How to Calculate Keystrokes Per Hour

By Lynne Pettus

You can calculate the number of keystrokes per hour you type if you know your word-per-minute typing speed. Several online typing tests calculate typing speed, based on how many words you can type per minute, assuming five characters equals one word. If a test records 300 characters per minute, divide that by five, and you typed 60 words per minute. KPH is the same as characters per minute, but is based on the number of characters you can type in an hour. This measurement is considered more accurate than a per-minute measurement because sustaining a typing speed over time is a more common use case.

Step 1

Take an online typing test (see Resources). Avoid taking a test if you have been typing steadily; take a break to rest your hands and fingers and then begin. The test reports your WPM rate.

Step 2

Repeat the test at a different typing test site. Different sites use varying strategies in putting together a typing test, so it's worth trying a few to get a good picture of your skills.

Step 3

Average your WPM results by adding them together and then dividing by the number of tests you took. If you took three tests with WPM results of 40, 50 and 35, add those to get 125 and then divide that by 3. Given this example, your average WPM is 41.66, which rounds up to 42.

Step 4

Browse to an online WPM-to-KPH conversion site and enter your WPM figure. Alternatively, just multiply your WPM by 300 to get your KPH. If you do both, you may note that the online conversion number is smaller; online conversion utilities base their calculation on something less than 60 minutes of productivity per hour -- usually 50 minutes -- for a more achievable speed.

Tips & Warnings

  • Most typing tests default to the common QWERTY keyboard layout, but some offer alternative keyboards such as the AZERTY used in French-speaking countries and Dvorak, designed to speed typing by catering to right-handers and arranging the more common keys on the home row.
  • To improve your typing speed, practice. Online chatting, email and posting in topical forums are easy ways to practice while doing things you normally do. Place your fingers on the home row -- A, S, D and F on the left hand and J, K, L and the semicolon on the right hand for a QWERTY keyboard -- and don't look at the keyboard while you type.