Difference between College and standard editions of speed building?

I am looking to buy either “Gregg speed building for colleges: Simplified ed” or “Gregg speed building simplified” and I’m wondering which would be best. My Simplified is getting halfway decent, although I could definitely use more practice in order to get down all of the abbreviating principles. Up to now I have focused far more on accuracy than speed. Any recommendations? What’s the functional difference between the editions? Does it make sense to get both? (and, if so, which is best to start with?)

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  1. I recommend the first edition of the college version of the book, the one with the green cover. The second edition is not as good as the second one. The regular version is for high schools and the material is not as interesting. So if you can get "Gregg speed building for colleges: Simplified, First Edition" that would be the one.

    You can see the cover of the book in this post.

    1. Yes, the content is different between the books. But the plans and materials of the speed building college book first edition are much more detailed and better organized, in my opinion. For the second edition of the college book, they streamlined the text. It's still good, but not as comprehensive in some areas. You could get all four books (two college, two high schools) and have different practice in each.

      There is also a very rare Gregg Speed Building Simplified One Year Course (First Edition), which is actually two books in one: the regular Gregg Speed Building Simplified for high schools (first edition), with additional lessons. This one is good too, but it's hard to find (although libraries have it). The cover is similar to the first edition of the HS speed building book. So in summary, there are five versions of the Simplified speed building book: the two college ones (first and second editions), and the three HS ones (first, first one year course, and second)

      (Incidentally, above I should have said "The second edition is not as good as the first one.")

      Lastly, going to your original comment about additional practice, are you now studying the regular manual or are you studying one of the Gregg Dictation books? The speed building books assume that you know the system backwards and forwards and be able to write words without hesitation, so jumping from the regular manual to the speed building book without going through the intermediate step of a dictation book (be it Gregg Dictation, Gregg Simplified for Colleges Vol. 2, or Shorthand Dictation Studies Simplified by Wallace Bowman) is not something I recommend, because your progress won't be as fast. The intermediate dictation book is there to fill in the gaps with additional practice and additional vocabulary that you don't see in the regular manuals.

    2. That is all very helpful information, thanks!

      I have ordered the Dictation book and both the High School and College versions of speed building (1st edition, I think, but the listing wasn't completely clear) so I'm sure I'll be busy for some time. 🙂

      Is there a post that talks about the best path to progress through the various manuals? I tried searching for one (hence my confusion over the book covers post) but was unsuccessful.

    3. The typical shorthand course was four semesters long. Here are the books by semester for the Simplified series:

      First Semester – Any one of these:
      Gregg Shorthand Manual Simplified (1st or 2nd edition)
      Gregg Shorthand Manual Simplified Functional Method (1st or 2nd edition)
      Gregg Shorthand Simplified for Colleges Vol. 1 (1st or 2nd edition)

      Second Semester – Any one of these:
      Gregg Dictation Simplified (1st or 2nd edition)
      Gregg Shorthand Simplified for Colleges Vol. 2 (1st or 2nd edition)
      Shorthand Dictation Studies Simplified (by Wallace Bowman)

      Third Semester – Any one of these:
      Gregg Transcription Simplified (1st or 2nd edition)
      Gregg Transcription for Colleges, Simplified

      Fourth Semester – Any one of these:
      Gregg Speed Building Simplified (1st or 2nd edition)
      Gregg Speed Building for Colleges Simplified (1st or 2nd edition)
      Gregg Speed Building Simplified, One Year Course (this would start in a third semester, along with the transcription book)

      Some schools offered optional advanced dictation courses. For those they could use:

      Gregg Advanced Dictation Simplified – presents business & non-business related material
      Expert Shorthand Speed Course Simplified – used to pass the advanced speed tests, with business and congressional record material. For students that could write at least 120 wpm.

      The Gregg Transcription books are designed to provide practice in the transcription of shorthand to typed material. For that reason, if your main goal for learning shorthand does not include creating typed documents out of shorthand notes (or taking office-style dictation for later production of transcripts), those books could be skipped in favor of the speed building books. As expected, the books provide additional reading material, but unfortunately all related to business.

      The latter series followed a similar plan as Simplified, with small modifications. There are no one-year speed building books in the DJS and S90 series, nor there is an Gregg Advanced Dictation in those two series. The Expert Shorthand books were renamed "Gregg Expert Speed Building" and the material was limited to business-related selections, with the DJS and S90 versions being almost identical, save for a few extra lessons in the DJS book. Lastly, for S90, there was a two-volume set titled "Gregg Shorthand for the Electronic Office, Short Course", with Vol. 1 taking the place of the regular manual (first semester), and Vol. 2 being a dictation course (second semester).

      In the Centennial series, only three books were produced with high school and college versions (for a total of six). However, the high school and college versions are virtually identical — most passages and practice material are the same, save for a few exceptions. So for the first semester, the student would start with "Gregg Shorthand Basic Principles (Centennial Edition)" or "Gregg Shorthand College Book 1 (Centennial Edition)." The second semester, students would use either "Gregg Shorthand Dictation and Transcription (Centennial Edition)" or "Gregg Shorthand College Book 2 (Centennial Edition)." The third semester would use "Gregg Shorthand for the Administrative Assistant (Centennial Edition)", in the HS or college formats.

      I hope this answers the question.

  2. That assumes how many hours in class and at home per semester? 110 in class and equal at home?

    What are reasonable target speeds for the end of each semester? I'm probably setting mine too high. (And off on another obsession at the moment, so losing speed.)

    1. Shorthand classes used to meet 5 hours per week per semester, or about 80 sessions/semester. That's why Gregg books are designed with 80 lessons. Each lesson has enough material for 40 minutes of instruction, according to their recommendations.

      About target speeds, your mileage may vary, but in general, students should be able to write at least 60 wpm after the first semester, be near 80-110 wpm after the second and third semester, and be near 150 after speed building.

    2. It took me 10 months to get through the manual. I spent a good deal of time going through each lesson reading, copying, transcribing, and rewriting. I can't imagine getting through all of that in a single semester. Of course, my mind is not as young as it used to be…

      The Dictation Simplified manual came in yesterday and I have started working through the lessons in it. I can already see how effective it will be in cementing my knowledge of the system. I don't know why I waited so long to ask this question!

    3. 2nd edition of the Dictation manual. I also went ahead and ordered copies of Gregg Transcription Simplified and Gregg Speed Building Simplified, both 1st edition. (I tried to order Gregg Speed Building for Colleges 1st edition but they sent me another copy of the High School version :-/.)

      I think I'll be busy for awhile.

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