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tinyfaery's avatar

What is the best way to increase my typing speed by Wednesday?

Asked by tinyfaery (43052points) October 14th, 2011

I am going to a temp agency next Wednesday and I will be taking a typing test. Thing is, I do not know how to type correctly. I never learned. I have my own way of typing, but my speed and accuracy with “my kind of typing” is only good when I am typing my own thoughts (at least 40–45 wpm). When I am trying to copy something, my typing is really not much better than hunting and pecking and I make a lot of mistakes. I have to look at the keyboard or I can’t type. It’s just how it is.

So I ask, should I practice my own way of typing to try and make it faster or should I try the myriad of practice games and such that are on the internet and begin to learn the correct way to type?

Usually these tests consist of them giving you a piece of writing to copy. My typical strategy for these is to remember one sentence at a time and type it, and so on.

What do you think. What is my best option?

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20 Answers

SpatzieLover's avatar

I’m faster at hunting and pecking due to Mavis Beacon

For a while while I used one of the old versions of it regularly, I could even look up from the keyboard. I’m a bit out of practice with looking away, but I can type quite fast with a few more fingers than I used to use.

linguaphile's avatar

I agree, Mavis Beacon.

Buttonstc's avatar

@Spatziel

Mavis Beacon teaches/allows hunt and peck as opposed to the proper hand positions for touch typing ?

Or did I misconstrue what you said.

wundayatta's avatar

Mavis Beacon says you have to give them two weeks for a 25% improvement. You don’t even have one week. You will not be typing your thoughts.You will be having to touch type. I doubt if they would hire someone who can’t touch type. Your efficiency will be way below par.

I think you should learn to touch type before you go to the temp agency, unless there are other jobs that don’t require as much typing.

As far as your best strategy is concerned, I think you should do a test and see which is fastest for you. It sounds like memorize and type is best.

Blueroses's avatar

It’s difficult to teach yourself something that relies on instinctive memory in a short time so I would say practice the method you’re most familiar with. Trying to master something new while under stress may be disastrous under the pressure of a timed test. You can always work on “proper” technique when you can relax and have time to learn it.

Facade's avatar

I just took a typing test last week for a job, and I found that doing as you suggested, @tinyfaery, remembering phrases and then typing from memory worked best, especially since I can’t type without looking at the keys. Maybe you can just practice with an online test before you go in for the real thing? Best of luck!

GabrielsLamb's avatar

I have never been able to learn how to type the correct way. Just one more thing I do in a very unconventional and deemed socially incorrect way

El_Cadejo's avatar

The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog….

Kayak8's avatar

Typer Shark is a free game you can play (you type the falling letters before they hit the bottom of the tank). You will know how to touch type by the end of the weekend if you are a competitive soul . . . It is available here

SpatzieLover's avatar

@Buttonstc, I was an atrocious, one finger each hand typer prior to MB. After regular usage of the program, I now use 3 fingers on my left hand, and 4 fingers on my right hand.

For a bit, I could use all fingers…but that was serious work for me ;)

With MB, the timed games improved my speed quickly.

YARNLADY's avatar

Practice, practice, practice. Sit and copy business paragraphs for hours on end.

Jeruba's avatar

@tinyfaery, you might not like my advice, but here it is: don’t do anything different. Your resume shows that you are employable. All the skills you have already mastered are available in a temporary setting, and if those don’t include championship typing, so what?

I type almost exactly the same way you do, including memorizing whole sentences at a time when I have to transcribe. I started writing stories on my mother’s ancient Royal when I was 7, and by the time I took a typing class in high school it was already too late. It was my way or nothing: a four-finger scramble (now up to six) all over the typewriter keyboard—nothing electronic then, of course. I managed pretty decent accuracy, considering that it was all going directly onto a sheet of paper, with no correcting keystrokes before you printed.

The temp agency insisted on testing me, and I said, “Okayyy…”

I tested out at 50 wpm and they sent me out on jobs that called for typing skills.

(But this was back when letters written on paper and sent by postal mail with a stamp were the standard form of business communication. Does anyone do that any more? Do secretaries or “admins” still take notes and transcribe the boss’s communications? Isn’t typing a completely different kind of office skill now, put to different use on computers?)

Real typists who happened to pass behind me and notice would say “I can’t stand to watch you type.” I usually found some excuse to pause, though, whenever anyone was close enough to see.

What happens if you don’t meet their minimum? You don’t quality to be sent out on jobs that require typing. Lots of jobs don’t.

You could practice enough to pick up your speed and accuracy in transcription, but I can’t see trying to master a new method that fast. Under stress a brand new skill is apt to desert you. To me it makes more sense to be hired for the skills you have than go into a job where you have to sustain skills you really don’t have.

What you could do is start a program to improve typing speed and accuracy so (a) you can say you’re working on it and (b) you’re ready for the next agency that asks you, or a later retest with this one.

tinyfaery's avatar

@Jeruba You’re right. I’m going for Legal Assistant jobs and my last one didn’t care how fast I typed. I think I’ll practice memorizing sentences more efficiently. That would probably do me more good than practicing a skill I don’t really have.

rooeytoo's avatar

This isn’t going to help you short term, but it might in the future. No matter who you are, typing without looking is an excellent skill to possess, even if only used for fluthering!

I picture a keyboard in my head and then picture my fingers typing the alphabet. It is sort of a zen thing for me, calms my mind and keeps my typing skills in good shape. (I did it a LOT in the endodontist’s chair earlier this week!)

LKidKyle1985's avatar

Here is a fun way to speed up some of your typing. good luck

http://www.phoboslab.org/ztype/

Nullo's avatar

Practice. Practice, practice, practice. Try copying lines out of your favorite book.

amanda_zhong's avatar

Yes, I also think There is no shortway. Since you have your own typing way. Just believe yourself.

Jeruba's avatar

So, @tinyfaery—what happened?

tinyfaery's avatar

Typing wasn’t great. But my spelling and grammar were very high, and my Word skills. We’ll see.

Response moderated (Writing Standards)

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