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WISEdash (FOR DISTRICTS) ACT WorkKeys Dashboards

WISEdash (FOR DISTRICTS) ACT WorkKeys Dashboard

 

About the Data

 

The ACT WorkKeys® is an applied skills assessment system which consists of 3 tests. Beginning with the Spring 2018 administration, these tests are: Applied Math, Graphic Literacy, and Workplace Documents. It is currently a paper and pencil assessment administered to 11th grade students in the spring of each school year. It is used to help students understand how they can improve their career readiness skills and helps employers determine whether individuals are qualified for positions.

Prior to 2017-18, The ACT WorkKeys® consisted of 3 tests: Applied Mathematics, Locating Information, and Reading for Information. The new Applied Math test is similar in content to the previous Applied Mathematics test. However, the scoring criteria have changed so the new test is not directly comparable to the old test.

The skills previously measured in the Locating Information test have changed substantially in recent years. Accounting for these changes required significant revision of the test to realign it with these newer types of skills. Because of these changes, results of the revised test, which has been retitled Graphic Literacy, should not be linked to those of the former Locating Information test.

The new Workplace Documents test replaces the Reading for Information test. The scoring criteria have changed so this new test is not directly comparable to the old test.

Students can earn ACT National Career Readiness Certificates TM (ACT NCRC®) which are recognized by business and industry nationwide. Through obtaining a National Career Readiness Certificate, students have a clear way to demonstrate their abilities to future employers. 

To earn the ACT NCRC at this level... ...and qualify for this percentage of the jobs profiled by ACT-authorized job profilers... ...on each core test, a student must score at least:
Platinum 99% 6
Gold 93% 5
Silver 67% 4
Bronze 16% 3

Results

Results for students that took the exam as part of the Wisconsin statewide 11th grade ACT WorkKeys administration are available beginning with the 2014-15 school year. More information about the statewide ACT WorkKeys administration is available at
https://dpi.wi.gov/assessment/act.

Cautions

Note that no single test can tell us whether students have learned everything that is important for students to learn. Additional local evidence should be reviewed for a more complete picture of student learning.

If, for any group, the percentage of students tested is low, users should not use the proficiency level percentages or the average scale score to reach conclusions about the performance of that group. 

Definitions of Key Terms

ACT WorkKeys Examination. The ACT WorkKeys exam is a statewide standardized exam.  Beginning in 2014-15, the exam was given to students in grade 11 and measured student achievement in Applied Mathematics, Locating Information, and Reading for Information.

FAY. Full Academic Year. FAY -with respect to the WorkKeys exam- describes students who have been enrolled in grade 11 in the same school or district since the beginning of the school year.

National Career Readiness Certificates. National Career Readiness Certificates (NCRCs) describe how well students performed on statewide ACT WorkKeys tests. The certificate levels are platinum, gold, silver, and bronze. These certificate levels are based solely on scores obtained on the ACT WorkKeys exam.

Scale Score. A measure of student performance on an ACT WorkKeys subject area test that takes into account the number and difficulty of test items answered correctly. The scale is applied to all students taking the ACT WorkKeys exam in a particular subject, making it possible to compare scores from different groups of students or individuals within a given year and over time.

Unknown Demographics (WISEdash). Data about student demographics that are collected by DPI for all students in schools covered by WISEdash WorkKeys reports but are unknown for certain students associated with these schools (rare). Demographics are unknown when a WorkKeys record is incomplete (e.g. gender or race/ethnicity code is missing or invalid) and that record cannot be matched to ISES Count Date (3rd Friday of September) records.

For more definitions, see WISEdash Glossary (includes terms used in WINSS and SDPR).

WSAS. Wisconsin Student Assessment System. The Wisconsin Student Assessment System (WSAS) is a comprehensive statewide program designed to provide information about what students know in core academic areas and whether they can apply what they know. For more information visit https://dpi.wi.gov/assessment.  

ACT WorkKeys Exam Data Availability

ACT WorkKeys Exam scores are provided in WISEdash for those schools that had students in grade 11. ACT WorkKeys Exam results are provided in WISEdash for Districts beginning with the results from the 2014-15 school year spring administration for students in grade 11.  

ACT WorkKeys Exam Data Exchange

Districts were first required to administer the ACT WorkKeys Exams in the spring of the 2014-15 school year to students in grade 11. After the conclusion of the administration for all districts across the state, ACT WorkKeys Exam results from that administration were provided to DPI from the test vendor. DPI loaded these results for presentation in WISEdash. Part of the data loading process involves matching the assessment with the appropriate student in the data warehouse. That process uses the WSN, student name, and date of birth and allows some degree of variation or inaccuracy. Even so, some records could not be matched and were loaded and reported as unknown. A very small percentage of records may be misidentified with an incorrect student.

Scoring

Subject Scores

  • ACT WorkKeys Exam scale score results are presented for each subject area.
  • ACT WorkKeys Exam performance level results are also presented for each subject area. The performance levels are determined by ranges of scale scores for each subject area. 
  • The performance levels for the tests that are used beginning with the 2017-18 administration are:

ACT WorkKeys Applied Math (Spring 2018 to current)

Level 3 problems can easily be translated from a word problem to a math equation requiring a single type of math operation. All the needed information is presented in logical order and there is no extra information given. When test takers use Level 3 Applied Math skills, they are able to:  

  • Solve problems that require one type of mathematical operation. They add or subtract either positive or negative numbers (such as 10 or -2). They multiply or divide using only positive numbers (such as 10).
  • Convert a familiar fraction (such as ½ or ¼ to a decimal) and convert from a decimal to a common fraction; OR convert between decimals to percentages (such as 0.75 to 75%).
  • Convert between familiar units of money and time (such as one hour equals 60 minutes or ½ of a dollar equals $0.50).
  • Add the prices of several products together to find the total, and calculate the correct change for a customer.

In Level 4 problems, tasks may present information out of order and may include extra, unnecessary information. One or two operations may be needed to solve the problem. A chart, diagram, or graph may be included. When test takers use Level 4 Applied Math skills, they use the skills described at Level 3, and they also are able to:

  • Solve problems that require one or two mathematical operations. They can add, subtract, or multiply using positive or negative numbers (such as 10 or -2), and they can divide positive numbers (such as 10).
  • Calculate the average or mean of a set of numbers. For this, they may use whole numbers and decimals.
  • Figure out simple ratios (such as ¾), simple proportions (such as 10/100 cases), or rates (such as 10 mph).
  • Add commonly known fractions, decimals, or percentages (such as ½, 0.75, or 25%).
  • Add or subtract fractions with a common denominator (such as ¼ + ¾ + ¼).
  • Multiply a mixed number by a whole number or a decimal.
  • Put the information in the right order before they perform calculations.

In Level 5 problems, the information may not be presented in logical order; the item may contain extraneous information; it may contain a graph or diagram; and the mathematical set-up may be complicated. In solving, the test taker may need to perform multiple operations. (For example, at this level, examinees may complete an order form by totaling an order and then calculating sales tax.) When test takers use Level 5 Applied Math skills, they use the skills described at Levels 3 and 4, and they also are able to:

  • Decide what information, calculations, or unit conversions to use to find the answer to a problem.
  • Add and subtract fractions with unlike denominators (such as ½ - ¼).
  • Convert units within or between systems of measurement (e.g., time, measurement, and quantity) where the conversion factor is given either in the problem or in the formula sheet.
  • Solve problems that require mathematical operations using mixed units (such as adding 6 feet and 4 inches to 3 feet and 10 inches, or subtracting 4 hours and 30 minutes from 3.5 hours).
  • Identify the best deal using one- or two-step calculations that meet the stated conditions.
  • Calculate the perimeter or circumference of a basic shape or calculate the area of a basic shape
  • Calculate a given percentage of a given number and then use that percentage to find the solution to a problem (e.g., find the percentage and then use it to find the discount, markup, or tax).
  • Identify where a mistake occurred in a calculation (such as identifying the row in a spreadsheet where a problem occurred).

Level 6 problems may require considerable translation from verbal form to mathematical expression. They generally require considerable setup and involve multiple-step calculations. When test takers use Level 6 Applied Mathematics skills, they use the skills described at Levels 3, 4, and 5, and they also are able to:

  • Use fractions with unlike denominators and calculate reverse percentages.
  • Convert units within or between systems of measurement (e.g., time, measurement, and quantity) where multiple-step conversions are required and the formulas are provided such as converting from kilometers to meters to feet.
  • Identify why a mistake occurred in a solution.
  • Find the best deal from a group of solutions and then use the result for another calculation.
  • Find the area of basic shapes when it may be necessary to rearrange a formula, convert units of measurement in the calculations, or use the result in further calculations.
  • Calculate the volume of rectangular solids (e.g., cubes)
  • Calculate rates, productions rates, rate by time (such as, production rate is 59 cups produced per hour, how many will be produced in an 8 hour shift).
  • Identify the correct equation for solving a problem.

Level 7 problems may be presented in an unusual format and information presented may be incomplete or require the test taker to make an assumption. Problems often involve multiple steps of logic and calculation. When test takers use Level 7 Applied Math skills, they use the skills described at Levels 3, 4, 5, and 6, and they also are able to:

  • Solve problems that include ratios, rates, or proportions where at least one of the quantities is a fraction.
  • Identify the reason for a mistake.
  • Convert between units of measurement using fractions, mixed numbers, decimals, and percentages.
  • Calculate volumes of spheres, cylinders, or cones.
  • Calculate the volume when it may be necessary to rearrange the formula, convert units of measurement in calculations, or use the result in further calculations.
  • Set up and manipulate ratios, rates, or proportions where at least one of the quantities is a fraction.
  • Determine the better economic value of several alternatives by using graphics, or determining the percentage difference, or by determining unit cost.
  • Apply basic statistical concepts. For example, calculate the weighted mean, interpret measures of central tendency, or interpret measure of spread and tolerance.

ACT WorkKeys Graphic Literacy (Spring 2018 to current)

Examinees scoring at Level 3 have demonstrated the following abilities:

  • Locate and find information or identify the next step in a simple graphic
  • Locate and find information or identify the next step in a low moderate graphic

Examinees scoring at Level 4 have demonstrated all of the skills defined at Level 3 and have demonstrated the ability to find information or identify the next or missing step in a high moderate graphic. In addition, they have also demonstrated the following skills with low moderate graphics:

  • Locate information in a graphic using information found in another graphic
  • Compare two or more pieces of information
  • Identify a trend/pattern/relationship
  • Make an inference or decision
  • Identify the graphic that accurately represents the data

Examinees scoring at Level 5 have demonstrated all of the skills defined at Levels 3 and 4 and have demonstrated the ability to locate and find information or identify the next or missing step in a difficult graphic. In addition, they have also demonstrated the following skills with a high moderate graphic:

  • Locate information in a graphic using information found in another graphic
  • Compare two or more pieces of information
  • Identify a trend/pattern/relationship
  • Make an inference or decision
  • Identify the graphic that accurately represents the data

In addition, they have demonstrated the following skills with a low moderate graphic:

  • Compare two or more trends/patterns/relationships
  • Interpret a trend/pattern/relationship
  • Make a reasonable inference or decision based on one graphic after finding information in another graphic
  • Justify an inference or decision based on information
  • Identify the most effective graphic given a defined purpose
  • Justify the most effective graphic given a defined purpose

Examinees scoring at Level 6 have demonstrated all of the skills defined at Levels 3, 4, and 5 and have demonstrated the following additional skills with a difficult graphic:

  • Locate information in a graphic using information found in another graphic
  • Compare two or more pieces of information
  • Identify a trend/pattern/relationship
  • Make an inference or decision
  • Identify the graphic that accurately represents the data

In addition, they have demonstrated the following skills with a high moderate graphic:

  • Compare two or more trends/patterns/relationships
  • Interpret a trend/pattern/relationship
  • Make a reasonable inference or decision based on one graphic after finding information in another graphic
  • Justify an inference or decision based on information
  • Identify the most effective graphic given a defined purpose
  • Justify the most effective graphic given a defined purpose

Examinees scoring at Level 7 have demonstrated all of the skills defined at Levels 3, 4, 5, and 6 and have also demonstrated the following additional skills with a difficult graphic:

  • Compare two or more trends/patterns/relationships
  • Interpret a trend/pattern/relationship
  • Make a reasonable inference or decision based on one graphic after finding information in another graphic
  • Justify an inference or decision based on information
  • Identify the most effective graphic given a defined purpose
  • Justify the most effective graphic given a defined purpose

ACT WorkKeys Workplace Documents (Spring 2018 to current)

The Workplace Documents construct is defined through a combination of the text complexity level of a reading passage and the skill elicited by the item. Based on the text complexity level and skill, the design team was able to define the Workplace Documents Performance Level Descriptors.

Level 3—Document types include informational, instructional, and policy-related materials.

Examinees scoring at Level 3 are able to read and comprehend relatively short workplace documents which contain no extra information. The document contains short sentences using common, everyday workplace vocabulary. All the information in these documents is clearly and directly stated, and it contains a small number of details. In reading these documents, they are able to:

  • Identify the main idea
  • Identify specific details
  • Choose when to perform a step in a series of short steps
  • Apply information/instructions to a situation that is the same as the situation in the reading materials

Level 4—Document types include informational, instructional, and policy-related materials.

Examinees scoring at Level 4 have the skills defined at Level 3 and in addition are able to read and comprehend workplace documents written in straightforward sentences that use familiar vocabulary and the occasional use of conditionals and a few advanced words. In reading these documents, they are able to:

  • Identify the main idea
  • Identify specific details
  • Use the reading materials to figure out the meanings of words that are not defined for them
  • Choose when to perform a step in a series of steps
  • Apply information/instructions to a situation that is the same as the situation in the reading materials
  • Choose what to do when changing conditions call for a different action

Level 5—Document types include informational, instructional, policy-related, contractual, legal, and multiple related document materials.

Examinees scoring at Level 5 have the skills defined at Levels 3 and 4, and in addition are able to read and comprehend longer workplace documents written in more complex sentences that use more advanced vocabulary, including unfamiliar technical words, jargon, and acronyms. The information in Level 5 documents is generally stated directly, but specific details may be more difficult to find because of extraneous information. In reading these documents, they are able to:

  • Identify specific details
  • Infer the meaning of a word or phrase from context
  • Apply information/instructions to a new situation that is similar to the one described in the document while considering changing conditions
  • Apply information/instructions that include conditions to situations described in the document
  • Identify the appropriate meaning of an acronym, jargon, or technical term defined in the document
  • Apply technical terms and jargon to stated situations
  • Make some inferences to accomplish a goal

Level 6—Document types include informational, instructional, policy-related, contractual, legal, and multiple related document materials.

Examinees scoring at Level 6 have the skills defined at Levels 3, 4, and 5, and in addition are able to read and comprehend longer workplace documents written in lengthy, complex sentences that use advanced vocabulary including unfamiliar words, jargon, and acronyms where the meaning is often implied. In reading these documents, they are able to:

  • Infer implied details
  • Infer the meaning of an acronym, jargon, or technical term from context
  • Apply information/instructions to a situation not directly described or to a completely new situation
  • Apply principles inferred in a passage to a situation not directly described or to a completely new situation
  • Identify the rationale behind an entire document or a section of a document

Level 7—Document types include informational, instructional, policy-related, contractual, legal, and multiple related document materials.

Examinees scoring at Level 7 have the skills defined at Levels 3, 4, 5, and 6, and in addition are able to read and comprehend long workplace documents containing many details and are written using lengthy, complex sentences that use advanced vocabulary (including esoteric words, jargon, and acronyms) where meanings must be inferred from context. In reading these documents, they are able to:

  • Infer implied details
  • Infer the meaning of an acronym, jargon, or technical term from context
  • Apply information/instructions to a situation not directly described or to a completely new situation
  • Apply principles inferred in a passage to a situation not directly described or to a completely new situation
  • Identify the rationale behind an entire document or a section of a document
  • The performance levels for the tests that were used from 2014-15 through 2016-17 are:

ACT WorkKeys Applied Mathematics (2014-15 through 2016-17)

The ACT WorkKeys Applied Mathematics assessment measures the ability to apply mathematic principles to math-related problems encountered in the workplace. The assessment measures five skill levels, and each level builds on the skills measured in the previous levels.

  • Level 7 earners can translate complex textual information into more advanced numeric expressions and perform calculations based on multiple separate mathematic operations. Information provided in Level 7 test questions may be incomplete.
  • Level 6 earners can translate complex textual information into numeric expressions and perform calculations based on multiple separate mathematic operations.
  • Level 5 earners can set up and solve mathematic problems that require multi-step calculations based on several separate mathematic operations.
  • Level 4 earners can set up and solve mathematic problems that require several separate mathematic operations. Level 4 test questions may include extraneous information.
  • Level 3 earners can set up and solve mathematic problems commonly encountered in the workplace that require one-step mathematic operations.

ACT WorkKeys Locating Information (2014-15 through 2016-17)

The ACT WorkKeys Locating Information assessment measures the ability to find, analyze, and apply information presented in workplace graphics. The assessment measures four skill levels, and each level builds on the skills measured in the previous levels.

  • Level 6 earners can draw conclusions based on information found in one or more specialized or technical workplace graphics, including the ability to make predictions based on observed patterns.
  • Level 5 earners can draw conclusions based on information found in one or more complex workplace graphics, including the ability to apply information to situations not described in the scenario presented.
  • Level 4 earners can compare and summarize information found in one or more common workplace graphics.
  • Level 3 earners can find information presented in common workplace graphics and fill in information required by work-related forms.

ACT WorkKeys Reading for Information (2014-15 through 2016-17)

The ACT WorkKeys Reading for Information assessment measures the ability to understand and apply information presented in workplace documents. The assessment measures five skill levels, and each level builds on the skills measured in the previous levels.

  • Level 7 earners can synthesize and apply information presented in one or more complex workplace documents. These documents are dense and include difficult concepts or descriptions of complicated procedures.
  • Level 6 earners can analyze and synthesize information presented in one or more complex workplace documents and requires inferences about the definition of specialized technical terms.
  • Level 5 earners can apply information presented in one or more complex workplace documents to situations not described in the test question and may require inferences about the definition of uncommon terms.
  • Level 4 earners can apply information presented in common workplace documents to situations not described in the test question.
  • Level 3 earners can understand terms, apply instructions, and identify the main ideas presented in common workplace documents.

ACT National Career Readiness Certificate TM (ACT NCRC®) levels

  • Student performance on the ACT WorkKeys exam is also reported in terms of ACT National Career Readiness Certificate TM (ACT NCRC®) levels. The ACT NCRC is an assessment-based credential powered by ACT WorkKeys®. Issued at four levels, the ACT NCRC certifies the foundational work skills needed for success in jobs across industries and occupations.
    • A platinum certificate indicates achievement of a Level 6 or above on each of the three ACT WorkKeys assessments that comprise the ACT NCRC.
    • A gold certificate indicates achievement of a Level 5 or above on each of the three ACT WorkKeys assessments that comprise the ACT NCRC.
    • A silver certificate indicates achievement of a Level 4 or above on each of the three ACT WorkKeys assessments that comprise the ACT NCRC.
    • A bronze certificate indicates achievement of a Level 3 or above on each of the three ACT WorkKeys assessments that comprise the ACT NCRC.
  • The 2017-18 ACT WorkKeys administration utilized a new set of assessments (Applied Math, Graphic Literacy, and Workplace Documents) to determine NCRC levels. For this reason, results from previous administrations are not comparable to results beginning with the 2017-18 administration.

Using the Performance Dashboards to Improve Learning

Timely and meaningful assessment information about student performance allows:

  • teachers to target instruction to individual student needs,
  • students to better target their own efforts,
  • administrators to more fully understand what students know and are able to do, and to guide curriculum and professional development decisions, and
  • parents to understand what their child knows and is able to do in Applied Mathematics, Locating Information, and Reading for Information.

When used in combination with multiple measures of achievement, such as classroom observations and teacher-developed tests, the ACT WorkKeys Exam provides information about the progress of groups of students as well as the effectiveness of educational programs. No single test can tell us whether students have learned everything that is important to learn.

The scale score graphs provide information about the distribution of average scale scores within and across student groups. By using the filters, educators can compare the average scale scores for student groups between schools. Wide score distributions or low scores provide evidence of wide achievement gaps and/or low achievement.

The performance level graphs provide information about the distribution of average performance level within and across student groups. By using the filters, educators can compare the average performance level scores for student groups between schools. Wide score distributions or low scores provide evidence of wide achievement gaps and/or low achievement.

The NCR Certificate graphs allow users to compare the percentage of students who are performing at each NCR Certificate level within a school or district. Comparing the performance of students at each certificate level in each school or district provides one indicator of school and/or district success in a specific grade and prior grades up to the time of testing. Similarly, using the filters, users can compare the percentage of students in a specific demographic group who are performing at the certificate levels in each school within the district. If, for any group, the percentage of students tested is low, users should not use the certificate level percentages to reach conclusions about the performance of that group.

Frequently Asked Questions about ACT WorkKeys Data

  1. Is FAY used in the ACT WorkKeys dashboards? If so, where can I find FAY and non-FAY?

FAY filters are provided on the dashboards.  The default settings are: School level reporting is FAY School, District is FAY District.  The Statewide graphs apply the same filters as the selected agency graphs. See Glossary for the definition of FAY.

  1. Why is FAY used?

Including only FAY students in district and school summaries provides one indicator of how successful a district or school community has been in meeting the academic needs of students in tested grades up to the time of testing. Students in grade 11 who have been enrolled for a FAY are students who were enrolled in the same district or school since the beginning of the school year.


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