9 questions to ask yourself to improve your steno skills


Here are a few questions to ask yourself at the end of each dictation or when you find yourself struggling in a chapter.


  1. Are you analyzing your steno notes? Look for shadowing, stacking. Look for misstrokes. Reading through your mess and knowing the kind of misstrokes you make will help you a ton in testing situations, but also it shows you exactly what you need to work on to master the concepts in the dictation file.
  2. Are you keeping a list of errors? Use the hesitation list worksheet. Be sure to date it at the top. It also helps to group from which dictation you pulled these words/phrases.
  3. Are you noting what is wrong due to dexterity vs memory? You will treat these errors differently. Dexterity issues require finger drills. What part of the outline causes you trouble? Now work on the “right side” of that outline and then work on the “left side” of the outline, by going back and forth between either STPH/SKWR or -FPLT/-RBGS.
  4. Are there certain conflicts giving you issues? If so, use the blank keyboard worksheet. Draw the proper outlines. Now try to explain the difference and why that makes sense to you. Teaching is the highest form of learning. If you can explain it, you can retain it.
  5. Are you reading back your notes? This helps cement the outlines into your brain. This is similar to flashcards.
  6. Are you transcribing every dictation you write? Transcribe it and then grade it.
  7. Are you practicing the sentence before an error and the sentence after an error? Practice it until you can write all three sentences smoothly, with little to zero hesitation.
  8. Are you adding the entries properly to your dictionary? Yes, it happens. If you have “this” translating to “that,” you will have a ton of errors and not even understand because the improper word made sense.
  9. Are you writing in one stroke all the phrases taught? If not, which ones are you writing out? Sort them by common denominator. With this information you can make drills to address your needs. Now put them in random.org/lists and mix them up if you think drilling the words will help you with or without a metronome.
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