Court Reporting Student Syndrome – Part 1

There’s a name for it – “I’m getting it!” syndrome.  If you’re a court reporting student, you know exactly what I’m talking about.  You prepare yourself to take a dictation test – it begins – and everything is going great!  Your fingers are keeping up – the teacher is reading clearly – all the words are going straight from their mouth to your fingers.  THIS is how it’s supposed to be.  Just…like…umm…I’m getting it…I’m getting…wow, I could actually pass this!  This is awesome!  I’ve been waiting for this for…oh, what did she say…where…who…why?

And as quickly as you had it…you lost it!

SimplySteno Testing

Court Reporting Students – Staying in the moment –

So as a court reporting student, how do you overcome this black hole that’s stealing your focus in the moment of testing?  I suggest to my students that a change of focus is key – recognizing that you’re NOT in the moment, then deciding where your energy will be channeled.

Are you breathing?  The first place to redirect your focus is to your breathing.  Like the ocean, it’s naturally calming.  A gentle breath in…and a gentle breath out.  It’s the simplest, most automatic function of our bodies, yet has the power to be the most centering as well.  When you focus on your calm inhale and exhale, your nervous energy (or distracting energy) ebbs like the tide.

The second focus option – your body.  But don’t think of the body as a whole – break it down into bits and pieces.  Court reporting students are notorious for curling their toes as they write.  So start at the toes and make a mental note of that – “Relax my toes.”  Then work your way up the body.  Are your feet flat on the floor?  Are your calves loose?  Are you sitting relaxed in your chair or leaning forward?  Eyebrows furrowed?  Teeth clenched.

Break down each part of the body.  Focus on your breathing.  Before you know it, the test is over!  Let the power of being in the moment override your thoughts that are trying to pull you into “what if?” territory.  So as a court reporting student, how do you pass a test?  You don’t think about passing a test!

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