Hello everyone! Student here. I have a few days left of my winter break and then it is back to school!! I am getting anxious because I have one pass for my speed and I want to know if I passed anymore my last week. I belong to a few "groups" on yahoo and myspace, however, none seem to have the court reporting focus that this does. I am very excited about meeting other students, reporters, scopists and proofreaders.
Some friends and I were discussing school during the holidays. At my school, 4-voice is not introduced until the 140 speed, and is not tested until the 160 speed. Does anyone have a take on that?

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Hi, Natalie,

What speed are you on now? Although I went to school in the '80s, it seems as though I remember 4-voice being introduced as early as 125. Our days were long and there were no breaks for winter, spring, summer, etc. I think the idea was to never stop writing. It was like boot camp. The woman who owned our school wrote her own theory book and was like a drill sergeant. I say start 4-voice ASAP - the harder the material the better. We were all out of there in two years. We were allowed to tape the classes during the day to use as practice at home. Best of luck to you!
We have 4-voice starting in the 140s and live 4-voice in 160s. It just seems that it is always the last thing that everyone can pass. My friends and I were wondering if it was because we received it so late. I have a friend that is a reporter, and she told me from the beginning, to learn your 4-voice. So I have been concentrating on that for some time. Thanks for the feedback!
Wow, no live 4-voice until 160? I personally think it needs to be introduced MUCH sooner than that. I've let many students intern with me over the years, and I think the hardest part about 4-voice is getting that speaker identification down. It's just like a new brief form - the more you practice it, the easier it becomes. I would urge everyone to get into 4-voice as early as possible. California's test is the hardest in the nation. New Jersey is the 2nd hardest (the one I took). You need to get comfortable hitting those speaker identifications and get above the required speed to allow for nerves the day of the test. I didn't pass the state test the first time - I was a perfectionist and would actually correct words I misstroked in the middle of test, which caused me to drop a little!! Dumb, I know. Best advice someone gave me for test day in my case: WRITE SLOP, DON'T DROP!
Practice that 4-voice and best of luck to you!
I agree - write slop, don't drop! Excellent advice. If you can keep those fingers moving, you'll be amazed how easier it is to keep up. And you'll also be amazed how you can sometimes figure out those messy, ugly strokes later. But if you freeze, you'll drop more words than you would write sloppy words. Does that make sense?

Also, shorten words as much as you can too. Like if they say the word "abolitionist" a couple/few times, write it out the first time, then write "AB/NEUFT" the rest of the time. You'll be able to figure that out.

Are you a member of the DRA? They have an excellent mentor program from what I hear. And it's the best organization out there. That is, if you're in California.

Good luck on your speed tests. Don't forget to breathe.
Thanks for the advice! I saw that DRA is having a convention, does it have anything geared toward students? I know the NCRA in Ca did. I noticed it was coming soon, and it is much closer to me and my fellow students then LA.
You should check it out more. Here's a link to the convention:
http://www.caldra.org/UserFiles/File/DRA%202008%20CONVENTION%20BROC...

From what I can see, there aren't really student-geard seminars; but you'll learn more here about what you will be doing for a living than anywhere else. Plus, you'll make contacts out the wazoo. This organization does so much for California reporters. They actually get legislation passed to help reporters and agencies. Like this: http://www.caldra.org/sub/AB1211.jsp

Like I said, they have a great mentor program. Read about it here: http://www.caldra.org/sub/index.jsp?contentid=oy1yFYSeetmsGZjr4QTrxKdN

Membership is only $25/yr for students. That's nothing.

The convention price for a student is only $99 for all three days, if you're a member. It's $199 if you're not a member. But it's definitely worth it just to come and meet other reporters, see what kind of issues we deal with. And I'm sure it'll help get you motivated to pass that next speed test.

Hope to see you up there.
That's exactly what my school did, and it put out many great reporters. Doesn't seem to be the norm these days, but personally I see nothing wrong with it. Some schools introduce computer writing in theory. I personally feel the focus should be learning your theory. Realtime doesn't get you out of school. Speed does.

Good luck. Hope you passed!

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