Frequently asked questions

If you are a student on an NCTJ-accredited course, please speak to your course leader or tutor with regard to applicable exam dates.


If you are an industry candidate attached to an approved exam centre (e.g. newspaper office), speak to your employer with regard to holding shorthand exams.


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. Currently 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.

Shorthand is an elective module on the NCTJ Level 3 Diploma in Journalism. If you successfully complete a shorthand exam at a speed of 60 wpm 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 approximately 5 weeks after the exam. However, this may take longer during busy/holiday periods.


If you sat a National shorthand exam, your certificate will be issued to the address you provided when booking the exam, approximately 5 weeks after the exam.

On-course students have access to a range of practice material within their student login accounts. Otherwise, shorthand books and practice audio material can be purchased online - speeds range from 50wpm to 120wpm. Shorthand exam reading pieces are also available.


Please visit our shop for details and to place an order.