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Workplace Documents on the WorkKeys Exam

The clock is ticking. Your hands are sweating. “Answer 35 reading questions in 55 minutes.” Are they kidding? Who can read that fast?

Preparing for the Workplace Documents test for the WorkKeys exam can feel like a daunting task. If you don’t consider yourself a “strong” or “fast” reader, then the thought of having to read and glean information from a variety of workplace documents may cause a moment of panic. Not to worry. There are ways to prepare for this test that can give you some peace of mind and improve your sense of confidence in your skills. And Union Test Prep can help.

What Is the Workplace Documents Test?

The first thing to realize is that this is not a test of your reading skills as much as it is an assessment of how you think about and process information. Yes, you will need to be able to identify the main idea, find details to support that idea, and understand or be able to use context clues to determine the meaning of unfamiliar terms. But you will also answer questions that address your ability to follow steps in a process or make inferences based on what you read and the life experiences you’ve had.

The questions also measure how effectively you can adapt to changing conditions, ”think on your feet”, and apply information to other situations. Much of it is about applying common sense, so you’ll want to trust your instincts.

What Level of Questions Will I See?

The questions are geared toward five different levels. Some of the documents and questions may seem easy to you. That’s great! Answer the questions carefully, but don’t worry that they’re trying to trick you and that what you think you know is wrong because you’re moving through questions so quickly and easily.

As the document and question rigor increases, you may need to slow down and reread things to determine the answer. Take your time and consider all of the answer options carefully. When you get to tougher questions, apply logical reasoning—what makes sense to do in this situation? Anticipate the next steps, draw conclusions based on your prior knowledge, and transfer the skills and understanding you have to situations that might not be as familiar.

How Can I Practice Skills for the Workplace Documents Test?

Practice breeds familiarity and familiarity breeds comfort. The more exposure you can get to reading a variety of workplace documents and looking for information within them, the more comfortable you will feel when you take the exam and the better you are likely to do. So go online and do some searches for sample questions, practice tests, and reading passage examples.

As you work your way through the practice tests, if you notice there are skills that you tend to struggle with or question types you seem to get wrong more often than not, use those results to help guide your preparation. Focus on those skills. Seek out practice opportunities to engage with those kinds of texts or answer those kinds of questions, even if they’re not necessarily related to workplace documents. As you read, you’re processing information. Trust the process.

Should I Practice Taking a Timed Test?

Yes, just so the limited time on test day doesn’t affect your ability to do well. Once you feel like your skills are pretty solid, practice under the pressure of the clock. You don’t need to always do full 55-minute practices. See if you can answer half the number of questions in half the allotted time, maybe 17 questions in 25 minutes. Or, set a timer and see how many questions you are able to answer in a given amount of time. That will help you determine if your pace is quick enough to answer all of the questions in the 55-minute timeframe or if you need to work on increasing your reading speed.

There is no penalty for guessing, so try to answer all of the questions. Don’t just pick a random response, however. Try to make an educated guess by weeding out answers that are obviously wrong so you can make your selection from fewer choices.

Knowing what you’re facing by practicing sample questions ahead of time, working against the clock, and focusing on areas that you can identify as needing improvement will empower you to arrive at the WorkKeys exam ready to read and ready to succeed!

Workplace Documents on the WorkKeys Exam

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