Shorthand exam numbers rocket

The number of students sitting shorthand exams at the start of the 2008-9 academic year was almost double the number sat in the same period the previous year. A total of 736 exams were sat between September and December 2008, compared to 403 between the same dates in 2007-8.

The figures relate to all exam speeds, from 60wpm through to 120wpm, at NCTJ approved centres across the UK. The number of people sitting at 60wpm trebled from 49 to 153; those sitting at 70wpm increased twelve-fold, from eight to 98; at 80wpm numbers all but doubled from 83 to 162; and those sitting at 100wpm increased by 24 per cent from 225 to 278.

The overall percentage of students passing exams also increased, showing that practice really does make perfect. The pass rates at 60, 70 and 100 wpm were all higher in 2008 than in 2007 - see the table below for more detail on this.

Marie Cartwright, NCTJ chief examiner for shorthand, said take-up of the 60/70/80 wpm exams had been particularly high at the start of the 2008-9 academic year. “This could be because fast-track courses starting in September each year would enter students for 60/70/80 wpm in December then work towards the 80/90/100 wpm exams at the end of their course in January/February,” she said.

“Achieving the industry standard of 80wpm for those on magazine courses and 100wpm for newspaper journalism students is a tough test, but these figures show that those who put in the work can, and do, achieve well.”

Comparative table of shorthand exam results

 

 
Sept to Dec 2007
 
Sept to Dec 2008
Number of exams sat
Pass rate (per cent)
 
Number of
exams sat
Pass rate (per cent)
60wpm
49
43
 
153
57
70wpm
8
75
 
98
77
80wpm
83
65
 
162
65
90wpm
35
60
 
36
53
100wpm
225
44
 
278
51