Pass the WorkKeys Test with this Guide
What is the WorkKeys test?
The WorkKeys assessments were developed by the American College of Tests (ACT) to determine the different aptitudes that are crucial in the workplace. It helps employers and teachers alike to evaluate the knowledge of students or candidates in key areas.
Furthermore, these assessments measure career readiness, soft, and foundational skills, and not just reading and writing competency. Through these tests, candidates can also acquire an ACT WorkKeys NCRC or National Career Readiness Certificate.
What is a career readiness certificate?
It is a credential that will verify the essential skills that are required in occupations and work industries.
Format and Content Outline
The WorkKeys contain 8 aptitudes or assessments that will test whether the candidate has the necessary skills that are learned in the WorkKeys curriculum. It is divided into three tests: Career Readiness Tests, Foundational Skills Tests, and Soft Skills Tests.
|Career Readiness Tests||Number of Questions||Time Allowed|
|Applied Mathematics||34 questions||55 minutes (Internet Version and Paper-and-Pencil Version)|
|Graphic Literacy||38 questions||55 minutes (Internet Version)|
|Workplace Documents||35 questions||55 minutes (Internet Version)|
|Foundational Skills Tests||Number of Questions||Time Allowed|
|Applied Technology||34 questions||55 minutes (Internet Version)
45 minutes (Paper-and-pencil)
|Business Writing||1 prompt||30 minutes|
|Workplace Observation||35 questions||55 minutes (Internet Version)|
|Soft Skills Tests||Number of Questions||Time Allowed|
|Fit||102 questions||15-20 minutes (Internet Version)|
|Talent||165 questions||30-35 minutes (Internet Version)|
National Career Readiness Certificate Tests
The ACT NCRC requires candidates to pass 3 assessment tests: Applied Mathematics, Graphic Literacy, and Workplace Documents. These are important because it certifies that job seekers and students have the foundational skills relevant in the workplace.
This assessment will determine whether candidates have mathematical reasoning, problem-solving, and critical-thinking skills required for situations in the workplace. It contains 5 levels of difficulty with Level 3 being the least difficult. On the other hand, Level 7 is the hardest.
Level 3 – Candidates must solve problems regarding mathematical equations. It requires knowledge of basic arithmetic. They must also solve fractions, decimals, and percentages. Lastly, they are required to calculate prices and changes for customers.
Level 4 – Candidates must solve mathematical problems using visual information, such as charts. They must also solve one or two operations or determine simple ratios and proportions, among others.
Level 5 – Candidates must solve unit conversions or calculations. They must know how to convert units of measurement. Furthermore, there are questions for calculating perimeters or circumferences of basic shapes. And, they must determine if there is a mistake in a calculation.
Level 6 – Candidates must know how to solve equations with mixed fractions or numbers. They must use various formulas to create conversions. They should also be able to find areas of basic shapes. Other problems involve calculations of the volume of rectangular solids.
Level 7 – Candidates must know how to convert units of measurement, calculate volumes of cylinders, spheres, or cones. They must also be able to determine the percentage difference and unit cost. Moreover, their knowledge of statistics is most often tested at this level.
This assessment will determine whether candidates know how to organize, utilize, and locate information from graphics used in the workplace. It contains 5 levels of difficulty with Level 3 being the least difficult. On the other hand, Level 7 is the hardest. The levels also incorporate each other through the skills assessed at the preceding levels. It means that those skills used in Level 3 to 4 will be used in Level 5.
Level 3 – Candidates must be able to locate information in elementary graphics like bar graphs, tables, flowcharts, maps, etc. They must determine the next steps in processes.
Level 4 – Candidates must know how to find information in a graphic using information taken from another graphic. They must make inferences and determine trends or patterns. Also, they are required to compare two or more pieces of information.
Level 5 – Candidates must know how to evaluate two graphics and determine significant information. They must also know how to identify relationships and make inferences or decisions. It may also contain unusual graphic types.
Level 6 – Candidates must know how to find information from very detailed and difficult visual information. They must make inferences using evidence found in graphics. Furthermore, they must be able to locate graphics that accurately represent the data.
Level 7 – Candidates must be able to make logical inferences based on a graphic using the information found on another. They must be able to interpret patterns in extremely difficult and dense graphics. They must also be able to find the most appropriate graphic.
This assessment will determine whether candidates know how to read and utilize written texts such as signs, bulletins, memos, policies, and letters in the workplace. It contains 5 levels of difficulty with Level 3 being the least difficult. On the other hand, Level 7 is the hardest. The levels also incorporate each other through the skills assessed at the preceding levels.
Level 3 – Candidates must know how to solve questions regarding the simplest forms of written information. They must be able to determine the main idea and the specific details in the reading material. They should also apply information to situations that are similar to what is being described in the document.
Level 4 – Candidates must know how to utilize information in the reading material to know the meanings of phrases or words that are undefined. They must also know how to determine the main idea and specific details, and to pick what to do when different actions are required.
Level 5 – Candidates must know how to determine specific details and appropriate meanings of acronyms, jargon and other technical terms. They must know how to apply instructions in situations that are described in the document.
Level 6 – Candidates must be able to make inferences in implied details, meanings of acronyms, jargon, etc. They should be able to apply principles inferred in a passage to situations that are not described directly in the document.
Level 7 – Candidates must be able to make inferences in very complex reading materials. They must also be able to determine the rationale behind a document. They must also be able to apply information and principles in situations described in the document.
Foundational Skills Tests
This assessment will determine whether candidates know the basic skills and concepts of electricity, fluid dynamics, thermodynamics, and mechanics. It contains 4 levels of difficulty with Level 3 being the least difficult. On the other hand, Level 6 is the hardest.
Level 3 – Candidates must be able to determine simple machine parts work and tools work. They must also be able to solve simple system problems by applying basic principles. In addition to that, they must be able to eliminate inappropriate possibilities by determining the best solutions.
Level 4 – Candidates must know how to operate moderately difficult machines, systems, tools, and diagnostic equipment. They must also find solutions to moderate problems and apply less obvious principles.
Level 5 – Candidates should be able to pick the best tool to operate moderately difficult machines, systems, tools, and diagnostic equipment. They should be able to find solutions for moderate and advanced problems and apply two or more principles of technology.
Level 6 – Candidates should be able to pick the best tool to operate complex machines, systems, tools, and diagnostic equipment. They should be able to eliminate physical symptoms that won’t lead to the source of a problem. They should also be able to test possible hypotheses and find the best solution. Lastly, they should be able to solve advanced problems regarding electrical, mechanical, and thermal faults.
This assessment will determine whether candidates have the ability to write appropriate responses in situations in the workplace. It contains 5 levels, with Level 1 being the least complicated. Furthermore, it measures their skills when it comes to the Components of Business Writing. It is often composed of grammar, mechanics, tone, sentence structure, and word usage, among others.
This assessment will determine whether candidates are capable of comprehending, evaluating, and observing workplace procedures. It contains 5 levels: Level 1 is Following the Observed; Level 2 is Interpreting the Observed; Level 3 is Synthesizing the Observed; Level 4 is Analyzing the Observed; and Level 5 is Evaluating the Observed.
Soft Skills Tests
This assessment will determine whether candidates’ interests and values align or match their work environment. There are 2 parts of the assessment: The ACT Interest Inventory and the Work Values Inventory. The former assesses 6 basic interests while the latter contains 18 values that are usually found in values inventories.
This assessment will measure the employees’ attitudes and behaviors that are work-related to help employers. In this test, there are no right or wrong answers. It is because the items are used to identify the examinee or candidate’s personality.
Types of WorkKeys Scores
The NCRC test has 2 types of scores: Level Scores and Scale Scores. The former is usually used when it comes to hiring and advancement decisions. The latter is utilized by educators to determine improvement or track the growth of the students’ skills.
What are the WorkKeys levels?
There are 4 levels of achievement when it comes to obtaining the NCRC:
- Platinum – Candidates must obtain at least a score level of 6 on each test.
- Gold – Candidates must obtain at least a score level of 5 on each test.
- Silver – Candidates must obtain at least a score level of 4 on each test.
- Bronze – Candidates must obtain at least a score level of 3 or higher on each test.
|Scale Score||Level Score|
|65 to 71||<3|
|72 to 75||3|
|76 to 79||4|
|80 to 82||5|
|83 to 85||6|
|86 to 90||7|
|Scale Score||Level Score|
|65 to 71||<3|
|72 to 75||3|
|76 to 77||4|
|78 to 81||5|
|82 to 85||6|
|86 to 90||7|
|Scale Score||Level Score|
|65 to 71||<3|
|72 to 76||3|
|77 to 80||4|
|81 to 82||5|
|83 to 85||6|
|86 to 90||7|
How to Answer the Test Smartly
Based on the book, WorkKeys Secrets Study Guide, you must remember three things:
Firstly, you must organize all of the information you have by researching and making your own test outline. You should group all of the important concepts and begin studying using the materials that you have obtained. You can check out the ACT WorkKeys curriculum to know the relevant lessons.
Secondly, you must do what you can to retain all of the topics you have learned. You should answer WorkKeys practice tests. There are three strategies you can do to utilize them properly. You should take your first test untimed and with your notes available. For the second one, you must take it timed and with notes. The last one will be untimed and without notes. Through these tests, you’ll be able to remember and review so much information.
In addition to that, the book also gave a few WorkKeys practice questions you can try:
Last Saturday Jen dug 42 dandelions out of the lawn and was paid 5 cents per plant. The previous Saturday she dug 60 plants, and the Saturday before that she dug 33 dandelions. On average, how many plants did she dig each week?
|On-the-Job Accidents, 2005|
|Cause of Accident||Number of Accidents per 100,000 Employees||Average Worker’s Compensation Payout|
|Poisoning or Chemical Exposure||11||$103,029.00|
In 2005, what type of on-the-job accident was associated with the highest number of accidents per 100,00 Employees?
- Poisoning or Chemical Exposure
Based on the excerpt below, what is the meaning of “quickcode”?
Remember to enter your 4-digit quickcode every morning when you arrive at the office. This number is unique to you. Since we don’t use a traditional timeclock system, this will verify your time records.
- A passcode that allows employees in the building
- A method of tracking employee time on the job
- A code to log in to company computers
- A password to check email
- A method of identifying where in the building an employee is
Thirdly, when in doubt, you should make use of context clues and the process of elimination. The questions will be confusing, so you have to comprehend them thoroughly. If you don’t understand some words, use some of the words in the sentence as clues. Also, if you don’t know what the answer is, then eliminate those that you know are incorrect.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the purpose of the WorkKeys test?
The purpose of the assessments is to help measure the skills that are required to be successful in job performances. By also successfully passing some of the tests, you will be able to obtain a National Career Readiness Certificate.
How long does it take to do the WorkKeys test?
Most of them are taken using the computer version, which takes at least an hour.
How to Register for the ACT WorkKeys?
You must first set up an account and login to WorkKeys. You can register through this link: https://www.act.org/. Through your account, you’ll be able to choose your testing center and schedule your test date.
What are soft skills and how to develop them?
Soft skills are those non-technical abilities that help with communication in the workplace. It is an individual’s traits and other personal attributes. Some soft skills need to be learned and to develop yours. You can take online courses or assessment tests such as the ACT WorkKeys.
Can you use a calculator on the WorkKeys?
Yes, you can use 4-function, scientific, or graphing calculator. It should not be on the prohibited list, and if required, it is modified. It can also only be used on the mathematics test, including Applied Math.