How accurate is Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11? Using the Rainbow Passage to measure accuracy

We recently bought Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 Premium. It’s hard not to got sucked in by their marketing.

Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 claims on their box that you can just say words and watch them appear “three times faster than typing — with up to 99% recognition accuracy right out of the box.”

This caught our attention because we’re looking for authentic ways to bring technology into the classroom beyond interactive whiteboards and digital projectors:

  • As a teacher, Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 could make you more efficient. For example, we type out a lot of student feedback and if we really could work three times faster, then it means that we could cut down the time it takes us to mark essays and assignments significantly.
  • If you’re a student, chances are you don’t type very quickly. If you have a learning disability, you might even have difficulty getting your ideas down on paper. The idea that you can simply speak out your ideas and the computer will capture them and type them out for you could be very useful for some people.
  • (Nuance does provide an academic discount on their Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 Premium to qualified students and teachers. Make sure you read these 10 things to know before you buy the Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 premium education version.)

But just how accurate is Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11? We’ve been using Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 every day for the past 17 days.

Before we bought Dragon 11, we did a fair bit of research online. (Originally we bought the student/teacher version of Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 premium. But, we returned that and eventually bought Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 premium wireless because it comes bundled with a Bluetooth headset.)

Google brings up a lots of sites repeating this idea that with Dragon NaturallySpeaking (DNS), you can get up to 99% accuracy.

Now that we have Dragon NaturallySpeaking, we’re curious to see how accurate it really is for the average user.

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