New Speedometer and Improved Cheat Protection
To be more consistent across different texts, TypeRacer is changing the way it measures WPM today. Instead of counting the actual number of words typed, we are now counting the total number of characters in the texts, using the convention of 5 characters per word, as defined on Wikipedia. This means that your WPM will likely improve for some of the harder texts – those containing lots of big words.
We are also changing the way the typing test works. (In case you missed our last post, we started asking everyone with a score of over 100 wpm to pass an “un-cheatable” typing test.) This only affects our fastest typists, but if you’re in this category, please continue reading.
The first anti-cheat typing test we deployed two days ago turned out to be too hard. Some users pointed out that they could get a really high WPM on a race with an easy text and then not be able to pass the typing test because it contained a much harder and unfamiliar text. The change to the WPM calculation should fix this discrepancy.
We also made quite a few changes to the typing test itself. It now only kicks in at 110 wpm (previously 100), and is much more lenient – it asks you to type within 25% of the wpm you got in the race (previously, this was +/- 20wpm fixed). For example, if I you get 145 wpm in a race, the typing tests now asks you to type only 108 wpm, whereas before, it asked for 125. Furthermore, it now saves the greater of your test score and your race score. So if you passed the test in this example with, say, 109 wpm, you will actually be certified for 145 wpm since that was your original race score. Similarly, if you passed this test with 150 wpm, you’d be certified for 150 wpm, since it’s greater than your race result. Being certified to type at X wpm means that you won’t be asked to take the typing test unless your score exceeds X+25%. So if you’re certified at 150 wpm, for example, you are clear to type up to 187 without having to take the test again.
You may have noticed that some people were still able to cheat on the old typing test. That’s because it was too easy to use OCR on the text images. This made it necessary to start giving the test as a CAPTCHA. We understand that it makes it harder to read, but keep in mind that you do not have to get every word right. If you skip a few words or a few letters in some of the words you can still pass the test. Also, the text in the image should now be much easier to understand than the Star Trek text we used before.
Finally, you now have the ability to retry the test several times! With all these changes, we don’t anticipate any trouble for legitimately fast typists to pass the test. We hope that taking this test proves to be worth it for our fastest typists in order to prevent cheaters and have accurate high scores. Let us know what you think!