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.

Step 1

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

Step 2

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.

Step 3

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.