Test with words | Test with numbers | Words & Numbers
Is typing speed our goal?
Increased typing speed is the major attraction non-typists see in learning to touch type. While learning to touch type will almost always result in a perceptible increase in typing speed it is just one factor contributing to a marked increase in productivity.
Speed & accuracy
Given that touch typing is an automatic skill it is logical to associate an expert typist with fast typing but a better description might be accurate typing. The principal benefit of touch typing, for the student typist, is that data input via a keyboard no longer requires conscious thought, or, visual confirmation.
- While composing a letter or essay it is no longer necessary for the writer to interrupt their train of thought to scan the keyboard for the location of a particular key, or, to correct a typing mistake.
- A touch typist copying from a source text doesn't need to divide their attention between the source, screen and keyboard as an untrained typist would but can turn their full attention to the source text, confident that their touch typing skill will translate thought into data input without error.
These are attainable benefits resulting from constant practice. The end result can be demonstrated as an impressive display of typing speed, where the typist's fingers keep pace with thought, but the underlying demonstration is one of reliable accuracy that typing practice has elevated to speed.
Measuring typing skill
Typing tests measure two things, speed and mistakes, so when you take our typing speed test, do not look only at your speed, look also at the number of your mistakes and concentrate on reducing your mistakes in future tests rather than increasing your typing speed. The end result will be increased productivity.
What is WPM?
WPM is an abbreviation of Words-Per-Minute. Confusingly this does not literally mean whole words, as one might find in a dictionary, but rather word-units.
For speed to be comparable, it must be measured in standard units. In the case of typing speed if we used actual words for the WPM measurement then typing speed test results would not be comparable unless everyone used the same texts for their respective typing speed tests - which would give us the additional factor of memorisation so, the word-units we use are artificial.
One word-unit is five keystrokes. Thus, "typed" is one word-unit, "type on it" is two word-units (spaces count as keystrokes too).
Before you begin the typing speed test make sure you are sitting up straight, your feet flat on the floor. Keep your elbows close to your body, your wrists straight and your forearms level, and remember to take regular breaks.