W ORKKEYS PRACTICE
WorkKeys Applied Mathematics Assessment
Applied Mathematics is skill in applying mathematical reasoning and problem-solving techniques to
work-related problems. Solving mathematical problems in the workplace can differ from solving
problems in the classroom. While the math skills needed are the same, math problems in the workplace
are not usually laid out neatly in a textbook format. Instead, the employee may be responsible for
identifying and locating the necessary information (e.g., on a cash register, price tag, or catalog) and for
knowing what to do with that information. It is, therefore, critical to strengthen your core mathematics
skills and to develop your problem-solving strategies. Individuals possessing these Applied Mathematics
skills will be able to successfully tackle new situations involving mathematics problems in the
workplace. A formula sheet that includes all formulas required for the assessment is provided.
There are five levels in the Applied Mathematics skill scale, ranging from Level 3, the least complex, to
Level 7, the most complex. These levels were developed based on two main criteria:
• the types of mathematical operations employees must perform, and
• the form and order in which employees receive the information; that is, the presentation of the
The skills at the lowest level involve using whole numbers and some decimals in basic math operations:
addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. As the levels progress, the math operations involve
more steps. Furthermore, they include decimals and fractions, conversion of units, averaging, calculating
area and volume, and ratios.
As the complexity of the levels increases, the presentation of the information becomes more of a barrier
to problem solving. The wording becomes ambiguous, the presence of unnecessary information is more
likely, and pertinent information is less obvious. Regardless of skill level, most of these problems will
involve one or more of the following applications:
Employees often need to determine the number of items sold, produced, or purchased, or to figure
totals on a per unit basis.
Working with monetary units is a central part of business and relates to virtually every job, if in no
other way than to understanding a paycheck. Tasks involving monetary units include figuring sales,
costs, wages, and expenses.