Shorthand is an elective module on the NCTJ Level 3 Diploma in Journalism. Exams are offered at speeds of 60, 70 and 80 wpm which are four minutes long and split into two passages. Each passage is two minutes with a thirty second interval after the first passage.
Shorthand exams are also offered at speeds of 100, 110 and 120 wpm which are four minutes long and split into three passages. The first passage is two minutes long followed by a thirty second interval. The second passage is one minute long followed by a fifteen second interval. The third passage is one minute long and contains the quote. Only the quote will be marked from the final one minute passage.
All NCTJ shorthand exams are taken and transcribed in the NCTJ's online assessment platform, Cirrus.
Marking guide for 60-80wpm exams: 2 minutes, 2 minutes – four minutes total with no more than three percent error:
|60 wpm||70wpm||80 wpm|
|240 words||280 words||320 words|
|7 or fewer errors||8 or fewer errors||9 or fewer errors|
|25 minutes transcription time||30 minutes transcription time||35 minutes transcription time|
Marking guide for 100-120wpm exams: 2 minutes, 1 minute - first 3 minutes with no more than 3% error and the quote must also be be transcribed accurately in order to achieve a pass:
|100 wpm||110 wpm||120 wpm|
|300 words||330 words||360 words|
|9 or fewer errors||10 or fewer errors||11 or fewer errors|
|45 minutes transcription time||55 minutes transcription time||65 minutes transcription time|
Please see the below sample transcriptions as guidance to the difference in format of a 60-80wpm exam and a 100-120wpm exam. The marking guide is also provided to demonstrate how the module is assessed.