How I boosted my typing speed in a week

September 14, 2020 — by Howard Shu

Since 2016, my typing speed has remained pretty average, at around 50 words per minute (WPM). Since typing is especially important right now during online learning, I decided to spend a week trying to improve my typing skills.

My plan was to practice for 20 to 30 minutes a day and work on improving my form and increasing my accuracy.

Initially, I typed 50 WPM with 239 characters per minute (CPM), which was around what I expected. My goal was to reach 70 WPM by the end of the week.

For the first few days, I worked on my form and practiced letters that I was uncomfortable with. I found out which letters I was having trouble with by doing some tests on typingtest.com and taking a look at the “tricky keys” section afterwards; some were r, p, z and m.

In my first and second days, my speed fluctuated between 50 and 65 WPM. On the third day, I realized that I typed faster when I was focused solely on accuracy. I also found that I benefited greatly from lightly tapping the keys instead of forcefully hitting down on them in the attempt to type out more words than my fingers could handle.

By the fifth day, I started consistently scoring above 60 WPM. The main reason I got faster was that I made less errors, which reduced the amount of time I spent hitting the delete button. 

I began averaging around 65 WPM and 280 CPM by the end of the week, which was substantially better than the 50 WPM and 239 CPM at the beginning of the week.

I found that focusing on using all 10 fingers to type, working on tricky keys and not looking at the keyboard when typing helped a lot. 

I got faster, but still not enough to reach my goal of 70 WPM. Nevertheless, I am still pretty satisfied with the speed and consistency I gained. For me, 65 WPM will work just fine for online learning since I feel like I can almost type as fast as I think now. 

More importantly, I am making much fewer mistakes, which is less frustrating. Before, when I was typing 50 WPM, I occasionally got annoyed with myself because I had to delete a typo every few words.

In total, I spent about three hours over the course of a week to increase my typing speed by 30 percent — not a bad return on the time invested if you ask me.

 

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Due to the lightning complex that occurred in the week of Aug.17, Santa Clara County is currently surrounded by wildfires, covering the city of Saratoga in heavy smoke. The air quality was in the range of 100 to 200 for the past five days, forcing SHS to close down. Photo by Selina Chen.

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