How to calculate WPM typing speed

Written by chris miksen
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How to calculate WPM typing speed
Increasing your typing speed will enable you to search online more efficiently. (typing #6 image by Adam Borkowski from

Your words per minute, or WPM, typing speed is the average number of words you can type per minute. You probably want to increase your WPM speed, even if you're not working at a job that pays on that basis. Improving your typing speed will enable you to write papers faster, search online more efficiently and improve any word-processing tasks.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Stopwatch with a countdown timer
  • Computer with monitor and keyboard
  • Word-processing program

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  1. 1

    Open a word-processing program that has a word-count feature, such as Microsoft Word or Word Perfect. Open a new document.

  2. 2

    Set your stopwatch countdown timer to two minutes.

  3. 3

    Open a book or lengthy online article, something that will take you at least two minutes to finish typing.

  4. 4

    Start the countdown timer on your stopwatch and begin typing word-for-word from the book or article. Stop typing when the stopwatch alerts you that two minutes are up. Click the "Word Count" tool on the word-processing program, which you will find in either the "Tools" or "Editing" menu.

  5. 5

    Count the number of spelling errors you made while typing. Divide the number of words typed by two to find your gross typing WPM. Subtract the number of errors from that total to calculate your net typing WPM. For example, if you typed 120 words in two minutes, then your gross WPM would be 120 divided by two equals 60. If you made five errors during those two minutes, then your net WPM would be 60 minus five, for 55.

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