If you are going to work with your child—or yourself—on how to improve typing speed, you should first have an idea of how fast you should type. On average, most people type at a rate of around 40 words per minute (wpm), which is required in many jobs. Secretarial and administrative positions may require up to 60 wpm.
A high school student who has good posture and uses the correct typing technique with all 10 fingers should be able to hit the 40 wpm mark with practice. Conversely, students who use the hunt-and-peck method of typing manage only 27 wpm on average.
To time your typing, pick a passage and type as much of it as you can for one, two, or five minutes. Then, count all characters typed (Ctrl + shift + G in MS Word; on a Mac, go to the Tools menu and choose Word Count) and divide by five to get the number of words typed, then divide by the number of minutes spent typing.
Speed isn’t the only goal. You need accuracy. You need to be able to type what you mean to say. You can adjust accuracy standards to your student’s abilities and then work to get better, but recommended targets are:
- 3rd-5th grade: 85-90%
- 6th-12th grade: 90-95%