Test-taking Tips

To qualify for a National Career Readiness Certificate, you will need to take the Applied Mathematics, Locating Information, and Reading for Information WorkKeys tests. Each test contains multiple-choice items followed by five possible answers from which you are to choose the best one.

The following suggestions apply to all WorkKeys multiple-choice tests.

Pace yourself.

The time limits set for each WorkKeys test give nearly everyone enough time to finish all the questions. However, it is important to pace yourself. Don't spend too much time on one problem or reading section; if you have difficulty with a question, go on to the others and come back if there is time.

Listen to and read the directions for each test carefully.

Before you begin taking one of the WorkKeys tests, pay careful attention to the directions. These tests ask for the best answer. It is important to keep this in mind when answering the questions, since it will sometimes be possible to think of responses that would be better than any of those offered or to defend a choice as not entirely wrong. Best-response formats are consistent with the real world, where choosing among less-than-perfect alternatives is routine.

You may want to work out the answer you feel is correct and look for it among the choices given. If your answer is not among the choices provided, reread the question and consider all of the answer choices again to find the best one.

Read each question carefully.

It is important that you understand what each question asks. Some questions will require you to go through several steps to find the best answer, while others can be answered more quickly.

Answer the easy questions first.

The best strategy for taking a test is to answer the easy questions and skip the ones you find difficult. After answering all of the easy questions, go back and try to answer the more difficult ones.

Use logic in more difficult questions.

When you return to the more difficult questions, try to use logic to eliminate incorrect answers to a question. Compare the answer choices to each other and note how they differ. Such differences may provide clues as to what the question requires. Eliminate as many incorrect answers as you can, then make an educated guess from the remaining answers.

Answer every question.

Your score on the WorkKeys tests will be based on the number of questions that you answer correctly; there is no penalty for guessing. Thus, you should answer every question within the time allowed for each test, even if you have to guess. You will be notified when there are five minutes remaining on each test.

Review your work.

If there is time left after you have answered every question on a test, go back and check your work on that test. Check to be sure that you marked only one answer to each question. You may not mark answers to a test after time has been called on that test. You may not go back to any other test.

Be precise in marking your answer document.

When taking the paper-and-pencil version, be sure that you fill in the correct circles on your answer document. Check to be sure that the number for the line of circles on your answer document is the same as the number for the question you are answering. Position your answer document next to your test booklet so you can mark your answers quickly and completely.

Erase completely.

When taking the paper-and-pencil version, if you want to change an answer on your answer document, be sure to erase the unintended mark completely.

Test Tips
WorkKeys Test-Taking Tips
I was very nervous about taking WorkKeys because I had been out of school for more than 20 years. The tests were challenging, and yet they were easier than I expected them to be. Sherrie Gibson, customer service representative,