who are able to go to school full-time, who have longer class sessions, who are not working, or whatever the case may be. In court reporting school, we're told to eat, sleep, and steno... period!
He said that if we court reporting students would practice on our machines at least 1 hour a day, every day, it would help tremendously! (This is the bear minimum actually, but if you're pressed for time, try to stay on your machine for at least 1 hour.) This is how he broke down the minutes:
  • Writing at a faster speed: 20 minutes
  • Writing at your goal speed: 20 minutes
  • Learning new briefs: 20 minutes
I tried out this same formula today, and I found such an improvement with my writing! It also helped me mentally to break down a full hour into 20 minute increments. I didn't feel overwhelmed when I thought of a full hour (I have a short attention span!). I was able to stay focused at the task at hand -- doing my best for each 20 minute drill -- instead of getting fidgety and bored because I "had to" finish a full hour. 20 minutes a take is so doable, and I loved the transitioning from one steno discipline to the next-- from writing at a faster speed, writing at your goal speed, and learning new briefs. I need a little variety to keep me interested and focused, especially in practicing, which is the foundation of how you build up to 225 WPM!
It doesn't matter how long you practice, but what does matter is the INTENSITY of that practice! So make it count! Do your very best as if you were already a CSR, who is always a true professional and gets down every word. Concentrate your hardest on each 20 minute interval till you reach your 1 hour... then 2nd hour... then 3rd hour! But don't forget to take your breaks, too! Steno nerds need to have fun as well! :) How about you? How do you breakdown your practicing sessions? Would love to know your thoughts!

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By: VintageVerses of Etsy.com