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World Record Touch Typist Fastest WPM

Updated on May 11, 2017
Beth Eaglescliffe profile image

Science graduate and business advisor, health educator and author, Beth writes articles on a wide variety of subjects.

Smartphones need typing expertise as much as computers.
Smartphones need typing expertise as much as computers. | Source

Touch Typing Speeds in WPM or Words per Minute

New world records for speedy typing are set every few years. Everyone who uses a smartphone or computer is able to type a little, even if they use just with one finger. Anyone with practice has the potential to become a world record holder as a speed typist.

Many administrative job roles require applicants to demonstrate minimum typing speeds. These vary depending on the requirements of each job. 40 WPM (words per minute) may be adequate for a general administrator, 80 WPM would be more likely for a personal secretary’s role. However to achieve a world speed typing record think in numbers above 150 WPM to be in with a chance of the big league.

There are several automated tests or computer programs available to measure typing speeds. Some ask you to either copy-type or audio-type a letter or prose passage. The software times the exercise, counts the keystrokes and deducts seconds for spelling mistakes. The resulting score reveals the accuracy and number of words per minute achieved by the touch typist.

A standard typed word can be defined as five keystrokes. A person who has attended some touch typing training should be able to manage around 40 WPM. Someone who has never learned to touch-type but uses a computer keyboard regularly using one or two fingers to “hunt and peck” type may average around 30 WPM.

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Current Word Typing Records

Sean Wrona
USA Ultimate Typing Championship on QWERTY keyboard.
Grace Pak
Fastest typing on a smartphone.
Khursheed Hussain
Fastest time to type the alphabet.
Marcel Fernandes Filho
Fastest time to type a text message (SMS) on a touch-screen mobile phone.
Khursheed Hussain
Fastest time to type using the nose.
Information from World Guinness Book of Records (detail of tasks set at end of this article)

Good Keyboard Skills Are Essential for Many Jobs


Speed Typing, Computers and Manual Typewriters

Speed typing is a faster version of touch typing. Some jobs require extremely fast typing speeds. For example Court proceedings are recorded by a stenographer typist at speeds of around 120 WPM. However, most jobs do not require this level of skill and dexterity. Many people who work at increasing their typing speeds do so for either personal satisfaction or for competitive purposes.

Modern computers have made it easier to achieve these high speeds. Individual keys on old fashioned manual typewriters used to jam if a typist’s fingers went too quickly.

Nose Typing World Record

Dvorak Versus Qwerty Keyboards

There is no international agreement on the equipment to be used when competing for a speed typing record. This has led several different people to claim they hold the world record. Some manufacturers have financed competitions with tests that favor a particular device. One key bone of contention is the type of keyboard used by competitors.

Qwerty keyboards are the standard layout found on most computers. They are so named as the first five letters on the top row of the keyboard spell QWERTY. This layout was designed based on the frequency of letters used in the English language. It was supposed to be a pattern that would cause the least stretch for the fingers of typists using manual typewriters. Word processors and computer keyboards enabled typing speeds to increase and repetitive strain injury (RSI) became a problem for many users.

Some people suggest that the layout of the letters on the Qwerty keyboard is a contributory factor to RSI. They have adopted an older, previously ignored keyboard layout called the Simplified American Keyboard (patented in 1936 by Dr. Dvorak). The Dvorak keyboard claims to reduce finger motion and enables typists to increase their speed without losing accuracy.

USA Ultimate Typing Championship 2010

The first (and so far only) USA Ultimate Typing Championship was held in Texas in 2010. There was a 1st prize of $2,000 for the winner and the glory of being a record holder. The competition was held using Qwerty keyboards and the two finalists battled it out in front of a world-wide audience (see the video below).

The winner and the current champion is an American, Sean Wrona. He beat the other finalist, Nate Bowen, in a best-of-three rounds speed typing exercise. In the final Sean reached speeds of 163 WPM although he achieved greater speeds than this in earlier rounds of the competition.

Sean Wrona, Ultimate Typing Champion

Guinness World Record Holders and Speed Typing

For many people the Guinness World Record organization is the ultimate reference body for determining the names of current record breakers. The diversity of modern technology means that it is no longer appropriate to name one person and say they are the best or the fastest typist in the world.

Guinness Book of World Records has many speed typing categories to allow for the wide variety of devices now available. These include smartphones and different keyboards layouts. Each record holder completed different tests on dissimilar equipment. So you will have to make up your own mind as to who is the current overall typing speed record holder.

Achievements of Each Record Holder

The records below were sourced from The Guinness Book of World Records 2016. It contains a total of 79 typing world speed records. I have listed just a few of the recent ones here.

2010 Sean Wrona (USA) typed a 574-word text at 163 words-per-minute in the final round of the Das Keyboard Ultimate Typing Championships held in Texas USA.

2011 Grace Pak (USA) typed a prescribed 264-character text on a QWERTY smartphone in 56.57 seconds at Abington Junior High School in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, USA.

2012 Khursheed Hussain (India) typed all the letters of the alphabet in 3.43 seconds at the Sardar Patel Auditoriun, KMIT, in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India, on 2 February 2012.

2014 Marcel Fernandes Filho (Brazil) typed a text message (SMS) using a touch-screen mobile phone in 17.00 seconds using Fleksy keyboard technology in Brooklyn, New York, USA, on 7 November 2014.

2015 Khursheed Hussain, (India) typed a prescribed 103 character text on a QWERTY keyboard using the nose is 43.85 seconds, in Hyderabad, India on 17 August 2015.

Teenager Breaks World Record With Fleksy


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