George Lucas Educational Foundation

Touch typing: Guide for Newbies

Touch typing: Guide for Newbies

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Touch typing is one of the most important skills you can learn. But what is so important about typing speed? Read on and hopefully we can enlighten you.
The fastest typist on record reached an astonishing speed of 216 words per minute on an IBM electric typewriter. Currently typists are able to easily reach speeds of 100 words per minute per more on standard QWERTY formatted keyboards, and can reach speeds of 200 words per minute or even more using the less popular but still effective Dvorak format.
The typing speed of the average adult is around 40 words per minute (see more in infographic Most computer-centric jobs, like administration or medical transcription, usually require a speed of at least 60 words per minute, while still typing as accurately as possible. 
The words per minute speed of a typist is calculated by first measuring the characters per minute speed. For these tests 5 characters, no including spaces, counts as one word. After totaling up the characters typed and dividing it by 5, the tests then divide that total the total number of minutes that the typist was testing. Most professional tests take about 5 minutes. This is the typist’s gross words per minute speed.

The speed is than adjusted to take into account any and all mistakes that the typist made while testing. These include mistyped letters, backspace keystrokes, and missed letters or punctuation.

Some tests will only provide the gross words per minute speed with an accuracy rating underneath, while others will go ahead and calculate the net words per minute speed.

Typing speed is one of the most important things that potential employers need to see when reviewing your resume, especially if the job you are applying for is computer related. Spend some time doing drills, as little as 20 minutes a day can be effective in improving your overall typing speed and accuracy.

Here is a list of typing tutors to try in the classroom:

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