Typing Speed

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InLikeFlint
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Typing Speed

Postby InLikeFlint » Tue Aug 09, 2011 9:21 pm

I've read in a few different places that typing speed can make a huge difference in exam performance. At what point does being faster at typing not really matter? I ask because I've been practicing a bit and am at just under 70 WPM. Would having better speed really help at this point?

lawgod
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Re: Typing Speed

Postby lawgod » Tue Aug 09, 2011 9:23 pm

It's fine. I can do like 35.

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Grizz
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Re: Typing Speed

Postby Grizz » Tue Aug 09, 2011 9:25 pm

There are over 9000 threads on this.

The answer? Some people say yes it helped them, some people it didn't matter for them.

InLikeFlint
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Re: Typing Speed

Postby InLikeFlint » Tue Aug 09, 2011 9:27 pm

Grizz wrote:There are over 9000 threads on this.

The answer? Some people say yes it helped them, some people it didn't matter for them.


doesn't really answer my question.

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Grizz
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Re: Typing Speed

Postby Grizz » Tue Aug 09, 2011 9:31 pm

InLikeFlint wrote:
Grizz wrote:There are over 9000 threads on this.

The answer? Some people say yes it helped them, some people it didn't matter for them.


doesn't really answer my question.


Because there isn't an answer.

InLikeFlint
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Re: Typing Speed

Postby InLikeFlint » Tue Aug 09, 2011 9:34 pm

Grizz wrote:
InLikeFlint wrote:
Grizz wrote:There are over 9000 threads on this.

The answer? Some people say yes it helped them, some people it didn't matter for them.


doesn't really answer my question.


Because there isn't an answer.


You answered the question "at what speed does being faster not matter anymore" with "it helps some people but doesn't help others." Nice work.

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Grizz
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Re: Typing Speed

Postby Grizz » Tue Aug 09, 2011 9:37 pm

InLikeFlint wrote:You answered the question "at what speed does being faster not matter anymore" with "it helps some people but doesn't help others." Nice work.


Typing faster may help you but it may not.

Long answer:
Some profs reward word vomit, and the people who type way faster than you get awesome grades. Some profs hate word vomit. Some profs actually dock points for stupid shit (does not reward word vomit). Some profs. don't. Some profs. have very strict word limits.

Conclusion: You have better stuff to worry about.

truevines
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Re: Typing Speed

Postby truevines » Tue Aug 09, 2011 9:38 pm

InLikeFlint wrote:
Grizz wrote:
InLikeFlint wrote:
Grizz wrote:There are over 9000 threads on this.

The answer? Some people say yes it helped them, some people it didn't matter for them.


doesn't really answer my question.


Because there isn't an answer.


You answered the question "at what speed does being faster not matter anymore" with "it helps some people but doesn't help others." Nice work.


With such a great analytical capability, you should be able to find the answer yourself.

InLikeFlint
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Re: Typing Speed

Postby InLikeFlint » Tue Aug 09, 2011 10:12 pm

Grizz wrote:
InLikeFlint wrote:You answered the question "at what speed does being faster not matter anymore" with "it helps some people but doesn't help others." Nice work.


Typing faster may help you but it may not.

Long answer:
Some profs reward word vomit, and the people who type way faster than you get awesome grades. Some profs hate word vomit. Some profs actually dock points for stupid shit (does not reward word vomit). Some profs. don't. Some profs. have very strict word limits.

Conclusion: You have better stuff to worry about.



OK thanks man.

traydeuce
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Re: Typing Speed

Postby traydeuce » Tue Aug 09, 2011 11:57 pm

With the exception of two exams, I've gotten an A on every exam I've ever written over two years of law school, at Washington and Lee and Georgetown. This seemingly irrelevant bit of puffery actually bears on your question for two and 1/2 reasons. First, it isn't true, in my experience, that some professors demand tons and tons of words and others don't, as I (obviously) have found that my professors have all been satisfied with my mid-sized exams. (The ones that weren't A's didn't fail to be A's for reasons of length; they were just bad.) So if you write good enough exams, you will be okay without writing a thousand pages. Now, second, as to this mid-sized length that has served me so well, I have written A exams of the following lengths, all over three hour periods unless otherwise specified: 7 double-spaced pages (there were a dozen multiple-choice/short-answer questions as well), 8 double-spaced pages, 9 double-spaced pages, 10 double-spaced pages, 12 double-spaced pages (two hour exam), 12.5 double-spaced pages, 13 double-spaced pages, 14 double-spaced pages, 16 double-spaced pages (four hour exam). That doesn't count take homes, which of course have been longer, depending on the word limits that were set. Point 2.5 is that, just because my exams aren't long, you can't assume that I've been able to get away with typing really slowly. I've spent enormous amounts of time in exam rooms flipping through the book, thinking about what to say, thinking about how to say it, etc. I usually leave 30 to 60 minutes early, but in three of those exams I very nearly ran out of time; ergo, I needed every bit of typing speed I have. When I'm typing continuously, I'd say that I type 60-70 wpm. However, when writing an exam, I'm constantly pausing - as may you. So the moral of the story is that, even if you write brief exams, you want to be able to type quickly. The key is to not take a "word vomit" approach, but to use your speed to afford yourself the opportunity to think about what you're going to say. Otherwise, you're forced to type all the time and that makes for a lousy exam.

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rdcws000
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Re: Typing Speed

Postby rdcws000 » Wed Aug 10, 2011 9:17 am

I'll be putting this theory to the ultimate test very soon.

I have typed all of my exams previously and have done pretty well gradewise. On my last summer final this year exam soft crashed my laptop 10 minutes before the exam. Of course I was devastated, thinking there is no way I can possibly hit as many points while handwriting. I overcame my panic and decided just to write as fast and as legibly as I could.

I have not received my grade back yet. I wrote about 10 handwritten pages. My very rough estimate is that I can handwrite at about 75% of the speed I type.

I know your question was not about handwriting vs. typing, but I think the distinction comes down to low word count vs. high word count.

After handwriting this exam, the only thing I will say in favor of typing speed, is that I found while handwriting I was forced to "slow down" my thinking to allow my answer to catch up. In other words, when I type I can get the words down much faster than I can think of a new angle to an issue. While handwriting (or if I was a slow typer), I was sometimes focused on the grueling task of transcription and I MAY have missed some opportunities to add some depth to my answer. I hope I am wrong.

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Cupidity
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Re: Typing Speed

Postby Cupidity » Wed Aug 10, 2011 9:23 am

On my two highest grades, both 3 hour, open ended issue spotters, I wrote 10,500 and 9,900 words respectively.

On my lowest grade, also a 3 hour, open ended issue spotter, I wrote 4,000 words.

Correlation does not necessarily equal causation, but to be safe, pound that keyboard like its a playboy playmate.

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cinephile
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Re: Typing Speed

Postby cinephile » Wed Aug 10, 2011 10:17 am

rdcws000 wrote: My very rough estimate is that I can handwrite at about 75% of the speed I type.


That's pretty impressive. Can't imagine how stressful it must have been to have your computer crash right before the exam. Hopefully it all worked out, especially as you said it helped you slow down and think out your answers.

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GeePee
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Re: Typing Speed

Postby GeePee » Wed Aug 10, 2011 10:23 am

In my experience, typing speed is helpful insofar as you can spend more time planning out your answer, but still end up getting all of the necessary analysis out onto the page. In my experience at HLS, mostly everyone could pour out reasonable analysis. However, the key to scoring well was spotting the complex issues and setting up a good argument. For some people, they think better as they type in a stream-of-consciousness manner, and then go back and do some cleaning up at the end. For me, my most successful 3 hour exams were ones when I spent about an hour planning (broken up into shorter segments for each question) and the rest of the type just typing because I already knew what was going to say. That approach allowed me to figure out where I was going rather than try to piece it along as I moved, and it helped tremendously.

That said, everything still depends on what kind of person you are. Practice is important so that you can try out both of these approaches and settle on the method that works best for youl.




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