In the search for a means to fend for yourself, it’s easy to stumble upon transcription jobs online. If you see the hustle worth trying, then it’s important to brace yourself for upcoming tasks before applying for any work. Yes, practice is paramount because you must sit a transcribe test to get hired. It is well known that starting without a clue is a recipe for disaster.
A transcription test requires candidates to work on single or multiple audio files. Transcribing involves converting speech or audio to written text. You’ll be presented with the link to a pre-made test or the audio file to transcribe in a remote job situation.
The hiring company determines how many tests you take and the difficulty. While most exams are 5 to 15-minute speech or audio, others involve longer speech files.
You must, therefore, complete and submit the exam within the specified time. While some employers begin the countdown as soon as you click the start button, others will give a deadline like 24 to 48 hours.
So what does it take to ace your online transcription test and build a career in the field?
Basic Guidelines for Your Transcribe Test
Transcription, like every other practice, has its dos and don’ts. Familiarizing yourself with these guidelines upfront can increase your chances in the test while sharpening your skills.
Below are some guidelines to remember when transcribing.
Type the words as spoken in the audio. Never add anything or omit any phrases that you can’t comprehend. Instead, tag unintelligible parts per the firm’s instructions.
2. Use proper UK/US English.
Use correct US/UK English depending on your client’s request. Never use phonetics or internet-language like 2 for “two.”
3. Do not paraphrase.
Never reorganize the wording in the audio or not eliminate words that seem to be irrelevant. Lastly, don’t include anything that hasn’t been spoken in the narration. Type the words as spoken.
4. Never add extra words.
Transcribed work should be as it is in the audio. Don’t include additional data like page numbers or titles in the script. These are usually added in a different section at the transcript’s bottom.
Lastly, follow all formatting rules and revise work before submitting the final project.
Tips to Excel in an Online Transcribe Test
Because these exams are time-bound, it’s paramount to prepare adequately before hitting your keyboard for a transcription session. You also need to gather all the resources you need to take your test comfortably.
Remember, you don’t need a degree or any qualifications to get a transcription job. The secret is to understand the fundamentals of transcribing and do regular practice. It would be best if you also were up to date with the latest rules to stay relevant.
How to Get Ready to Ace Your Transcription Test
The practice is paramount because you must sit a transcribe test to get hired. Follow these steps to boost your score;
· Hone your typing skills
Typing speed is a big deal in this job. Though different firms have different requirements, any rate of 60 words/minute (wpm) is okay. Still, it’s possible to handle the task with 35 wpm, but anything below that can compromise your ability to deliver work in time.
Hence, practice placing your fingers on the right keys without looking during your training sessions. Start with the audio in your favorite videos even before acquiring transcription tools.
Yes, practice is paramount because you must pass this test to get hired. While working on your keyboard speed, remember most customers still prioritize accuracy.
· Learn to pay a keen ear
A keen eye for the audio words is a primary requirement for excelling in a transcribed test.
Missing several words during the test can affect your result. Practice the art of paying attention to the audio while capturing the conversations or narrations through typing. It’s advisable to mute or switch off your TV set or subwoofer to maintain total concentration.
In some cases, some words are unintelligible, and such should be put in brackets as in [incomprehensible] or per the hiring company’s instructions.
Remember, time flies during a transcription test. So, you must make the best decision and move forward.
· Check client’s requirements
Transcription requirements may vary from one company to another. However, some general rules apply for all jobs.
Still, it’s essential to read your project’s specific instructions before starting the test. Failure to stick to do so can compromise your result.
Unmet requirements are the primary cause of failure in transcription tests.
· Gather the right tools
To handle this job, you need to gather the right tools. Look for resources like a laptop, transcribing software, and a strong internet connection.
Download and run the transcription software on your computer. There are several options in the market; some are free while others come at a fee.
Many firms don’t demand that candidates use a foot pedal during the exam. You can rely on the software to play, rewind and pause the audio. However, a foot pedal simplifies the process.
Lastly, you may need quality earphones or headphones to enhance concentration and listen to the conversations better.
· Polish your punctuation
It’s also paramount to learn more about sentence structures to differentiate between Dependent & Independent Clauses. This is useful in knowing when to add a comma or full stop. These are the most used marks when transcribing.
· Check Spelling and Grammar
Always check spelling and grammar mistakes before sharing the final work. While you want to handle everything with speed, accuracy is a more significant concern.
Avoid using Grammarly tools to confirm transcribed work because some suggestions can include restructuring sentences that can compromise your work’s quality. However, these tools can prove useful in correcting your punctuation and embarrassing spelling errors
· Read transcribe test Instructions
As hinted throughout the post, it’s essential to go through your client’s test instructions before beginning the project.
If they don’t specify, ask for detailed formatting instructions to ensure the final product matches their needs.
You don’t want to share the final file only to redo the formatting. The worst happens in a test situation where you may never have a second chance.
· Prepare the test area
Before starting the project, it helps to prepare the test area. Silence is key to your job. So, the first move is to get rid of any noisemakers.
Next, you’ll need an ergonomic chair and a desk for your home office. This provides the comfort you need to transcribe and deliver the best result. Arrange everything you’ll need, such as your headphones or a foot pedal on top of the desk for easy access.
Formatting Rules for Your Transcribe Test
The audio file you’ll be working on will often be a section of a larger file. Your employers expect you to produce consistent results from one audio to another.
This highlights the vital role of transcript formatting to freelancers and the employing company. Always go through all the formatting rules for the specific firm to improve your transcribe test chances.
Factors to Consider When Formatting
Below are some vital guidelines to consider;
· Conjunctions or Joining Words
Avoid beginning sentences with joining words or conjunctions like “but,” “and,” “so.”
Consider eliminating these words without altering a sentence’s meaning.
Joining words should only start a sentence if removing it changes what the sentence means.
· Sentencing & Paragraphing in Transcription
Accurate sentencing and paragraphing are essential in passing this exam. Below are some important rules to follow.
- Adhere to grammar rules: Begin all your sentences in Upper Case and review the doc to punctuate sentences correctly.
- Activate word-wrap: Word wrap is a text processing tool that aligns all text within the set margins. When looking to fill a new line, the feature autonomously moves the words to the subsequent line, so you don’t have to use the return key every time.
- Begin afresh paragraph for every new speaker: This makes it easy for the client to follow the conversation in the text the same way it unfolds in the audio file
- Leave a blank line after each paragraph so that the reader can tell one from the next.
- When feasible, split long sentences into short ones: This increases your text’s readability making it more accessible to readers.
- Use single spacing after each sentence and paragraph: Correct any double-spacing with the Search & Replace tool in Microsoft Word.
- Eliminate any broken lines in between your paragraphs before sharing the final transcript.
- Use short paragraphs: Each should contain no more than six sentences.
· Adding Speaker Tags
Speaker tags are the terms used to refer to the speaking individuals in the audio file. This tag can be the person’s name, title, or expertise.
- Add speaker tags to specify the speaker properly
- Edit speaker tags accurately per your employer’s instructions
- Add colon and space after each speaker tag.
Lastly, use Upper Case for every word in the tag.
Remote Transcription Jobs: What are Your Options?
Online transcribing tasks cover different sectors. Though transcription refers to typing up spoken or recorded audio into text, various transcription forms require additional know-how, and sometimes, tools.
General Transcribing Jobs
This refers to typing virtually any kind of audio — dictated work, lectures, video calls, webinars, voice messages, podcasts, video files, etc., in multiple fields like commerce, media, law, and education.
There are different specialties under general transcription, but you do not need to undergo any form of training.
Here are examples of niches one can choose from:
1. Data entry
In essence, all transcribing jobs involve some data entry. Nevertheless, specific tasks listed in the “data entry” category involve quick on-the-go tasks.
These are intro jobs to help you get started with typing. You can handle them even with little transcription know-how. This also means they are less-paying than other more demanding tasks.
2. Corporate transcription
The corporate world also benefits a lot from transcription services. For this category, you must have some finance-sector know-how to ensure information accuracy.
3. Legal transcription
This is a specialty in transcription that doesn’t demand professional training like healthcare transcribing. However, you must be well conversant with law terms and processes to excel in this field.
Often, it demands multi-skill capabilities because one must be a proficient transcriber and be knowledgeable about legal processes to tackle.
Beginning a career in transcription is as tricky as it sounds.
You can start today, practice daily and master the art in a month or so.
Learn more about transcription and get well-paying remote jobs at Bunny Studios.