Speed typing contest

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Civilian Conservation Corps typing class, 1933

In a speed typing contest contestants compete to attain the highest accurate typing speeds.[1][2][3][4][5] These contests have been common in North America since the 1930s and were used to test the relative efficiency of typing with the Dvorak and QWERTY keyboard layouts.[6][7]

In smartphones[edit]

As of 2015, there were diverse claims regarding the fastest typing in smartphones. The typical yardstick is writing, with no mistakes, the 160-character text:

The razor-toothed piranhas of the genera Serrasalmus and Pygocentrus are the most ferocious freshwater fish in the world. In reality they seldom attack a human.

A disputed issue is whether auto-correct and predictive features should be allowed. Common sense indicates that they shouldn't, because when typing the record phrase several times the phone learns the text. Speed depends, then, on the phrase being repeated, a poor indicator of performance for everyday use. In the extreme, the phone could learn to predict "Serrasalmus" when typing just "Ser", but that would be extremely uncomfortable in normal cirmunstances ("Ser" is the Spanish word for "Being"). In fact, Guinness World Records establishes that "To qualify for the record, no autocorrect or predictive text features are allowed to remain on".[8]

In March 2010 Samsung posted a 35.54 record, with predictive texting and no actual footage.[9] Later that year Swype, a predictive keyboard for Android and IPhone, claimed a record of 25.94 seconds, but that was with prediction features on.[10] An iPhone user posted a 21.8 seconds record but autocorrect was clearly on, with at least four mistakes being corrected (the first one in the sixth character).[11] In April 2014 and in the midst of a publicity campaign for Windows Phone 8.1, Microsoft Research published a 18.44 seconds record, also with predictive features on.[12] This record, obviously dependent on pre-learning by the keyboard's memory, was object of mockery on the web.[13]

In 2014, Fleksy, another predictive keyboard for smartphones, alleged a record of 18.19 seconds by Brazilian youngster Marcel Fernandes Filho.[14] While the firm claimed it was without autocorrection, video footage clearly showed autocorrect was on (e.g., letter "B" was pressed when writing "genera"); and the complete taping was not displayed, just bits of it. This alleged record was admitted by Guinness in spite of violating its own rules of having the autocorrect feature off. Also, a dash (crucial for the record) appeared in the main keyboard, but the dash isn't and never was a part of Fleksy's main screen. Thus, questions arose as to whether Guinness had been object of a misinformation scheme or even a party in it.[15] In November 2014, Fleksy claimed Mr Fernandes Filho had broken his own record, in a larger phone, but later removed the video.[16]

With phone sizes increasing and phablets entering the market, speed naturally rises so it becomes reasonable to establish size-dependent records. In 2015 TipType, a What-You-Type-Is-What-You-Get keyboard on a QWERTY layout but based on sliding movements rather than pressing, launched a speed contest for phones of traditional size. The company posted a 25 seconds record with a Samsung s3 Mini on YouTube and promised USD 500 to anyone bettering that record in a touchscreen of size 4.5" or less, with Guinness World Records rules.[17]

By country[edit]


Malaysia began holding an annual contest in 2011. Each participant must pass a certain words per minute (WPM) to be eligible for the final live competition. The contest was jointly organized by team a students, JCI Mines and AYFIC Project.[18] It receives support from Microsoft Malaysia, Malaysian Book of Records (MBR), Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC), Multimedia IT Society, HYJ Wushu Academy and Blogmakeover, as well as various government agencies. The contest soft launched on 1 July 2011, including a press conference that received Chinese newspaper coverage.[19]

The initial stage is open to all regardless of age.[20] The 200 fastest entrants enter the final stage.[20] Given a 5-minute time slot, participants can have unlimited 1-minute time trials keeping their best result.

The winner of the 2011 tournament was Shaun Low Foo Shern, with a speed of 146 words per minute.[21]

In films[edit]

The 2012 French romantic comedy-drama film Populaire shows the relationship between a speed typist and her trainer.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Telenor to start qualifications for SMS speed typing contest". Telecompaper.com. October 21, 2010. Retrieved January 9, 2012.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  2. ^ "Country’s First Ultimate Typing Champion to be Crowned at SXSW Interactive". Enhanced Online News. March 8, 2010. Retrieved January 9, 2012.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  3. ^ "Contests - Winner of speed typing contest with prize typewriter". New York Public Library Digital Gallery. Retrieved January 9, 2012.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  4. ^ Lovejoy-Voss, Kim (March 28, 2008). "Typing contest teaches keyboard skills — needed even in the computer age". Catholic.org (News). Retrieved January 9, 2012.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  5. ^ McCracken, Harry (April 5, 2010). "iPad vs. Laptop vs. Netbook vs. iPhone: Typing Test". PC World. Retrieved January 9, 2012.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  6. ^ Readings in Applied Microeconomics: The Power of the Market, Craig Newmark, p. 219 - 220
  7. ^ Human Motor Control, David A. Rosenbaum, p. 305
  8. ^ Fastest touch-screen text message record officially broken with Fleksy keyboard
  9. ^ Guinness World Record for Texting Challenge
  10. ^ Text Message Speed Record Broken Thanks to Swype on the Samsung Galaxy S
  11. ^ Text messaging world record? I beat that (less than 21.8 seconds)!
  12. ^ Microsoft Brings World’s Fastest Texting to Windows Phone 8.1
  13. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_lXTtMa2xg
  14. ^ Fastest touch-screen text message record officially broken with Fleksy keyboard
  15. ^ How were the Guinness People Duped?
  16. ^ We’re dropping price, and breaking world records (again)!
  17. ^ TipType Challenge, march 2015
  18. ^ [dead link] AYFIC 2011 - ReSearch.com
  19. ^ STC at Kuala Lumpur Innovation Forum (KLIF) | speedtypingcontest
  20. ^ a b FAQ + About Us | speedtypingcontest
  21. ^ [1]