Yesterday I received a Tweet from a court reporting student, “As a student, what is more important? Speed or accuracy?”
My friend @stenoknight believes in accuracy. She wrote an excellent, detailed article about how she got out of school. I highly recommend it to court reporting students and young court reporters who want to improve their writing. http://bit.ly/7rOL8a
I have a different philosophy about getting out of school. I lean on the side of speed.
Both Stenoknight and I got out of school in less than two years, and I don’t believe either one of us is right or wrong. I would suggest court reporting students choose the method that makes sense to you. Take a bit of both philosophies if you wish.
I was intense in court reporting school. I would go to class every day, never missed school. During breaks or lunchtime, I would sit in the classroom with my machine and be constantly writing. At night I would write the news, which was way too fast for me, or Frank Sinatra songs. (I love singing along with Frank, and I could with all of the words in front of me on my paper notes.) That may sound silly, but I believe all of the writing, writing, writing kept me focused.
Learn briefs. They will save you so many strokes and make your writing more accurate.
I still push for speed. I want to write super fast. I have clients who talk up to 350 words per minute. I love the crazy spurts, because it gives me a chance to clear my mind and really write and to be in the proverbial “zone.”
I believe practicing with speeds that are too fast teaches you not to think. You are forced to clear your mind, let go, and just write.
In focusing on accuracy, you are constantly thinking. Of course, accuracy is the name of the game in the long run.
My advice: Learn briefs, practice all of the time, and constantly push yourself with speeds faster than you can write. If you are in a 90-120 class, write at 130-140, 150 speeds, and then slow down again to 90-120. Your brain is going to get tired. At some point, your brain is going to stop thinking, and that is when you will be in the zone and writing effortlessly.
In answering the question, speed or accuracy in school, I vote for speed. I love to write fast! It is exciting to me. Learn your briefs and then GO FOR IT!!!!!!!!!!!!