If you're an aspiring nursing student, you may have heard of the TEAS exam, but you may not know much about it. Many nursing programs require that you take the TEAS during your nursing school application process. The TEAS helps nursing schools weed out applicants and choose only the most competitive students. It is helpful to take the TEAS, even if your school does not require it, to be a more competitive applicant. Scoring well on the TEAS is especially important if you have a lower GPA. So what is the TEAS exam?
What is TEAS?
TEAS (Test of Essential Academic Skills) is a standardized test used to judge how ready you are to start a nursing program. Taking and passing the TEAS is a requirement of most nursing schools.
The TEAS exam, also known as the ATI TEAS test, was developed by the Assessment Technology Institute (ATI) and tests your knowledge of core college subjects, such as math, reading, and science.
What is on the TEAS test?
Thankfully, the TEAS test is similar to most of the standardized tests you've already taken in your previous schooling. Most of what you need to know to pass the TEAS are subjects you already covered in high school.
The test has 170 questions divided into four sections:
- Tests your ability to read and comprehend passages, charts, labels, directions, and measurements.
- 64 minutes long
- Tests your knowledge of physical, life, and earth sciences. This section also tests your scientific reasoning ability and your understanding of the human body.
- 63 minutes long
English and Language Usage
- Tests your knowledge of spelling, grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and context.
- 28 minutes long
- Tests your ability to solve math problems and measure and interpret data.
- 64 minutes long
Is the TEAS difficult?
If you’re the type who struggles to perform well on standardized tests, you may find the TEAS challenging. Others find the sheer breadth of the subjects to be overwhelming. Many test takers have found the Reading and English section to be moderately difficult. However, many TEAS takers vouch that the Science and Math section are more complex and challenging.
The timed nature of the exam can be difficult for some. You have a set time to complete each section of the exam, and you cannot go back to change your answers. If you've been in the workforce and out of school for years, you may not remember a lot of the material covered.
Overall, the TEAS test is difficult because nursing school is difficult. The test allows nursing schools to select students who have the best chance of successfully practicing. Nursing school is hard. The TEAS exam is one of the first steps on the way of becoming a registered nurse, and it is one of the many challenges you'll face to secure your place as a health care professional.
40% of students take the TEAS test more than once. Not taking the time to review the subjects properly is one of the biggest mistakes you can make.
How do I prepare for the TEAS test?
Acing the TEAS exam takes preparation. If you can, try to study for the TEAS test early—as soon as you start thinking about nursing school. Even if you're not ready to apply to nursing school, studying in advance for the TEAS test can help you get familiar with the content.
Taking a test prep course is another way to prepare. These courses are designed to give students and confidence and knowledge they need to pass exams successfully. A TEAS test prep course would cover everything you need to know while getting you into a test-taking mindset.
Achieve Test Prep’s ATI Tests Review supports your TEAS exam success. Our TEAS test prep includes:
- 21 hours of live, BSN instructor-led teaching (7 classes over seven weeks)
- 100s of TEAS® exam-style practice questions
- 10 hours of review videos
- 50 Flashcards and a variety of additional study materials
- Our guarantee that you'll score 80% or better on the exam—or you can retake our course for free*
Register for the test at least two weeks in advance. You may have to meet registration prerequisites (which may include completed coursework). You can register with your school and choose a time and date, or you can register on the ATI website (atitesting.com).
Go farther with Achieve
These TEAS tips will help you on your journey into the nursing field. The preparation techniques outlined here will also help you pass other nursing exams, including the NCLEX-- the exam at the end of your nursing program.
Ready to apply for nursing school? Get the best score possible on the TEAS exam. Achieve Test Prep offers the flexibility of attending from anywhere and still get live, instructor-led classes! See how we can help.