Words per minute
Words per minute, commonly abbreviated wpm, is a measure of input or output speed.
For the purposes of WPM measurement a word is standardized to five characters or keystrokes. So, “eliot” counts as one word, but “rhinoceros” counts as two. “Let’s talk” would also be considered as two words, because the space key counts as a keystroke.
The benefit of a standardized measurement of input speed is that it enables comparison across language and hardware boundaries. For example, the speed of an Afrikaans-speaking operator in Cape Town can be compared with a French-speaking operator in Paris.
1 Alphanumeric entry
2 Numeric entry
4 Reading and comprehension
5 Speech and listening
6 See also
8 External links
In one study of average computer users, the average rate for transcription was 33 words per minute, and only 19 words per minute for composition. In the same study, when the group was divided into “fast”, “moderate” and “slow” groups, the average speeds were 40 wpm, 35 wpm, and 23 wpm respectively.
An average professional typist reaches 30 to 40 wpm, while some positions can require 80 to 95 (usually the minimum required for dispatch positions and other time-sensitive typing jobs), and some advanced typists work at speeds above 120. Two-finger typists, sometimes also referred to as “hunt and peck” typists, commonly reach sustained speeds of about 37 wpm for memorized text, and 27 wpm when copying text but in bursts may be able to reach up to 60 to 70 wpm.
A less common measure of the speed of a typist, CPM is used to identify the number of characters typed per minute. This is a common measurement for typing programs, or typing tutors, as it can give a more accurate measure of a person’s
typing speed without having to type for a prolonged period of time. It is also used occasionally for associating the speed of a reader with the amount they have read. CPM has also been applied to 20th century printers, but modern faster printers more commonly use PPM (pages per minute).
The Numeric Entry or 10 key speed is a measure of one’s ability to manipulate the numeric keypad found on most keyboards. It is used to measure speed for jobs such as data entry of number information on items such as remittance advice, bills, or checks.  It is measured in ‘Keystrokes per hour’, or KPH. Many jobs will require a certain KPH, often 8,000 or 10,000.
The average human being hand writes at 31 words per minute for memorized text and 22 words per minute while copying.
Using stenography (shorthand) methods, handwriting achieves speeds of up to 250 wpm.
Reading and comprehension
Words per minute is a common metric for assessing reading speed and is often used in the context of remedial skills evaluation, as well as in the context of speed reading, where it is a controversial measure of reading performance.
A word in this context is the same as in the context of speech.
The average American adult reads prose text at 250 to 300 words per minute, and with use of Rapid Serial Visual Presentation (RSVP), the speeds can exceed 400 wpm and reach 800 wpm after an hour of practice.
While proofreading materials, people are able to read at 200 wpm on paper, and 180 wpm on a monitor.
Comprehension speeds have been assessed at 400 wpm for full comprehension, and research has shown that speed reading at 600 wpm can achieve about 70% comprehension and 50% comprehension at 1000 wpm.