Anticipated Date of Graduation

Summer 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Mathematical Sciences



First Advisor

Douglas Darbro


In 2008, the Florida Senate enacted a College and Career Readiness Initiative which saw the creation of a statewide common placement test: the Postsecondary Education Readiness Test, or PERT. However, as of 2021, there is only one publicly available study on the predictive validity of the PERT and none on the potential for Test Bias. This study aimed to detect Adam Meade and Michael Fetzer s definition of Test Bias, a systematic error in how a test measures performance for a particular group, using their updated version of the standard and widely-accepted Cleary Regression Method. The expectation was that either Florida s efforts in the realm of access to higher education would be validated by this study or the need to more deeply research the PERT would be made obvious. A Composite PERT score, created by averaging the scores of the three PERT subsections Math, Reading, and Writing for each student, was used to predict first-year college GPA for the demographic variables Gender and Race using Gender, Composite, and the Gender-Composite interaction effect in accordance with the Cleary Method. While no evidence was found that Test Bias exists for Female, Black, or Underrepresented race students, there was evidence that PERT exhibits Test Bias for Hispanic students. This does not imply that the PERT should be immediately discontinued, but that more studies need to be conducted in order to elucidate this Test Bias. Such studies also need to be made publicly available in order to assuage any concerns the Florida public may have towards this ubiquitous exam.

Included in

Mathematics Commons