home/blog/typeracer


The Speed of Type

2019-12-17

I recently stumbled upon a treasure trove of information. Although I have been using typeracer.com from quite a long time (do check it out, it's an amazing website), I never realized exactly how long, until I went into my profile and saw this. And it blew my mind.

Full Average 		56.3 WPM
Best Race		88 WPM
Races Completed 	255
WPM Percentile 		82.8%
Skill Level 		Typemaster
Experience Level 	Typist 4
Racing Since 		May 14, 2009

For me, nine years is a long time. I guess it is a long time for anyone, but while you are young you don't really have a nine years "thing", you know? So when I stumbled across this data I was understandably excited. And to my delight there was data on each and every race that I had ever had. The problem was that this data could only be downloaded in a batch if you had one of those pro accounts. So I decided to scrape the data off the website using some scripts. But somewhere along the way I found out that there's a way to do it directly through excel. So I did that. And I got a beautiful chart as well.


x-axis: no of races, y-axis: words per minute

The above chart is all the races I ever had and you can see the trend of how when I first started touch-typing I was at 20 WPM (words per minute) and now I average around 70 WPM. You can also see the small blip at the top which is my max speed ever: 88 WPM. What kept me engaged all these years in this website (against all other typing websites) was the races. Even now when I go to that website, I have to force myself to stop after a while because the rush of racing makes it addicting. Another fun thing I like a lot is the sources of the typing excerpts...they are extremely well thought of, and refined. You could make a reading list out of it and it would be a good one.


x-axis: dates of races, y-axis: words per minute

This is a more accurate chart as it displays the true scale of time whereas the former simply distributes all races uniformly on the x-axis. There were other metrics as well, such as accuracy and position (rank). My accuracy was almost always above 96% so it was pointless to make a chart out of it. As for rank, it doesn't matter either, as when you become faster, the competitors that you get paired with become faster as well, so your rank doesn't improve per race.

Another thing to keep in mind is that this website doesn't really help towards code specific typing. That is, if you are a coder you need a different kind of practice, since coding requires special characters and this website solely focuses on the alphabet. There are websites out there that can help you with programming languages as well, but personally I haven't found any that have come close to the incentive structure of this website. To some extent it does help you towards coding by helping you type faster, the specifics of the language can anyway be learnt over time automatically, so I ain't complaining.

my typing history.