All you need to know about typing tests for job interviews

Make sure you’re prepared to ace your first typing test

Typing tests are essential for anyone who wishes to know their typing speed, and you’ll often encounter them if you’re job hunting. As with much in the world, not all tests are created equal.

Most professional typing test are hosted by third party companies, and take at least 5 minutes. These are the tests that are applied for state and federal typing positions, because typists who are seeking jobs like these need to be able to type quickly and consistently for extended periods of time.

Typing tests infographic:

Typing tests infographic

Variations of typing tests

There are a variety of websites online, such as Ratatype, TypingWeb and others that offer free online typing tests. These vary depending on the site that you visit. Some pull their source material from classic or public domain works, such as Aesop’s Fables. Others, such as the ever popular TypeRacer, uses quotes, statements, and song lyrics pulled from current popular culture.

Whatever source material the test chooses; most are going to function the same. Either you will be given a time limit and your words per minute speed will be based on the amount you type within that limit, or you are given a certain amount of text and no time limit, and your speed rating will be based on the amount of time that it takes you to complete the text.

Once you have completed whichever test style you choose, you will be presented with your total words per minute score, and a secondary score that is adjusted for accuracy. You can type as fast as you like, but it doesn’t mean much if you don’t type accurately as well. Most potential employers will want at least a 97% accuracy rate (average typing accuracy 92%), and higher is always better.

Proper touch typing skills are invaluable. If you don’t already know what your current words per minute speed is, perhaps you should visit one of the sites listed above and find out. It’s easier to improve if you have a baseline for your current skills.

Written by Adam Fort, who is an education advisor and touch typing enthusiast. His main goal is to share the knowledge about 21st century skills.

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