Monday, March 20, 2017

New goal for 2017: 100wpm average in TypeRacer before the end of the year

When I was watching YouTube reviews on mechanical keyboards before I bought my mechanical keyboards (note the s after keyboard, because I had to buy two), I came across a site one guy used to test how well he could type on the keyboards he reviewed. It was called typeracer.

What you do on that site is, type - as fast as you can. You are given a paragraph to type and it shows the realtime words per minute. You have to type in the correct case, type the punctuations and type with correct spellings (correct, according to the paragraph) to finish each test. To make it fun, they have made it like a game, hence the name typeracer. While there is a practice mode which doesn't record the performance into your profile, this racing mode which you race against other people (or racers) records your performance into your profile. Of course, if you are cheap, you can close the race midway if you feel you are not going to get a good score and it will not be reflected in your profile. By default, you will be racing against some random people who are logged on like you, but you can also race against your friends by inviting them to a race. I haven't used this feature yet, but I think that is the most fun part of it.

So far I have done over 500 races and I average about 70 words per minute. There are people who can type faster than 150 wpm and you can check some videos on YouTube where they do it in real time. It is amazing how fast some people can type. Buy they have few tricks up their sleeves which I don't use. If they misspell a word, they would quickly press Ctrl + A to select all the text you typed into the text box, and type the word from the scratch. I don't do that. I use backspace to erase letter by letter and correct it. Doing the former method would save a lot of time in typeracer, but you cannot do that in real life when you are writing a document. I want to improve my real-world typing speed by improving accuracy, not by employing these typeracer specific "tricks". So I will probably continue to do it the way I do now.

I am hoping that I can reach close to 100 words-per-minute (wpm) before the end of the year. At the first 50 races, I was at around 60wpm, but I have improved it to 70wpm in a couple of months. I have done over 100wpm (103wpm to be precise) once, and when that happens, they ask you to take another test to prove that you are not a bot. They don't measure the accuracy in that test; they only need it to be within reason. I managed to pass the test in the 2nd go and I got to keep my top speed. I was worried that I would lose that.

I do a lot of 80wpm races nowadays than I used to. Otherwise I would not have been to improve my overall average to 70wpm. I think it has a lot to do with practice. I am not a proper touch typist nor have I attempted to learn it correctly. I don't use the small fingers at all when typing and I don't use the notches on F and J keys as references. My typing speed is where it is at because of my years of experience using PCs. That's all.

In addition to improving your typing speed, you also get to improve your dictation, and learn some valuable things. Those paragraphs are taken from books, movies and songs. They are not made up by the typeracer crew.

I had been waiting to buy a mechanical keyboard for a long time and typeracer is one reason why I decided to actually go ahead with the purchase. I bought it for my birthday, so if it wasn't the keyboard, it would have been something else.

Achieving 100wpm is difficult that I thought, especially when I have only gone past that figure once. I guess 80wpm average by mid year would be a more realistic target. Let's see how it goes. One of the things that is acting against it is that I use three different keyboards almost every day. The Corsair K70 Lux mechanical keyboard at home, the MacBook Air keyboard at home as well as at work and the HP Probook 4530s keyboard at work. (Yes, what you think about that last part is correct. I work on a laptop!)

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