Typing is one of the most important skills that a student can learn during their school career. Unfortunately, most don't even begin to learn how to properly touch type until well after they have mastered the two fingered hunt and peck style, or the thumb typing that is used for text messaging.
In order to teach, instructors need to use typing tests to figure out where their student’s skills, or lack thereof, may lie.
Here are the top 5 free online typing tests available to date.
5. Typing Test
This is easily the most popular online typing test currently available. The site offers two types of test, a basic 1 minute online test, and a more advanced 5 minute downloadable test. Both of these offer the instructor a basic idea of where each student's skills rest, but those are not the only tools available. Teachers can also download a typing monitor that runs in the background on each computer. After watching how the student types, it generates a report that can indicate what fingers need the most work and which letters provide the most problems. It does take a few days of watching the typist before it can generate a report, but the results are definitely worthwhile.
TypeRacer is more than just a game. Not only does it provide a comprehensive typing test, it provides all the tools that teachers need to create a customized lesson plan that caters to whatever is being taught currently in class. If English teachers wish to integrate typing lessons, they can create tests and races based on Hamlet or whatever is on the lesson plan. The same can apply for any other class. It also appeals to the inherent sense of competition that all kids possess and allows them to compete against one another for the top prize, whatever that may be.
RataType offers the most easy to navigate and user friendly online typing test. From the main page, all users have to is click "Start Typing Now" to be taken directly to the test. From there, all users have to do is create an account to be treated to customized lessons based on the results of the initial test. Hunt and peck typists will find themselves starting from the beginning, while those who have already learned the basics are treated to comprehensive and in depth lessons designed to improve speed and accuracy.
TypingWeb offers some of the most comprehensive lessons that this writer has ever found on the web. Not only does the site offer the classic tests and lessons, such as Aesop's fables, it offers a lot of very specific lessons, including common medical terms and frequently misspelled words. Users can create a free account, and teachers can create virtual classroom for the student's use. These virtual environments are secure, and teachers are able to monitor all progress from a streamlined instructor’s portal.
This site does not offer the traditional typing test that most are used to. Instead of using paragraphs from classic literature, the site uses a string of randomly generated words. This allows users to get a better idea of how their skills will translate into actual typing. This actually provides one of the most accurate tests on the net. Users can memorize Aesop's fable which make their speed much faster but doesn’t do much for accuracy. These tests, on the other hand, give users a better idea of how they will react when it comes to typing or transcribing things with which they are not familiar.
It should be repeated once again that typing is the most important skills that any student can take away from their years at school. The ability to touch type will be useful both in grade school as well as through college and out into the working world. Teachers should take advantage of these free online typing tests and use them to their students' advantage.
The tools are out there but because typing is no longer part of most curriculums, it is up to the teacher to integrate these things into the lessons wherever and whenever they can.