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What Are Alphanumeric Skills?

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Alphanumeric skills refer to your ability to type on a keyboard using both letters and numbers. It is a skill required for most administrative assisting or data entry positions. Employers may use alphanumeric testing to see if you have the typing skills to do well working in places like banks, schools or employment agencies where typing is a regular part of the job. In positions where you type on a regular basis, you enter data into spreadsheets or forms or type correspondence and reports. Your work must be fast and accurate to perform well.


When you apply for administrative assisting or data entry positions, you may notice on the job description that employers want applicants who are 10-key proficient. Ten-key refers to using the number keypad on a keyboard to type numbers and mathematical symbols. Knowing 10-key is especially important in positions where you enter numeric data regularly or do a lot of bookkeeping.

Word Processing and Calculations

The numbers and symbols at the top of the keyboard are the keys you use most often. Letters, flyers, newsletters and emails are examples of the types of writing that regularly utilize your alphanumeric skills. Other word processing tasks also use alphanumeric skills. The number keypad is used when you enter large amounts of numerical data or use the calculator on your computer.


Typing quickly is important, but typing accurately is even more so when you're learning the skill. Focus on accuracy before you worry about building speed. Speed will come as you gain confidence in your ability to type accurately. It is more difficult to slow yourself down to improve accuracy than it is to let yourself gradually build speed as you concentrate on accuracy.Typing quickly is important,

Online Practice

You can practice your alphanumeric skills on a number of websites. These sites are usually free, although you can purchase typing software as well. You will get feedback about your speed and accuracy. Some of the free sites include, and


Leyla Norman has been a writer since 2008 and is a certified English as a second language teacher. She also has a master's degree in development studies and a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology.