Quick typing speed is an absolute requirement for many modern jobs, yet many of us lack this important skill. By taking a typing test, a job seeker can differentiate themselves from the crowd. For young people especially, a typing test makes a lot of sense, as younger people are more likely to have great typing skills, and more likely to be seeking the types of jobs that require a high number of words per minute.

What to expect

When you come into the Smart Center to take a typing test, simply tell one of the employees that you would like to take a test. Don’t be shy! It’s free, and no appointment is required.

After your basic information is taken, you will be ushered into the computer lab, where you will log on to one of the machines to begin your test. You will have a short amount of time to practice typing and then, when you are ready, you will be shown paragraphs which you will need to re-type within a set amount of time.

The test will run twice. Your final score, in words per minute, will be calculated for both test (gross wpm – errors = net wpm). Errors will count against your score. A certificate will be provided for the best score out of the two sessions.  

How to succeed at a typing test

  • Practice: If you don’t spend a lot of time typing, you aren’t likely to score very well on a typing test. Practice is essential. There are a number of free typing tests online (although the certification you receive won’t be worth as much to Shasta County businesses as the one you receive here). Typing in your free time will allow you to quickly improve your skills.
  • Use proper technique: Even if you’re the fastest hunt-and-peck typist in the world, you won’t score a well as someone who positions their fingers properly on the keys and uses standard technique. There are a number of free tutorials available online that can keep you from developing bad habits. To start, a good tip is to not look down at the keyboard as you type. Memorize the positions of the keys as quickly as you can.
  • Relax: Take as much time as you need to practice beforehand, and take a deep breath before beginning the test. It’s a free test, and if you need to, you can retake it. Becoming tense won’t help you.
  • Don’t focus on errors: Even though errors do count against your final score in our typing test, it’s not efficient to go back and correct errors. If you notice a typo, try not to think about it. Just keep on typing.

How will you know if you’ve done well? 40 to 50 words per minute (WPM) on your final certificate represents an average score. It’s sufficient for most, but not all positions. Some positions may require WPMs of 50 to 65, so if you score in that range you will be qualified for just about any typing job out there. If you score above 100 or even 110, then congratulations! Your typing skills are legendary.

Typing skills are necessary for most administrative, secretarial, and software jobs. If you’re a young person looking for entry-level jobs, or an experienced person looking for a new position, a typing certificate with an impressive WPM can be a valuable feather in your cap during a job interview.

Don’t be afraid to stop by for a typing test! If you aren’t a fast typist it can be intimidating, but it’s worth it to know where you stand. Good luck!

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