Your hands spend way more time on your keyboard than you think. Learning how to type fast is a basic skill that almost everyone underestimates in this digital world. Today, we’re going to teach you everything you need to know about typing faster.
The keyboard is the only thing between your thoughts and the computer that’s in front of you. Being a fast typist means getting your ideas out quicker, being more efficient with your time on the computer, and eventually letting your eyes wander away from the keyboard while you type.
Learn Where You Are in the Levels of WPM
Now if you already know what your rate of words per minute WPM and want to improve, but don’t know where to start, then keep reading.
There are five WPM levels and they all need different areas of training. Learning what to practice and how you can practice your typing will let you increase your WPM much quicker.
20 to 50 WPM
For reference, 40 WPM is the world’s average typing speed. Anyone who’s in this WPM threshold is most likely looking at their keyboard while they type and don’t type with all of their fingers. To improve in this category, you’ll want to master the keyboard layout and prioritize learning how to type without looking at the keyboard.
How to level up: No-look typing is an essential skill that you need to master before expecting to increase your WPM to the next level.
51 to 70 WPM
70 WPM is the average typing speed for professional typists. This WPM level is more about speed than accuracy. Now that you’re familiar with the keyboard enough to type comfortably without looking, ramping up the speed is the next step. You can practice this by quickly typing out one word at a time.
How to level up: Don’t think about typing a sentence, but think about typing one word as quickly as you can. Visualize the keyboard and train your fingers to immediately type out one letter after the other in quick succession. You can pause for a second between every word so that you can focus on the keys you’re about to press quickly.
71 to 90 WPM
If you can type this fast, then congratulations on typing much faster than most people. To increase your typing speed at this level, you’ll need to understand how to read and think differently when you practice typing. Normally, people read a word, type it out, and then continue. Typists who are nearing the 100 WPM holy grail read the next word while typing out the previous one.
How to level up: Essentially, you should be building the confidence to continue reading to the next word even though you’re still typing out the previous word. This removes the subtle pause between words where your hands do nothing because your brain is still checking if you typed out the word correctly. At this level, you should already be reading the next word as you type, relying on your confidence that you’ll get the word right.
91 to 110 WPM
For those of you who have already made it this far, you’re in one of the highest tiers of typing speeds. Typists at this point are either fast but make mistakes, or are slower than they could yet remain accurate.
How to level up: You need to polish either your speed or accuracy to reach past 110 WPM. If you’re a fast typist but still make mistakes as you type, try to type at a comfortable pace without any mistakes. Get a perfect score twice at your comfortable pace and then go for a quicker pace while maintaining accuracy on your third try.
On the other hand, if accuracy is your strong point, then you’ll need to brute force your way to type faster. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. You’ll settle into the pacing and speed without a hitch anyway.
Typists at this level are just monsters. If you’re already hitting a steady 120 WPM, you should pat yourself on the back. Typists who still want to improve here can only do so through a couple of ways.
- Continue practicing more and increasing your speed slowly.
- Invest in a better keyboard.
- Make sure your typing posture and position is ideal.
Use Proper Typing Positions (or Don’t)
Although a lot of typing enthusiasts will recommend that you type with your left hand on
ASDF and right hand on
JKL; (also called the “home row” keys)—it’s not that simple.
If you’re already a fast typist and just want to continue improving, you don’t have to change your finger alignment. You can easily hit 100 to 120 WPM on non-conventional finger alignments, and even 130 to 140 WPM if you practice hard enough.
However, for those of you who are still slow and are struggling to hit 50 WPM, then learning the ropes to proper finger alignments will be good for you.
Just keep in mind that typing can be fun. Even if you aren’t using the traditional home row, you can still type incredibly quickly. For reference, my left fingers are usually on the
AERH keys and my right fingers stay at
MO[ and I type at a comfortable 130 WPM on the monkeytype keyboarding website.
Practice on Keyboarding Websites
Learning to type fast is a geeky skill that has prompted the online community to create several websites for practice. There are a lot of websites out there, and some differ in their approach to developing your skills. Here are the three main types of practice websites that you can use:
- Pure typing – doesn’t require punctuations and capitalizations. You just type word after word in lowercase.
- Sentence typing – involves sentences from books, movies, and song lyrics. These are complete with punctuations and capitalizations.
- Corrective typing – lets you type out jumbled words that don’t exist, helping you to correct your typing one letter at a time.
These three types of practice websites have their pros and cons, but it’s ultimately up to you. Although learning to type faster is important, it’s easier to practice when you think of typing as a game. It’s all about pressing buttons accurately and quickly, then a score will show you how well you did at the end.
Here are three standard practice websites that you should try.
If you’re a slow typist who looks at the keyboard while typing, then you should start with Keybr. This website offers corrective typing and will familiarize you with the keyboard on a very basic level. You’ll be given a mix of jumbled-up words to type out, emphasizing letters that you have a hard time typing out.
Monkeytype is my personal favorite website. This typing site primarily utilizes pure typing, so you’ll only be typing out lowercase letters without any punctuation and capitalization. The website lets you choose between typing for a set amount of time or a number of words. We recommend alternating between monkeytype and Keybr until you can type without looking at the keyboard—more on that later.
Finally, typeracer is a sentence typing website that not only lets you type out quotes from books, songs, or movies, but also lets you race with other typists. It’s a fun website that lets you practice with other players who type at your speed. You can also practice by yourself or race your friends if that’s your mojo.
Learn How to Backspace Quickly
If you’re a Mac user, simply pressing Option+Backspace will completely erase an entire word. For you Windows users, the Ctrl+Backspace key combination is your friend.
Learning shortcuts like this will increase your WPM immediately even without practicing too much. Pressing the backspace multiple times just to delete a word takes an extra one or two seconds to do. While that might seem small, those seconds can add up pretty quickly.
Despite it sounding counterproductive to erase a whole word, it’s often much quicker to type out a word from scratch than to try and fix it one letter at a time. You’ll find these shortcuts extremely helpful the more you use them.
Take Care of Your Wrists
Never underestimate just how much strain your wrists go through when you’re typing. For starters, the standard flat keyboard isn’t ergonomic at all for your wrists since they have to bend outwards to fit on the keyboard. This is why there’s a market for curved ergonomic keyboards that lets you type on a more neutral wrist position. You can find our recommendation for the best ergonomic keyboard in our keyboard buying guide.
However, some ergonomic keyboards can cost quite a bit. If you can’t shell out some extra cash, doing a series of quick wrist stretches is more than enough to keep carpal tunnel syndrome at bay.
If you want to keep increasing your speed and efficiency with computers, you may consider taking advantage of the speed reading tools available to you on the internet.
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