The debate rages on over whether shorthand is still needed in a world of smartphones. The fact is, court reporters could not do their jobs without it, and it is remains a trusty option for quick quote-taking.

Passing the shorthand exam is another matter, especially reaching the gold standard of 100 words-per-minute. The pass mark is 97 per cent or above, which does not leave much room for error.

Health and lifestyle journalist Laura Day provides nine steps to reaching that speed on her blog. One of her tips is to not to neglect to transcribe your audio afterwards.

"When you're building speed, outlines will become scruffier. If you can get to know your note and recognise your own quirks, it could save you in an exam," it reads.

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