This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Applied Mathematics, Locating Information and Reading for Information of the Workkeys Assessments: Comparison of Scores by Age, Race, and Gender




Stone, Deborah

Type of Degree



Educational Foundations

Leadership and Technology


As American businesses have competed in the global economy, the need for skilled workers has become more acute (Friedman, 2005). The American educational system has struggled to provide businesses and industry with needed skilled workers, with mixed results. These results have propelled businesses to seek ways to measure the skills of potential employees before hiring. One of the most commonly used methods of skill determination has been pre-employment testing (Agard, 2003). There are many types of pre-employment assessments including interviews, presentations, simulations, and tests. For this research, three tests from the ACT WorkKeys battery of tests, Applied Mathematics, Locating Information, and Reading for Information were chosen as the focus of this study. These three assessments have been used commonly in testing for industry, and are the basis of many state Career Readiness Certificates, including the state of Alabama (CRC Consortium, 2007). The sample for this study used 6,962 sets of scores with the self-reported demographics from one WorkKeys testing center in Alabama. The sample consisted of test takers, aged 19 and older, who were technical school students, technical school program applicants, job applicants for multiple employers and incumbent employees of multiple employers. The results of the study found statistically significant differences in the scores of all the WorkKeys assessments on the basis of racial group and age, and mixed results in the scores of the assessments between males and females.