I am a student in 100 speeds. I have been in the speed for the past two year and thinking about quitting since i can't get past such a low speed. I practice twice as much as other students and I'm getting frustrated which doesn't help either. Only option I see is to quit and look for another career.

As a last resort, does anyone have any tips or tricks to help me get out of a speed? The teachers I asked advice said I'm doing everything right. Baby steps are taking to long and I can't continue like this. It will take several years to get through this program and I've already been in for four years.

Desperate student

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Awesome. I needed this.
I think you've given yourself a mental block. I would take off two weeks - no practice. The first day of your vacation, start meditation. It takes practice to learn how to medicate. Do it several times a day. Just get in tune with your mind's inner peace. I'd do it in the bathroom, sitting on a rug, door shut, no sound, no light. When you feel in tune with your inner peace, then get your practice tapes, turn them on, and practice in your head - no machine. Pretend you are writing. Listen to the tapes, let the words flow out of your head into your fingers and pretend you are writing them. After two weeks start practicing again. You should have a new perspective.

Thanks to everyone that replied to my post. I really appreciate it! Sorry I have not gotten back to any of you because I've been practicing and figuring out what I need to do. I have one week left of classes then i'm on break for the month of August.

I do know that my biggest problem is hesitation. I've been working on tapes, my theory, briefs, phrases , finger expercises, and concentration. I do a varity of things during the week to change it up and so I don't get bored with the same thing. I usually start my practice session with something i'm familiar with to get into the flow of things then I try to learn something new or I'll review something I did a while ago to see if i remember it. Should I concentrate on one thing or keep doing what i'm doing? I have to say, I did miss one test this week by 8 so I am getting close to passing a 100 test. Finally! hehe

Again, thanks to everyone and all your suggestions. I really do appricate it and I feel I have a lot of support out there from member I have not even met.


Thanks so much for your encouragement and suggestions. I will definitely try and rethink how I'm practicing and hopefully I'll be more prepared when my classes start again in Sept. And I agree with you, if I can't write the easy stuff then I can't write the hard stuff. I do practice the easy stuff from my theory book and review all the briefs and phrases to make sure I know them at least.

I think Allison said it very well...if you can't write the easy stuff, you can't write the difficult stuff.

I know personally that I wanted so much to keep up with the faster students that I may have pushed myself ahead when I still needed to work on the "easy stuff."

You are an individual, and you have to work on what you need to work on, no matter what anyone else is doing.
You've received some excellent advice from everyone. The only thing I would add is to STOP thinking so much about what you're writing and just let if flow out your fingertips. You will be very surprised at how accurately you really write.

When I have to explain to people how I do what I do, I tell them it's like playing the piano. Do you think a pianist can play Chopin by thinking of every note on the page?? Of course not. Neither can a court reporter write 225 wpm by thinking about every word spoken.

One final bit of advice.....I had the most wonderful teacher in school named Mrs. Ellesmere-Jones. She really tried to give us what would help us the most, unlike others who looked at us as just another month of tuition. When we were in our 120's she would read to us at 200 for one minute bursts. She'd tell us to just write SOMETHING for the whole minute. We'd do that for a class period. Worked miracles for those of us who were stuck at that 120 speed. The point is, write at faster speeds regularly and just HANG ON. Your slower speeds are for accuracy.

Good luck!

Mrs. Ellesmere-Jones sounds wonderfully brilliant!! How lucky you were to have her.
I couldn't possibly put into words how wonderful Mrs. E-J was. She eventually started her own school for a few years and just last month passed away. She was the epitome of a little old grandmother, but in her lifetime she taught on an international level Olympic swimmers, concert pianists, bought and refubished houses, and had her own court reporting school. She genuinely loved her students and did things to help each individual separately. Good luck, Mykael. We all believe in you so you must believe in yourself also!
Hi, Mykael!

Aren't the people on CSR Nation so wonderful? :) All great advice!

Here's my two cents:

1. Hang out with positive people to help keep your morale up. Be with people who believe you really CAN do this! No negative talk... EVER!

2. Clear your mind. Don't try so hard. Relax. I think you're putting way too much pressure on yourself mentally. I know it's hard, but why not try this: Practice 150% out of class, but once you come into class for your tests, release control and just hear it, write it, hear it, write it. Then transcribe everything! I think you'll find that you're getting a lot more down than you think you are!

3. Don't compare yourself with other students' progress and then get bitter because of it. There will always be those faster than us and those slower than us. We have no business in comparing ourselves against others because we're all unique and all have unique circumstances, abilities, etc.

4. Be flexible. Try everything suggested in this thread and see which works the best for you... and then DO IT! When you've hit a roadblock after doing what worked for you, be flexible again... change it up once more to see what now works for you. We must be adaptable to get to our goal!

5. Last but not least, have FUN on your Summer Vacation! I'm certainly going to be studying still on my machine, BUT I'm also going to have some play time by visiting old friends that I've kind of neglected because of the hectic work/school schedule. I suggest you get some R&R... not just a little, but LOTS of it! :)

Congrats on almost passing that 100 test! You're seriously almost there! Just never, ever give up!

See you at school! And please keep us all updated on your progress!


I'm a Steno Nerd!

I would like to add my two cents. Sometimes it helps to take a very, very short break off your machine just to give your brain some time to regroup and process the information you've been feeding it. Nevertheless, don't give up. If you love this profession, don't give up. It's a process. Most of us have been where you are. As a matter of fact, I'm technically still a student waiting for my results. I was stuck at 100 and the 180s. Just keep practicing. Analyze your practice schedule. Are you practicing at higher speeds? Practice your target speed every day. Practice at higher speeds at least 15 minutes a day. It will come. It will come. You really have to be patient. When it does come, the victory is sweet. You will really appreciate your patience. You will be able to share your story to someone else and inspire them.
Mykael, if you're serious about staying, I would agree with another reporter that going back to basics is good way to solidify your writing. It might be boring but your fingers will recognize those words better than anything else and will give you a little boost.

The only thing I've ever written to that is on TV are trial shows. The only purpose for that is to ingrain in my brain designations. I didn't try to push the writing part of it.

The one thing I do know that helped the most in writing is thinking in steno. I don't know if that makes sense. But when I would be walking or driving, whenever I saw or heard a word, any word, I would imagine in my brain my fingers stroking those keys. Basically, I trained my brain to think in steno. Just like if you were bilingual, you pictured the words that you were going to say before saying it. When people ask me how do you learn court reporting, I always say it's like learning a new language.

The students I went to school with reached their plateu around 120. So don't feel so bad. I know of some people that took 6 (me) or 7 years to finish. That might not sound encouraging to some, but to the people that finished, it was all worth it.

Good luck!
The advice that the other readers have given you is rock solid. Your analysis of your situation is also apparently correct. I don't believe you are a sloppy writer, and I don't think that you show obvious flaws in your writing technique. I'm guessing that you tend to think about your last stroke when you should be thinking about your next stroke. Although you won't pass your tests if you write too sloppy, you also won't pass them if you stay in practice mode. When you test, ya gotta dance with who brung ya. It's not time to learn briefs, or to learn to write perfectly, or to ensure that every stroke is readable. It's time to air it out and play with the skills that you have on that day. If you want individual help, write to admin@buysteno.com. I'll send you my address. You send me a typical test that has been corrected (you must fill in or correct the text) and the steno notes. I'll tell you who you are and what you should do. Make sure it is a typical test. If you usually goof up the first minute, show me a test where you goof up the first minute. If you write sloppy under pressure, show me a test where you write sloppy under pressure. I'm attaching several issues of my newsletter that may help you. Good luck. We need hard-working steno wizards like you. P.S. Anybody else who wants to send me a test is welcome. Just write to admin@buysteno.com. I'll send instructions. No charge for the help.


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