A court reporting program does not have to be complex to be effective. In fact, at SimplySteno we believe that the opposite applies. We don't believe in "fluff." Every dictation, academic, lecture and project is there for a reason. And we stick to the basics, because the basics work!
If many of our "rules" seem strict, it's because we want to give you everything you need to increase your writing speed and feel more confident on your machine. That means both guiding and pushing you in the right direction.
The SimplySteno program utilizes 6 areas of focus - Dictation/Testing, Academics, Drills, Scheduling, Mental Conditioning and Creativity. All 6 of these are worked into a daily schedule that leaves nothing for you to interpret. It's all there - step by step - guiding you exactly where you need to go. That's 5 schedules a week (you need your weekends to decompress). You can check out a Sample Schedule here.
Quality dictation is the cornerstone of speedbuilding, and we supply the best! Our dictation material comes directly from SpeedBuilders.com. If you've ever used their services before, you know you're getting the finest dictation out there! If you'd like to hear a sample dictation, just email us with your speed and we'll send something right over.
What kind of dictation will you get with your SimplySteno program? Example - if you sign up as a 150 wpm student, your dictation speeds will range from 130 to 170 - both single and 2-voice (and even a little 4-voice tossed in to keep it interesting). All dictation files are mp3's which makes them easier for you to utilize. There's no special software to download.
We believe in a Trail, Goal, Push approach to speedbuilding. Lower speeds are perfect to practice your accuracy and form good writing habits. Your goal speed is your testing speed - the speed you are currently trying to pass. Push speeds are needed to learn productive dropping and to sharpen your listening skills.
Testing is done 3 times a week and you must pass both a single and 2-voice test at 95.5% to move on to the next speed. Testing is performed at 10-word increments. All testing dictation is read in word count to guarantee varying density - something we believe is important. All your tests will be graded, analyzed and returned to you, so that we can point out what we feel you should be focusing on.
Our academics have been designed by working reporters to make certain they are relevant. Each academic runs from 6 to 22 weeks. We've worked 4 academics into the SimplySteno program - English, Vocabulary, Medical Terminology and Legal Terminology. We do keep the academics on the light side. We want the bulk of your practice time to be on your steno machine.
If you've taken these academics previously, it's up to you whether you take them again.
Drills are an important part of your daily routine. We keep things interesting by providing varying dexterity, number, medical and spelling drills every single day of your SimplySteno program.
All the tools in the world are useless without a solid instruction guide. The SimplySteno daily schedules are the most precise you will find. Every day requires from 2 to 5 hours of your time, depending on the assignments of the day. Testing days are the longest as they require transcription time.
You can see a Sample Schedule here. Every day is different - designed to target specific areas of your writing and keep you from getting bored.
As you've discovered by now, a large portion of your education is mental. Simply writing on your machine and gaining speed is the result of physical response, but it's the mental aspect of writing that hovers over that development. In the SimplySteno program, we work with you on that mental aspect each day.
Most students focus every ounce of energy they have into passing tests. In our opinion, that's a mistake. Your energy should be placed on your writing - all writing - how to write cleaner, without hesitation. Once you've done that, the tests will take care of themselves. We teach you how to focus that positive energy and release the negative.
Recently, we added the EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) Video Series. This was designed by a certified hypnotherapist specifically for the SimplySteno program. Each video is designed to deal with a different mental component of court reporting - Test Anxiety - Fear of Failure - Fear of Success - and others.
A speedbuilding program does not have to be boring. Okay, that's not 100% true. A good part of it needs to be repetitive. That's the nature of the beast. If you want to develop healthy writing habits, you need to develop your brain/fingers response. And the only way to do that is with positive repetition.
But there's room to have fun as well! And we do our best to make the program entertaining - to keep you engaged - to make you laugh - to make you think.
Michelle Pfeifer - The actress who starred in such movies as The Fabulous Baker Boys, What Lies Beneath, Batman Returns and...yes, Grease 2...once attended court reporting school in California.
Harvey Keitel - Known for his acting roles in Reservoir Dogs, The Piano, Pulp Fiction and Mean Streets, the gritty actor once made a living as a court reporter.
Kim Delaney - "If I weren't an actress: I had planned on being a court reporter." Kim actually attended school before landing acting roles in such TV shows as NYPD Blue and Army Wives.
Phil Spector - The famous music producer (now in jail for murder) attended court reporting school before producing such classic songs as Be My Baby (The Ronettes), You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling (The Righteous Brothers) and Unchained Melody (The Righteous Brothers).
Charles Dickens - At 18 years of age, Charles Dickens became a professional stenographer, using his verbatim skills for the newspaper, the Mirror of Parliament. His work as a stenographer clearly influenced his novel writing in later years. David Copperfield, one of his most popular characters, was a parliament stenographer as well.