What is a 10 Key Experience?

You may have heard of the 10-key keyboard pad… For those who don’t know, this is the number pad on the right side of most keyboards. The ten-key experience is basically a way of determining the experience level of how well someone can use this keypad (and how fast). It’s slightly different than typing because rather than using the words per minute, it’s measured on how many keystrokes every minute a person can achieve only using the number pad – hence why it’s called kpm. In this guide, we’re going to explain a bit about what 10-key experience is, and how you can increase yours!

What is 10 Key Experience Commonly Used In?

There are many jobs that require specific number crunching, very similar to those that used to use calculators back in the day. Data entry is just one of the popular jobs that use 10KE, and it’s popular in customer service jobs, as well as other jobs which involve high amounts of numbers to be used. At the same time, many jobs as simple as front desk clerks often need a 10-key experience skill level simply because they have a lot of paperwork and more. You may have seen examples of this when you go to a doctor or a bank, and they’re simply using nothing but the tab key and the number pad.

Do I Need This Skillset?

As a matter of fact, most customer service or data entry jobs do require that you gain this skillset. If you haven’t yet, you can even take courses in college or go to a temporary employment agency to get the proper training. It’s best to get training at temp agencies though, because they often allow people the experience to get other skills in, like spreadsheets, and even data entry.

Can You Increase Your 10-Key Experience Yourself?

There are special ways that you can increase your 10KE on your own, and you can practice a lot on your own if you have a keyboard with a number pad. Unfortunately, some laptops and keyboards don’t have this, so one thing you can do is either buy a new cheap keyboard with one, or simply buy the number pad (which plugs in via usb) by itself. To practice and speed up your 10-key experience, simply:

  • Turn the Num Lock on.
  • Keep your middle finger on the #5 key.
  • Index finger on the #4, and ring finger on the 6 key. 4, 5, and 6, is the home row.
  • You can try different numbers while keeping your fingers in place. Start going with 4, 5, 6, repeat.
  • Add numbers 7, 8, 9. Only moving the fingers above the home row one at a time. Then do the same when starting to work in 1,2, and 3. 0 is the last number you want to add to your keystrokes, and it should be hit with your thumb (not your fingers). Get a long number sheet online or do a practice test.


Most typing courses will ultimately teach you 10-key, as well as life experiences. The more you use a keyboard, the better you’re going to get at using the 10-key as well. Another way you can practice on a computer is to bring up the calculator app. You can start with working simple equations (1+1, 1+2, 1+3, 4+1, and so on) and increase your speed quickly. Of course, this isn’t just using the 10 number keys, but it does help.

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