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How to Prepare Well And Pass National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) Test?

Last Updated on September 7, 2022

To earn a National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) credential, you must take three WorkKey tests or assessments. You will take these tests separately, but you will only receive the lowest score on each of these tests.

For example, suppose you received a score of six on the Applied Mathematics test, a score of five on the Locating Information test and a score of four for the Reading for Information. In that case, you’ll only receive the lowest score, four.

About the NCRC Test

The NCRC Tests are handed out at four different levels. These tests are meant to evaluate and certify that you possess the skills needed to succeed in a professional environment for different occupations and industries.

When employers use the National Career Readiness Certificate to assess job applicants, they will benefit from tapping into the best group of candidates in your area.

The test assesses your skill level in the following: 

  • Applying information from workplace documents to solve problems
  • Applying mathematical reasoning related to workplace issues
  • Analyzing, comparing and summarizing information that’s shown in various graphics
  • Critical thinking
  • Problem-solving
  • Reading and using workplace texts
  • Setting up and performing workplace mathematical calculations

Some benefits for employers using the NCRC tests to assess potential employees.

These benefits include the following: 

  • Lower employee turnover
  • Quicker hiring time
  • Increase in hiring quality employees
  • Shorter training periods
  • Improves staff morale
  • Improves how employees are promoted
  • Increase employee performance ratings
  • Reduce operator errors

The NCRC Test is completely free for both test-takers and employers.

Different Types of Questions Asked in the Exam

The NCRC Test will include three different assessments to evaluate the essential skills needed for workplace success in different jobs and industries.

These assessments will include the following: 

  • Applied Mathematics
  • Locating Information
  • Reading for Information

There are three different ways to take the NCRC Test.

These include the following: 

  • Paper and pencil: 45 minutes
  • Computer: 55 minutes
  • Spanish: 55 minutes

Applied Mathematics

How we use mathematics in a professional setting will depend on the specific field in which we plan to work. This means that you’ll be answering questions in this test that are related to how you would use mathematics in an average work environment.

The Applied Mathematics test will be split into five different levels. These will include levels three to seven, level three being the easiest and level seven being the most challenging. These questions will involve work-related mathematical calculations.

Level Three: The questions will include a word problem with directions that should be easy to follow. You will be asked to convert measurements and numbers such as fractions and percentages. You will also be expected to complete simple arithmetic problems with positive and negative numbers.

Level Four: You will be presented with charts and graphs in level four, and the questions become slightly more complex. You will be expected how to sort out an equation and then solve it. You will need to use more than one arithmetic strategy to solve a problem.

You will need to multiply mixed numbers, negative numbers, and decimals. You will also be expected to add fractions, percentages and decimals.

Level Five: These questions become more and more complex. From this level onwards, you’ll be asked to complete tasks such as price discounts, decide which arithmetic methods to use to solve a problem, find an area and perimeter of rectangles and circles, and use negative numbers to solve division problems.

Level Six: In this level, you’ll be expected to use fractions and mixed numbers, calculate rectangular volumes, and logically structure different formulas so you can solve the problems correctly. You will also be asked to correct different problems. You will also need to use different mathematical formulas to do conversions.

Level Seven: To answer the questions in this level, you will need to use your knowledge of statistics and work with ratios, fractions, decimals, percentages, functions, and mixed number conversions.

Locating Information

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This test will assess how well you can read and interpret the graphical data presented in charts, diagrams, IE, etc. It doesn’t matter which field you’ll be expected to information presented in infographics at some point in your career. So you must know how to interpret them correctly.

Just like the Applied Mathematics test, there are different levels of questions. The levels range from level three (being the easiest) to level six (being the most challenging level).

Level Three: For the questions in this level, you’ll need to have a basic knowledge of interpreting information. In the test, you’ll get a single piece of information per question or set of questions.

You’ll be expected to analyze data presented in tables, charts, maps, floor plans, and forms for taking orders. In some cases, you’ll be expected to make an educated guess about the information that could be included in the blank sections of a graphic.

Level Four:  In this level, you’ll find the same infographics you presented in level three. However, it would be best to evaluate two infographics per question or set of questions. For this level, you’ll be expected to assess the differences and similarities between two different infographics.

You will need to look for spot patterns and certain information and find the relationship between the two graphics.

Level Five: With this level, the test will present you with more complex infographics than the previous levels. With the information presented in the infographic, you will need to assess the similarities and the relationship between different sets of graphics.

Then you’ll need to decide which pieces of information are needed and give a basic outline of the information being presented.

Level Six: This is the most challenging level. This level assesses the skills needed in a previous level. You will be expected to make inferences and judgments based on the information you’ve been given. You will also be expected to fit there several situations that you might find in the workplace.

Reading for Information

The Reading for Information test is very similar to standardized reading tests. But instead of using literature, you’ll be asked to answer questions about various types of writing you might encounter in a professional environment, such as notes and rules.

This Reading for Information test has different levels ranging from level three to level seven. Level three is the easiest, and level seven consists of the most challenging questions. These levels evaluate your critical thinking reading skills.

Level Three: In this level, the questions will ask you to mimic the most basic forms of written information that you would normally find in a professional environment.

These would include rules, instructions, and news. You will need to find the text’s main theme and work out the actions presented in the text. Then you’ll need to choose the best definition.

Level Four: With the questions in this level, you’ll be presented with longer texts that are still very direct. You will be expected to choose the right action to take in different situations, especially when rules don’t specify the action.

Level Five: In this level, you’ll be presented with information in texts that are more challenging to read. These passages will include more information. At this level, you’ll be expected to show that you understand the vocabulary related to your field and your skills assessed in the previous levels.

Level Six: This level will show you a broader range of information which will be more complex to read. In some cases, the information you need won’t be presented in the passages, so you’ll need to make inferences based on the presented passage.

Level Seven: This is the most challenging level of the test. It will include information that’s suggested instead of it being stated outright. You’ll be expected to follow specific rules and instructions in certain scenarios that won’t be described in the passage. You will also be expected to use certain words related to your field.

How to Prepare for the NCRC Test

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The NCRC Test, just like any other test in a recruitment process, can be complex, and you will need to take some time to prepare. Some practice NCRC tests are available online to help you prepare for the test.

When you practice for the NCRC, you will learn to do the following:

Manage your time: The NCRC Test and assessments are timed. You must answer all of the questions. So you must answer the questions as quickly as possible and ensure you’ve answered the questions. If you’re struggling to answer a question, move on and return to it later.

Read the questions thoroughly: Like any test, you must understand what’s expected from you. You should read each question thoroughly to ensure you understand what’s being asked. In the test, you’ll be assessed for analyzing information presented in various passages.

Use logical thinking: Some questions in the test will be deliberately challenging and complex. You will need to use your logic to rule out the answers that are less likely to be correct.

Double-check your work: After you’ve answered all the questions in the test and you have some extra time, you should use this time to double-check your answers. There might be a factor you overlooked or made a mistake in a previous question.

Final Thoughts

The NCRC test consists of three WorkKeys assessments or tests. These assessments are Applied Mathematics, Locating Information, and Reading for Information. The NCRC testing will assess your cognitive skills and your ability to work-related problems.

Just like any other test, you will need to prepare and practice because they’ve been created to make you think about different scenarios in a professional environment. The more you prepare, the better your chance of job success.

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