Shorthand is an extremely valuable skill for the competent journalist. The NCTJ’s gold standard is to achieve at least 100 words per minute (wpm) and to be able to identify a newsworthy quote. The exam format for higher speeds has been developed to test listening skills as well as accuracy and speed.
The syllabus enables learners to acquire the skills required for reporting accurately using Teeline, an industry-recognised system of shorthand. The exams test the ability to take down the spoken word verbatim at a range of speeds – 60, 70, 80, 90, 100, 110 and 120 wpm – and to produce an accurate transcript within an error tolerance of three per cent. In addition, trainees must identify and accurately transcribe a key quote at speeds of 90 to 120wpm.