How to Pass Transcription Tests

Hey there! Some links on this page are affiliate links which means that, if you choose to make a purchase, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. I greatly appreciate your support!

Learn how to pass transcription tests. To get transcription work from home with a transcription company, you need to pass transcription tests.

No prior transcription experience or degree is required to become a transcriptionist and get transcription work from home. But to prove that you are able to do the work, transcription companies typically have you take a transcription test to prove that you can provide accurate transcripts. And you need to pass one or more transcription tests to qualify to start working for them.

Before taking any transcription tests, I recommend that you
subscribe to my free transcription mini-course
It will answer a lot of your questions.

How to Pass Transcription Tests

Transcription employment tests consist of one or more audio files you must transcribe.

The number of tests you need to pass and the difficulty of the transcription tests varies from company to company. Some companies will give you a 5-15-minute audio file to test while others may give you several longer audio files.

And you typically have to finish transcribing your test within the required time limit. Here are some steps to prepare yourself to pass transcription tests.

Sign up for my FREE Transcription Mini-Course
to find out if transcription is right for you!

1. Make sure to have the required typing speed

Check the company's minimum required typing speed. If your typing speed is not fast enough, practice first to improve it. Don't waste your time taking the test.

Take advantage of online resources to increase your typing and transcription speed and improve your accuracy! See my blog post with links to Free Typing Tutorials here.

2. Get transcription equipment and software 

You need to have a computer, high-speed Internet connection, and transcription software.

Download Express Scribe, the most popular free transcription software. This is the only software you'll need to do the test with most companies. After downloading the software, make sure to install it.

Most companies do NOT require that you have a foot pedal to do the test. You can use free transcription software to start, stop and rewind. But using a foot pedal will speed up your transcription.

A headphone is not required to do transcription tests. But I recommend that you invest in a high-end headphone when starting paid work to block disruptive sounds and hear the audio files more clearly.

Recommended reading:

3. Practice Transcription 

Practicing will help you prepare for transcription tests and will dramatically improve your chances of passing transcription tests. Get used to transcription software and to listening and transcribing audio.

Transcription practice files are a great way to practice transcription.

Practicing with real-life tapes and seeing the finished transcripts will make you feel more self-confident about your transcription skills and you can see how well you're doing.

See my general transcription practice files here.

I carefully selected real-life recordings and transcripts to help you practice and learn general transcription. They come with master transcripts so that you can compare your transcripts with the master transcripts, and see what mistakes you are making so you can avoid making them.

If you're getting serious about getting a transcription career, check out this detailed, multi-media transcription course that includes a wide variety of practice files. Janet's course will prepare you to get better paid transcription jobs. 

4. Prepare a Resume

Some companies want to get your resume to make sure that you meet their qualifications before you can test with them.

Mention relevant information on your resume including any transcription experience, your typing speed, proficiency in English, grammar and administrative skills. Mention any relevant experience even if you acquired it through volunteer work.

5. Follow directions and style guides when taking transcription tests

It's very important to follow directions. Make sure to read the directions of each company you want to test for and check the company's requirements before starting the test. 

Instructions will vary depending on the transcription company, client and industry. They may provide formatting instructions and a style guide. Those instructions may include setting up specific margins, spacing, font type, how to identify multiple speakers, what file name to use when saving the finished transcript and more.

You must strictly follow a company's guidelines and rules to pass their tests. The main reason people fail transcription tests is because they don't follow the company's instructions and style guide.

6. Check Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation

Don't forget to spellcheck and proof your work before submitting it. Speed is important but accuracy counts even more. Always check the spelling, grammar and punctuation before sending the finished transcript to the company.

Some companies will contact you quickly after you pass their test while others may take weeks to get in touch with you. Brush up on your grammar if needed.

It’s crucial that you use correct grammar and punctuation in all your communications with prospective employers.

Grammarly is the best online spelling and grammar checker. It detects grammar, spelling, punctuation, word choice, and style mistakes as you write Word documents, emails, and content on your website or social media.

Grammarly The #1 Writing Tool

7. Use Good Judgment and Common Sense.

Both critical thinking and attention to detail are important skills a transcriptionist must have to produce accurate transcripts. There are many words that sound alike but have different meanings. By paying attention to the content, you'll have to decide which one makes sense in the dictation. You must be able to detect when dictated information seems incorrect.

8. Be Persistent

Test with more than one company and don't become discouraged if you don't hear from a company after applying or testing with them. A lot of companies only hire periodically so you have to hit them at the right time. Sometimes you may hear back from them weeks or months later and sometimes you'll never hear from them. Sometimes you can land a transcription job fairly quickly. Other times it can take weeks or months.

Apply and do a test today. If you don't do well, practice more and then re-apply.

Some companies will let you retest many times and others give you only one chance to do it right. Check their policies of reapplying before doing a test.

Passing transcription tests isn't difficult but you must follow these tips, prepare yourself, practice transcription, and read each company's guidelines before taking the tests. Good luck with your transcription test!

If you are interested in learning more about transcription work from home, sign up for my FREE TRANSCRIPTION MINI-COURSE to find out if transcription is the right kind of work for you.

To get in-depth training for a work-at-home transcription career,
shorten your learning curse, and get better-paid transcription work,
I recommend Janet Shaughnessy’s online, multi-media, online general transcription course.
This course includes typing drills, transcription skills, transcription formats, grammar skills, lots of practice files and much more.




Express Scribe Transcription Bundle: Pedal, Professional Software and Headset

Survey Junkie pays for surveys, product testing, and focus groups. Get paid up to $75 per survey with one of the highest-rated survey sites. Choose from many easy, short surveys. Get PayPal cash or gift cards. Join Survey Junkie here.

Need Money Fast?

Disclaimer: If you purchase a product through a referral link, I will get a commission at NO extra cost to you and it helps me to keep providing you with quality information.

General Transcription Free Mini-Course
Sign up to receive my free general transcription mini-course and updates

Leave a Comment