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My Journey in Improving my Typing
October 4, 2022
In my journey of learning how to type, I have been lacking variety in how I learn. This has caused me to grow accustomed to the old ways of learning instead of exploring new ways to learn and improve my typing ability.
I have been using typingclub.com since the start of my journey. It helped me get started and get my words per minute (wpm) to about 35 wpm. I started in the 6th grade and I am currently a senior in high school. I used it occasionally in middle school and more frequently in high school. I would spend my free time going through the lessons.
Typing club has various lessons that take you through all the letters, then capitalizing, and so on. It teaches you two letters at a time that normally mirror each other on the keyboard. Then there will be a lesson that goes through all the previous letters you’ve learned with the new ones. Dispersed through those lessons are also specific lessons that use only one hand at a time; different typing games with a ninja or yeti; and videos explaining typing etiquette, tips, and reminders. It is free to use with a login, but there is a membership available to buy for full access, including getting rid of ads.
Other features of this website are a virtual keyboard that shows you where the key you need to type is. There is another tool that shows you which finger you should be using for the next letter you type. There is also a setting where you can have both. This is to encourage you to look at your actual keyboard as little as possible while also being a sort of guide. This can be turned off in the settings.
The website keeps things simple for someone just learning how to type. It goes through every part of typing that needs to be learned and the membership isn’t necessary for being able to get good and thorough use of the website.
However, when I used it, I repeated the same lessons over and over again trying to perfect the letters I was learning to improve my accuracy. I had gone through all the letter lessons several times before moving on to capitalization. I didn’t feel like my typing skills were good enough to move forward. Unfortunately, what happened was that my hand muscles got used to the specific lessons and didn’t actually get much better at typing through repeating the lessons. When you redo a lesson it is the exact same words and patterns, so I could get through lessons and specific words very quickly. I would feel confident about my skills but when I tried typing on my own, I wasn’t nearly as fast or confident. I was a lot better when I had first started out but I knew that something was missing that I needed in the practice that I got.
This is where my research to find the best typing website for my needs began. Hopefully, the analysis of these websites can help others who want to improve their typing.
My Journey to Improve My Typing- Part Two
In my journey to find a website that fits my typing needs and improve my wpm and accuracy, the next website is typingtest.com.
This website claims that it “doubles your wpm”. It is more based on testing wpm and accuracy, hence the use of “test” in the name. Despite this, it still offers different activities to do to improve typing speed. On the left of the website, there are tabs with different things to do. It goes as follows: Typing Test, Typing Courses, Tricky Keys, TypeRush Race, Typing Games Zone, TypeTastic for Schools, and Tests for Recruiters.
The courses have five different categories of lessons with 30 lessons total that you can take in any order.
There are multiple activities in each lesson that consists of how to use the website, simple teachings of how to type, and different types of practice games to get familiar with typing. There are words, sentences, and paragraphs practice. There are practice tests that get harder and longer as you go along as well. At first, I thought there was only one lesson, with seven activities within it, so I completed it and went on to explore the rest of the website. A few days later when I revisited the website I found that there were multiple lessons. One of my biggest critiques would have been the lack of lessons as practice and my review of the website would have been completely off. After finding out about the other lessons, I completed several over the course of about a week or so.
During the first lesson, I went through each lesson, doing the ones with practice games multiple times to get better at them. I then took the test and got an embarrassing result. My wpm was slower than where I had left it and I had very little accuracy.
This caused me to go into the next thing on the sidebar which was tricky keys. It would let you practice any key in focus to get better at it. There was also a test to determine how accurate you were with each letter. I challenged myself to get each letter to 80% no matter the speed. My result in wpm for every letter averaged at about 38 words per minute, which is 2 wpm better than it was before. The lowest I had got was 22 wpm. I then took the test and got 100% with 32 wpm.
After that, I went through the games, which actually just sent you to a different website that had typing games. The other websites had several ads and were slow. Since the games were on a different website, they aren’t really a reflection of typingtest.com. The selection of games was a wide variety. Good job on the promo of other websites.
I then found the other lessons by going back to the original lesson and clicking a giant orange arrow in the corner I somehow missed. I found all the other lessons and started going through them. When I started on this website I felt awful about my typing abilities. This was because of my low score on the test I had taken previously, my wpm was the same and my accuracy wasn’t good. But as I went through the lessons, my confidence increased and I started to grow fond of the website. I felt like I was actually learning, and getting better because the lessons start out easy and get progressively harder. So it was easy to adapt to them.
The main part of the website is the test tab. On it, you can start a test to measure your wpm and accuracy. It is also customizable with the time, difficulty of words, and dark mode or light mode. It has a variety of options that make it easier for anyone to test their skill no matter the difficulty level. There is also a benchmark test that compares you to others who have taken the benchmark test. It is based on the accuracy that is normally paired with a certain wpm. I took it and got 34 wpm with 100% accuracy. The average was 34 wpm with 94% accuracy. It wasn’t a speed I was proud of but I’m glad I kept good accuracy.
I took an easy 1-minute test and got an adjusted speed of 47 wpm when I didn’t focus on accuracy. Adjusted wpm means deducting the typos made from the original, faster wpm. My unadjusted was 50 wpm. Both are still better than what I had got when I focused on accuracy.
Something important is the layout of the website because one of the first things people notice is something visual, this includes ads. A website with an overload of ads can be very distracting and slow which is not wanted when what you are on the website for is focus and speed. This website varies on the amount of ads shown based on what aspect of the website you are using. It’s mostly not too many but at some times there are a lot. There is also an ad to watch before each lesson. Most video ads can be skipped after about five seconds.
My closing thoughts:
- It reuses phrases in the tests and in the lessons but it takes a while to get the same ones again. It is probably a randomized cycle. I like this because it isn’t the exact same thing every time which would cause learning only those words and not every word. It also practices with several words that I’d probably never use in my day-to-day life but it’s still good to go over them. I think it has a decent balance.
- It includes punctuation and capitalization in all of the tests, which I noticed when first doing a test before doing the lessons. This discouraged me because I’m very bad at those things and typing club included it after learning all the letters so I had already gotten used to typing without most of those things. Typingtest.com, however, incorporated them in lessons earlier before learning all the letters. It also teaches the letters in a different way and order than typing club, which I appreciated. It kept things different enough so I couldn’t get used to a pattern instead of just learning.
- My favorite parts were the Motoric Warm-ups, which is just practicing how fast and accurately you can type the starred key(s) on the screen with no actual words involved, and the Tricky Keys.
My Journey to Improve my Typing: Part Three
In the third edition of my journey, I am exploring monkeytype.com. I had taken a break from typing over winter break, so starting again was double the challenge.
This website has several features, and most are customizable. The first thing you see is the typing home page, where you practice typing; a leaderboard, with typing information of all the users so you can compare statistics; an info page, showing the statistics of the website as a whole itself; and a setting pages where you can do all of the customizations for your experience on the website. To save your typing progress and customizations, you can make an account, which I did.
On the typing page, there are even more ways you can practice by not changing the game mode. There is a little toolbar near the top of the page where you can either type by word count or by time and you can pick different amounts to alter the test. You can opt to type with or without numbers and punctuation for word amount or time option. There is also a quote option, where you type different quotes, and a zen option which is just free typing. The last option is custom, where you can choose what phrase you want to type.
The whole layout of the website is a simple and dark color palette that is aesthetically pleasing and organized, which is something I felt typingtest.com didn’t have. It was very busy. Once I found out how to change color palettes, I did. There are so many different sets and fonts to choose from.
What monkeytype.com doesn’t have is a place where you can learn how to type. It also does not have features to let you know what finger presses what key like many other typing websites have. This one is more of a fun game than a learning place. This was unfortunate for me because I am still trying to learn and know and remember what fingers go where for the more obscure keys. It however was good practice.
I did my first typing run for the website and I did it by word count of 50 with no punctuation or numbers and got 56 wpm. This is high and really good for me until you consider that when I used typingclub.com, I had only learned how to type with no punctuation, so I do better without it included in the practice.
After you complete a test, it shows you the various statistics of how well you did, which they call the result page. There are also a couple of different options you can choose from: go to the next test, restart the test, practice problem words, toggle word history, watch a replay, or take a screenshot of the results.
Out of the entire website, there is only one place where there is an ad. It is on the result page after you complete a test and it normally doesn’t show up because I am my school profile for my laptop. This is the default setting which can be changed in the settings, from no ads to “sellout” where there are multiple ads on each page. While on the school profile, there will be a space that says ads or restricted, but no ads will show up where there would normally be one.
One mode I tried out was the no-space mode. It gives you all the words just without any spaces. I chose to try this out because I have the habit of adding a space after every word I type, even when it isn’t needed, which makes the process slower because I have to delete and retype.
I did very poorly. After a few tries of getting used to punctuation and no spaces, I got a wpm of 26, which is very low. I need to work on my consistency between different modes of typing.
I overall really liked this website, but I don’t think I am good enough at typing to use it. It would be my favorite if it had a section for learning so I could use it to improve enough to use the website. Everything else about this website is top-tier. I am just not a skilled enough typer to use its many useful and unique features.
My Journey to Improve my Typing: Part Four
In the fourth part of my journey, I actually tried to work on my typing instead of just reviewing a website. I spent a lot more time typing and experimenting to actually get over all the difficulties I have. This round was way more focused on improvement.
I tried keybr.com earlier in the school year when finding different websites to research. When I had tried it then, I did not feel confident in my typing on this specific website, because it brought out a lot of my weaknesses. Since it challenged me, I assumed that it would be really efficient at helping me improve.
When entering the website for the first time, there are a couple of pages of introductions to the website, how it works, and typing in general that greet the user. This website caught my attention the first time because of a specific algorithm it uses to come up with the letters to type. It starts off with the most common letters slowly adding in all the letters and keeping track of how accurate you are with each letter. It doesn’t give you real words to type but instead comes up with random words that still make sense phonetically. I immediately enjoyed this because I could get used to any combination of letters and not just popular ones.
My mindset changed eventually because the made-up words seemed repetitive and I felt like it wasn’t enough. It was great for preparing me for typing, so when I switched to typing real words again, it was easier. Which is what I think the goal of the website is. The fake words aren’t a replacement for practicing the real ones, just a preparation.
When I tried it again this time around it seemed a lot easier, and the more I used it, the easier it felt. The highest wpm I got probably the first time around was like a 33 with an infinite amount of errors, now it’s from 56-70 with a few errors.
Since I was focusing more on improvement, I practiced by incorporating typing practice into homework I already had to do. I take Dual Credit English and have some long reading assignments. I also have a hard time prepping myself to read something I know is long. Something I know I can do without a mental block is typing. Fortunately, with this website, it has a really cool feature where you can add whatever text you want to practice typing. I would insert paragraphs I had to read for my English homework and type them out and then read them over again after I’d finished. It really helped me get the info in my head and made completing the reading more fun and achievable. I practiced with spaces and punctuation and everything this time and I actually got used to it and a lot better at it because I had really been struggling with that.
Over the course of a few days, a curious thing happened which was that my wpm raised quite substantially. I was really surprised with how high my wpm was and considering that this whole reviewing of websites all conspired because of a website that deceived me into thinking I was a better typer than I was, I went back to typingtest.com to see if I would get the same wpm.
I took a test there and got 48 and then went back to keybr.com and took a test and got 48 so I think it’s just the different words and tests I’m using that affect my speed.
With tests, it is lower because I don’t know what words are coming and they are all different but with my own practice from my homework it uses many words repeatedly so my muscle memory gets better with those specific words and the others from the regular tests surprise me, hence slowing my wpm.
This website was definitely one of my favorites so far because of how much it helped me improve.