Stop Making the Same Mistakes: How Grading Your Dictation Can Improve Your Accuracy
Grading every dictation you write is an essential step towards improving your stenography skills. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced stenographer, grading your dictation is a critical part of the practice process.
Why Grading Your Dictation is Essential
Grading Helps Identify Mistakes
The most obvious thing grading your dictation does is help you identify your mistakes. This allows you to focus on those specific areas during practice and improve your accuracy.
If you don’t grade your work, you could be making mistakes without even realizing it. This can be a serious problem because you won’t know what areas you need to work on. You might think you have mastered a certain concept, when in fact your grade will reveal that you haven’t. On the other hand, you may be struggling with something you think is easy, like words starting with “comp-“, but only through grading can you discover that you are actually stroking them incorrectly and/or dropping words shortly after writing comp- words.
By grading your work and identifying areas of weakness, you can make the most out of each practice session and achieve your goals faster. This means you can better plan what to practice in your practice sessions. As a StenoKey participant, if you identify a weakness in your writing, simply request a customized practice plan, dictation as well as comprehensive worksheets tailored to your needs. A StenoKey participant can also schedule one-on-one sessions for help with any area. If you are a StenoKey participant and you prefer working with a group, you can even propose a live class so our community can help you turn any area of weakness into a strength.
Grading Helps Track Progress
Grading also helps you track your progress. By grading every dictation, you can see how much you’ve improved over time, especially when working on the same dictation multiple times. Keep track of the number of words you drop on each attempt, so you can see how much progress you’re making! When you are doing a dictation multiple times, make a note of where your drops occurred and aim to write every single word on the next attempt so you won’t have drops in the same place (or at all). With each attempt, you have the opportunity to improve your skills and overcome your weak spots. Remember, you have already listened to the dictation file and graded it at least once, so you are better prepared for the next attempt. Embrace the challenge and keep pushing yourself to write better and more accurately with each try.
Keep in mind that for many, drops in your dictation may not always be caused by a word that was dropped. Often, drops are caused by a word earlier in the sentence or even the prior sentence that causes the writer to hesitate and fall behind the speaker.
Grading Helps Develop Your Ear
Another benefit of grading is that it helps you develop your ear. Stenography is all about listening and transcribing quickly and accurately. By regularly grading your dictation, you are training your ear to pick up on the nuances of speech and improve your ability to transcribe what you hear. This is a valuable skill in the real world, where you cannot always ask someone to repeat what they said. Grading can also enhance your comprehension and listening skills.
Tips for Grading Your Work
Learn from each dictation! Drilling your weak spots before attempting the file again is also crucial. This is how you can practice writing cleanly and improve any areas of concern. Each dictation is an opportunity to learn and grow.
Remember, grading is not just about achieving a passing score, but it’s also about identifying areas where you can improve and tracking your progress. With each dictation, you have the opportunity to learn, grow, and become a better realtime reporter or closed-captioning provider.
A grade on a dictation file does not define your worth as a stenographer or as a person. However, it can provide valuable feedback on areas where you can improve and help you take the necessary steps to level up your skills. So, don’t let a low grade discourage you. Instead, use it as an opportunity to identify areas where you need to focus your efforts and keep working towards your goals.
Writing to the Best of Your Ability
Grading your work is just one crucial step towards improving your skillset, but it’s not the only one. Writing to the best of your ability is equally important. Knowing that you will grade your work should make you want to write your best so you can get an accurate assessment of your performance. If you’re determined to become a professional reporter or focused on improving your speedbuilding skills, then transcribing to the best of your ability is crucial. It’s necessary not just in the professional world, but also when getting certified to work. This means make a valiant effort in the transcription process so you can get an accurate reflection of how you performed. Treat every dictation file as if it were a test and put in your best effort to get an accurate reflection of your performance. With this mindset, you can continue to improve and achieve your goals as a stenographer.
What if you are not using an automated-grading platform?
Even if you do not have an automated-grading platform, you can still grade your work and identify areas for improvement. You can do this by listening to the dictation and comparing it to your transcript. By doing so, you can identify errors such as dropped words, incorrect translations, added or transposed words, and misspellings.
Certification tests will deduct points for certain grammatical errors. If you want a better assessment of your performance with punctuation, capitalization, spacing, formatting, and compound words, you can use a free online grammar checker like Grammarly. However, keep in mind that these online checkers may not hold the same standards as court reporters and closed-caption providers.
If you are unsure about any grammar issue you are facing in a transcript, you can always post about it in the punctuation groups for court reporters found on Facebook or ask your mentor for guidance. Are you unsure if something is an error? Download a copy of the NCRA grading guidelines for the RSR, RPR and RMR skills tests. This two-page document is available for download on their website.
What about those professionals seeking to become realtime reporters or closed-captions providers?
Are you a professional seeking to become a realtime reporter or closed-captions provider? It can be a daunting task to make the transition, but there are ways to make the process smoother. One important step is to grade everything, and using an auto-grading platform can make this task easier.
Using an auto-grader makes your journey to saleable realtime quicker because you can quickly identify areas you need to improve on and focus on them. Since you are not required to transcribe or scope any of the dictation you work on, you will have additional time to concentrate on improving your weaker areas. Don’t be afraid to take that next step in your career as a professional realtime reporter or closed-captions provider – with the right tools and mindset, you can make it happen!
For those seeking to transition into closed captioning or providing realtime, it’s essential to look for untranslates in your feed and add them to the dictionary. I suggest you do this before grading any dictation file. This will help you improve your accuracy and provide better captions or realtime reporting.
Make grading every dictation you write a regular part of your practice routine and watch your skills improve. In the real world, your work will be graded by your clients or employers. By practicing the habit of grading your own work, you’re preparing yourself for the high standards that come with being a professional stenographer.
At StenoKey, we take grading seriously. We believe that grading every single dictation file is essential for our participants’ development and mastery of their theory. All of our dictation files are located on our private domain within the Realtime Coach network and can quickly be graded within this system. No matter how many times a student has completed a dictation file, they are required to grade it. By doing so, they can better understand how they are writing, and our instructors can provide personalized assistance. This process helps participants to practice writing at their best, which is crucial for success on certification tests. Moreover, grading allows students and instructors to identify areas that need improvement and determine if they should move on to new concepts or review previous ones.
Q: Why is grading your dictation essential for improving stenography skills?
A: Grading your dictation helps identify mistakes, allowing you to focus on specific areas during practice and improve your accuracy. It also helps track progress over time, develop your listening skills, and assists in planning more effective practice sessions.
Q: How does grading help with tracking progress in stenography?
A: By grading every dictation, you can see how much you’ve improved over time, especially when working on the same dictation multiple times. Keeping track of the number of dropped words on each attempt allows you to visualize your progress.
Q: What benefits can grading provide in terms of developing listening skills?
A: Grading helps develop your ear for stenography, as it trains you to pick up on the nuances of speech and improve your ability to transcribe what you hear. This is valuable for real-world situations where you cannot always ask someone to repeat what they said.
Q: How can you grade your work if you don’t have an automated-grading platform?
A: You can grade your work by listening to the dictation and comparing it to your transcript. This process helps you identify errors such as dropped words, incorrect translations, added or transposed words, and misspellings. For a better assessment of punctuation, capitalization, and other grammatical aspects, you can use a free online grammar checker like Grammarly.
Q: How can auto-grading platforms help professionals seeking to become realtime reporters or closed-caption providers?
A: Auto-grading platforms allow you to quickly identify areas for improvement and focus on them. Since you’re not required to transcribe or scope any of the dictation you work on, you’ll have more time to concentrate on improving weaker areas, making the transition to realtime reporting or closed-caption providing smoother and quicker.