How to Calculate Typing Speed: 13 Steps


Calculating your typing speed can be a useful exercise to improve your overall typing abilities and efficiency. This article details 13 simple steps to help you calculate your typing speed and track your improvement over time.

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Step 1: Choose a test text

Find a suitable text to use as a typing test. You can choose an online typing test, or select a passage from your favorite book or article.

Step 2: Prepare a timer

Use either a stopwatch, timer application on your computer, or an online typing test that includes a timer.

Step 3: Set the timer for one minute

Most typing tests measure speed in words per minute (WPM), so set the timer for one minute.

Step 4: Position your fingers

Place your fingers on the home row and ensure you’re using correct finger placement and posture.

Step 5: Start the timer

When you’re ready to begin, start the timer and begin typing the chosen text as accurately and quickly as possible.

Step 6: Type until the timer expires

Focus on accuracy, but try to maintain a steady pace. Avoid looking at the keyboard while you type.

Step 7: Record total characters typed

Note how many characters you typed during the one-minute period, including spaces and punctuation marks.

Step 8: Count mistakes

Review what you typed and count how many mistakes you made (incorrect characters entered).

Step 9: Subtract errors from total characters typed

Subtract the number of mistakes from the total number of characters typed. This will give you an adjusted total of correctly typed characters.

Step 10: Calculate gross words per minute (GWPM)

Divide the adjusted total of correctly typed characters by five (the average word length, including spaces). The result is your GWPM.

Step 11: Calculate error rate

Divide the number of mistakes by the number of words typed (using GWPM) and multiply by 100. This gives you the percentage error rate.

Step 12: Calculate net words per minute (NWPM)

Subtract the error rate percentage from your GWPM to determine your final NWPM or typing speed.

Step 13: Track your progress

Repeat these steps regularly to track your improvement over time.


By following these 13 steps, you can accurately calculate your typing speed and monitor your progress. With consistent practice, you will be able to increase your typing speed and accuracy, increasing efficiency in work or everyday tasks.


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