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Improving your typing abilities can help you make fewer mistakes, improve your efficiency at work, and even open up your job prospects. It will take some effort, but once you regularly practice some typing exercises, typing quickly will become second nature. The first place to begin is to determine your words per minute (WPM) and accuracy.
There are numerous online typing tests that will determine your WPM. Standards vary, but most statistics say that an average typist will type between 50 and 60 words per minute, whereas a skilled typist will type between 80 and 95 words per minute. Some exceptional typists can type at 120 WPM. Some job applications will specify a number of words per minute that they want their applicants to be able to do.
These typing tests will also measure accuracy -- how many mistakes you make, how many types you must backspace, etc. Over 90% accuracy is a good goal to have. Two-finger typists, also known as "hunt and peck" typists, generally cannot reach speeds of over 35 WPM, so it is best to practice typing exercises while using the correct finger placement. It may be more difficult at first, but it will certainly pay off in the end.
Once you've determined your WPM and accuracy, you can begin finding typing exercises. Searching online reveals a number of free typing exercises. Some will even allow you to track your progress and see where you need improvement. There are also typing software programs available for purchase. These include more features, such as extensive typing lessons and tutorials, tests, and games.
A general tip when trying to improve your typing skills is not to look at your hands. You might even choose to tape a piece of paper over your hands. This too will make things much more difficult initially, but you will quickly learn the placement of the keys and will be able to look at the screen more often to catch mistakes than to rely on staring at the keyboard.
Typing exercises generally start with the basics and get more difficult as the lessons go on, similar to learning any new skill. You might first learn the placement of the keys on the "home row," where your fingers will naturally return to rest. Once you've mastered those keys, you will learn the other rows, and eventually the numbers and keypad. Patience and persistence with your typing exercises will lead to good results.
I think the most effective typing exercise is to take a manilla envelope and use it to cover up your fingers as you type. The whole point of typing is to develop speed and accuracy while not having to divert your attention from the keyboard. The best was to cultivate this skill is to remove the ability to watch your fingers as you type.
When I took a typing course in school almost 50 years ago this is how the teacher taught us. And it really worked. I have been an exceptional typer since I was a teenager because I had such a solid foundation.
I took a typing class back in high school and was actually pretty good at it. But for some reason as soon as I finished the class I decided that I would go back to my normal hunt and peck style. I got really fast at it but still not as fast as I could be if I looked at the screen as I typed.
I realized once I got a job that I would need to improve my typing skills. I looked around on the net and found a lot of great free online typing tutors. I would work on typing practice for about an hour a day and within two weeks my speed was up to 60 WPM. Now I type in the standard format exclusively and I have never been more productive. I wish I would have started back in high school, but better late than never.
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