22 February 2019

How’s your typing?

A lot of the questions we receive at this time of year ask 'what can I do now to prepare for the Case Study?'

Our Exam Technique Principles (ETP) programme is a great start (available as part of our Complete Classroom or Online programmes, or as a standalone resource), and is still relevant to the exam. We know some of you are waiting for the update to reflect CBE (available from March) so in the meantime - how fast can you type?

A passing Case Study script is generally 3,000 - 3,500 words according to the Examiner at the Tutor Conference. Our Illustrative Answers come in at the top end of this, around 3,500 words, for a high scoring answer.

So the very first question you need to ask yourself is - can you type an average of 3,250 words in 2 hours? Once you've done your reading, planning and appendices this is how long you have to type up your script. The arithmetic tells us this is an average of 27 wpm which doesn't sound like much. But that is a consistent 27 wpm, for 2 hours, including the thinking you need to construct a professional answer.

What should I do now?

Stamina is a key element in this exam - 4 hours both whizzes by and feels exhausting. So, the first thing you need to know is if you can physically type 3,250 words in 2 hours.

  1. For a quick indication, search for an online typing test - there are plenty out there that will give you a wpm score.
  2. Typing for 1 minute and typing for 120 minutes are very different. If you have a report to write for work, time yourself - can you sit quietly and think / type for 2 hours without a break? Make sure you won't be disturbed and see how many words you write.
  3. If you don't write reports for work, use a past exam from ICAEW Learning Materials or our free Sample Material here. The best test is to prepare and type your own answer, but if nothing else copy type our illustrative answer - is it easy or difficult?

If typing for 2 hours is a challenge for you, make sure you practise regularly to build your speed and accuracy. You have time now, use it - your future self will be glad you did!