Is it Just Speed that Counts when Doing a Typing Speed Test?

When learning to type your aim is to gradually improve your speed and obviously using an online typing speed test can help you to see how you are progressing.  However, should your aim be to blast out the paragraph as quickly as possible or is there more to it than that?

I learnt to type long before the days of the computer, and even the electric typewriter, so there was more to becoming a fast typist than purely trying to get my fingers to move as quickly as possible.  At that time accuracy made all the difference.  If you made a mistake it wasn't a matter of just hitting the back space key.  Most of the time we were using carbonated paper to do copies which meant that every mistake had to be corrected on the top copy with a typing rubber and all the carbon copies underneath (sometimes several).  As you can imagine making a mistake cost a huge amount of time and therefore accuracy was extremely important.  Accuracy therefore was drummed into me from an early stage and those of us who excelled at typing realised that the fewer mistakes we made, the quicker we became. 


This also paid off for me in many of my early jobs.  One of the first full time positions I had was working in a bank.  One of my roles was to type a document called a "bill of Laden".  Now this was a multi carbonated form and due to its legal nature, I was not allowed to make corrections by rubbing out - if I made a mistake I had to over type it with an x.  These forms were also sequentially numbered and kept under lock and key by one of the section manager's so if I messed up I couldn't just throw the form away and start again.  And all this was done on a manual typewriter! As you can imagine I learnt to be very accurate AND still type at a good speed as there was plenty of work flowing into my in tray!

Obviously nowadays with most people typing on a computer correcting mistakes is much easier.  I've noticed that as a result my typing accuracy is not what it used to be.

So do you really need to bother about accuracy? 

Personally I believe the more accurate you can teach yourself to be from the start, the quicker you will become in the long run.  Even with a computer backspace key, the mere act of realising you have made a mistake and then deleting this will affect your speed considerably.  If you work on keeping your mistakes to a minimum before you work on going faster you will be pleasantly surprised when you take a typing speed test and find your speed is much faster than you had imagined.

Keep practicing......