Woman Typing on laptop

What Is a Qualifying Practical Typing Test?

For some job positions, having a typing certificate is mandatory. For others, it’s a nice way to boost your CV and increase your chances of getting employed.

We’ve created this article to tell you everything you need to know for qualifying practical typing tests — what they are, what they measure, how the results are interpreted, and how you can improve your typing abilities.

Take the Qualifying Practical Typing Test Practice Test to improve your score.

If you’re thinking of taking a practical typing test, read on and learn everything you need to know about practical typing tests.

What Is a Practical Typing Test?

Typing tests are tests that measure the typing speed and accuracy that a candidate can do when given a certain amount of time.

The two key factors that determine the words per minute (WPM) that a person can type are:

  • Speed
  • Accuracy

And basically, the WPM is the result i.e. the score on a typing test.

Typing tests are conducted in the form of given passages that the candidate should transcribe as quickly and accurately as they can within the given time frame. When the time is up, the test immediately rates the candidate’s abilities and the results are available for the candidate and the employer.

In our technological era, where most work is done on a computer, an increasing number of employers include typing tests as part of their hiring process. The next section will get into more details about how typing tests are used during hiring processes.


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How Are Typing Tests Used During the Hiring Process?

Typing on Laptop

Typing tests become a very important part of the hiring process, especially for companies where a big portion of the work is done through computer software.

Typically, a qualifying practical typing test will be given to candidates during the pre-employment process to exclude candidates that won’t be able to deliver keyboard written work in a timely and accurate manner.

Different job positions require different typing skills. So, for some employers, accuracy might be the most important aspect, while for others, time plays a crucial role.

Furthermore, some job positions will require correct spelling and grammar, while others concentrate on numbers and calculations.

Typing Test Qualifications by Position

Different professionals are expected to have different words per minute (WPM). Averages are as stated:

  • Clerical positions: between 35 and 40 WPM
  • Professional typist: around 50 WPM
  • Legal secretary: between 50 and 60 PWM
  • Computer coders: around 60 WPM
  • Transcribers: between 60 and 75 WPM
  • Data entry specialists: between 70 and 75 WPM
  • 911 operators: between 80 and 85 WPM
  • Stenographers, who use special stenotypes: around 200 WPM

The average WPM for an adult is around 40, but a score like that might not be good enough for some professions.

Typing Credentials

The result of a typing test is a typing credential, usually in the form of WPM. Furthermore, some employers need regular updates or verification on the typing certificate. Other companies might require it only once during the employment process.

For most job positions, the certificate would have to be obtained through typing testing that measured 5 minutes or longer. Tests that have a time limit of fewer than 5 minutes are considered to be too short to accurately measure WPM abilities.


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What Is Assessed on an Employment Typing Test?

As we previously mentioned, there are two important aspects of practical typing tests – accuracy and speed.


Under “accuracy,” the practical typing tests measure the ability of the candidate to type words, characters, and numbers correctly. It might sound simple, but accuracy incorporates two equally important aspects:

  • Knowledge of language, grammar, and spelling
  • Good motoric movement of hands to press the right button on the keyboard

In typing tests, only words bigger than five characters are considered a word, so the scoring algorithm will exclude words smaller than five letters when counting words per minute.


Aside from the accuracy of writing, the practical typing test will also measure how quickly the candidate can type. The rating algorithm divides the speed score into two different scores:

  • Gross speed i.e. the speed of the total amount of words that have been typed, with errors included
  • Net speed i.e. the total amount of words typed once errors are deducted

What Is the Passing Score for a Typing Test?

A typing test will give a score of the words per minute that a typist can do.
The average typing speed for a common person is around 40 WPM, but that might not be enough for job positions that require fast typing.

If the job position you want to apply for has a minimum typing speed, it should be stated in the job requirements segment. If there isn’t, you should strive for the highest WPM you can.


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Word Typing Test Format

Meeting Room

Typing tests, even though similar, might differ in the text they give, the duration, or the way that the errors are calculated.


The passages and the text that is given on a practical typing test might be about the job position you’ve applied for, or may be randomly selected. Also, some of them might be more concentrated on words and grammar, while others might include punctuation, numbers, symbols, or mathematical formulas.


Each segment i.e. passage of the typing test, might last 1, 2, 3, 5, or 10 minutes. As we previously stated, most employers go for at least five minutes since that gives them more accuracy in assessing your typing abilities.


Different tests have different reactions to typing mistakes. Some tests, for example, might not allow you to use backspace and delete characters to fix a mistake. Other tests might not stop the time until you fix all of the mistakes.

So, when you take a typing test, make sure that you carefully read and adhere to the instructions given.


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Tips to Pass the Qualifying Practical Typing Test

  • Use all your fingers during typing
  • Carefully read the test instructions
  • Give yourself a good, comfortable pace
  • Try not to look at the keyboard and concentrate on the text you need to type
  • Practice your typing abilities before taking the actual test
  • Use the help of Job Test Prep for test simulations

What Does Job Test Prep Offer?

Job Test Prep has a unique Typing Test Preparation Pack which contains typing test simulations. They also include useful information about the test content, the certificate, the job positions that require a typing test, and the specific requirements of each.

Furthermore, they also have error indications to help you improve your weak points and detailed explanations about the score.

Job Test Prep and their Typing pack will give you typing practice materials and a full guide on how to improve yourself and adjust your abilities depending on the job position you want to apply for.


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Typing on a keyboard is a crucial task for some job positions and a great additional ability for others. If you want to take a practical typing test, you will have to get familiarized with the particular test instructions and the way they rate scores and the WPM rate.

Job Test Prep offers you their pack for typing practice, which will ensure that you get the most out of a typing test.

​​Written by Victoria Todorovska

Victoria (or Viki) is a Freelance Writer, Psychologist, and Gestalt Therapy Consultant. With years of experience in higher education as well as counselling others, she is well-placed to offer expert advice on guiding others up the career ladder.

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