UPDATED 2021

The Typing Test Guide

The Typing Test Summary
What: Typing tests record the speed and accuracy with which a candidate can type a given passage of text.
Who: Anyone seeking employment may be required to take a typing test to demonstrate their keyboard skills.
Where: Typing tests can be done at home, in the office, or on a job interview. They are accessible online or in a computer program.
When: Typing tests are useful for job applicants, work assessments, and to improve typing skills.
How: Typing tests record speed and accuracy as a passage of text is typed.
Type: Online or from computer typing software.
Why: To strengthen a resume or job application, or used by employers to assess applicants or employees' typing skills.
Time: A few minutes to about half an hour, depending on the specific test.
Language: Depends on the location of the exam.
Preparation: Typists should take as many practice tests as possible.
Cost: Tests are usually free for job candidates.

Typing is a vital skill in today's job market. Whether you're hoping to secure work as a corporate secretary, a writer or even as a manager, technology is everywhere and work in almost any business will likely require proficiency with a computer keyboard. Typing tests assess the speed and accuracy of one’s typing so that the results can be presented to a prospective employer.

When job-hunting, if typing is part of the required skill set for the position, high scores on a typing test can only strengthen one’s chances of landing the job. Job seekers can practice and repeat typing tests as needed to master the skill and achieve a higher score. Commendable results should be included on a resume, as this shows that the candidate recognizes the job requirements and that they are committed to performing well.

Some employers will administer typing tests to their staff or job candidates to assess their skill level under controlled circumstances. This allows them to weed out weak applicants and determine who among the existing staff might benefit from more training on typing and other computer skills.

Typing tests can also be valuable to students, writers, business owners and anyone who does a great deal of their work on a computer. Keyboard speed and accuracy helps to make everyday tasks easier and more efficient – just think of all the time saved by typing properly, rather than picking out keys with two fingers!

How Typing Tests Work

Most typing tests display a passage of text to be re-typed – anything from a sentence of gibberish to a paragraph from Dickens. As the material is typed, the typing test records the typist’s speed and accuracy. At the end of the test, typing speed is presented in words per minute (wpm) and any errors are listed, along with an overall assessment of accuracy.

Every typing test is slightly different, but they are all variations on the same theme: a sentence or a block of text is presented on the computer screen, and the user is prompted to type it as quickly as possible. The text may be stationary or the text may scroll across the screen. Difficulty level can also vary – some typing tests can be modified to use longer or shorter words, more or less punctuation and to avoid or include unusual keys, such as numbers and symbols.

Typing Test Results

The results of a typing test are presented in a format that highlights words typed per minute, the number of errors, and other statistics and figures on typing speed and accuracy. These results can usually be printed to show to a prospective employer.

Preparing for a Typing Test

Practice is the best thing one can do to prepare for a typing test. A candidate might consider practicing on their own, or by enrolling in an online or live class. It’s a good idea to practice on different types of test so that on the day of the actual test, the candidate is ready for whatever kind of test is presented.

Are you ready to take a typing test? Please take a look at the Typing Test Directory.