Just curious. Has anyone heard of 7 years being the "norm" for an individual to complete schooling as a steno writer? Anyone heard of this statistic being given before? I ran across a statement by a member on this site indicating 7 years is the "norm" for a steno writer to finish school, but maybe it was only sarcasm. I certainly don't want this egregious misconception to be advertised to any prospective students for them to be discouraged by such a statement. Let's correct the record just in case!

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No. I switched schools when I hit 225 Q&A. My first school was crappy, the original instructor left, the new one didn't like me. I went from 225 Q&A down to 160.

I'm inclined to think if you've been at a school three years, and you're not near finishing, then switch to another school. I read an article on a school in Washington where the students literally couldn't hit the qualifying markers - because they were almost impossible to reach.

I should think no more than 3 1/2 years would be the norm.
It took me two years to complete school. Of course, I was single, had no children and practiced my rear end off every night to speed tapes and whatever else I could get my hands on. If you are able to just focus on school and speed-building, it shouldn't take seven years. That's just my experience.
7 years? wow! Maybe if you go to school or classes and never practice at home. Although I'd think if you never practice at home, the norm would be "never." Also, be aware that "completing school" is meaningless. Getting credentials (RPR and CSR) is the only thing that counts. And that's just the beginning. That'll entitle you to call yourself a court reporter and for some agency to start giving you work but it's not nearly enough to provide the all-important confidence, which is the RMR. Once the basic certifying exams are passed, then the smart thing to do is NOT STOP PRACTICING EVEN ONE DAY until you pass the RMR. Once you have RMR speed and enough of it to overcome the jitters and pass the test, then is the time to start thinking about the CRR.

Practice 2-3 hours a night seven days a week and learn about smart briefing and phrasing, I say 2-3 years to pass the RPR and CSR.
I can say that I am a current student in a 2 year program, and I plan in finishing it in the 2 years. My professor finished the same program in 2 years. Certifications will take additional time, but I hope to be a freelance writer after my internship before becoming certified.
Hi Montrell! I am a court reporter student. In Q and A i am at 190 WPM so i figure by October or November i should be finish with school. October would be 2 years for me; however, there are some students in my school that are a little behind but i tell you one thing, after three years my school will give you the boot and you must wait an entire year to come back. Seven years is a bit too much. Like you said, maybe the person was joking, i hope so.lol Take care
Okay, so I'm a seven-year-er ... but ... I didn't practice a single day outside of class. I figured I was young and had p-l-e-n-t-y of time, so I actually didn't take it very seriously nor did I give it my 110%. The program was canceled several times before I could even get started, because enrollment was too low to hold class. So, from schooling, including passing my state licensing exam ... seven (7) years, yep, on the nose. Most of the students I went to school with had been in the program 5+ years, and that's an understatement. There were a few, like, two or three, who I knew passed within two to three years.

BUT ... please, puh-lease, don't do as I did. I am most definitely a poor example of what a steno student should be. To succeed (and to do so much more quickly than I did), one needs to breath, eat, sleep, dream and live steno! Unless you are one of the rare naturals, of course. :)

Good luck!
I have heard that 7 years is the average now in California. I don't know if that's true or not. I would say it was the average at my school. I went to public school. You were only on the machine 1 hour 40 minutes a day, and many students didn't practice outside of class. There were women there for ten years, honestly.

If you are on the machine five hours per day, you won't be in school seven years!!!
I got to the 200s in two years. I won't say how long I was in school after that. I think not writing short did keep me in those high speeds for way too long.
California and (I think) Texas has their own state requirements. I think you have to pass a four voice state test, and you have so long to pass the test after finishing school - or you're out. I worked in Florida, and I saw about five reporters who came from Texas and California because they couldn't work in their state.

There are so many strategies to getting speed up. Someone can sit and practice for hours and not really get anything out of it. The key is the focus for getting CORRECTLY a few words, a string of words, whole sentences - getting them into your head and onto the paper, as well as practicing with different tapes. Using the same tapes over and over just makes someone go through the droll without any effect. I meditated my last year, about two or three times a day for 20 minutes each. I was amazed how much it helped me build speed.

But if someone is in school, seeing no progress in a speed level in let's say four or six months - then something is wrong. The person doesn't have the right strategy for building speed, or doesn't really want it and isn't trying, or maybe the wrong school.

When someone gets into a court reporting program, they're not just getting into an eductional program - they've joined the Court Reporing Marines - it's a commitment, from the time you get up to get ready for class, during class, and until you go to bed. It is not something you do just during class.
The school I went to said 2 to 3 years going days. I think they said 3 to 5 going nights. I took almost ten years. Of course, I also held a full-time day job and did not practice. Also, I completed my school in, I think, 7 years. But I had to take the CSR two or three times to pass the machine portion. This is also back when they offered the CSR only twice a year. They now offer it three times a year in California.

I did go days for the last six months.
In the '70s, the so-called "norm" of completing court reporting school was 3 years. The school(s) in my area at that time were in session Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

It was said that the dropout rate of court reporting school at that time was 98 percent. Only 2 percent were the strong who survived, in other words. ;)

Not everybody can hack it. I liken it to learning how to play a musical instrument. I have always been a fast typist on a QWERTY keyboard, 150-plus WPM. So I figured I'd be a shoe-in to be a five-finger banjo picker. I found a banjo teacher in my area and took lessons. I was determined to be the next Scruggs. LOL

After about a year of taking the hour-long lesson once a week, I quit. I did not have the time to devote to learning how to be a five-finger banjo picker. I had too many pages to get out in my work life and never found time to practice that banjo I can remember one lesson when the banjo teacher came, and I hadn't practiced at all the entire week.

It's the same with stenotype school. If one wants it bad enough, they will devote the time needed to get there, i.e., practice those finger drills and speed recordings.

If there are any banjo lovers out there, this is my all-time favorite recording of my man Scruggs, a slew of country musicians, and Steve Martin on the Tonight Show with Dave Letterman: Foggy Mountain Breakdown
I think it depends on each person how fast they can get through school, if they get stuck at a certain speed, and also the school. I went to night school for one year and day school for five. My original school I started at just closed its doors. Second school, after attending one year, started to change, so went to my third school. Like Quyen I also didn't practice outside of school because I was too busy with a baby and too many functions on the weekends, along with working part time after school, until one day I finally said this is enough and pulled out the machine. When I was in school you did have the naturals that were able to take the state test in two years, but most of the students it was around three to four years, and sometimes like myself, six.
Really? My school you had to pass three Q&A, three lit and three jury charge, and they started doing that at 70 wpm. They gave tests at the end of each class. When I moved to CA, I had actually transferred to a school that wanted to knock me back to 140 to prove that I could actually write 180 - go figure - they wanted me to take their English/legal/medal, they wouldn't let you do it consecutively, and they only tested you once a week. If I had stayed in that school, I would have been in school another four years - at $800 a month.

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