December 9, 2011


Yesterday I missed my 200 4V at 10 minutes test by only 21 points!!! So far, this is the closest I've come to passing this test. I was on a high when I made a beeline from the classroom to the lab in order to type up the possible pass. However, that elation slowly deflated as I was marking my errors on my typed-up transcript against the audio tape. Sigh.

I was feeling sad and frustrated (so close but not close enough!), but thankfully, my biggest supporter, my husband, lifted me up. He congratulated me to being so close to a pass. He said that I'm "just knocking at the door" and that it's "only a matter of time." With his help, I was able to lift my head up, smile, and tell myself, "Wow! You did so great! You are inches away from passing this test! It truly is ONLY a matter of time now, thank GOD!"

I just have to keep practicing diligently, keep believing, and every day transcribe all my tests... even the ones I know are not even close to a pass. Why?! Because there are so many valuable learning moments when you transcribe and grade your tests... but only if you do it CONSTRUCTIVELY. I urge you, fellow students, don't just "go through the motions." Look for those small victories in each typed-up test and celebrate those!  It will motivate you and give you the valuable info you need on how to improve your steno test-taking skills!

Here's a handful of what I look out for when I transcribe my tests:

  • I take note of how many errors I get on each page. If the error margin on each page is getting smaller as the days go by, I remind myself that that's a great accomplishment!
  • I take note if I have certain finger errors or if I'm forgetting a brief. If I am, then I make sure to practice those certain finger drill(s) and/or brief(s) that I'm messing up on and work to make them solid.
  • I take note of when I'm making my most errors. Are they in the beginning, middle, or last part of the 10-minute test? I figure that out, then at the next test, I make an extra effort to concentrate especially hard at the portion where I got the most errors.
  • I take note of what kind of errors I'm making. Are they clean drops? If they are, then I know it's just a matter of time to train my fingers to become fast enough, so I don't drop as much. Are they jumbled up strokes? If they are, then I know that I'm letting my nerves get the better of me, and I need to work on concentrating on the speakers only, not my internal voice that's screaming, "Oh, no! You missed that word! Go back and correct it!" ...or some other silly demand like that! :P Um, can't do that... I'm taking a test and trying to pass it! :)

So I urge you, fellow steno students, to transcribe ALL your tests and ANALYZE those tests! Then start working EVERY DAY in correcting those pesky mistakes that keep coming up. How do you know what kind of mistakes you keep making unless you actually look for them in your test, understand them, and record them diligently? Only once you do that will you know how to improve in your weak spots, right? Doing this will keep you motivated, and you'll inch closer and closer to that PASS!

I've been on YouTube lately watching videos about how to become successful. One of my favorite channels is by Dr. Henry Cloud, who is a clinical psychologist. Here are 2 great videos from him that you got to check out!
This is called "Ridge of Resistance." In it, Dr. Cloud teaches us how to get over the inevitable hump or wall of frustration that we all face when we're trying to reach our goal.
This is called "It's All Small." In it, Dr. Cloud teaches us how to focus on the every day little steps we are making to get from Point A to Point Z, from where we are to where we want to be -- at the finish line of our goal! For me, that would be graduation and a CSR and RPR certificate!
Lastly, check out this YouTube video. This is for all of us who need to be reminded to get our head up and continue to be positive! The song is by Andy Grammer, and the song is called "Keep Your Head Up."

P.S. If you have people in your life who have no idea how difficult your tests are to pass, why not send them this YouTube video of a court reporting test --  This happens to be the test I'm trying to pass (except right now it's done by 1 teacher, not a live 4 panel) -- 200 WPM, 4-voice, 10 minutes.  Let's see if they can even repeat what's being said in their brain at 97.5% accuracy!  I don't think so!

Don't let ANYONE GET YOU DOWN!!!  What we do -- machine stenography -- is TRULY AMAZING!!!  Only a small, small, small percentage of the population have the skills we have, and that makes us UNIQUE, VALUABLE, and EXTRAORDINARY! :)


Gina said...

Wow, I just discovered your blog. Absolutely love it. I'm only at 130wpm right now. I'm trying to pass a speed at least once a month, but you know how realistic that really isnt lol. The 200 WPM 4 panel speaker was great at first until they switched speakers, totally threw me off. I hope you pass so you can tell us what the real world is like. Schools make it all seem scary.

Anonymous said...

Hi....& thank u so much 4 sharing ur court reporting journey w/all of us. Ur words of inspiration truly help on those days I feel like I just won't get it. I'm in Theory class right now in NY & although all is difficult & requires lots of practice & patience, I know that I w/eventually get it. I wish u all the luck in passing ur test---i know u will :) Plz keep us posted.

Arizona court reporters said...

It is very rare that you will find a school that is online. There are programs in the different parts of the world, and it is a wonderful idea. My court reporting firm likes this so much. Most especially my friends who wants to study online!

court reporting services said...

These are the thoughts we should have in our mind in order to live a successful career.

Steno Nerd (AKA Christine) said...

Gina: Thanks so much for your kind words! :) I'm really glad that my blog is helping fellow CR's out there. :)

I actually hear that the "real world" isn't as scary out there as we think it is. In lots of ways, school is more difficult. But don't worry about any of that... you'll be more than prepared once you cross that threshold. :)

Anonymous: I'm so glad that my blog helps you on days you get frustrated. Believe me, as a fellow CR, I know what it's like to be frustrated in this CR journey! Just keep chugging away and practice as smart as you can... never give up... and you'll get to the finish line... and it'll be soooooooo worth it!!! :)

Arizona Court Reporters: There are a lot more online CR schools out there nowadays. Your friends won't have any problem finding the right fit for them. :)

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