Shorthand is a vital skill for journalists or anyone working in a secretarial role. It allows you to take notes quickly and accurately. Most journalism training courses will include shorthand, with tests often incredibly daunting because they are against the clock. Calculating your shorthand dictation speed before the test can ease nerves and in the professional realm being able to note your speed is a great addition to your CV.
Things You'll Need
- Shorthand tutorial tapes
Understand that shorthand speed is universally described as the number of words that you can write in one minute. For this reason shorthand speed is generally described in words per minute (wpm), with 100 wpm the industry standard for journalists. Most people however speak at 120-140 wpm, so it is always worth improving your speed.
The easiest way to calculate your speed is to use shorthand tutorial CDs. These are easily available online and will include passages and progressively faster speeds. Most tapes will start at 50 wpm, which you could likely write in longhand, but this offers you the time to think about what you are writing before noting it down. Test yourself at each of these speeds until you can no longer keep up. The last speed you were comfortable with is your current shorthand dictation speed.
If you do not have access to shorthand tutorial tapes, try asking a friend to read aloud from a passage. Ideally you want to write nonstop for two minutes, so if you are testing yourself at 60 wpm ask them to read 120 words out loud over the course of two minutes. Similarly a 70-wpm test would include 140 words, and so on.
Speaking slowly can in itself be a challenge, so it may be worth marking timings on the paper they are reading from. For example, in a 60-wpm test they could put a dash after every 10th word to indicate that 10 seconds should have passed. A stopwatch should be used for accuracy.
You might find that you have confidently written 200 words in shorthand in two minutes and are now congratulating yourself on achieving the industry standard of 100 wpm, but this is not the end of the test. You must now transcribe your shorthand back into longhand and check for mistakes. If you have missed out occasional words, or worse yet an entire sentence, then you have not yet reached the level you are after. Shorthand is a great tool for taking notes, but wherever you use it accuracy is likely to be just as important as speed.
- Photo Credit Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images
How to Test Shorthand Speed
Writing shorthand to record quotes or an interview remains a key skill for secretaries, administrative staff and journalists even in this digital...
How to Calculate Shorthand WPM
How to Test Shorthand Speed; How to Calculate WPM in Typing; How to Calculate WPM Online; Comments You May Also Like. How...
What Is Dictation Speed?
What Is Dictation Speed?. Dictation speed is the speed at which a person listening can transcribe words. ... Standards for a Speed...
How to Learn Stenography at Home
Stenography is a form of speed writing, or shorthand. It uses symbols to represent words and phrases. A beginning stenographer takes dictation...
How to Learn EasyScript Shorthand
How to Calculate Shorthand Dictation Speed; How to Learn Legal Shorthand; Shorthand Tips; How to Use Medical Shorthand; ehow.com. About eHow; eHow...
Standards for a Speed Test for Typing
How to Test Shorthand Speed. Writing shorthand to record quotes or an interview remains a key skill for secretaries, ... How to...
Shorthand Tips for Meeting Minutes
Shorthand skill and speed comes with consistent practice. You can effortlessly build both with daily use. ... How to Calculate Shorthand Dictation...
How to Learn Teeline Shorthand
Practice dictation. Start with CDs or online dictation which gives you the option of slowing down the speed of the speech. ......
How to Take Dictation
Many employers still require their administrative assistants to take dictation, even in the age of the PC. Follow these steps to learn...