How is speed calculated?

Typing speed is defined as the number of words someone can accurately type in one minute. Despite the seemingly simple definition, the process used to compute one's typing speed is much more difficult. The speed is affected by several factors such as the complexity of the text, one's typing patterns, the use of backspace, and many other elements which we're going to cover below.

In general terms, the speed (W) is computed as a function of two variables: the time (in milliseconds) it takes to type a text (T), and the number of characters in the text (N):

This function is used to calculate typing speed in absolute terms. However, it isn't sufficient to provide thorough information on an ever-evolving typing performance of a student. Let's suppose that you type a lesson that only contains a few basic keys. If your speed on this lesson is 80 WPM, does it mean that your typing speed is 80 WPM? It certainly doesn't. It only indicates the speed at which you can type those few characters. Similarly, if you typically type at 80 WPM and start learning how to type symbols which causes your speed to drop to 20 WPM, it doesn't mean that your typing speed is 20 WPM. For this reason, TypingClub recognizes two sets of speed metrics to calculate typing speed:

  1. Attempt Typing Speed (ATS)
  2. Profile Typing Speed (PTS)
For more information, we invite you to read through a comprehensive document which explains the algorithm used in TypingClub in detail. Typing speed: how is it calculated and why does it matter?