SimplySteno Samples
Lesson Sample
Your job is to sit in that chair each day and follow our lead.

Below is a sample of one of our daily schedules (200 speed). We have hundreds of daily schedules that target different areas each day, so the schedule below is just a small taste. The dictations and drills for each day are already selected for you - there's no wasted time. In a real lesson, the dictation files would be directly below where it says to use them. Schedule – 200 WPM DAY 3.1
Time – 3 Hours, 20 Minutes

Golden Tickets! They’re everywhere! Do you know what I’m talking about? If not, you probably think I’m nuts. Even if you do, you probably think I’m nuts : ) But a Golden Ticket is what you need, and that’s exactly what you’re going to get.

I was in class one day speaking about the importance of using all of your transcription time (for the billionth time). What brought it up was the fact that I had graded a test that day in which the student had used the word “finely” instead of “finally” in the final transcript. She took 45 minutes of her 75 minutes of transcription time. Think she would have found her error if she had used all her proofing time? In the context of the sentence, yes.

But that’s not why I’m bringing it up. As I was speaking with the class, one of my students who had just taken the CSR exam got visibly upset. She had not passed the test. She turned to the class and said, “The transcription room should be your temple. I screwed up in the transcription room. That’s why I didn’t pass.” She went on to explain that she had put so much time into her writing, she totally neglected her transcription skills.

She found herself unprepared to transcribe for 3 hours. She found herself unprepared for the pressure of proctors shouting out, “5 more minutes!” She found herself without a proofing plan once she had finished her first draft. She found herself without the ability to make educated guesses on her notes. She failed the test in the transcription process. I rarely use the word “fail.” I always use the more positive, “did not pass.” But in this case, a fact is a fact. She’s a great writer who failed when it came time to transcribe.

Don't let your transciption be your downfall.

Things you need today –

1 – Your Red Pen

Do you have a special place you’ve been practicing? Comfortable? Eaten something? You can’t practice and focus if you have a growling stomach. Now let’s get your fingers stretched out. Spread your fingers as far apart as they’ll go. Use one hand to push the fingers on the other hand back. Then the other hand.

A - Steady finger movement – 1, 2, 3, 4 - accuracy is the key – not speed. Go over this drill 10 times – at a speed of about a stroke a second. After 10 times, repeat any of the outlines that may have caused you to stumble. Repeat the drill for 5 minutes – a stroke a second.

A - Follow the instructions on page 11.

3 – 190 LITERARY DICTATION 11A – 5 Minutes
A – We’re going to do this take twice and read back the second take. Are you doing your breathing exercises every time before you begin? Are you visualizing the red, negative energy being expelled from your body - the positive energy being taken in? Start the dictation.
B – Done? Get rid of your notes.

4 – 190 LITERARY DICTATION 11A – 15 Minutes
A – One more time, only this time we’ll go over your notes (computer or paper) afterwards. You have a sneak peek now, so you know the areas that may trip you up. Make the decision to go for them or drop them as soon as possible. 3 GREEN breaths in and 3 RED breaths out. Start the dictation.
B – Done? Now go over your notes and stop the dictation at each spot you had an error. If you have a drop of a few words or more, take a look up a few lines. Was there something there that caused you to stumble? If so, was it worth trying to get it?
C – Get rid of your notes.

5 – 210 2-VOICE DICTATION 11A – 5 Minutes
A – A last push before we test. That’s right, test! Ahhhhh!!!! Oh, wait…a test isn’t that bad. It’s just another chunk of dictation, just like the 4 million we’ve done before. And in your case a test is a good thing. Sounds lame, right? But a test is your Golden Ticket. Just in case you’ve never seen Willy Wonka, I’ll explain. There was a boy named Charlie who had a dream. He wanted more than anything to visit Willy Wonka in a magical chocolate factory. The only way to do that was to find a Golden Ticket that was hidden within only a few of millions of candy bars. The chances of finding that Golden Ticket and living his dreams were pretty thin. But…this was a movie, so he found that Golden Ticket and everybody lived happily ever after. In your case the Golden Ticket is your state exam. And you don’t have to search high and low for it – it’s right there! They are handing it to you! All you have to do is take it from them!
A test is nothing more than an opportunity to prove what you’ve learned. Don’t you think you’ve learned how to write well on your machine? Haven’t you acquired a skill that very few can even understand? You should be looking forward to tests! Every test is a Golden Ticket just begging to be snatched up by you!
B – You know what – let’s forget about the 210 and go straight into the test right now!

6 – 200 2-VOICE DICTATION 11A – 65 Minutes
A – This is a test (Golden Ticket). Make sure you’ve set aside enough time to write for 5 minutes, then transcribe for 60.
B - Space up. Do a mental check of your body. Relaxed? Close your eyes. Take 3 GREEN breaths in and 3 RED breaths out. Start the dictation.
C - When the last word was spoken, how was your body? Relaxed or tight? If you were tight, make a mental note of that. You need to occasionally check your body during dictation pauses.
D – You have 60 minutes. Not 61 and definitely not 59. 60. Do not use less time than you have. Use every last second. Don’t second guess yourself. You have to trust your notes. Your first instinct is usually correct. And you need to accept the fact that people occasionally misspeak. Make educated guesses if you have an empty space that you know was an error. You have nothing to lose. I always use phone numbers as a perfect example. If the witness says 888 555-1212, but you only have 888 555-12 in your notes, are you going to leave the last 2 numbers off? That’s 2 errors. If you guess 7 and 3, that’s still 2 errors. Frankly, I’d rather take a guess and maybe one would be right! Start transcribing.
E – Done? Upload your transcribed test. Please include your name and test number – 200 2V 11A.

7 - BREAK TIME – 10 Minutes
Drink coffee or soft drinks before you write? If you do it for the adrenaline rush, get out of the habit if you can. What comes up, must come down. And the downside you usually feel after a caffeine rush is usually lower than when you started.

8 – 210 2-VOICE DICTATION 11A – 10 Minutes
A – Let’s do that 210 now for readback. Your batteries should be recharged a bit and your energy level should be pretty high. You’ve been putting in your practice time – worthwhile practice time - and how can you not feel good after that?! GREEN air in and RED air out, right? Start the dictation.
B – Let’s check out your notes. No need to stop the dictation if you come across an error. Just let it go and make a mental note of your errors. When you’re done, get rid of your notes.

9 – 200 2-VOICE DICTATION 11B – 15 Minutes
A – Last readback of the day, so let’s really focus. Scan your body out from head to toe. Close your eyes. Take 3 GREEN breaths in and 3 RED breaths out. Start the dictation.
B – Play back the dictation and check your notes, stopping the dictation to make note of your errors.
C – Get rid of your notes.

10 – 180 2-VOICE DICTATION 11A – 5 Minutes
A – And we’ll finish off the day with something a little more comfortable. Make it count. There are no “throwaway” dictations. Every single piece of dictation you write on your machine counts, and you should put in the same amount of focus, regardless of the speed. Sometimes writing at a speed below yours is even harder because you have that extra time between strokes for your mind to wander. That’s when you really have to pull it together and get back in the moment. Close your eyes. Take 3 GREEN breaths in and 3 RED breaths out. Start the dictation.
B – Get rid of your notes.

11 – PUNCTUATION LESSON 11A – 45 Minutes
A – This is a continuation of yesterday's exercise, so make sure you save your work. We'll be testing on Friday.

12 – VOCABULARY LESSON 11A – 15 Minutes
A – You know the drill. You have 5 words to look up. Make a sentence up for each word and make sure it's relevant to the word- no trying to sneak one through!


Tests are nothing but Golden Tickets. They are an opportunity to show what you've learned, and a signal that you need to push harder. Look forward to tests – they are Golden Tickets that allow you entry into everything you’ve been working towards.

Recent Updates!

10/29/14 - Started adding the SimplySteno Live class recordings to the Video Library. That means lots of new dictation every week!


8/8/14 - Added new dictations to the audio library - most of them ranging from 200-250 wpm!


5/22/14 - Added new tests into the mix. New speakers - more variety - keeping you on your toes!


1/20/14 - Adding "Speedbuilding Focus" files to each speed in the Audio Library.  They are about 20-30 minutes in length.  They are a single, 5-minute dictation that is broken down by minute - slower - then goal - then faster - then the entire dictation.  Great way to do some target practice on one dictation.


12/18/13 - We've added a CAT Software Training area! With teaching guides and videos for the 4 major CAT companies - Case CATalyst, Eclipse, DigitalCAT and Winner - it's a great place to learn your software.


11/11/13 - The EFT Video Series has been added. These EFT videos were designed by a certified hypnotherapist specifically for the SimplySteno Court Reporting Program.  They deal with Test Anxiety, Fear of Failure, Fear of Success and more! It's not all about the fingers - it's about the mind as well.


10/29/13 - Stretching videos added. These videos were designed by a certified yoga instructor specifically for court reporting students - specifically for the SimplySteno Court Reporting Program. Students sit for long periods of time, so it's important to keep the body in good position.


9/25/13 - A MAJOR overhaul in the lesson format! We've integrated the audio files directly into the lessons to save court reporting students time. Many students have jobs or family duties, so making the most of every second counts!


8/15/13 - Added LIVE classes to the SimplySteno program! With video integration, you can actually see your teacher - and they can see you! It's a great opportunity to get in some live readback and get instant feedback from your speedbuilding instructor.


7/5/13 - Added more sustained and pyramid dictations to the lessons in every speed! It's important to have variety - to mix things up - to keep you on your toes!


5/26/13 - Added 250 new dictations to the Audio Library - all different speeds and types - literary, jury charge, 2-voice. By this time next year, we'll be shooting for close to 3,000 dictations available for use by SimplySteno court reporting students!


3/12/13 - Updated the Brief Machine section. There are now over 700,000 brief suggestion in the database. Just type in your English word or phrase and get a brief idea (or several) on demand!


1/1/13 - SimplySteno is proud to be a sponsor for the upcoming documentary about the field of court reporting. It's important that everyone learns about this amazing occupation! Check out the documentary website - CourtReportingMovie - and make sure to like the Facebook page to get updates!