Computing GWAM Keyboarding speed is measured in words per minute. GWAM (Gross Words A Minute) is the number of keystrokes a typist can make in a timed period. A standard keyboarding word is five characters or any combination of five characters or spaces. The following sentence has how many standard keyboarding words? All middle school students should learn to keyboard. (Answer: There are 55 characters and spaces in this sentence so there are 11 standard keyboarding words in the sentence (55 characters/spaces divided by 5). To determine your keyboarding GWAM: Type for a specific number of minutes as directed by your teacher. Determine the number of standard keyboarding words you keyed. Remember every five strokes (characters and spaces) count as one word. Divide the total number of words keyed by the number of minutes that you were timed.