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Tue, May. 6th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Hi everyone.
I am pretty down in the dumps about school lately. I hope you all don't mind if I vent for a minute or two.
I have always been a pretty decent writer, my speeds did not take long to attain until I started getting very anxious and nervous during testing. I completely freeze when my teacher is dictating tests to us now. I syke myself out the whole time, then get behind and lose it. I have no idea what brought this on except pressure I place on myself when I see other students who started after me passing me in speeds. (& of course people asking me WHEN ARE YOU GRADUATING?) My 2 year mark was up in the beginning of April and ever since then [and a little before] I am in a rut. Our teachers preach 4 hour nightly practice, but never once have I done that.
I am currently at 180 LIT, 200 JURY, and 200 Q&A with one test to go before I am in 225.

I guess I am just looking for any success stories you all have, or any words of advice and wisdom on what I can do to break through this mess and possibly see graduating in my future ;(

Wed, May. 7th, 2008 09:11 pm (UTC)

First off, just remember that it takes time to develop speed and you can't guarantee yourself to write 200 words a minute within a certain amount of time, no matter how many years you've been in school. It takes A LOT of practice, and everyone is different as far as progressing in speed. People get stuck at different levels. I've seen it happen mostly at the speeds of 160/180, and that was also the level I was at the longest. When you sign up in school, they tell you it's possible to get out of school within two years, but everyone is different, and when it's your time, it's your time. DON'T GIVE UP! There were many times out of frustration I wanted to quit, but then I would think about how much time, money and effort I'd put into it, and that kept me focused on my goal. Trust me, it's all worth it in the end. I've been working as a court reporter now for two years, and I can't tell you how much I love my job and how rewarding it is! It's worth it. Don't give up!

As far as test anxiety, what helped me with that was during practice dictation, in my mind, I treated each take as if it were a test. Also, it's very important to breathe! If you feel your muscles start to tense up, try to relax and breathe. You could also practice on your own with dictation RPR tapes.

Good luck!