Practice Transcription & Improve Your Skills: A Guide

Whether you’re a stay-at-home parent or a student looking to supplement their income, working as a transcriptionist is a great opportunity to work from home with a flexible schedule.

Have you ever heard the phrase, “Practice makes perfect?” If you are about to start transcribing or have been in the industry for a while, the perfect way to improve and refine your skills is to practice transcription. Keep reading to learn some tips for beginner, intermediate, and advanced transcriptionists.

Transcription Practice for Beginners

Transcription can be difficult to master, especially in the beginning stages. Many newbies find the concept of listening and then typing up audio files difficult. But with these easy methods, you’ll be accurately speeding through projects in no time.

Practice Typing

The main function of a transcriptionist’s job is to type out words that are spoken in an audio or video recording – therefore, transcription practice for beginners often is, at its core, typing practice.

While most transcriptionists can type at around 50 words per minute (WPM), make it your goal to type at least 60 WPM. By improving your typing speed, you can get more work done in less time, which seriously increases your earning potential!

Use online typing resources such as KeyBr and Typing Academy for 10 minutes each day. This will help boost your speed, accuracy, and typing muscle memory.

Transcribe a Diverse Range of Audio

As a transcriptionist, you are expected to be a capable typist and have a good grasp of grammar and spelling. But what many people don’t consider are the challenges that can come with deciphering complex audio.

Sadly, it’s not all perfectly recorded podcasts and constantly clear audio! You may have an audio file with many voices speaking at once, strong accents, background noise, or even technical jargon and complex names.

Use websites like GoTranscript, or Listen and Write. They provide a diverse range of transcription practice tests and general transcription practice pieces to try.

Intermediate and Advanced Transcription Practice

Even if you have a wealth of experience transcribing, there is always room for improvement.

Keep Improving Your Typing Speed & Accuracy

Once you’ve got the basic typing skills and mechanics down, it’s time to hone in on those skills even more. Transcription practice for intermediate and advanced transcriptionists typically looks like further improving your speed, as well as increasing your accuracy.

The quicker you can type, the more content you can work through. So if you’ve already hit the 60 WPM mark, push yourself one step further.

If you feel you’re at a good typing speed (70+ WPM), try improving your touch typing skills (by not looking at the keyboard while typing). Accuracy is another important component that will help you reduce errors and save time. Accuracy testing websites such as Typing Test can help.

Practice Transcription for Industry-Specific Content

Working on verbatim transcriptions (as often required in the legal and medical fields) can make you familiar with a whole host of industry-specific terminology, phrases, and jargon. Law firms and medical industries rely heavily on transcription services. So, if you’re willing to expand your expertise, you could earn a lot more compared to general transcription jobs alone.

ExpressScribe offers free downloadable transcription software along with medical and legal practice files for you to try.

Evaluate Common Mistakes

We all make mistakes. But for transcribers, it’s the little mistakes that can mean big problems. One word out of place is likely to change the context of a piece. So, accuracy is key. Double- and triple-check your work for typos and grammatical errors. If you make regular slip-ups, write them down and practice the correct way in a separate word document.

Becoming an amazing transcriptionist is literally in your hands. When you take the time to practice and hone your skills, the possibilities and rewards are endless!