All Florida students coming off the heels of high school and other secondary education programs face a wall in pursuing postsecondary education: the PERT Test. If you want to hit the college campus running, it is in your best interests to take the PERT Test and pass.
Thankfully, this article is here to help you understand what the PERT Test is about, how to pass the PERT Test, how to study for the PERT Test, and finally, how to take the PERT Test, all without having to retake your monotonous high school courses!
What is the PERT Test Used For?
The Postsecondary Education Readiness Test, which will be henceforth known as the slightly confusing “PERT Test”, is an “entry-level” placement standardized test that is meant to examine and test a student’s readiness and preparedness in understanding college-level material and subjects.
The PERT Test tests a student’s reading, writing, and mathematical ability. All three tests determine your ideal placement in terms of your college readiness. “Passing” each of these tests with a high grade means you begin your college curriculum prepared and ready for the next four years of postsecondary education. “Failing” the test, however, means that you have to spend some time in a basic or remedial class, re-learning the material and subjects you lack in before you are ready to move on.
This Florida exclusive test is a relatively large hurdle to cross for most high school or post-GED students. The questions and material present on the PERT Math, Reading, and Writing Tests are not the most difficult, but they are a clear idea as to what a freshman course in college may involve.
In order to complete these tests, you have to contend with algebra, pre-algebra, mathematics, and being able to both read and understand written literature and material in different ways as well as find out how to write such content yourself.
What Does the PERT Test Consist Of?
The PERT Test is split into three distinct subtests, dealing with reading, writing, and mathematics. Each subtest consists of thirty questions, and you have no time limit but to complete the test the same day you began (the PERT Tests are commonly done online instead of in-person). You must complete the Reading and Writing subtests before moving onto the Math subtest, and you must complete every test in order to move on towards college.
The PERT Reading Test examines the student’s reading capability in the following ways:
- Determining which details of a passage is important,
- Comparing and contrasting the tone, perspective, and morals of two different passages,
- Using context clues found in the passage to define its specific vocabulary (namely, how the passage uses said vocabulary),
- Interpreting the emotions, actions, and personality of a character in literature,
- As an extension of the above point, interpreting the main message and intent of the passage,
- And identifying the relationships between different sentences and parts of the passage.
The PERT Math Test would ask of you an assortment of different questions in related math fields, including:
- Exponents, variables, and expressions,
- How to add, subtract, multiple, and divide integers, decimals, and fractions,
- Functions and graphing functions,
- Radical, rational, quadratic, and algebraic expressions,
- Systems of equations,
- and angles, perimeter, circumference, and area.
Finally, the PERT Writing Test is an examination of your writing capabilities. Interestingly, it has no essay questions, unlike many other tests in the field of writing, as it only tests your knowledge of fundamental writing mechanics, such as:
- Punctuation, grammar, capitalization, spelling, and choice of words,
- Sentence structure and composition as well as identifying a particular tone and style,
- Organization of the text as well as its concept development,
- Coming up with and defending an assertion or argument,
- and using data from different, related, and relevant sources.
What is the Passing Score for the PERT Test?
The idea of a “passing score” on the PERT Test is a bit misleading. You cannot exactly “pass” or “fail” the PERT Test, as whichever score you make in the end will determine your ideal college class. The lowest (50 points) and highest (150 points) scores possible for each subtest are all the same. However, the bare minimum scores you need to avoid basic and remedial courses and head straight to college may differ depending on which subtest you’re taking.
For the PERT Math Test, you need a score of 114 to “pass” the PERT Tests. Scoring between 114 and 122 puts you comfortably in the Intermediate Algebra class.
The PERT Reading and Writing Tests are considerably more merciful. For the PERT Reading Test, you need a score of 106 to qualify for freshman English classes. For the PERT Writing Test, you need a score of 103 to qualify for freshman classes.
For each test, scoring closer to the maximum of the test allows you to take a wider selection of higher-level classes right off the bat.
You do not “pass” or “fail” the PERT Math Test. Even if you make the worst possible score (which is not unlikely), your labor will bear fruit. Getting a low score on the test, however, is still not ideal. Basic and remedial courses are designed for students who, for various reasons, are believed not to be prepared for college-level work and have to brush up on their academic skills in secondary education (i.e., high school) before moving to postsecondary education.
Taking a remedial course is not the end of the world, and it is undoubtedly better than being barred from college entirely. However, to put it in one way, it does mean that your bus to college has hit the brakes, and you have to wait a while before you can drive forward. To ensure that it does not have to come to that, you would want to prepare and study as much as possible.
The test is not about your score or how high the points are—it’s about whether you’re ready to take up college courses. The only way to show your preparedness is to develop a decent study regimen and truly become a college student.
How Many Times Can You Take the PERT Test?
Before you can enroll in college, you must complete the PERT Test. Depending on your school district, you can retake the test if you fall below expectations instead of immediately taking the remedial class. Those who take the test in Valencia College, for example, can retake the test up to three times between 45-day intervals.
It is only when you accept the test rules as final when they decide to place you into your appropriate class, so be sure to make use of every retry and learn from your mistakes!
How to Study for the PERT Test?
Passing the PERT Test requires an intense amount of study; that is the same with any test. If you are taking this test, you are already on the warpath to a future in secondary education. Commonly, this means that you may be finishing or are fresh out of high school. If so, you will have a comfortable time studying since you have already done so for the past four years. If this is your first time in a while that you have even touched these subjects, then you have to study and study well. You will need to learn three whole different fields of academics and learn how to take a test all over again.
Thankfully, we have just a few crucial tips to help you get right back into the studying mood, as well as how to study again:
Find Some Reading Material
The first tip to studying for the PERT Test is to gain a collection of reading and study materials, including notebooks, pencils, pens, scratch paper, and of course, textbooks. Additionally, you should check the mountainous stash of old homework and test results to see what you have already done in mathematics. For the PERT Reading and Writing Tests, you should also.
The biggest hurdle in a test is often trying to figure out what the test question is asking of you in the first place. Recognize keywords and instructions to go into a particular question knowing what it is you have to do before you do it.
However, don’t just memorize details and instructions, but truly understand why certain equations work the way they do and what exactly goes into answering a question.
Choose textbooks that focus each and exclusively on pre-algebra, algebra, and geometry to start. Additionally, there are specific study guides for the PERT Math, Reading, and Writing Tests. They provide specific details on the test and develop a study regiment, including sample questions and their accompanying answers. The best PERT Test study guides are found online.
Build and Stick to a Study Schedule
What is as important as reading and studying the material is forming a coherent schedule that will allow you to understand and use it. Cramming is an ineffectual way to study, and cramming mere days before the test is a recipe for a disaster cake decorated with half-remembered details and panic attacks.
As a test taker and future college student, you need to know how to manage your time, whether you have it or not, in such a way that studying is both feasible and productive. It would be best to choose a time and what material you will focus on in that time. It would also help to take breaks and space your study time out evenly.
We recommend studying for two hours every day, including weekends, with ten-minute breaks to break up the studying flow.
Practice, Practice, and Practice for the PERT Test
There are many different PERT Test Preps and practice tests available on the internet, designed to give a concrete idea of what the final test would be like. Understanding the fundamental material is very important but applying that knowledge where it matters is even more critical. It is the difference between knowing how to drive and putting yourself into the driver’s seat.
We recommend making taking practice tests a regular exercise and trying out the questions and examples on those tests in your free time. It is unlikely that the same questions would appear on the final test, so don’t treat practice tests as if you found some hidden cheat code. Completing the actual PERT Test would have to take you all of your knowledge, effort, and attention.
Wrapping Things Up: How to Pass the PERT?
The PERT Test is the last measurement of your readiness and preparedness in becoming a college student. This is not about stuffing your head with enough knowledge for an exam; this is about creating a regiment and willingness to take on all this work and more while pursuing postsecondary education! So good luck, wayward student! You are only as prepared as you, or this article, allows you to be.