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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Yvette brought up another good point regarding testing. The school I attended you had to pass three or four qualifiers, 4-voice dicatation at 200 wpm, and I think the test was 17 minutes and you had to type up 15 minutes, in order for the school to send you to the state test. We also had to pass literary (180 wpm), jury charge (200 wpm), and two voice (225) to move up to the qualifying class. I think those are the right speeds for the literary and jury charge.
WoW...If So, ThatS inSanE!
I've read 4.5 years and 5 years to be the average, and I know the admissions person at my school tells prospective students that young, focused writers can definitely make it out in under 3. It'll be 2 years for me when I take the exam this October, but I've only been working for 4 months out of the year and part-time at that. I try and write at least a little outside of class most days, especially days when I'm not in school, so I think that is a big part of it for anybody who gets through quickly.

I've met people that got through in 18 months, 14 months, and even one person that got through in 9 (practicing for hours EVERY day AFTER class!), so it's definitely possible for the right person to speed through if they have the time and focus. Another thing to watch for is the program. Some schools will try and stick you in academics for an entire day and keep you off your writer, which in my experience was a terrible approach for the students. There's just no way to speed through if the school itself is preventing you from practicing during class hours.
Thanks, Monica!

To your point about time spent in school not equating with how good a reporter you can be, I should mention that I sat with a reporter who took the test 7 times before she passed, and took well over five years to get out of school...but her notes were stellar clean while the judge was talking between 250-300 during the arraignments she was writing. Beyond that, she was an absolute joy to intern with. I was at ease and laughing all day. That's the type of happy reporter I hope to be.
There was one school years ago in Phx that had this as their "fairly typical." I can't remember the name of it, but my school got a lot of transfers from that school. I recall that the transfer students would complain that after theory, they start dictation at 225 and basically wait for you to "catch up." They never really offered speed tests except once in a great while, and I remember hearing quite a few of those girls having been in school for three, four years at a stretch and then only testing out at 120 or so by the time they got to my school.

I also member they were taught that you will ALWAYS get the names of all counsel, and so instead of writing SNOO/EUFPLT/SKWRAO/EURBGS, ETC, they were supposed to write JONES/JONES/ SMITH/SMITH, stuff like that. When they were retaught about signals, it slowed some of them down a lot.

Everyone I know -- and I come from a family of court reporters -- took 16 months for my brother, 18 months for my sister, 19 months for my mom and 22 months for me. I was trying to finish school with several broken bones in my left hand. Anyway, everyone I know -- dozens and dozens of reporters -- finished on average of 18 to 24 months.
When I was in school many years ago, there were many who had been in school five plus years. I even knew of soneone who was there for seven years, so, yes, it does happen. I guess they wanted it bad enough.

I had stenography in high school for three years and then went to a court reporting school and was there for two and a half years. When I left high school, I was writing 140 words a minute - left court reporting school writing 240 words a minute. So it does take time to build the speed has been my experience.
Teri Gibson, Court Reporter
I basically put this out there just to get some feedback and a discussion going on the subject. This comment of 7 years being the "norm" for a steno writer to finish school came from a reporter that is not a steno writer, but practices court reporting via an alternative method. It really gets under my skin when these untrue facts are reported as the all-encompassing gospel by individuals who are not steno writers and are reporting these fallacies, it seems, due to bitterness against steno writers. Thanks for all of your posts.
Let me try this again. I think the main issue here is being missed. The title of my post is the "NORM" -- 7 years is NOT the "norm" by any means for a court reporting student to finish school. That's all I was trying to establish. We all know what "norm" means -- normal, common, the usual. I clearly understand that how long CR schooling takes varies from person to person and depends on the individual. That's not my point. I know that there are court reporting students who do take up to 7 years to finish school (I know very well that it happens) and still go on to be excellent reporters. That's not my point. I'm merely saying the "average" or the "norm" is NOT 7 years and prospective students or the public should not be given incorrect statistics or facts which could discourage someone from pursuing the steno writer court reporting profession.
At my school I'd say the average was seven years.
That's very interesting. I have a friend that gradauted from CR school in California not too long ago and they sure didn't think seven years seemed to be the average. If a CR school is averaging seven years to finish, you are in the wrong place and I would be looking for a new school.
When you fill out the paperwork to take the CA CSR for the first time, you have to fill out a survey regarding how long you were in school. If you really want an accurate answer about what is the "norm," (just for California) I think asking them would be a good place to find the answer. The Web site is courtreportersboard.ca.gov
I did hear the statistic of 7.5 years in California. Like I said, I'm not sure who did that survey and how accurate it really is.
The real story and the bottom line is 7 years is not the norm to finish court reporting school. My post was not even relating to what schools should be telling prospective students. Again, that's not my point. I wasn't saying schools should refer to any average....but most schools I know of these days do give an average, and it's definitely less than seven years and most say more than two years. But, again, that's not my point. As a matter of fact, no school in any profession can "guarantee" any student how long their schooling will take no matter what career is being pursued. It all depends upon that individual. My point is, I just don't want it to be said that "7 years is the norm" for CR school because it is not.


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