National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC)

  1. Home
  2. National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC)
NCRC Tutorial

The ACT NCRC is a certification based on portable, evidence that provides the important skills for workplace success. Employers enquire for it from job candidates, whether they come directly from high school, work-based learning sessions, or via post-secondary paths, as it is a valid predictor of job performance. To get this NCRC, the candidates are required to study the WorkKeys assessments in Applied Mathematics, Graph Literacy, and Workplace Documents.

Skills Required for the NCRC

This certification is granted in four different levels and verifies proficiency in the following skills-

  • The candidates should have the skills of problem-solving
  • The candidate is required to be a critical thinker
  • Should be able to read and use work-related text
  • The candidates should possess the skill of applying information from workplace documents for solving problems
  • Having the skills to locate, synthesize, and apply information that is being presented graphically
  • Should be able to compare, summarize, and analyze information presented in several related graphics

NCRC Exam Details

NCRC Exam Details

The National Career Readiness Certification exam has questions that are multiple-choice/multiple-responses. The exam is conducted in two languages- English and Spanish. The exam duration for Applies Maths Assessment, Workplace Document Assessment, and Graphic Literacy Assessment are 55 minutes respectively. The Applied Math Assessment has 34 items in total, the workplace documents have 35 items, and graphic literacy has 38 items. To receive an NCRC, the candidates need to score a minimum of Level 3 on all three assessments.

Benefits of the NCRC

The NCRC has many benefits. Some of the important are listed down below-

  • An easily understandable and nationally recognized credential certifying important workplace skills.
  • This certificate has been developed to complement other traditional credentials as well, for example, a high school diploma, community college degree, or a simple college degree.
  • Building up confidence and meeting the skill requirements of employers.
  • Showing prospective employers valuable proof of the skills possessed.
  • Applying practical and real-world use to coursework from the classroom.
  • Determining the skill enhancement and training session needs.
  • A higher chance of grabbing better opportunities for career changes and advancement.
  • Earning college credit at your respective institutions and reaching academic goals more efficiently and quickly.

National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) Course Objectives

NCRC Course Outline

A National Career Readiness Certificate is earned when the WorkKeys Assessments is successfully completed.

Assessment 1: Applied Maths

This Assessment measures the critical thinking, mathematical and logical reasoning, and problem-solving techniques for circumstances actually occurring in today’s workplace. There are in total five levels of difficulty. Level 3 is the least complex among the rest of the levels, and Level 7 is the most complex. Each level builds on the other, incorporating the skills assessed at the prior levels.

Level 3

  • Translating easily from a word problem to a math equation.
  • All the needed information is logically organized.

Level 4

  • Information that is given may be presented out of sequence.
  • Can include extra or any unnecessary information.
  • Can also include a simple chart, diagram, or graph.

Level 5

  • At this level, problems shall require various steps of logic and calculation.

Level 6

  • This level can contain considerable translation from verbal to mathematical expression.

Usually requires a considerable setup or even multiple-step calculations.

Level 7

  • The format and content can be different from usual.
  • The information given can be incomplete or implicit.
  • Solving problems may involve a few steps of logic and calculation.

Assessment 2: Workplace Documents

This assessment measures the skills that the candidates use when they read real workplace documents and use the suitable information in order to make job-related decisions and solve problems. The documents are – messages, emails, policies, websites, contracts, and regulations.

Level 3

  • At this level reading materials consist of basic company policies, procedures, and announcements.
  • Reading these materials is short and simple, with no added information.
  • Reading the material will tell readers what they are supposed to do.
  • All the required information is stated directly and clearly.
  • Also, the item focuses on the main points of the passages.
  • The wording of the questions and answers is similar to the wordings generally used in the reading materials.

Level 4

  • At this level, reading materials include company policies, procedures, and notices.
  • Even though the reading materials are straightforward, they have longer sentences containing several details.
  • There are some common words in the reading material but have some difficult words too.
  • Describes procedures of several steps.
  • When the procedure is being followed, candidates should think about the changing conditions that will affect what they do.
  • From the passage, questions and answers are paraphrased.

Level 5

  • This includes reading informational, instructional, policy, contracts, and legal documents.
  • The long passages will contain multiple details and extraneous information.
  • Documents include unfamiliar vocabulary, professional jargon, and acronyms.
  • Applying technical terms and jargon and relating them to stated conditions.
  • Written materials include conditionals.

Level 6

  • The reading materials will include informational, instructional, policy, contracts, and legal documents.
  • The passages that are comparatively long will include complex sentences, difficult vocabulary, professional jargon, and acronyms.
  • The meaning of terms can be implied and their meaning will need to be determined from context.
  • Extraneous Details.

Level 7

  • Reading materials are very complex
  • There is a lot of details in the information.
  • The concepts are relatively complicated.
  • The vocabulary is difficult.
  • Unusual jargon and technical terms are not properly defined but used.
  • Writing most of the time lacks clarity and direction.
  • Readers should be able to draw conclusions from some parts of the reading and apply what learned to the other parts.

Assessment 3: Graphic Literacy

This assessment measures the skills of the candidates when they read and comprehend graphical materials to solve some of the work-related problems.

Level 3

  • Elementary workplace graphics include simple order forms, bar graphs, tables, flowcharts, maps, instrument gauges, or floor plans.
  • At this level, one graphic is used at a time.

Level 4

  • This consists of straightforward workplace graphics such as order forms, bar charts, pie charts, diagrams, flowcharts, maps, and dashboards.
  • This also includes multiple levels of data within a graph.
  • At this level, one or more graphics can be used at a time.

Level 5

  • It has more complicated workplace graphics that may include unusual graphic types.

Several variables

  • A lot of information is displayed within a graphic.
  • At this level, one or more graphic is used at a single time.

Level 6

  • This has very complicated and detailed graphs, charts, tables, forms, maps, and diagrams.
  • The graphic has a large amount of information.
  • This might include three axes and several scales within the same graphic
  • Also, may include multiple graphics.

Level 7

  • This level uses extremely complex items, dense graphics, and also requires examinees to demonstrate the required skills.


Have questions troubling you? Click here to find answers to your every question. Get all your doubts and queries resolved with these latest and updated NCRC FAQs.


Registration Process for NCRC

The WorkKeys Assessments are held at any of the ACT licensed test centers throughout the nation. The candidates should keep in mind that the testing sites throughout the country can vary in delivering the assessment – online/paper-and-pencil. The candidates will have to contact the test site directly if have any questions regarding what to bring on the test day. It is not mandatory to register for all three assessments at the same time, but the candidates need to make sure to provide the exact information for each of the assessments. If the assessment is taken on different dates them the following elements must be the same for each.

  • Candidate’s First Name
  • Candidate’s Last Name
  • Birth Month
  • Birth Date
  • Examinee ID

You can look up the Testing Center location by clicking here.

Preparatory Guide for NCRC

Preparing for the NCRC is not easy as one might think. It requires a lot of patience, hard work, and determination to reach your goal. To achieve success, proper planning has to be done. Here is a well-organized study guide that has all the necessary steps listed to pass the three assessments to earn the NCRC. If you follow everything mentioned sincerely then, it will surely help you ace the exam.

NCRC Study Guide

Refer to the Course Objectives and visit the Official Website

One of the most crucial steps to take for preparing for the exam is to refer to the course objectives. The candidates should study carefully each and every module. This will help you to know the scope of each chapter and plan according to that.

  • Applied Math
  • Workplace Documents
  • Graphic Literacy

Also, keep in mind to visit the official website of the NCRC as it will contain all the necessary information and assessment guidelines. This site will have all the authentic information which will prove very beneficial to the candidates.

Learning Resources

NCRC provides preparation for WorkKeys assessments helping candidates to prepare better and improve their scores.

Sample Questions

The NCRC has offered sample questions for each of the WorkKeys skills assessments.

Online Practice Tests

This online practice test offered by the NCRC covers all three assessments- Applied Math, Graphic Literacy, and Workplace Documents. This will look and feel like the real assessments and will get you familiar with the exam environment. The candidates can take the test and receive an estimated level score. They can also review their performance and get to know the correct and incorrect answers.

ACT WorkKeys Curriculum

WorkKeys Curriculum is a proven tool provided by NCRC to help the candidates acquire skills that are critical to workplace success. ACT WorkKeys Curriculum is not at all complicated. This can be accessed from any computer, tablet, or mobile phone with a browser that supports HTML5. Installation of any app is not required. Plugins are not necessary. The courses are available for each assessment and are delivered through a personalized, mobile-based learning management system.

Practice Tests

Take as many practice tests as you can. Enhance your skills and get familiar with the course pattern, which will benefit you while giving the exam. Giving these practice tests will help you know your strengths and weaknesses and give you a chance for self-evaluation. Take a free practice test now!

NCRC Practice Test