MAP+ & Skillbuilding

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MAP+, the most sophisticated diagnostic software on the market today, analyzes 80 different types of keystroking problems, identifies the most significant ones, and then prescribes a list of corrective drills tailor made just for you. These prescriptive drills are designed to correct your keyboarding weaknesses and help you avoid making similar errors in the future. View the movie Orientation to Skillbuilding and MAP+ for details.

If you need to strengthen a weak muscle, you have to exercise it, right? The same goes for keystroking weaknesses. They must be identified, analyzed, and strengthened through systematic practice until they are resolved. Because the prescriptive drills you type after the MAP+ pretest specifically target YOUR weaknesses, the drills will be challenging—but the payoff will be huge! So hang in there.

MAP+ may be accessed in several different ways:

MAP+ (for diagnostics) first appears in the Lesson menu as an assigned skillbuilding drill in Lesson 17 or you may click the MAP+ button anytime from Lesson 1 on and use a MAP+ routine as described next.

Note: MAP+  drills that are typed after clicking the MAP+ button will appear in the Portfolio, but will not include a lesson number. See the MAP+: Symbol drill below in which the lesson number is not included.

MAP+ may be used in several different ways:

MAP+, Additional Skillbuilding Drills, Lessons 1-18: If you are on Lessons 1-18, click MAP+, Lessons 1-18; from the drop-down list, click the desired lesson for unlimited additional practice drills on all keys learned up to the selected lesson.

Note: There are no practice drills for Lessons 10 or 15 as those review lessons do not introduce any new keys.

MAP+, Intensive Practice on Any Key: From Lesson 17 and beyond, click MAP+; click any key on the “live keyboard” to go to intensive practice drills for that key. If you wish to use MAP+ for drills on alphabetic lines only after completing Lesson 9, you can also click on any alphabetic key here for unlimited practice—just don't take the Pretest until you have reached Lesson 17 as it includes keys beyond Lesson 9.


MAP+, Diagnostics—Alphabet (Lesson 17 on), Numbers (Lesson 19 on), and Symbols (Lesson 20 on): Click MAP+, Pretest; from the drop-down list, click Alphabet if you have completed Lesson 17 or beyond; click Numbers for Lesson 19 or beyond; click Symbols for Lesson 20 or beyond; take the pretest and follow the prompts to complete the prescriptive drills to remediate keystroking weaknesses.
  • MAP+: Alphabet begins with a diagnostic pretest for alphabet keystrokes; use this diagnostic drill from Lesson 17 and beyond

  Note: On the MAP+ Summary Screen, Errors column, for an Alphabet pretest, you will see "lock" icons over Number Keys and Symbol Keys—these keys aren't counted when you take an Alphabetic pretest
  Note: When you finish one of the MAP+ Prescriptive Drills, you will see this prompt:

On the MAP+ Summary screen, Prescriptive Drills, you will notice a checkmark by any completed drills. In this example, you would still need to complete Prescriptive Drills for "F Key" and "SPACE BAR."

  • MAP+: Numbers begins with a diagnostic pretest for numbers; use this diagnostic drill from Lesson 19 and beyond:

  • MAP+: Symbols begins with a diagnostic pretest for symbols; use this diagnostic drill from Lesson 20 and beyond:



NEW-KEY DRILLS: Practice "coming at" the new key from every position on the keyboard


WARMUPS: Include three systematic drill lines, each with a different focus:
  • Line 1: Accuracy (learned keys or alphabet
  • Line 2: Technique
  • Line 3: Speed



If you need extra practice for any of the new keys learned in Lessons 1-20, go to the Lessons button and click the Enrichment link for that lesson.


SKILLBUILDING ROUTINES: (anytime from the Skillbuilding button)

Skillbuilding Button

Below are recommendations on how to use the variety of skillbuilding routines available in GDP from the Skillbuilding button to help you improve speed and accuracy. Routines are listed in alphabetical order. Lesson of first introduction is in brown. In GDP, click the Help icon for more information on these drills.

12" Speed Sprints: (Lesson 11H/65B)

Click here for a demonstration of 12-Second Speed Sprints. When you click any movie link, a movie should begin playing immediately. Make sure your computer speakers are on and your volume is up.

You will take a series of 3 “sprints” on 4 individual lines of text. Your goal is to type a little faster on each successive sprint. You must complete all 12 sprints to mark the exercise as complete.

  • Sprints build speed using, fast, repetitive typing on short, easy sentences with no error limit.

  • Goal is to increase speed on each repetition of the sentence.

  • Sprints are very motivational and are especially effective to end finger-watching habits.


MAP+ may be used in several different ways and may be accessed in different ways—MAP+ (for alphabetic diagnostics) appears in the Lesson menu beginning with Lesson 17; MAP+ (for number diagnostics), in Lesson 19; or you may click the MAP+ button anytime to use MAP+ as described previously.

Paced Practice: (Lesson 16F/65C)

To establish your beginning base speed, you will take a 1-minute entry timed writing with 2 errors maximum pushing moderately for speed. You will then take three 2-minute timed writings based on the speed you achieved in the entry timed writing. The Paced Practice drills alternate between goals for speed and accuracy, and each timed writing contains the exact number of words to be typed within 2 minutes based on either the speed goal or the accuracy goal for that attempt. Each timed writing includes exactly enough words so that if you finish the timed writing, you have typed 2 wpm faster (speed attempt) or 2 wpm slower (accuracy attempt) than the last successfully completed attempt for speed. For example:

  • If your base speed is 20 wpm, your first Paced Practice timed writing will have a speed goal of 22 wpm20 (for the successfully met speed goal in the entry timed writing) + 2, with no error limit.
  • When you reach 22 wpm for speed, the next Paced Practice timed writing will have an accuracy goal of 20 wpm22 (for the last successfully met speed goal) – 2, with a 2-error limit.
  • When you reach 20 wpm for accuracy, the next Paced Practice timed writing will have a speed goal of 24 wpm22 (for the last successfully met speed goal) + 2, with no error limit.

When GDP displays the timed writing with the goal of either speed or accuracy, you will see a series of red triangles, which are positioned above a given character. Each triangle signals one of eight 15-second intervals in the lines to be typed. To "pace" your typing, slow down or speed up so that each red triangle disappears when you are typing within 2-3 characters of the triangle. When you have completed three 2-minute timed writings, you will be prompted to either continue for additional practice or proceed to the next exercise.

  • Drills use a series of three 2-minute paced timed writings to increase either speed or accuracy "just a little."

  • First, GDP will stress speed—your goal is to speed up just a little—the copy is 2 wpm longer than the most recently achieved speed—with no error limit.

  • Next, GDP will stress accuracy—your goal is to slow down just a little—the copy length is 2 wpm lower than the most recently achieved speed goal— with 1 error-per-minute limit.

Pretest/Practice/Posttest: (Lesson 13A/63C)

To establish your beginning speed, you will take a 1-minute pretest timed writing without an error limit pushing moderately for speed. Your results will determine whether speed or accuracy is stressed on the drills that follow. Practice drills are unscored and reinforce a specific typing reach. The Posttest is a repeat of the Pretest. Your goal is to improve your Pretest score when you take the Posttest. You must complete the Pretest before you will be allowed to attempt the associated Practices or Posttest.

  • Drills use a 3-step process to identify speed and accuracy needs: (1) 1-minute pretest, (2) practice to stress either accuracy or speed for a specific typing reach, and (3) posttest to measure improvement.

  • Drills provide intensive practice that targets specific typing reaches, such as common letter combinations, close reaches, discrimination practice, horizontal reaches, vertical reaches, and alternate- and one-hand words.

Progressive Practice: Alphabet or Numbers: (Lesson 11F/61C)

To establish your beginning speed, you will take a 1-minute entry timed writing with 3 errors maximum pushing moderately for speed. Once the entry timed writing is scored, GDP will present a Progressive Practice paragraph that is 2 wpm faster than your most recently achieved goal. Your goal is to key the passage within 30 seconds with no errors. When you have achieved that goal, GDP will promote you to the next passage so that you can increase your speed and accuracy skills. An exercise is marked as complete when you have completed six Progressive Practice passages for that lesson.

  • Progressive Practice: Alphabet exercises concentrate on typing all of the letters of the alphabet, while Progressive Practice: Numbers focus on typing numerical expressions and words.

  • Drills build speed and accuracy in short easy steps using a series of 30" timed writings.

  • Each passage must be repeated until it is completed and typed with zero errors.

  • Each passage is long enough to exactly reach the speed goal.

  • Timed writing speed range is 16-104 wpm.

  • Individualized, self-competition is the motivation.

Sustained Practice: (Lesson 12F/62B)

Click here to view a movie demonstrating Sustained Practice routines. When you click one of the previous links, a movie should begin playing immediately. Make sure your computer speakers are on and your volume is up.

To establish your base speed, you will take a 1-minute timed writing on the first boxed paragraph only with 3 errors maximum pushing moderately for speed. You may repeat the Base Speed attempt on the boxed paragraph as many times as needed until that attempt is typed with 3 errors maximum. On each of the four attempts that follow the Base Speed attempt, you must match or exceed your base speed and be within the 3‑error limit to proceed to the next more difficult paragraph. At the end of the fourth attempt, if you didn’t match or exceed your base speed, GDP will move on to the next skillbuilding routine even though you have not typed each of the Sustained Practice paragraphs.

  • Challenges you to maintain your initial base speed on copy of increasing difficulty.

  • In the three paragraphs that follow the boxed base paragraph, there are more instances of the difficulty factor that is emphasized in that particular Sustained Practice drill; examples of difficulty factors are syllabic intensity (longer words with more syllables), numbers or symbols and punctuation, and rough draft.

Supplementary Timed Writings

To use the Supplementary Timed Writings feature, click the Timed Writings button, Other tab, Supplementary Timed Writing; then click the desired Supplementary Timed Writing and refer to the pages in the back of the textbook for copy.