I took my second shorthand exam today: and failed to pass the 100wpm test for the second time.
It's incredibly frustrating, because outside exam conditions I can write at 100wpm. More importantly, I can transcribe at 100wpm too. I've done it over and over.
But in the exam, both this time and last, I just couldn't perform under pressure.
I had adrenalin rushing through my bloodstream, my hands shook, and although I knew I could write faster, was willing my pen to move across the page and keep up, I could only scream inside my head as I lost track of what the reader was saying.
So I submitted another 90wpm transcription, muttering darkly to myself and feeling utterly useless.
Perhaps it's how men feel when the worst happens?
The problem is I'm not used to failure. I passed my driving test first time, never failed an exam in my life and before this year only had one job rejection. I'm usually confident in exams, secure in my ability to succeed - not necessarily with flying colours, but always to pass.
I don't need 100wpm to pass Sheffield's course, but I do to take the NCE when I get a job in regional press. Damnit, I need 100wpm to have a fighting chance at getting a job in the regional press. And I need to prove I can do it - my word is nothing to an editor compared to a certificate.
So I'll try again next week, of course. But I can't stop thinking about the waste of £11.24...
For James Vance, and his family
4 months ago