ACT WorkKeys Assessments


The Skills Needed to Succeed

Individuals are entering the workforce without the skills employers need. ACT WorkKeys Assessments is a first step toward closing skills gaps and improving workforce quality.Supported by data from more than 20,000 job skills profiles and rooted in decades of workplace research, WorkKeys Assessments are based on situations in the everyday working world. The assessments measure “hard” and “soft” skills, helping:

  • Individuals—from career seekers to longtime employees—measure their skills and advance their career goals
  • Educators from high school through college ensure their students are ready for career success
  • Employers find, hire, and develop quality talent
  • Workforce and economic developers prepare their workforce to attract and maintain business and industry
  • Industry associations and advocacy organizations develop valuable skills credentialing systems for a more productive, reliable and profitable workforce

Successful completion of three WorkKeys assessments—Applied Math, Graphic Literacy, and Workplace Documents—can help an individual earn the National Career Readiness Certificate™ (NCRC®), a portable credential that documents essential work skills. More than 4 million NCRCs have been issued across the United States.

Each assessment offers varying levels of difficulty. The levels build on each other, incorporating the skills assessed at the previous levels. For example, at Level 5, individuals need the skills from Levels 3, 4, and 5. The complexity can also increase as the quantity and/or density of the information increases.

Most tests are web-based and take one hour. Scores are easily verified online.

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National Career Readiness Certificate

Students who successfully complete the three WorkKeys Assessments - Applied Math, Graphic Literacy, and Workplace Documents - earn the National Career Readiness Certificate™ (NCRC®), a valuable credential for students whether they plan to go directly to work after high school or pursue postsecondary paths. ACT WorkKeys also offer additional assessments to measure interests, values and behaviors that can lead to greater job satisfaction.




Applied Math

Required for the NCRC

The Applied Math assessment measures critical thinking, mathematical reasoning, and problem solving techniques for situations that actually occur in today’s workplace. While individuals may use calculators and conversion tables to help with the problems on the assessment, math skills are still needed to think them through. Get more information:


Graphic Literacy

Required for the NCRC

Workplace graphics come in a variety of formats, but all communicate a level of information. From charts to graphs, diagrams to floor plans, identifying what information is being presented and understanding how to use it are critical to success. The Graphic Literacy assessment measures the skill needed to locate, synthesize, and use information from workplace graphics. Get more information:


Workplace Documents

Required for the NCRC

Employees need to be able to understand written text to do a job. The Workplace Documents assessment measures the skills people use when they read and use written text such as memos, letters, directions, signs, notices, bulletins, policies, and regulations on the job. Get more information:

Applied Technology

The Applied Technology assessment measures basic principles and skills in four areas of technology: electricity, mechanics, fluid dynamics, and thermodynamics. Get more information:

Business Writing

The Business Writing assessment measures the skill used when writing an original response to a work-related situation. Get more information:

Workplace Observation

The Workplace Observation assessment measures skills in observing, following, understanding, and evaluating processes, demonstrations, and other workplace procedures. Get more information:


It's a simple truth: people tend to seek occupations with characteristics that match their personal preferences. The Fit assessment measures an individual's interests and values and matches them to the work environment. Get more information:



The Talent assessment helps employers find and develop employees by measuring work-related attitudes and behaviors. Get more information:



ACT administers and scores millions of tests each year with the highest levels of integrity and accuracy. Being a test administrator for WorkKeys® requires that you have an active understanding of our testing policies and procedures.

WorkKeys assessments are considered high stakes, so all members of the testing staff are required to complete a training program in preparation for test center operations.



To learn more about the types of scores and score reports available, select the Understanding Scores button below.



Learn more about the WorkKeys Curriculum and other preparation options to help individuals improve their scores.