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Online Resources to Improve your Transcribing Skills

Online Resources to Improve your Transcribing Skills

Few people who don’t type and transcribe for a living can maintain a typing speed of 225 words per minute with any degree of accuracy. Even the most experienced court reporters need to stay sharp to keep up with the fast-paced courtroom environment. The key? Lots of practice. 

Being able to type quickly isn't just an encouraged skill, it's an industry requirement (source)

Being able to type quickly isn’t just an encouraged skill, it’s an industry requirement (source)

Whether you’ve been transcribing for years, or you’re just considering a career as a court reporter, there are several online exercises to help you set a benchmark for your speed and improve your skills.

Improving your typing speed

Here are a few online resources. Best of all, they’re free.

Let’s start with the basics. This Speed Typing Test from provides a short sentence, often with some tricky punctuation thrown in. Then it measures how quickly you typed the phrase in words-per-minute, simple as that. Note: This test does not measure accuracy at all.

Speed up your typing — and win

Looking for a resource that notes your accuracy and provides a little bit of competition as motivation?

Typeracer allows you to track your accuracy and race against opponents (source)

Typeracer allows you to track your accuracy and race against opponents (source)

Typeracer allows you to type famous passages while “racing” against other users. After each race, participants’ overall speed and accuracy are displayed, along with the source of the passage. The racing element provides a little bit of excitement and suspense, just be sure you don’t lose your place when looking to see who’s ahead of you.

Also, as your skills improve, don’t expect a whole lot of competition on the site. The overall top speeds are usually between 120 and 140 words per minute.

Boost your transcription skills

Looking to improve your abilities in writing what’s being said out loud?

First check out’s transcribing resources. The site provides a passage that’s about 400 words long. It also has an audio passage passage of the text at the following speeds:

  • 60 words per minute
  • 80 words per minute
  • 100 words per minute
  • 120 words per minute
  • 140 words per minute

As your skills improve, try transcribing the passage at faster speeds.

Finally, NCH Software offers several transcribing exercises designed to imitate courtroom settings. As parts of its Express Scribe software, the company has a page with audio files for five different legal dictations (plus four designed for the medical industry).

The site also has downloads of accurate transcripts of the audio files, which allows you to compare your results with a perfect transcription.

For people interested in a career in court reporting, these resources are no substitutes for courses offered by professionals, but for those considering a career or who want to learn more about transcribing, these sites will give you a better idea of the technical side of a court reporter’s duties. But don’t forget there are also a lot of personality traits the best court reporters exhibit.

Looking for a reliable court reporter?

If you are looking for a court reporting agency that is the right fit for your needs, I invite you to contact us. is your definitive source for dependable staffing solutions in stenography. Come see the difference that we make for our clients.

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