Frequently asked questions

If you are a student on an NCTJ-accredited course, please discuss available exam dates with your course leader or tutor. Exam bookings are made by the course provider.

If you are an industry candidate attached to an approved exam centre (e.g. newspaper office), speak discuss available exams dates with your employer. Exam bookings are made by the employer.

All other external candidates (i.e. off-course students, distance learners, non-NCTJ learners), you can book your exam sitting via the National shorthand exams booking page.

In all cases, remember to take photographic ID with you to the exam - valid passport, drivers' licence, student ID card, company ID card.

National shorthand exam dates are held up to three times during the academic year. National exams are offered at speeds of 60wpm (Diploma standard) and 100wpm (Gold Standard). Please see the exam dates page for available National exam dates.

Where exams are held by NCTJ accredited journalism course providers or industry employers: results will be sent to your centre by 5pm on the day of results release. Please contact your centre where required.

National exam candidates: results will be issued to you directly by 5pm on the day of results release, by email.

Shorthand is an elective module on the NCTJ Level 3 Diploma in Journalism. If you successfully achieve a shorthand speed of 60wpm or higher, you will be issued with a non-regulated shorthand certificate confirming your achievement.

If you are an on-course or industry candidate, certificates will be issued to your exam centre within 5 weeks of the exam date. However, this may take longer during busy/holiday periods.

If you sat a National shorthand exam, your certificate will be issued to you directly, to the address stated on your exam booking, within 5 weeks of the exam date.

Examination reports can be purchased from the NCTJ web shop hereThe request must be made no later than two weeks after the date results were issued. Reports requests made later than two weeks after the results date will not be accepted. Please see our fees list for the latest shorthand exam report fee.

The completed report will be returned to you within 14 days.

NCTJ students have access to a wide range of practice materials within your student login account.


Otherwise, shorthand books and practice audio material can be purchased online - speeds range from 50wpm to 120wpm. Please visit our shop for details and to place an order.