The Practice Test got it's name because it started out as a single page... a practice test for people who needed to take the Criticall data entry test to become 911 operators.
In the beginning, I thought maybe there would be more tests eventually, tests that did not involve typing. That still might happen someday. But for now, The Practice Test focuses on all kinds of practice tests and exercises to develop your typing and data entry skills.
Hi, my name is Karen. I live just outside of Portland, Oregon (USA) with my partner, two grown children and a cat named Shiva. I built The Practice Test (and some other websites). I like building things. It may surprise you to learn that I don't like typing and I have not always been that good at it.
I took typing in high school because I had aspirations of becoming a writer. Typing seemed like a good skill to have for an aspiring writer, but I barely passed. I got a D-, but only because the teacher really liked me and saw how hard I tried, coming in during lunch and after school for extra practice. In spite of working on it an hour or more a day, 5 days a week, for about 3 months. I could not quite type the 25wpm required to pass the class by the end of the term... which is why I'm so sure I really earned an 'F' rather than a 'D'. While I didn't really care about typing fast enough to keep up with all the aspiring secretaries in the room - my parent's claim that you can never make a living as a writer weighed a little heavier after that term.
I got into software development in college. Computer programming (unlike typing) came easy to me until I sat down in a programming class where the instructor said, "If you want to pass this class you are going to have to be a good typist." So I went and signed up for another typing class. Thank goodness this one was graded on 'improvement' rather than a straight wpm score! After another 3 months I could finally type 25 wpm net. (and I still managed to get an 'A' in the programming class, in case you were wondering if a programmer really needs to be able to type fast... it's all relative. Good debugging skills can make up for a lot of slow typing up front.)
And so it went, another 100 hours of typing practice and instruction, another 5 wpm until finally I made it into the professional 60wpm range. It may seem strange to say being able to type 60 wpm is one of my proudest accomplishments, but after working so hard for so long to get there - it is.
Fast-forward to 2011: I saw a job advertised for 911 operator that only required 40wpm. I signed up, took the test and ... FAILED! (What?!?)
Okay, you type in VIN numbers at 60wpm. It's not at all like typing a letter or a memo.
I came close enough to passing the test they encouraged me to go home and 'practice typing numbers' and try again next month. How could I practice for THAT kind of test? My typing tutor had some number lessons, but they were just not anywhere near that challenging.
So I built a little practice app for the CritiCall Data Entry test and put it online.
I didn't get the 911 job, but I did expand the app from a single web page to a whole website with all the typing and data entry tools I could think of to help people like me (who aren't naturals at typing) get faster and better at typing and data entry so THEY can get those jobs in the future.
Let us know! Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org any comments or concerns about The Practice Test.