What Abilities Are Tested in Typing Tests for Employment?

Typing tests for employment assess an applicant's typing speed in gross words per minute as well as net words per minute. Typing accuracy is determined by tallying the number of mistakes made during the test.

Typing tests for employment generally include a written paragraph to be retyped. Applicants have a minute to type as much of the paragraph as they can as accurately as possible. Tests automatically conclude after one minute, and the results are tallied electronically.

Many employers consider an applicant's typing skills as part of their hiring criteria, particularly in fields dealing with office and clerical work, data entry, and transcription. Scores of 35 words per minute or higher are considered proficient.

Typing test scores are vastly improved when applicants implement touch typing. Touch typing forces the user to use muscle memory instead of eyesight to identify letters, numbers and symbols on the keyboard. The user's fingers rest on the keyboard's home keys, or the center row of letters, while his thumbs stay on the space bar. His hands stay in this general position while his fingers reach for the keys.

Touch typing has five major benefits, the first of which is increased typing speed. It also saves time, as the user does not need to hunt for letters and numbers. This increases both the user's focus and his productivity. It is also the most ergonomic, comfortable position in which to type.