In general, the average typist can type 41 WPM; typing at or above 57 WPM is deemed above average. It is important to note that a high WPM with low accuracy is not a desirable goal; the amount of time needed to correct typing errors should be taken into account when testing a true WPM.
With our continuing reliance on technology, I wonder if the average WPM will rise in the decades to come. For some stats on those well above average, check out these fun facts I compiled in response to another post -
The fastest typist ever recorded was logged in the 1985 Guinness Book of World Records: Mrs. Barbara Blackburn of Salem, Oregon maintained a speed of 150 wpm for 50 min (37,500 key strokes) and her top speed was recorded at 212 wpm. Ironically, Barbara only learned to type after an unsatisfactory grade in typing class prevented her from graduating at the top of her class. Now, while Barbara’s 212 wpm is incredible, she was not using a QWERTY layout, so it’s difficult to know how her speed translates today.
Using another metric, there is Russian typist Michael Shestov. Michael can speak and type in 27 languages, averaging 160 wpm. How can this man type faster in non native languages than most people can in their first? Apparently by practicing over 8 hours every day!
With the variety of keyboards out there, it’s difficult to compare these record holders. That’s why there is now an online competition: The Ultimate Typing Championship. Utilizing the QWERTY keyboard, the current record holder is Sean Wrona, who is recorded to have typed at a top speed of 256 wpm.
How does your WPM score add up?!
Alex (The Reimagined Classroom Teacher)