As a resident student of Florida looking into college, you may have found yourself stonewalled by the PERT Test. After all that time finishing high school, there is one more hurdle between you and the life of an undergraduate.
Of all the trials of the PERT Test, the Math portion of the test may be the most difficult. Reading and writing are intuitive, but math is always complicated at first look. But it doesn’t have to be! In this guide, we will give a short course on what sort of mathematics and algebra-based challenges the PERT Math Test will cover and how to earn a high enough score and make the fast track straight to college!
What Does the PERT Math Test Cover?
The Postsecondary Education Readiness Test–the PERT Test–is designed to test your preparedness for the life of a college student, including tackling familiar subjects on a much higher level of understanding. You go from handling high school algebra and learning what a derivative is to find out how to use derivatives and antiderivatives to solve problems involving physics, science, and finances!
The PERT Math Test is just one of three parts of a greater whole (the other being Reading and Writing). You must complete the PERT Test’s other subtests before you take the PERT Math Test, though these tests themselves are irrelevant to the subject of math.
The PERT Math Test is focused entirely on three forms of mathematics: pre-algebra, algebra, and geometry. Algebra is the most extensive section, covering between ten to thirteen questions on the test, followed by pre-algebra, and finally, geometry, which is as small as three to five questions.
Of course, the small amount of questions does not mean the test becomes any more straightforward. In fact, those questions may weigh more than the other questions, which means getting those questions right or wrong can seriously impact your final score. If you try guessing, you have a one out of four chance of getting the right answer. Unlike a reading or writing question, it is not immediately apparent which questions are more or less incorrect: if it is even one-hundredth of a number away, it’s wrong.
Is the PERT Math Test Hard?
Wanting to know how difficult the test is, i.e., “how hard is this test?” “are the questions hard to answer” is reasonable to ask; it is a test, after all. Indeed, to gain a high score on this test, you would have to know a lot about the given subjects and know how to answer the questions. But the PERT Test isn’t about getting the best score. No, as the name implies, it is to test your readiness for college.
Because of this, you cannot actually fail the PERT Math Test. To begin, the full range of the PERT Math Test score is between 50 to 150 for each subtest. Regardless of your score, once the test is complete, you are put into a class that correctly matches your readiness level once you begin your college curriculum. However, in order to get yourself into a real freshman college course, you must complete the PERT Math Test with a score of 114 to take classes such as Intermediate Algebra. If you score less than that, you will have to take a basic or remedial class in the subject, which may halt your journey into college.
We will be frank with you: this will not be simple math. The PERT Math Test is split into three sections: Pre-Algebra, Algebra, and Geometry, with each section taking a full range of questions. The difficulty level of these materials is just about high school level, so if you are well out of practice, this test will be considerably more difficult.
How Long Does the PERT Math Test Take?
The PERT Math Test consists of thirty multiple-choice questions. The PERT Test is taken in-person/on-campus and virtual format, and the test proctors will monitor both formats, so don’t think you can get away with sneaking study notes or a guide! You rely entirely on your present knowledge of the various subjects.
If you account for the time it will take for you to properly understand the material and put together the formulas and answer them correctly, the affair will take you somewhere around two hours.
Just 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. Additionally, there may be a fee to retaking the test where there was not when you took it initially.
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!
What to Study for PERT Math Test?
The PERT Math Test will be anyone’s first step into the field of college-level mathematics. Speaking from personal experience, you should be prepared to deal with unheard-of mathematical concepts like the unit circle, derivatives, and antiderivatives, and calculating volumes as well.
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,
- Angles, perimeter, circumference, and area.
The questions are formatted that the questions are easy to understand. The PERT Math Test will give you simple questions like “if x is 1, and y is 2, then what is xy?” and leave it up to you to find out how exactly to answer that question. It will also give you more complicated questions, like giving you a table of specific data and asking you to find a particular set or percentage of data within the table.
Thankfully, unlike your algebra teacher, the PERT Math Test does not expect you to show your work—answer the question correctly, and you will receive the points for it. To reiterate, however, you are left to create and evaluate the formula by your lonesome, and the test will not offer you the necessary equations to solve. That is something you will have to find, memorize, and understand on your own.
How to Prepare for the PERT Math Test?
So how do you pass the PERT Math test? Much like with any test, it requires an intense amount of study. 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. Otherwise, if this is the first time you have touched the subject of math (and I don’t blame you!), then studying is especially important for you. You will need to relearn three whole different fields of mathematics and understand how to take a test all over again.
Luckily for you, we have cobbled together just a few crucial tips to help you get right back into the studying mood, as well as how to study again:
Hit the Books
The first tip to studying for the PERT Math 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 under the mountainous stash of old homework and test results to see what you have already done in mathematics.
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 Test. They provide specific details on the test and develop a study regiment, including sample questions and their accompanying answers. The best PERT Math Test study guide is found online, much like the test itself.
Map Out a 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. However, it would be best to remember 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 Test
There are many different PERT Test Preps and practice tests available on the internet, designed to give you a test run of the ultimate 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 taking practice tests as 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 Math Test would have to take you all of your knowledge, effort, and attention.
Wrapping Things Up: What Math Does the PERT Cover?
As we reached the end of our little guide, we learned what math is on the PERT Math Test, understood and answered the questions, and created a study plan to finish the PERT Math Test with flying colors. Do not let the variables, square roots, unit circle, or complication equations get to you, dear student. The PERT Test is about your readiness, and if you find yourself ready, prepared, and hopped up on the quadratic equation, you will pass the PERT Math Test in no time!