What is considered a good typing speed really depends on what kind of job you’re doing. For example, a secretary or a transcriptionist would be expected to be able to type at a much faster rate than someone like a manual laborer. Even so, there’s a basic level of typing ability that should be attainable by most people, thus enabling them to complete computer-related tasks within a reasonable time frame. Consider the facts and figures here and see how you measure up and how some good typing speed tests can help.
The Importance of Speedy Typing
As our jobs and even leisure time become increasingly computer-oriented, we need to seriously consider our skills at the keyboard. This is true whether you’re typing on a mobile device or a traditional desktop computer, and there are several reasons why you should try to up your game and achieve a good typing speed per minute.
When it comes to working out whether you’ve got a good typing speed WPM (words per minute) is often the way to go about it. It combines the advantages of such tests as average characters per minute with the benefits of testing for accuracy. After all, not every word in the English language is of the same length or the same difficulty in terms of typing it out, so when you have to gauge whether you’ve got a good typing speed WPM is the number you’ll need.
What Is a Good Typing Speed Test?
There are all kinds of ways to test your typing speed, ranging from official measurement options down to simple games that have been designed to improve your typing to reach a good typing speed per minute. Consider some of the options below if you’re in need of a good typing speed test.
Although there’s really only one reasonable way to measure typing in terms of time taken to complete a task, you can use a variety of such tasks while you’re testing yourself and trying to make your typing speed good enough. What makes a typing speed good depends on the efficiency and accuracy of your work; it’s not all about speed at the expense of all other attributes. Consider the information below and see where you stand.
Characters Per Minute (CPM)
As you reasonably expect, this measurement refers to the number of keystrokes made by a typist within a sixty-second timeframe. This is a useful way of determining your absolute speed, independently of the length of individual words. If you can work your way up to 200 characters per minute or more, you’ll be a better typist than most people.
What makes this a useful measurement is that different words in various fields of expertise will have different lengths and may be harder to type than others. For example, a word like “psychology” is characteristically different from simpler words like “dog”. Your keystroke count per minute is the best absolute test of speed and true professionals can make it up to around 330 CPM without breaking a sweat.
Word Per Minute (WPM)
This is the classic way of measuring typing speed although words vary in length, making it not such a good test of absolute typing speed. To compensate for the fact that words are of all kinds of lengths, most such tests standardize a word as being 5 characters long. This makes comparing one typist to another by means of WPM a lot more useful. On that note, it’s worth saying that WPM is used over CPM simply because we count sentence length in words not in characters.
The mean average typing speed of a typical population is 40 WPM. This is still rather fast, and you can get a lot of useful work done while typing at such a speed. However, despite this respectable average, actual speeds vary significantly with teenagers often scoring as low as 23 WPM. In contrast, an experienced and highly trained secretary could practically set fire to the keyboard at a top speed of 73 WPM.
This is an important point to make as not many people can maintain their fastest typing speed for an extended period of time. Firstly, there’s the factor of fatigue over time, but it must also be realized that working people will need to take a break to think about the content they’re typing.
WPM scores will be slightly lower in more academic settings as more thought needs to be put into the content and the words themselves are often longer. In such a case, a CPM measurement would be preferred. In contrast, when the typist is working on a transcription task, average performance is likely to be rather higher than the 40 WPM average.
If your job involves a great deal of typing, you’ll naturally improve over time without any additional training, but if you want to break through all the barriers you can and make it into the major league of typing, you’re going to need to practice using specific exercises.
The most proficient typists have been known to reach speeds of up to 120 WPM for reasonably extended periods of time. If you want to make it to this impressive rate, you’ll have to put the requisite work in.
Some typing speed scores do not take into account the fact that errors are made all the time. Whether it’s a simple spelling mistake or a complete mess, typing speeds are often recorded as higher than they truly are. If any given typist were to go back and correct their errors, a speed of around 85 WPM would drop to a less respectable but still impressive 65 WPM.
Now you understand a little more about what is considered a good typing speed, you can start to think about whether you need to improve your abilities. If your job requires that you spend a lot of time at the keyboard, it’s well worth your effort to speed up your typing. Consider all the different ways you can become a better typist.