In the Information Age practically everything is done online. As a result, typing skills and proficiency have become increasingly important for students and learners. Determining the speed and accuracy of these techniques is captured in a measurement known as gross words a minute (GWAM) or simply words a minute (WAM). Teachers in elementary school have long since used this metric to help encourage students to improve their typing skills.

Understand the word count process. In keyboarding, every five letters, punctuation marks, numbers, symbols and spaces equal one word.

Count the words. Have the student type a passage of at least 400 words and time the exercise. Then, count the number of words completed.

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Calculate the GWAM. Divide the total number of words keyed by the number of minutes they were timed. For example, if the student keyed a total of 245 words on a 5 minute timing, divide 245 by 5 to see the resultant GWAM of 49.

About the Author

Jennifer Fleming has been writing since 2011. She specializes in project management from the beverage, manufacturing, telecommunications and transportation industries. Fleming’s first published work was a segment in Walter McCollum's “Breakthrough Mentoring in the 21st Century.” She holds an Executive Master of Business Administration from Georgia State University and Doctor of Philosophy in applied management and decision sciences from Walden University.