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The Definitive Practice Test Guide for the PERT

About the PERT

The Postsecondary Education Readiness Test, or PERT, is taken by most high school students in the state of Florida, typically during their junior year. This exam assesses a student’s readiness for college-level classes. It has been in use since 1992, when Florida statute required the Board of Education to determine student readiness for university studies. It was developed by McCann Associates.

The exam is divided into three sections, each of which contains 30 questions, with five of the questions being unscored. The sections are Reading, Writing, and Math. The scores for each section range from 50 to 150 and students must achieve a score of at least 100 to skip lower-level classes. There are no time limits on any section, or for the entire exam. The test is also computer-adaptive, meaning that the difficulty of the questions is determined by the examinee’s previous responses.

Sections of the PERT


The 30 questions in the Math section of the PERT may be taken from basic algebra or geometry. They may also involve the math rules covering numeration, operations, exponents, prime numbers, and percents.


The 30 PERT Reading section requires you to answer questions about passages you read. The questions may be about the main idea of the passage, or about the meaning of words used in it. You may have to compare two passages or determine the author’s purpose in writing the passage. There may also be questions about characters, writing style, and fact versus opinion.


You need to be familiar with general writing conventions and rules, such as those for punctuation, capitalization, verb agreement, appropriate word forms, and correct tense usage. Studying word order, adherence to a topic, and paragraph structure will also help you achieve a better score on the PERT Writing section. Like the other areas, the 30 questions in the Writing section of the PERT are untimed.

What to Expect on Test Day

Scores on the PERT determine which classes you must enroll in during your first year in college, which can make the experience very nerve-racking. However, anxiety can often be reduced by having a strong understanding of what to expect on exam dayand ensuring that you study enough to perform well.

The PERT is commonly administered by your college or testing institution. If you are unfamiliar with the location, it’s always a good idea to give yourself a bit of extra time to ensure you can find the correct spot. It’s also good to get a full night’s rest and eat a nutritious meal before arriving for the exam. This will ensure that you don’t get drowsy or become distracted by hunger while taking the test.

What to Bring

Different colleges and testing sites may have different requirements regarding what they would like you to bring with you on the day of the exam, so it’s important to find out what your testing site expects you to have beforehand. It’s always a good idea to bring your school identification and a valid form of government identification if you have it.

What Not to Bring

You are not required to bring a calculator with you when taking the PERT. There will be one embedded on the computer program that is available for use on questions for which a calculator is needed. Aside from the calculator, you may want to check with your testing site prior to the day of the exam to find out what other items are restricted. Most testing centers do not allow any type of electronic devices, study aids, or personal items with examinees while taking the test.

Best Ways to Study for the PERT

Take PERT Practice Tests

Taking practice tests for the PERT is one great way to ensure that you are prepared to perform your best on exam day. PERT practice tests can help you become familiar with the format and structure of the test. They can also help you to identify which areas need additional studying to ensure you are prepared.

Use Alternative Study Methods

Many students find that they can improve their retention of material if they incorporate alternative study methods into their preparation. Flashcards and study guides for the PERT can give you a more comprehensive studying experience.

Simulate the PERT Testing Experience

While the PERT is an untimed exam, it’s still a good idea to simulate the entire testing experience. This process will give you a good idea of how you will perform on the exam, including how long it will take you to complete each section, and how well you perform under pressure since the questions have increasing difficulty. Aim to complete each section in one hour or less.

PERT Tips and Tricks

Eliminate Answers When Possible

While it may not have any time limits, the PERT is computer-adaptive, meaning that you can’t move to the next question until you have completed the current one. If you are truly stumped, use a process of elimination to narrow down your field of potential answers. This process will give you a higher likelihood that your guess will be correct.

Read the Directions Carefully

Since time is on your side during the PERT, there is no need to hurry through reading the instructions. Read them carefully and repeatedly if you do not understand them initially. This process ensures that you are truly providing the correct answer.


1. Does it cost anything to take the PERT?

There is no cost for high school students to take the exam. Colleges that administer the test may charge a small fee, usually $10, or they may opt to only charge for retakes of the exam.

2. Can I retake the PERT?

If you are unhappy with your results, you can choose to take the PERT again. Depending upon your school or institution’s policy, you may be assessed a small retake fee. All students must wait 14 days between exam attempts.

3. How long are my PERT scores valid?

PERT test scores are valid for two years.

4. Do I have to take the PERT if I want to go to school in Florida?

As of March 15, 2022 schools may use alternative exams to assess students for college readiness. These include the Next Generation ACCUPLACER, SAT, ACT, and CLT, among others. If you are unsure what placement test you need to take, contact the college or university you plan to attend for more information.

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