Are you a high school student who is not considering going on to earn a two-year or four-year degree after your senior year? Or maybe you are questioning which path you should take after high school – straight to the workforce, to the military, or to more education? You may find the ACT WorkKeys assessment helpful.
It’s administered by ACT (American College Testing) but is different from the ACT exam you typically take. Rather than testing so heavily on your math, reading, English, writing and science knowledge, WorkKeys assesses more practical skills. For instance, it measures how well you understand charts and diagrams, reason math problems, problem solve in workplace situations, and read and write memos. It also assesses your interests and work-related attitudes. From the results, you should be able to get some direction on your strengths as they relate to the match for future jobs.
You can take both the ACT WorkKeys assessment and the standardized ACT test, but don’t need to. You choose if you want to take one or the other. Most two- or four-year colleges will require standardized ACT or SAT scores for admission.
What is the WorkKeys Assessment?
High school juniors or seniors can take the standard ACT test, the WorkKeys assessment or both.
WorkKeys assesses these areas:
- Applied Math – Math reasoning, critical thinking and problem solving in workplace situations.
- Graphic Literacy – Understanding charts, diagrams, floor plans and other formats of workplace graphics.
- Workplace Documents – Understanding of reading and writing memos, letters, directions, signs, notices, policies, regulations, and other forms of communication.
- Applied Technology– Understanding of electricity, mechanics, fluid dynamics, and thermodynamics.
- Business Writing – Workplace writing skills.
- Workplace Observation – Evaluating processes, procedures, and observation.
- Fit – Your interests and values matched with work settings where you are most likely to succeed.
- Talent– Work-related behaviors and attitudes.
ACT National Career Readiness Certificate
You will receive the ACT National Career Readiness Certificate® (NCRC®) if you complete the WorkKeys assessments in Applied Math, Graphic Literacy, and Workplace Documents. To achieve the NCRC, you must score a three or better on all three tests. Students may earn a platinum, gold, silver, or bronze NCRC depending on how they score. Your score helps determine the percent of profiled jobs you have the skills to be successful at.
The North Dakota Career and Technical Education (CTE) Scholarship encourages and rewards high school students for taking more challenging course work in preparation for college and for entering the workforce. In addition to other criteria, CTE Scholarship recipients must score at least a five on three WorkKeys assessments: Workplace Documents, Graphic Literacy and Applied Math. The total value of the scholarship is $6,000 and is disbursed $750 per semester or $500 per quarter. Recipients have up to six years following high school graduation to use the scholarship.
You should work with your counselor to find a WorkKeys testing site and take the test before graduating high school. Please direct questions to Jim Upgren of the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction at 701.328.2244 or email@example.com.