Taking the PERT test

What?  A Test Already?  No, Not Really.  It’s a Tool for You.

What is a placement test?

  • An assessment tool called PERT has three parts. (Postsecondary Education Readiness Test)
  • Tells you what you know about math, reading, and writing.   Then you can decide what English and mathematics courses to take.
  • Takes about 2.5 hours to take all three parts but it is not timed so you can take longer if needed.
  • Learn more on PERT here.
  • All tests ask questions.  This one gives you answers.

Do I have to take the PERT?

  • You are required to take the placement test unless you are exempt. More on who is exempt
  • All test scores must be from within the last two years.

Am I Exempt from taking the PERT and developmental education?

Exempt individuals are:

    • Active duty military persons
    • Graduates who began a Florida public high school in 2003-4 or later and graduated from a Florida high school with a standard high school diploma.
    • You are a high school graduate with ACT or SAT scores at the college-level cutoff. See passing scores below. Order official copies to be sent directly to Polk State.
    • You are a transfer student who completed the developmental course sequence in math and English at another Florida postsecondary school, or you took at least one college-level English and one college-level math with a 2.00 GPA in each class.
    • You are a high school graduate or transfer student with PERT placement scores less than two years old.   Provide official copies to the Admission and Registrar’s office before Orientation.

Do I have to pay for the placement test?

If you have applied to Polk State College or are a current student, then you do not have to pay for the test when using the scores for placement at Polk State College.


When do I have to take the PERT?

  • Before student orientation is the best time to take the P.E.R.T.
  • Before seeing an advisor.
  • Before registering for class.
  • For the hours you can take the test at Polk State click here.


 Where do I go to take the PERT and what do I need?

  • PERT testing is done on campus in the TLCC / Testing Centers by appointment
  • Bring photo identification
  • Limit the number of personal belongings you bring with you, as all items must be stored in a locker during your testing appointment.
  • Scratch paper and a pencil will be provided by the proctor.

I took the SAT or ACT.  Can I use that?

  • Yes, if you took it less than two years from the term start date.
  • Check out the score you need to be at the college level. More on SAT and ACT
ACT Reading – 19 ACT English – 17 ACT Math – 19
SAT Reading – 24SAT Writing/Language – 25SAT Math – 24

I cannot come to campus to test, what do I do?

  • Arrange placement testing at your local community college and have scores sent to Polk State College.  You may take the PERT or the Accuplacer.
  • Check out dates for ACT or SAT testing in your area. More on SAT and ACT


How do I get placement scores taken at another college?

Contact the Admission and Registrar’s office and let them know you took PERT at another school.  The scores must be less than two years from the start of classes.  Email with the school name, your information, and the date you took the PERT.

You must request to have official results from other exams, such as the Accuplacer, mailed to Polk State’s Office of the Registrar. Click here for the mailing address.

How do I use the results of the P.E.R.T. and what do the scores mean?

 Advisors will interpret the test scores for you and help you with math and English course selection.  


How do I retake the placement test?

  • Each attempt must be at least 30 days apart and before you begin developmental classes in the area you are retaking.
  • You must demonstrate you have remediated, which means you have had some tutoring or special study to help you improve your scores.
  • Students cannot retest if they have met a grade requirement in the subject area.
  • Students are only allowed two attempts of any portion of the test. Third attempts must be administratively approved.