INTERSTENO: Internet keyboarding competition showcases ability around the world

Intersteno’s Internet Keyboarding Competition, held April 23 through May 9 via its website, allows steno machine writers and other keyboarders to test their skills and find out how they rate worldwide. Registration for Intersteno’s Internet Keyboarding Competition is open from March 19 through April 22. NCRA members who place in the contest will be listed in upcoming issues of the JCR and JCR Weekly.

Competitors will use the Taki software, which is a free download on the Intersteno website, and can participate on a day of their own choosing between April 23 and May 9. It’s up to the individual to decide how they want to enter the contest — whether using a steno machine or a regular keyboard.

Court reporting programs can register groups of students and host a competition for a class or entire school in conjunction with the event. Court reporting students who are interested in participating should contact their instructors about registering.

To enter, competitors should provide the following information:

  1. full name and address
  2. year of birth
  3. technology to be used (keyboard, stenotype machine)
  4. language: choose mother-tongue or multilingual
  5. the date they plan to take the test

Send the above information to The cost of the contest in U.S. dollars is:

■ $6 for participation only in the mother tongue
■ $8 for competitors writing in two or more languages

Checks must be received by NCRA no later than April 22. Participants will be registered once the check is received. Checks should be made payable to NCRA and mailed to:

Attention: Internet Competition
12030 Sunrise Valley Dr., Suite 400
Reston, VA 20191

More information on the contest is available at

Get comfy for professional development: Exciting upcoming NCRA webinars

Front view of a person sitting barefoot on a couch with their laptop on their knees, blocking their faceCourt reporters and captioners understand the value of continuing education and always improving one’s skills, but it can be challenging to attend in-person events. With NCRA webinars, you can learn more about your profession from the comfort of your own home or office (not to mention that you can attend them in your slippers – no one will know!).

NCRA has a wide variety of topics coming up in the next month. The JCR Weekly reached out to the presenters to help whet your appetite.

On Oct. 18 at 8 p.m. ET, Tori Pittman, FAPR, RDR, CRI, will present “Intersteno: Berlin and Beyond.” Pittman is a freelance reporter from North Carolina who has a passion for Intersteno. Intersteno is “a worldwide community uniting all those using a full range of speed writing methods to quickly produce high quality texts” (including steno lovers, keyboarding champions, and verbatim writers), and they host an international Congress every two years. In this 90-minute webinar, Pittman will talk about the networking and competition opportunities at Intersteno. She describes it as “international travel that is also a business expense” and explains that Intersteno attendees “learn about reporting in other countries while exploring fantastic locations.” The 2017 Intersteno Congress was held in Berlin, Germany (NCRA members performed very well in the competitions), and the next event is in 2019 in Sardinia, Italy.

On Nov. 6 at 7 p.m. ET, Lisa Jo Hubacher, RPR, CRI, will present “Thinking about Student Training.” Hubacher is an instructor at Madison Area Technical College (which is also her alma mater) in Madison, Wis. Madison Area Technical College received one of the final Training for Realtime Writers grants in 2014 due to its curriculum redesign. In this webinar, Hubacher will discuss this curriculum model, including the redesign’s impact on the program, what’s working, and what needs tweaking. As she describes it, the webinar will cover “how to design a program based on student needs without any curriculum-design knowledge.” Hubacher says she’ll also talk about why “‘But that’s the way we’ve always done it’ doesn’t fly anymore.” This is a must-attend webinar for anyone involved in training reporting students!

On Nov. 9 at 6 p.m. ET, Santo J. Aurelio, FAPR, RDR, will present “Legal Terms, Part 1.” Aurelio has presented several language-related webinars recently, including “What Reporters Must Know about Punctuation” and “English Grammar Gremlins: Ways to Conquer Them” (now both available as e-seminars). Aurelio will present on more than a hundred and fifty terms, but he admits, “I really get a special kick out of four of them: alibi (in another place), durance vile (imprisonment), eleemosynary (charitable), and Esq.” He adds, “If I must pick one, then I guess it would be Esq., which is merely a title of courtesy, but attorneys think that it means ‘one who is an attorney.’” Aurelio will provide “economical but cogent explanations” for the words that he hopes each attendee will easily remember.

Finally, on Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. ET, Erminia Uviedo, RDR, CRR, CRC, will present “Promoting the Profession.” Uviedo is an official in San Antonio, Texas, and she serves as co-chairperson for the Texas Court Reporters Association Student Recruitment Task Force. Her efforts in recruiting and mentoring court reporting students have won her the NCSA challenge not just once, but twice in a row; in 2015, she organized participation in 13 career fairs in 15 days in San Antonio. “It is so easy and rewarding volunteering for a recruitment event,” says Uviedo. “You have the potential to reach hundreds, even if you only talk to 50.” Uviedo has also found the value in promoting the profession over social media, and she hints that “one cool thing I’ll talk about is having attendees take selfies of themselves in front of their court reporting machines and having them spread posts about court reporting.”

Members who attend the webinars will be able to ask questions directly to the presenter and get them answered right away. But if you are not able to attend the live webinar, they will be available as on-demand e-seminars after the fact. Keep an eye on NCRA’s e-seminar library for these and other topics to help grow as a professional.

NCRA members sweep top spots at 2017 world speed competition

Three smiling people stand on a podium of various heights (1st, 2nd, and 3rd) holding certificates. In the background are a collection of international flags.

Sheri Smargon, Jen Schuck, and John Wissenbach stand on the podium at Intersteno. They claimed the top three spots in the Speech Capturing event, seniors division. Photo by Charlie Fiss.

NCRA members dominated the 2017 Intersteno World Speed Competition held during the organization’s 51st Congress, which took place July 22-28 in Berlin, Germany, including a sweep of the top three spots.

Jen Schuck, FAPR, RDR, CRR, CRC, Scottsdale, Ariz., took gold while Sheri Smargon, RDR, CRR, CRC, Riverview, Fla., and Tori Pittman, FAPR, RDR, CRI, Wake Forest, N.C., earned the silver and bronze medals, respectively.

In the Speech Capturing event, seniors division, the top six spots were also claimed by NCRA members Schuck; Smargon; John Wissenbach, RDR, CRR, CRC, San Francisco, Calif.; Jennifer Costales, RMR, CRR, The Hague, Netherlands; Anissa Nierenberger, RPR, CRR, CRC, CRI, Boise, Idaho; and Kelly Linkowski, RPR, CRR, CRC, CPE, Rittman, Ohio.

Pittman grabbed first place in the Speech Captioning Voice event, seniors division, while Schuck took home a bronze in the Audio Transcription event, seniors division.

For several of this year’s competitors, the trip to compete at the Intersteno Congress was not their first time. In 2015, Wissenbach earned top honors in the Intersteno Realtime Speech Capturing event, seniors division, held in Budapest, Hungary. Shuck has previously placed third in the world in the Intersteno Realtime Speech Capturing event, seniors division, held in Paris in 2011, and second in the same event held in 2015 in Budapest, Hungary. Pittman also competed in the 2015 world competition, ranking 30th in the Realtime Speech Capturing event, seniors division.

The Intersteno competitions follow methods: to take down a text read at an increasing speed or to enter texts and data processed with a computer. In both cases, speed and accuracy determine success.

In the Speech Capturing event, competitors take and transcribe a five-minute dictation at progressive speed. Competitors choose the text to transcribe among three consecutive five-minute legs of dictations given at speeds increased each minute. The initial and final speeds of each dictation are related to the language of the competitors, according to a comparison table set up by the Intersteno Council. At least the first three minutes of dictation must be transcribed successfully. Transcription is handed out on-site on USB sticks or with hand transcription for competitors using traditional shorthand.

In the Audio Transcription event, competitors transcribe a digitally recorded dictation in their mother tongue for 10 minutes. The dictation lasts 15 minutes at a constant and, for the language in question, normal speech speed.

The seniors division is made of all competitors ages 21 and over.

Intersteno, the International Federation for Information and Communication Processing, is a worldwide community with members that represent all manners of information technology, including court reporters and captioners as well as secretaries, teachers, parliamentary reporters, and others who use any technology that produces fast writing. The organization holds its Congress every two years and offers attendees a schedule full of educational sessions, presentations, and competitions in realtime, speed, audio translation, typing, and more. Other activities often include galas and tours of the host city or local area. The event offers attendees a unique view of how the written word captured throughout the world.

For more information about Intersteno, visit

Kislingbury tops list of Intersteno internet keyboarding contest

Intersteno logo -- a globe spinning on a pencil as an axisMark Kislingbury, FAPR, RDR, CRR, of Houston, Texas, placed first in Intersteno’s Internet Keyboarding Competition, held April 17 through May 9 via its website, in the single language category. Kislingbury recorded a total of 9,200 strokes with only 15 errors total. The second-place winner made 7,357 strokes.

The keyboarding competition consists of writing by machine or typing by keyboard as many words as possible of a selection provided visually on the screen. As part of the format of the contest, the text is automatically entered into an online computer program, which matches the original text against what the competitor entered for scoring.

In the Seniors section, Tori Pittman, FAPR, RDR, CRI, of Wake Forest, N.C., placed 72, and Donna Linton, RMR, of Ashburn, Va., placed 84, The Seniors section includes any competitor over the age of 21. Pitman is also chair of NCRA’s Intersteno Task Force.

GOING GLOBAL: Preparing for the Intersteno contests

By John Wissenbach

See how you’d fare in an Intersteno competition by going to and trying your hand at the actual dictation from last year’s speech capturing (speed) and realtime contests. You’ll notice the dictation has a parliamentary flavor to it, which is perhaps not surprising given the number of Intersteno members who work in the parliaments of the world.

If you want to compete, EuroparlTV is a great source of dictation practice. There you will be able to access video from the various committee meetings of the European Parliament. Many of the speeches are very interesting, on leading issues of the day, and offer a great source of material for training the brain to deal with a wide variety of accents and names.

Here is some of the vocabulary you may encounter:

abstentions = STWEPBGSZ

accession = KREFGS

asylum = SKWHR-PL

Baltic = PWHR-LGT

Brussels = PWRUFLS

chargé d’affaires = CH-FRD

climate change = KHR-LGT

Council of Europe = KWURP

European Commission = KWR-RPGS

European Council = KPWRUFRL

European Parliament = KWRAERPLT

European Union = KPWRURPB



harmonization = HAORGS

Juncker = *RPBG

Madam Chair = KPWHR-FPD

Madam Chairman = KPWHR-FPLD

member states = PHRERBTS

migrants = PWH-RNTS

parliamentary = PLAERPLT

plenary = PHRERPB

private sector = PRAOIFBG

public sector = PRUFBG

radicalization = WHRAFGS

rapporteur = WRAORPT

Roma = WRAO*M

Schengen = SWH-PBG

shadow rapporteur = SHAORPT

Strasbourg = STROUG

subsidiarity = STKART

trialogue = TWHROG

visas = TPWAOESZ


John Wissenbach,, RDR, CRR, CRC, is a freelance reporter in San Francisco, Calif. He has competed in several Intersteno Contests. He can be reached at

More information:




NCRA’s Intersteno Task Force interviews the winners of the Intersteno Internet Keyboarding Contest

Image from Intersteno

The top three Americans to place in the English as a mother tongue group of the Intersteno Internet Keyboarding Contest, which was held April 11 to May 2, were Sean Wrona, who placed first; Mark Kislingbury, who placed third; and Jelani Nelson, who placed fourth. Wrona’s total word count was 8237 with only seven errors. Kislingbury finished with a total of 8196 words with 20 errors.  Nelson ended with 7156 words and seven errors. NCRA’s Intersteno Task Force reached out to ask these three individuals questions about their participation and training.

Cela Askin of Turkey placed second in this category.


Sean Wrona, a captioning assistant from Syracuse, N.Y.

How did you develop your skills at typing/steno?

I taught myself to touch-type when I was about three years old on the old DOS program CPT Personal Touch-Typing. I attained a high speed of 83 wpm (415 cpm) at age six and 108 wpm (540 cpm) at age 10, which was faster than any of the other students or teachers at my elementary school.

What attracted you to competing at this level?

I always knew I could type quickly, but I discovered competitive typing by accident in the spring of 2008 while in grad school. My high school classmate was using the Facebook Typing Speed application, and it appeared in one of his status updates. I did a few 30-second races most days for the next few months and was rather startled to discover that I was consistently 20 wpm (100 cpm) faster than almost all the other users, with the primary exception of Jelani Nelson. Eventually, over the next year and a half, I started receiving private messages from people in the established competitive typing community inviting me to other sites.

Is this something that you do for fun, or is it useful in your work?

There are few jobs in the United States for which typing is the most important aspect to the job. Almost all typing jobs in the United States would rather you have great phone skills and mediocre typing skills than the other way around. While there are some data-entry jobs that just involve typing, they are fading fast and usually do not pay well. It can be useful in my recreational projects, but it isn’t very useful in most jobs here, as almost always other aspects of the job will be more important. It can help you to write quickly enough so you can keep up with your thoughts and not lose your train of thought when you are writing something, but that’s about it.

How did you hear about the Intersteno Internet Competition? How many years have you competed in this competition?

The Intersteno contest was frequently discussed on the forums of the competitive typing website Typing Zone, particularly by earlier champion Yifei “Dan” Chen, who I largely credit with introducing me to the game. He also helped me set up the Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator so that I could more easily type the accented characters that are not used in English.

What made you decide to participate?

While I was underemployed/unemployed for much of 2009 and 2010, I had a lot of time on my hands, so when I discovered how unusual my typing talent was, I began visiting pretty much all the competitive typing websites I could find and setting records on most of them, although I am much less obsessed today.

What keyboard did you use?

In most years I used a Das Keyboard after winning one in the Ultimate Typing Championship. However, the Das wore out somewhat this year, and I bought a cheaper Logitech this particular year, but almost all other years, I used a Das.

Did you notice anything that was specifically challenging during the testing time?

I have done so many typing tests at this point that they have become second nature, and endurance typing suits me because I lose a lot less speed than most other typists as the length of a text increases. I find typing over very short intervals in an attempt to set peak speed records to be much more stressful than casually typing at a steady rate of speed over a ten-minute period as in Intersteno.

Were you happy with your result?



Mark Kislingbury, RDR, CRR, a court reporter from Houston, Texas

How did you develop your skills at typing/steno?

I worked from the beginning of my career on building a strong, realtime-ready dictionary. For much of my career I have shortened my writing by inventing/adopting briefs for words and phrases. By competing in speed contests and world-record events, I have pushed my speed, continually trying to improve.

What attracted you to competing at this level?

I was invited by NCRA to compete in the Intersteno Internet competition, which I didn’t realize existed. It was a very good experience and applying this skill in a way I have never done before: trying to replicate written text exactly.

Is this something that you do for fun, or is it useful in your work?

For me it was for fun and personal growth.

What made you decide to participate?

It seemed fun and interesting to be put into competition with people who use regular computer keyboards. Seems that we could call this MKA, or mixed keyboard arts.

What keyboard did you use?

I used what Intersteno calls a chorded keyboard, which of course is the steno machine keyboard invented by Ward Stone Ireland.

Did you notice anything that was specifically challenging during the testing time?

The software I used to write into the Taki input app would sometimes put an extra space, which would cost errors that I could not prevent.

Were you happy with your result?

Very. I have no doubt that I can improve on my score significantly, with practice.

Any other comments?

Congrats to Sean Wrona for a truly stupendous first-place performance; he is truly the Wizard of Typing and untouched world champion of the computer keyboard. I thank NCRA for inviting me to compete; had they not done so, I would not have even heard about it.


Jelani Nelson, a computer science professor from Cambridge, Mass.

How did you develop your skills at typing?

I started learning piano at 7 and playing video games at 4. That helped finger speed. I then learned proper typing technique starting at age 12, using Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing.

What attracted you to competing at speed typing?

I first started getting into it via the website (my username there is Minilek).

Is this something that you do for fun, or is it useful in your work?

I do have to type quite a bit at work (emails, writing up papers, etc.), so it does help with work.

How did you hear about the Intersteno Internet Competition?

From fellow typists at

What made you decide to participate?

I enjoy competition, and I enjoy opportunities to hone my typing skill.

What keyboard did you use?

Das keyboard.

Did you notice anything that was specifically challenging during the testing time?

Nothing specific.

Were you happy with your result?


GOING GLOBAL: It’s never too early to start planning to attend the 51st Intersteno Congress in Berlin in 2017

If competing internationally or just meeting others in a similar profession from other countries is on your bucket list, consider attending the 51st Intersteno Congress in Berlin, Germany, set to take place July 22-28, 2017.

Intersteno, the International Federation for Information and Communication Processing, is a worldwide community with members that represent all manners of information technology, including court reporters and captioners, as well as secretaries, teachers, parliamentary reporters, and others who use any technology that produces fast writing. The organization holds it Congress every two years and offers attendees a schedule full of educational sessions, presentations, and competitions in realtime, speed, audio translation, typing, and more. Other activities often include galas and tours of the host city or local area. The event offers attendees a unique view of how the written word captured throughout the world.

According to NCRA members who have attended an Intersteno Congress, it’s never too early to start making plans to an event that offers an unforgettable experience.

“I start planning for Intersteno nine to 12 months in advance,” says Karen Yates, CRR, CRC, a CART provider from Minden, Nev. Yates said that her planning includes checking other conferences to avoid conflicts in her schedule, securing flights, making sure her Intersteno membership dues are up to date, and securing lodging. She also checks to make sure her passport is current and that she has the correct electrical adaptors for the local area.

“I would also arrive a day or two early, especially if I were competing,” Yates adds. “Jet lag can be a factor, and just adapting to the new time zone can be a challenge. It’s also helpful to get comfortable with a location, local transportation, and have all the registration matters settled early.”

Laura Brewer, RDR, CRR, CRC, Los Altos, Calif., a state, national, and international realtime champion, agrees that arriving at least two days prior to the start of the competitions at Intersteno if you plan to participate is a wise idea. “Flights can always be delayed (by weather or otherwise), connections can be missed, etc. Plan for the unexpected, and you won’t be disappointed,” she said. “Planning to arrive two days in advance gives you one day of cushion. Arriving two days in advance also gives you an extra night to catch up on sleep and to adjust to the time change.”

Yates also says she usually allows for two to three months of practice time if she plans to compete during the event. “I email my dictionaries to myself before departing, just in case. I do take an iPhone or iPad with speed dictation on it and Bose noise-cancelling headphones for practice. And then I read and reread the rules and practice the right content.”

The 49th Intersteno Congress held in Ghent, Belgium, in 2013, provided attendees Debra Levinson, RMR, CRR, CRI, CRMS, a freelance reporter from White Plains, N.Y., and Dom Tursi, an official court reporter from Islip, N.Y., with an experience that was welcoming, informative, professional, and uplifting.

“It was an unforgettable experience being among an international forum of like-minded professionals coming together for the same purpose, showcasing a myriad of methods of capturing the spoken word,” Levinson said. “It was an education to experience the different technologies that other countries use to accomplish the same means.”

“The professionalism and knowledge shared by everyone I met was, in a word, awesome. And the skill demonstrated by youngsters and more mature practitioners, in varied categories and at so many skill levels, was an inspiration,” says Tursi.

“Although it’s fun to see familiar faces in foreign lands, it is even better to make new friends with fellow competitors and colleagues from other countries,” says Yates. “Join people you don’t know at the breakfast table, for a cup of coffee on a break, or for a beer at the end of the day. Take advantage of the chance to hear about work life from those making the record with voice, pen, simple keyboard, and a myriad of types of steno machines.”

In 2015, NCRA member Clay Frazier, RMR, CRR, a freelance reporter from Los Angeles, Calif., attended an Intersteno Congress for the first time and also competed in the international realtime competition. In comments made in a previous article about his experience at the Congress held in Budapest, Hungary, Frazier said: “What I left Budapest with amounts to much more. Keyboardists from other countries were not just eager to share with me their writing systems but also their friendship. The atmosphere of the Intersteno festivities was enjoyable and educational, and I found the beauty of Budapest to be nothing short of breathtaking. I am honored to have been a part of it and look forward to Berlin in 2017.”

For more information about Intersteno and the 51st Intersteno Congress being planned for 2017 in Berlin, Germany, visit or


More information:


Going global: Global stenography – Berlin 2017!

By Jen Schuck

Some would say it’s the opportunity of a lifetime. However, it’s a biennial opportunity. Every other year, Intersteno holds a Congress. Typically the event location is somewhere in Europe.

In 2011, I decided to attend the Paris Congress. It is one of my favorite cities and a couple of my friends were going, thus I had every reason to go. I didn’t have a clear understanding of what Intersteno was, but the announcement piqued my interest. My intention was strictly to compete in the realtime competition. The itinerary was only four days in length – a long way to go for eight minutes of dictation. But it was Paris!

It was an exciting four days: Good food, fun with friends, the chance to make new friends, and witnessing some mind-blowing writing skills. Intersteno competitions are the Olympics for reporters, who come from all over the world to compete in a variety of methods, and they start as young as eight years old. Some compete in more than one language. Who knew that there were different types of keyboards around the world? Have you ever seen Chinese in realtime? Korean? Dutch? It’s all possible!

Unfortunately, work got in the way of my attending Ghent in 2013. So when Budapest was announced as the location of the 50th annual Intersteno Congress in 2015, I was not going to miss it.

This time the group of friends expanded, and I was going for a week. Team USA continued to grow. It was so much fun to have six American stenographers meet at the airport in Frankfurt to arrive in Budapest all at the same time. Budapest was hands down the best business trip I have ever had. The weather was ridiculously hot that summer in Europe, but it did not stop us.

Team USA swept the top three spots of the speed competition and took seven of the top ten spots. We also took first and third in the realtime competition.

There is so much more to Intersteno than just the competitions, although the competition was my excuse to go. I learned so much more about this great profession of ours. There are different ways to make a record, and every culture is different. We can learn from each other and teach each other all with the result of prospering the profession.

When I was in Paris, I had the opportunity to try writing on a Velotype. You know that face that people make when you show them our stenographic keyboard and they say, “You type on that?” Well, that was the face I was making when attempting to write on the Velotype. The keyboard has a different layout but outputs in English. No dictionary necessary! It’s based on how words are spelled and not phonetics. Had I never gone to Intersteno, I never would have learned this keyboard even existed.

While in Budapest, I networked with German, British, and Chinese stenographers. I learned it’s no easy feat to send an English theory book to China, but it’s possible. Be on the lookout for the first Chinese stenographer to also write in English very soon.

Lastly, by attending Intersteno I got to know that people like Boris Neubauer exist. He earns his living as a lecturer in Aachen University of Applied Science teaching production and transmission of electricity. His background is in physics. Shorthand is his hobby.

Neubauer chairs the German Research Institute of Shorthand, which maintains the German Shorthand Library, and trains teachers for shorthand and text processing. The systems he reads and writes include the German Unified System, Gabelsberger, Stolze-Schrey, Byrom, and Duployé. Another hobby of his is learning foreign languages. Neubauer has successfully transcribed in the Intersteno competitions in 17 different languages.

I often hear the world is now a global economy. Why should shorthand be any different? Put the 51st Intersteno Congress on your calendar for summer 2017. See you in Berlin!

Jen Schuck, RDR, CRR, CRC, is a CART captioner based in Scottsdale, Ariz. She can be reached at


Internet Keyboarding Competition sign-ups close April 10

Those interested in participating in Intersteno’s Internet Keyboarding Competition should sign up before April 10.

“You can do the online contest from the comfort of your own home, no passports or international travel required,” says Tori Pittman, RDR, CRI, chair of NCRA’s Intersteno Task Force. “It’s a small and easy step to learning more about your global counterparts.”

Competitors will be using the Taki software, which is downloadable from the Intersteno website, and can participate on a day of their own choosing between April 11 and May 2. Pittman recommends doing some research before competing “Go to the site and do the practice sessions so you understand how the software works,” she suggests.

Court reporting students who are interested in participating should contact their instructor about registering.

Competitors need to provide 1) their full name and address; 2) year of birth; 3) technology to be used (keyboard, stenotype machine); 4) language: mother-tongue or multilingual; and 5) the date they plan to take the test to The cost of the contest in U.S. dollars is:

  • $6 for participation only in the mother tongue
  • $8 for competitors writing in two or more languages

Checks must be received by NCRA no later than April 10. Participants will be registered once the check is received. Checks should be made payable to NCRA and mailed to:


Attention: Internet Competition

12030 Sunrise Valley Dr., Suite 400

Reston, VA 20191

More information on the contest is available at

INTERSTENO: Internet Contest coming up soon


The 14th International Keyboarding Competition will be held April 11-May 2.

By Maellen Pittman-Fernandez

Time to start your practice sessions for the 14th Intersteno International Keyboarding Competition. This contest, which tests your speed at keyboarding against people from around the world, is held annually in the spring and is open to all ages. Registration in this Intersteno event opens March 14 and runs through April 10. Get your team together and watch for more information about individual and group registration from NCRA in the JCR Weekly and on Facebook.

The contest consists of ten minutes of text entry, using special free software available on You may choose to use Taki or Zav format for the test.

The contest is open to students from public or private schools and associations. The results are ranked according to age categories.

The National Court Reporters Association is the Intersteno National Group in the United States.

For those polyglots among us, this contest has a multilingual competition as well as mother tongue. Only one attempt per language is allowed, however. There are further nuances for the multilingual competition to be found on the Intersteno website.

Training exercises for each language in both software formats are available free of charge on the Intersteno website.

The examinations are evaluated based on the total number of written characters, with 50 penalty points deducted for each error. Throughout the three weeks of competition, the results lists are updated in real time for Taki software competitors, with Zav results being consolidated and compiled each evening.

Of note: This competition is open to typing keyboards, and, in addition, chorded keyboards. In other words, you may use your steno writer to compete in these yearly contests.

All successful competitors will receive an Intersteno certificate. Medals are awarded to the three highest ranking competitors in each age category.

The purpose of this competition is to foster keyboard text entry excellence among peers all over the world. Any attempt to manipulate the procedures, interfere with software operations, or engage in hacker activity will lead to automatic disqualification from the current competition and the possibility of being banned from any future participation in the competition.

Intersteno is a worldwide community of motivated people who voluntarily organize and participate in fair, open, and healthy competition. The Intersteno Board is the final authority in the interpretation of the rules and any decision needed for the good of the competition.

Much of the information for this article is to be found on If you wish to open a broader horizon, to include competition on the world stage, take a moment and visit.

Mae Pittman-Fernandez, a 2014 Intersteno typing competition participant, while scoring a respectable percentile among the Senior division, highly recommends a few practice sessions prior to the actual competition.