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The Applied Technology Assessment

Working with machines and equipment means understanding how to best use them to solve problems. The Applied Technology assessment measures basic principles and skills in four areas of technology: electricity, mechanics, fluid dynamics, and thermodynamics. With a focus on reasoning, not math, examinees solve problems without calculations or formulas.

Individuals that use the applied technology skill can:

  • Analyze a problem by identifying the problem and its parts.
  • Decide which parts of a problem are important.
  • Decide on the order to follow when dealing with the parts of the problem.
  • Apply existing tools, materials, or methods to new situations.

Number of Items: 34

Test Length:

  • 55 minutes (WorkKeys Internet Version)
  • 45 minutes (Paper-and-pencil)
  • 55 minutes (Spanish)

What it Measures

There are four levels of difficulty. Level 3 is the least complex, and Level 6 is the most complex. The levels build on each other, each incorporating the skills assessed at the previous levels. For example, Level 5 includes the skills used at Levels 3, 4, and 5. Individual problems may involve only one area of technology, but each skill level requires individuals to know the basic principles of all four areas at that skill level.

Level 3

Characteristics of Items

  • Straightforward
  • One simple system that generally has two to five components
  • Situation exhibits clear physical symptoms
  • Situation usually has only one variable
  • All needed information is present
  • Only elementary technical terms are used

Skills

  • Identify how basic tools work
  • Identify how simple machine parts work
  • Apply basic principles to solve problems involving a simple system
  • Solve basic problemsIdentify the clear physical symptom that points to the potential source of a problem
  • Identify the best solution after eliminating clearly unsuitable possibilities

View Sample Item

 

Level 4

Characteristics of Items

  • Moderately complex because they can involve two or more simple systems that work together or one moderately complex system
  • Systems may have up to ten components
  • Situation can have one or two variables
  • All needed information is presentExtraneous information may be included
  • Less common technical terms are defined

Skills

  • Understand the operation of moderately complex tools and diagnostic equipment
  • Understand the operation of moderately complex machines and systems
  • Apply less obvious basic principles to solve problems within physical systems
  • Solve moderate problems
  • Eliminate physical symptoms that do not point to the source of a problem, disregarding extraneous informationIdentify the best solution after eliminating other unsuitable possibilities

View Sample Item

 

Level 5

Characteristics of Items

  • Moderately complex or advanced, involving two or more simple tools or systems that affect each other or a complex system that includes several components
  • Systems perform somewhat complex operations and generally have more than ten components
  • May involve two or three variables and may require use of technical knowledge
  • Extraneous information is often included
  • Technical terms may be explicitly defined or their meaning can be implicit in context and illustrations

Skills

  • Understand the operation of moderately complex tools and diagnostic equipment, choosing the best tool for the task
  • Understand the operation of complex machines and systems
  • Apply two or more principles of technology as they interact in moderately complex systems
  • Solve moderate and advanced problems
  • Eliminate physical symptoms that do not lead to the source of a problem by disregarding extraneous information; use clues to find the source of a problem
  • Identify the best solution after eliminating other unsuitable possibilities

View Sample Item

 

Level 6

Characteristics of Items

  • Advanced, involving complex tools or systems with more than ten componentsInclude large amounts of information and present a variety of possible problem sources that are subtle and difficult to diagnose
  • Require the use of technical knowledge
  • Contain considerable extraneous information
  • Technical terms may be explicitly defined or their meaning may be implicit in complex context and illustrations

Skills

  • Understand the operation of complex tools and diagnostic equipment, choosing the best tool for the task
  • Understand the operation of complex machines and their components
  • Apply two or more principles of technology as they interact in complex systems
  • Solve advanced problems where a variety of mechanical, electrical, thermal, or fluid faults could be the reason for the problem
  • Eliminate physical symptoms that do not lead to the source of a problem by disregarding extraneous information; use less obvious clues to find the source of a problem
  • Test possible hypotheses to ensure the problem is diagnosed correctly and the best solution is found

View Sample Item

 

Applied Technology Terms

Electricity involves the flow of electrons. Individuals need to know how electrical current moves through a circuit or a system and how electricity affects a circuit or a system. For example, they need to know how to control current and resistance.

Mechanics involves the way solid things move and how leverage, force, friction, and momentum affect that motion. Individuals need to solve problems with simple machines, complex machines, and mechanical systems.

Fluid dynamics involves the way fluids (liquids and gases such as water and air) move through systems. Individuals need to use this knowledge to solve problems with plumbing, hydraulics, or pneumatics (compressed gas).

Thermodynamics involves the movement of heat. Individuals need to know which substances warm up quickly when heated and which ones warm up more slowly. For example, air heats faster than water. They also need to know how specific heat works. That is, they need to know how different materials hold heat for different amounts of time. They need to solve problems with refrigeration, heating, air conditioning, and phase changes.