I'd be interested in hearing opinions also. After this last debacle of a CRR, I want to be super prepared in May and thought I'd give Realtime Coach a try. It's crazy that I can provide great realtime all the time at jobs but can't seem to conquer this test. Will this help?
I think Realtime Coach would be a great way to prepare for the CRR exam. I have used it. You can adjust the speed of the particular dictation you're working on up and down. Practicing above the speed you're trying to achieve is a great way to be more comfortable at your target speed. One of the options you can select shows you where you probably got hung up before you made the error. Another great thing about it is that your realtime accuracy is graded, so it is more like a test situation. The more you practice, knowing that you'll be graded, the more you can get over the text anxiety and relax. I really enjoyed using Realtime Coach. There are speeds up to 300 wpm, so there is something there for everyone.
I saw that there is another free trial of Realtime Coach being offered through NCRA. I think it is still going on now.
Realtime Coach helped me pass the CRR, definitely. But what assured my pass was the fact that I was writing very comfortably, and able to read back at speeds of 210-220 for literary.
Mark K. explains it very well when he says there is "top speed" and there is "realtime speed." Top speed is readable notes that you can transcribe at 95%. Realtime speed is the speed at which your notes are nearly perfect. For me there was about a 20 wpm difference. To help me pass my tests I joined the Magnum Steno Club AND did RT Coach. With the combination of super-high-speed dictation in the MSC, and the "test environment" of RT Coach, it really made it easy for me to nail my tests. In May and June 2009, I passed the Texas CSR and the CRR.
I agree. I think overhauling one's writing is pretty overrated in most situations, though it can't hurt to look for strokes or combinations that are hard for you and come up with easier options if practicing them doesn't help.
I've noticed that I go the fastest when I'm doing a smooth rhythm of strokes with a good brief and phrase in here and there instead of necessarily having everything down to one stroke. I get behind and make mistakes when that rhythm is seriously screwed up, like hesitating on several words in a row, correcting myself three/four times in a row, or stumbling over difficult or confusing fingering.
I'm going to try the CRR in November when I can afford it :) Best of luck to you in May!
I tend to agree. When I find myself in a good rhythm, my accuracy is there. Trying to refine it sometimes just causes drops and the like.
Now if I can get past the test jitters, I'll be golden for the exam!
Best of luck to you as well.
There is a free one month trial of RT Coach starting Jan 15. Here's my copy/paste from an email I received a week or so ago:
IT'S BACK! Realtime Coach™ Nationwide FREE Trial & Giveaway: Jan 15 – Feb 15, 2010
Realtime Coach™ is the best, most powerful way to improve your writing and reap the rewards.
WIN one full year of Realtime Coach™ by logging the most hours during the contest!
FREE one-month trial for everyone!
Everybody wins! Practice 30 hours during the contest, and get another 30 days FREE!
Earn up to 1.0 CEU while you practice!
Buy now, and get up to 75% OFF* with Coupon Code: WIN-RTC
Be ready! Log in today at http://ncra.learnrealtime.com to get started.
*75% Discount applies to add-on purchases (see Web site for details)