Tips for Speedbuilding, Practice and Test Taking


Get in the Zone

Is your mind wandering during practice or test taking? Concentration is a huge part of this job and it's difficult to stop thoughts from coming to your mind at the wrong time. To start off, during your practice time, push any thoughts or distractions out of your mind and focus on the material you are listening to. Practice one-minute takes at first, increasing to two-minute takes and so forth until you can accomplish the complete five-minute take without distractions. You'll be passing tests before you know it!


It's not how long you practice, it's the quality of your practice

As soon as you get home from school, set up your machine. If you find that you have five minutes of free time, pop in a speed building tape. Focus your attention to one area, whether it is concentration, speed or accuracy, and try hard to achieve that specific goal. That devotion to only five minutes of hard practice and concentration will benefit you more than one, two or three hours of half-hearted practice.


Use realtime

Realtime is your friend! It will help you build your dictionary, see your mistakes quickly and become a more accurate writer. You will soon begin to find it much easier to read back from your computer screen than your paper notes.


Vary your practice

You don't always have to focus your attention on speedbuilding. Vary your practice routine by listening to material several speeds below your current level. During that practice concentrate completely on accuracy, stroking the words correctly, and using briefs for common words and phrases.


Keep a new briefs notebook.

Begin to devise a notebook full of common briefs and phrases. If you hear a word you don't know how to write, put it in your notebook and work out a stroke for it. Keep your notebook in front of you during practice so that the next time you hear that word or common phrase, it won't be unfamiliar anymore.