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Typing skills are essential, not just for students, but also in the workplace. Many employers, particularly those hiring for jobs at offices and schools, require job candidates to provide proof of typing proficiency in the form of a typing test. If your typing skills could use some improvement, there is software as well as online programs to boost your speed and help you gain confidence. Then you'll be ready to take a typing test, with the end result being a certificate listing how many words per minute you can type.
The easiest way to find out your typing speed is to take a test from home using a typing test website. You often can take free practice tests to improve your typing, such as the tests offered by TypingCertification.com, and get a certificate with your typing speed for an additional fee. In 2009, the cost of getting an official certificate from an online testing company ranged from $10 to $50.
Most such sites recommend that you take the test at least five times to determine your average typing speed. TypingWeb.com not only has practice tests, but also allows you to set speed goals for yourself. The Typing Tutor part of the website is free.
Perhaps the best-known software for typing is Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing, which is distributed by Broderbund and works with Windows and Mac. This software helps typists at all speed levels, from beginner to advanced, which is helpful for people with some typing experience who need to meet a minimum score for a job requirement. You also have the option to print out a certificate at the end of your self-assessment. The program costs about $30 in 2009.
TypingMaster is another program for learning to type at home, and is available for Windows users, who may choose from a Lite or Pro version. In 2009, the prices ranged from $30 to $40. For Mac and Linux users, TypingMaster.com offers an online version of the software.
Adult education and continuing education programs run by municipalities and institutes of higher learning often offer typing programs that you can enroll in, as well as typing tests. Nonprofit career centers that help students and other unemployed individuals may also offer typing tests and certifications. Search your city or county government website for the information on such agencies.
When searching for employment, job placement agencies are a good resource for testing your typing speed. They also have programs for job seekers to test their proficiency in common business applications including Microsoft Word and Excel. A typical typing test at an agency consists of a 200-word paragraph that you copy as quickly as you can, with no breaks, to determine your speed. Most agencies will provide you with a certificate stating your speed and number of errors. Manpower and AppleOne are two job placement agencies that administer typing tests and certification.
Many employers will only accept typing certificates from test sites that do in-person testing. Others will accept scores from reputable websites. TypingWeb.com works with several schools and companies to provide their students and employees resources to increase their typing speed. TypingCertification.com allows employers to verify your typing speed online.