ACT WorkKeys Assessment

A 2021 Guide to the ACT WorkKeys Assessment

The ACT WorkKeys assessment is a highly regarded job skills exam that is utilized by a multitude of companies, education institutions, and public service agencies. Those who pass the ACT WorkKeys test receive a National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) which is known to open many doors in the workforce.

About the WorkKeys Assessment

The WorkKeys assessment focuses heavily on skills that are considered to be “real-world applicable.” This means that while the testing does include some skills that come with access to education, the way each subject is applied to a problem is less textbook and more realistic to workplace scenarios.

This helps employers and educators to look beyond a resume and listed job or school history and instead focus on the skills of the individual and how they are able to apply their knowledge.

The test covers 12 different skills, nine of which are considered “foundation skills,” while the final three are “soft skills.”

Foundation Skills

The nine foundation skill assessments included in the ACT WorkKeys exam are:

  • Applied technology
  • Applied mathematics
  • Business writing
  • Locating information
  • Reading for information
  • Listening for understanding
  • Teamwork

Soft Skills

The three soft skill assessments included in the ACT WorkKeys exam are:

  • Fit
  • Talent
  • Performance

Testing Formats

The ACT WorkKeys exam has been around for a long time, which has led to it being offered in a more traditional format as well a modern option.

Some test takers may be given the pen and paper version of the exam, which is meant to benefit those who may not have access to a computer and/or the internet. This version is often issued to those taking the test as part of their education experience.

Others may take the test in its digital format. The test is identical, but it is accessed and completed online through a computer. The computer and test taker are typically monitored, no matter which version of the test is being taken.

WorkKeys Scoring

The scoring for the WorkKeys assessment is slightly different depending on which test format was utilized.

Pen and Paper Test Score Reports

  •  Summary Report – This report includes your overall score and a description of the results for each assessment taken. This is the version of the scoring report most often provided to colleges or attached to a resume/ CV.
  • Memo to Examinee Report – This report also includes the skill level found for each assessment. It also goes into detail on tasks that are associated with the skill level and even provides information to help you improve your score.
  •  Examinee Roster Report – This is a condensed report that focuses on just the assessment scores, demographic information, and work-skills data.

Digital Test Score Reports

  • Individual Score Report – Gives the most transparent look at your scores and goes into detail about what the scores mean for you and for your career potential.
  • Roster Score Report – This report shows the full list of test takers and what their scores were for each testing section administered.
  • Group Versus Profile Report – This report displays the scores that were actually achieved and compares them to the scores required for a specific job.
  • Soft Skills List Report – This report focuses on scoring for exclusively the soft skills exams.
  • WorkKeys Data Report – This is an information report (provided as a .csv file) that includes all the information of the test takers except for their User IDs and passwords.
  • Performance Assessment List Report – This is a report of scores that goes into detail regarding how scores can indicate performance potential and future behaviors in the workplace.

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