Friday, 14 December 2018

Free Online Typing Tests

Some recent research on typing speeds made me review some 60 second online free typing tests in English, so I thought I would share with you all what I learned.

I found three typing tests online which all seemed pretty consistent in that I got roughly the same scores on all tests. I did at least ten tests on each site, with my cwpm (corrected words per minute) results ranged from the late 40s to early 50s. 

The pros and cons of each site and the results follow. 

While old fashioned in look, goodtyping.com's Good Typing Test (2018) is fairly easy to sit. You don't have to register. It also gives you a pdf certificate, which might be useful to take to an employer as evidence when applying for work that requires a specified keyboard speed. The view is a large chunk of text which you copy, and the density of that is a little off-putting.  Like all of the tests reviewed, it also reports your accuracy. Mine is rubbish: I rely far too much on the thousands of autocorrects that I have loaded into Microsoft Office! The text doesn't change though, so you could, in theory, just practice that piece of text and get faster.


LiveChat.inc's Typing Speed Test (2018) has a really nice platform for their test, and it is easiest of the three tests to take. The interface is clean and it is easy to focus on the test itself. However, if you are dyslexic as I am, you have to focus very hard on what is in front of you, as I found initially I was peripherally reading the next word instead of the one I was supposed to be keying and getting muddled, and I also found the strike-through as you made a mistake distracting. Both interfered with my concentration. While you don't have to register, if you don't, you can only view your results in a pop-up window over the main screen. You need to register to get more. I didn't register, so I don't know if there is a charge to get test results more formally. It reported clear accuracy rates. This was the easiest test to repeat again and again. I didn't notice many of the same word combinations coming up, and it does say it draws from the most common thousand English words. 


Waalboer's Typing Speed Test (2018) sat between the two tests for interface. A bit old fashioned in look, but has eighteen-ish words stacked in three lines on top of each other. As the test runs, the word you are currently typing moves to be highlighted middle row of the copy text. However, what I did find a little distracting was that your incorrect words became red. This interfered with my concentration a little. You don't have to register, and your results pop up in a refreshed window afterwards, which you could print to pdf for evidence. The beauty of this test is that as well as reporting your cwpm, it lists all your mistakes. You could use this site to diagnose your worst key combinations then work on your accuracy. This test has also been designed for children and adults.

All these tests have their uses. I would go to goodtyping.com (2018) for certification, Waalboer (2018) for learning, and LiveChat.inc (2018) for practice.


Sam

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