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Calculating net typing speed


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#1 Cynthia Moore

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 03:58 AM

This may not be the perfect place to post this, but I didn't know where else.

 

Several websites discuss how to calculate net typing speed based on the raw (or gross) typing speed and the number of errors.

 

Here a typical one: https://www.speedtypingonline.com/typing-equations.

 

The standard formula for the gross typing speed (gwpm) is:

gwpm = ((totalkeystrokes/5)/minutes). 

That is, divide the total number of characters typed (including spaces and punctuation) by 5 to get words and then by the number of minutes it took to type it.

 

To get the net typing speed, the standard practice is to deduct 1 wpm for each error/minute.

nwpm = gwpm - (errors/minutes)

But this can be written as

nwpm =words/minute - errors/minute = (words-errors)/minute

But a word is 5 characters, so if the character error rate is 20%, it's a word error rate of 100% (5 x 20%), so the net wpm would be zero. Or another way to look at it, If the error rate is 20%, then there is an error every 5 characters, which is the same as every word, so, again, the net wpm is zero.

 

And if the error rate is greater than 20%, the net wpm is negative.

 

Did I do that right, or am I missing something?


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#2 britechguy

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 09:02 AM

From my memory of having to compute typing WPM rate you have this right.

 

Although it's possible to have a zero or negative WPM it seldom happens in practice after someone develops the most rudimentary skill with a typewriter.  "Hunt and Peck"-ers don't tend to fall into zero or negative territory.  That tends to happen only in the very earliest days of learning to touch type before you actually have any skill at touch typing.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (my website address is in my profile) Windows 10 Home, 64-bit, Version 1709, Build 16299

       

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#3 Cynthia Moore

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 11:21 AM

Thanks, Brian,

 

I agree that even a 3-finger typist like me will be able to do better than 80% accuracy.

 

Here's a website with a great typing test:

 

https://www.speedtypingonline.com/typing-test

 

The test has all kinds of options and it produces a lot of detailed statistics.

 

Matt, the developer, uses the standard formula, but only counts uncorrected errors. His logic is that the corrected errors are already accounted for in the WPM rating. This seems like a very strong argument to me.


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#4 britechguy

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 12:07 PM

I agree with him, at least in the age where we're talking about keyboarding, not actual typing.

 

I actually learned to type on a manual typewriter.  When that's what you were using the option of "correcting errors on the fly" was impossible unless you wanted to have a *way* negative WPM rate.

 

When correcting amounts to hitting a backspace and reentering the character or (and this would be insane if you want to have any sort of high WPM rating) reading over and mouse selecting characters and fixing them that means that doing either would be accurately reflected in a WPM and you do pay a time penalty even for backspace and reenter.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (my website address is in my profile) Windows 10 Home, 64-bit, Version 1709, Build 16299

       

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#5 Cynthia Moore

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 01:13 PM

You make a very good point about the difference between typewriters and computer keyboards. Matt also makes some very good points about the relative cost of correcting errors on the fly vs going back over them later vs having them get through the proofreading process and into the final document.


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#6 britechguy

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 01:26 PM

I just want to make clear that my points about making corrections were strictly related to maximizing one's NWPM.

 

The costs that result from simple typos (if rare) are probably quite small but, as we've all directly experienced, if there are enough it will make people question your competence (personal or the company's) which is very expensive indeed!


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (my website address is in my profile) Windows 10 Home, 64-bit, Version 1709, Build 16299

       

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#7 Cynthia Moore

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 01:40 PM

While I agree in principle, Matt makes a strong argument for only counting uncorrected errors in calculating the net wpm since the penalty for the corrected errors is already baked into the gross wpm rating.

 

Suppose I gave a typing test to two people. Both completed the test with a rating of 60 wpm and zero errors. Would it matter to you if you learned that one typist was typing at 60 wpm and making zero errors while the other was making some number of errors, but, because of a higher typing speed was able to correct them and still deliver an error-free product at 60 wpm?


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#8 britechguy

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 01:45 PM

Cynthia,

 

        I think we're talking past each other here, as I'm in 100% agreement about how he's computing WPM with regard to keyboarding.

 

        What I was trying to say is that I was never, for a second, going into the meta-analysis what it costs when they get through and make it to the final document.  It's not that I don't think that's a fine topic, but it has nothing to do with one's individual GWPM or NWPM - it goes way beyond that.


Brian  AKA  Bri the Tech Guy (my website address is in my profile) Windows 10 Home, 64-bit, Version 1709, Build 16299

       

    Here is a test to find out whether your mission in life is complete.  If you’re alive, it isn’t.
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#9 Cynthia Moore

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 01:54 PM

ok


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