Critical thinking, problem-solving, finding information, and reading and using information correctly are all necessities for a job. But how do you know you’ve got a handle on these skills? Or better yet, how does a potential employer know you’ve got these skills to do the job well?

The WorkKeys assessment was designed to measure skills seen as critical for job success. Companies (and schools) across the United States use the WorkKeys assessment in their hiring and promotion decision for all sorts of occupations, skilled or professional, at any education level.

Not only are companies using WorkKeys but schools are also administering the test in addition to the ACT. ACT, the same company that gives the ACT college entrance exam, designed the WorkKeys program. But rather than trying to predict college success, WorkKeys predicts job success. It matches your skills against a tested database of skills needed for more than 17,000 jobs, so it can help you decide what careers would fit you best. Or if your scores are short of those for your dream career, it will let you know what skills you need to work on.

The tests cover:Nurses

  • Locating Information – in diagrams, tables, gauges and other graphic displays;
  • Reading for Information– understanding memos, directions, regulations and other workplace materials; and
  • Applied Mathematics – using math to solve work-related problems.

The top score is 6 on the Locating Information test and 7 for Applied Mathematics and Reading for Information. If your score is at least 3 on all three tests, you have the skills for 35% of the jobs in the WorkKeys database. Three 4s and you have the skills for 65% of the jobs in the WorkKeys database, three 5s equals 90% of the jobs and three 6s means you have skills for 99% of the jobs in ACT’s extensive database.

You can take the WorkKeys assessments at your school. Most are given online, but they may also be done with pencil and paper. Have more questions? Contact your school career services office or counselor.

ACT also offers practice tests that you can buy online for $4.50 each. And the ACT website has a foundation skill page with links to sample questions for each test and detailed descriptions of the skills tested. 

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