ACT WorkKeys Assessment

WorkKeys assessments have been used for more than two decades to measure essential workplace skills and help people build career pathways.

WorkKeys is a skills assessment system that helps employers select, hire, train, develop, and retain a quality workforce. The assessments measure foundational and soft skills.  

WorkKeys assessments measure skills that employers feel are essential to success in the workplace. Students, job seekers, and seasoned professionals can use WorkKeys to learn more about their strengths and weaknesses and gain a valid way to demonstrate their abilities to employers. Educators and employers can use it to help take the guesswork out of determining student, applicant, and employee qualifications.   

Each WorkKeys 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.  


1. National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC): Successful completion of WorkKeys assessments in Applied Mathematics, Locating Information, and Reading for Information can lead to earning the National Career Readiness CertificateTM (NCRC®)a portable credential earned by more than 3 million people across the United States.  

The NCRC is based on the performance of 3 ACT WorkKeys assessments - Applied Mathematics, Locating Information, and Reading for Information.

a)     Bronze - minimum Level 3 in all 3 assessments
b)     Silver - minimum Level 4 in all 3 assessments
c)      Gold - minimum Level 5 in all 3 assessments
d)     Platinum - minimum Level 6 in all 3 assessments  

2. PROFICIENCY CERTIFICATE FOR TEACHER ASSISTANTS (PCTA): The WorkKeys Proficiency Certificate for Teacher Assistants provides a valid, field-proven way to boost elementary education, in accordance with the No-Child-Left-Behind Act. It enables paraprofessional teacher assistants to demonstrate their proficiency in three content areas:

  • Applied Mathematics - minimum Level 4 required
  • Business Writing - minimum Level 3 required
  • Reading for Information - minimum Level 5 required (in MA)  

Through the assessments and on-the-job classroom observation, the Instructional Support Inventory (ISI) teacher assistants can demonstrate knowledge and skill levels in line with what is achieved in two years of postsecondary study.

Please click here for WorkKeys FAQ's.      



You will find sample questions for the following assessments on the WorkKeys online test preparation page here.      

The National Career Readiness Certificate Assessments

Other Foundational Skills Assessments

Soft Skills Assessments


Practice tests are also available at the cost of $5.00/test for the following assessments:

  • Applied Mathematics
  • Applied Technology
  • Locating Information
  • Reading for Information

There is no practice test for the PCTA Business Writing. However, you may download our business writing study guide

Advantages to taking a practice tests include:

  • Practice tests are actual tests with retired questions
  • 2-hr testing time
  • Feedback and score received
  • Identify your gaps

To purchase a practice assessment, please click here. At the webpage:

  • Scroll down to WHAT IT TAKES and click on WORKKEYS TEST PREPARATION.
  • Scroll down to ONLINE TEST PREPARATION and click on READ MORE.
  • Scroll down to PURCHASE A PRACTICE TEST.
  • You will be prompted to create a WorkKeys Account
  • Purchase the assessment of your choice.

Please click here to register.


Holyoke Community College
303 Homestead Ave. Holyoke, MA 01040