Everything You Need to Know

The Postsecondary Education Readiness Test (PERT) measures student readiness for college coursework in English and math and assesses whether or not you are ready to handle entry-level college coursework.

The PERT doesn’t give a pass or fail grade. Rather, it lets test takers know which level classes they are academically prepared to succeed at. However, it is important for test takers to take the PERT seriously, to place themselves at a higher academic level. Higher placement means less wasted money on low-level development courses.

The test is required of almost all college and university students in the state of Florida. If you are planning on attending one of Florida’s many wonderful institutions of higher learning, you will need to take this test to be placed in the correct level classes.

The test is untimed, and contains three sections: reading, writing, and math. It takes the average student about 3 hours to complete all three sections. Each section contains 30 questions, 25 of which are scored and five of which are field test questions.


Free PERT Practice


Test Features

The PERT test is used by Florida higher educational institutions to determine a student’s correct academic level in math and English. It is divided into three sections, which assess the student’s ability in the following partial list. Please see the FAQ section for a more complete list:

  • Math – Solve equations, Evaluate algebraic expressions, Work with polynomials
  • Reading – Analyze written pieces of text, Recognize relationships within and between sentences
  • Writing – Establish a topic or thesis, Demonstrate proper use of grammar

The test is untimed and taken on a computer.

Each test is different, as the questions are computer-adaptive. Questions are based on a student’s previous correct and incorrect responses.

Calculators are not allowed to be brought into the test, although some questions contain a pop-up on-screen calculator. 

Technical Facts

There is a total of 90 questions on the PERT test. The questions are all multiple-choice, with each question offering the test taker 4 potential answers.

Each of the three sections ( math, reading, writing) contains 25 graded questions and 5 non-graded questions that are field test questions and unscored. Test takers do not know which questions are scored and which are field test questions.

PERT tests are free for first-time test takers. Additional attempts may have a fee assessed, depending on the institution giving the test. PERT scores are valid for 2 years.

Most Florida high school students take the PERT in 11th grade, although students with high SAT or ACT scores may not be required to take the test. College-ages students who wish to attend a Florida college typically take the test at the school they intend to attend.

Results Scale and Interpretations

Test takers can score between 50-150 points in each section. While there is no pass or fail to the test, an individual’s score is used to determine their course level for math and English classes.

PERT Standard Scores

The Florida State Board of Education lists the following as their standard scores for each section:

PERT Scores Vs. Equivalent Tests

The following table shows the equivalent scores in other tests:

SectionPERTAccuplacer ClassicSATACT
Reading106832419
Writing103832517
Math114722419

How PERT Affects College Placement

While different schools have somewhat different classroom opportunities for their students, and some may view scores somewhat differently, test takers can expect the following classroom opportunities based on their scores.

ScoreClass
Reading
50-83Developmental Reading and Writing I
84-105Developmental Reading and Writing II
96-105Developmental Reading Module
106-150Freshman Composition I
Writing
50-89Developmental Reading and Writing I
90-102Developmental Reading and Writing II
103-150Freshman Composition I
Math
50-95Developmental Math I 
96-113Developmental Math II
96-150College Math
114-122Intermediate Algebra
123-150College Algebra

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PERT FAQs

How long does the PERT Test take?

There is no time limit for the PERT test. Students should allow for three hours, giving them an average of one hour per section, although some students will find that they don’t need that much time. 

What should I bring to the PERT test?

Bring a valid form of identification, such as a driver’s license or passport. You will not be allowed to bring any electronic devices or a calculator into the test.

How can I prepare for the PERT?

The best way to prepare is to take practice tests, like the one offered by iPrep. While taking the test, read each question carefully, to be sure that you know what the question is asking. Take your time, since there is no time limit, and use reasoning when answering. 
For example, make sure to identify the key phrase in the question, and try to find the correct answer before looking at the choices offered by the test. If you are not certain of the answer, eliminate the choices that are definitely incorrect.
Finally, read through the remaining options and pick the best answer. If you are unsure of an answer, you should guess.
Before clicking next and moving on to the next question, review your answer. There is no way to go back to a previous question once you’ve submitted your answer.

What type of questions are included in the PERT math section?

To do well on the 30 questions in the PERT Math section, you’ll want to make sure you can do the following:
– Know how to solve linear equations, linear inequalities, quadratic equations and literal equations 
– Understand how to evaluate algebraic expressions 
– Be able to factor, simplify, add, subtract, multiply and divide polynomials 
– Know how to divide by monomials and binomials 
– Have a strong understanding in how to apply standard algorithms or concepts 
– Know how to coordinate planes, so you can translate between lines and inspect equations 
– Understand how to focus on pairs of simultaneous linear equations in two variables

What type of questions are included in the PERT reading section?

The 30 PERT questions in the reading section will test you in the following areas:
– Ability to discern and summarize the most important ideas, events, or information 
– Ask you to support or challenge assertions about the text 
– Test your ability to determine the meaning of words and phrases in context 
– Ability to analyze the meaning, word choices, tone and organizational structure of the text 
– Capacity to determine the author’s purpose and the relation of events in the text to one another 
– Proficiency in recognizing relationships within and between sentences 
– Skill in analyzing traits, motivations and thoughts of individuals in fiction and nonfiction 
– Expertise in analyzing how two or more texts with different styles, points of view or arguments address similar topics or themes 
– Aptitude for distinguishing between facts and opinions 
– Ability to evaluate reasoning and rhetoric of an argument or explanation
Remember to take your time while reading through the passage. Focus on opening and ending sentences in each paragraph, to help identify the main idea. 

What type of questions are included in the PERT writing section?

The PERT writing section of the test challenges test takers over the course of 30 questions in their ability to do the following:
– Ability to sustain focus on a specific topic or argument 
– Establish a topic or thesis 
– Demonstrate use of the conventions of standard written English, including grammar, usage and mechanics 
– Support and illustrate arguments and explanations 
– Develop and maintain a style and tone 
– Synthesize information from multiple relevant sources
– Convey complex information clearly and coherently 
– Represent and accurately cite data, conclusions, and opinions of others 
– Establish a substantive claim and acknowledging competing arguments or information 
– Ability to recognize effective transitional devices within the context of a passage
– Recognize commonly confused or misused words and phrases 
– Use modifiers correctly; using coordination and subordination effectively; and recognizing parallel structure 
– Recognize correct grammar, spelling, capitalization, and punctuation

What is the PERT test in Florida?

PERT stands for the Postsecondary Education Readiness Test. It is a standardized test, similar to the ACT and SAT, which helps Florida colleges and universities place incoming students into math and English classes that are appropriate for their skill set.

What score do you need to pass the PERT test?

PERT tests aren’t graded on a pass/fail basis. However, for students looking to take college-level English and math classes, rather than developmental courses, they will want to score a 106 or higher in reading, a 103 or higher in writing, and a 114 or higher in math.

Can I retake a PERT if I want to improve my score?

Retakes are available, although there isn’t a consistent policy across the state of Florida for this test.
For high school students, each school district determines a student’s ability to retake the test.
For college-age students, each school has a different policy. While there are some schools that allow for a retake after 24 hours, most require a 30-day waiting period, and many require proof that the student has taken a remediation course before they allow a second test. 

For your convenience, here are two school policies:
1. Miami Dade College
“MDC students have a total of two placement test attempts (one initial attempt and one retest) on each subtest of the placement test for initial placement prior to enrollment in any course within that subject area. Prior to the 2nd attempt, students must complete a test preparation option. After the 2nd attempt, students must complete a prescribed remediation option and receive permission to retest from the Developmental Education and/or Mathematics Chairperson. Successful completion of Boot Camp (Shark Academy) courses REA 0014 – Reading, EDU 0016 – Mathematics, or EDU 0017 – Writing may be used in lieu of receiving chairperson permission.” 
2. Broward College
“Students may retake the PERT an unlimited number of times. However, they must adhere to the following retesting timeline:
– First retest attempt may be taken after 24 hours.
– All other retest attempts must wait 30 days between each retest attempt. 

Remediation prior to each test attempt is strongly encouraged

Are there fees to take the PERT test?

The state of Florida covers the cost for high school students, and most colleges don’t charge their students to take the test for the first time.
However, students who wish to take the test a second time to improve their scores do have to pay a fee. Each college sets its own fee policy, which seems to range from $10-$20. 

For your convenience, here are two school policies:
1. Miami Dade College
First Test – No Fee
Second Attempt – $10
2. Broward College
First Test – No Fee
All Subsequent Attempts – $18.50


Free PERT Practice


Administration

  • Test Location: Most Florida students take the PERT test in 11th grade with their high school. Older students take the test at a university testing center.
  • Test Schedule: Most students take the PERT test before registering for freshman classes.
  • Test Format: Multiple choice, administered on computer
  • Test Materials: Computer. Calculators are not permitted. However, the test has a pop-up calculator for some questions. 
  • Cost: Test is free for high school students. Different universities charge different fees, ranging from free to around $20.
  • Retake Policy: Every school sets their own policy. However, most universities require some waiting period and completion of a prep course before retaking the PERT test.

Test Provider

The Postsecondary Education Readiness Test was created by McCann and Associates, in conjunction with Florida educators. McCann has been creating assessment tests since 1959. The company is known for producing tests used by states, individual schools, and professional associations. 

Disclaimer – All the information and prep materials on iPrep are genuine and were created for tutoring purposes. iPrep is not affiliated with the McCann Associates, which is the publisher of the PERT test.

Get to know what the Postsecondary Education Readiness Test (PERT) will be like by practicing with these sample questions: