For Self-Learners: How To Grade Your Steno Test

I came across this Reddit post by someone teaching themselves steno. They did not understand the grading process. Of course, everyone, including me, pointed them to the NCRA’s PDF about what constitutes an error. But I got deep into the math and I would like to share it here so that people might be able to use it in the future if they get confused:

What constitutes an error: (NCRA Link Again)

So then you take your words per minute, and figure out 5% of that (95% is passing for most places.)

(Words per minute * .05.) * dictation time in minutes.

5 min 225 WPM take.

(225 * . 05) * 5

(11.25) * 5

56.25 errors allowed. Some places allow 57.

I hope this helps.

You can also do total words * the number of errors allowed.

(225 * 5) = total words

(total words) * .05

from the above example:

(1,125) * .05 = 56.25.

If you need accuracy of 96%, use .04 instead.

If you need accuracy of 97%, use .03 instead.

If you need accuracy of 97.5%, use .025 instead.

If you need accuracy of 98%, use .02 instead.

If you need accuracy of 99%, use .01 instead.

As they say in fairytales, the end.


This originally posted with an error where it said 97.5% should use 0.035. This is false. It should have been 0.025 and was corrected.

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