Business students take Workplace Readiness Skills test

Tessa Koen, Reporter

Students took the Workplace Readiness Skills test on Monday, November 18, during the sixth and seventh periods. It is a test students are required to take if they are in a business class. If students pass it, it adds a credential onto the student’s transcript when they graduate. The passing rate is 75%. The assessment seeks to discover how students would react in several different given scenarios, what they think is the most appropriate response to a particular set of circumstances, and the student’s own actual on-the-job ethics and priorities.

The WRS was launched in 2011, based on a skills list that was validated by the research group at the Weldon Cooper Center at the University of Virginia. The test measures a student’s awareness of essential workplace expectations. Some skills that are on the test are communication, attitude, teamwork, enthusiasm, and critical thinking.

Mrs. Emily Cook, who is one of the two guidance counselors, was in charge of several things for the test. She had to fill out an agreement that we as a school would test ethically and according to the rules, which she thought was an easy thing to agree to since she knew the students would. She also imports every student’s name that is taking the test, and their teacher and course code into the system which creates a test ticket.

Derek Cruise (10) took the test this year. He thought that he was well prepared. He also heard from several people that the test was mostly common sense, so he just kept that in mind. He stated that he probably won’t go into a business career, but if the opportunity came up, he’d probably take it. Emily Harris (10) thought the questions weren’t really that hard, and that they were mainly common sense.

Ms. Jennifer McGinnis thinks that this test has a lot of life skills and important tips. At the beginning of the year, she goes over the unit with her students. “We talk about interviewing skills, we do some paycheck math, and learn how to behave professionally,” she said. She thinks that this gives students something to think about when they get a job, because then they’d know what employers are looking for.

Micah Edwards (12) said that Mr. Michael Blevins prepared his class very well for the test. He thinks that some questions were a little bit confusing but most of the others were common sense.

About 128 students took the test this year. Mr. Blevins stated that more and more companies are looking for customer service in their new employees. The WRS ensures that students are acquainted with the skills that they need to know for their future.