What Is the TEAS Test and How Do You Prepare?

Black female nurse in white scrubs and black framed glasses what is the teas test

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  1. What is the TEAS exam?
  2. What’s covered on the TEAS exam?
  3. 5 Tips to Prepare for the TEAS Exam
  4. TEAS Test FAQs

The Assessment Technologies Institute’s Test of Essential Academic Skills (ATI TEAS) exam is an important part of entering nursing school and pursuing your dream of becoming a nurse. Colleges and universities use this exam to ensure that candidates have the skills necessary to succeed in their nursing programs.

If you’re looking to take the ATI TEAS test but aren’t sure what to expect, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll walk you through what you need to know about this exam, including the topics and steps you can take to study and pass the TEAS test

What is the TEAS exam?

The ATI TEAS exam is used by a number of schools to evaluate candidates’ readiness for higher education in a field related to health sciences, generally either nursing school or allied health studies.

The exam covers four major subject areas to make sure test-takers have the necessary prerequisite skills to take college-level courses. There are 170 questions on the exam and there’s a time limit of 209 minutes in total (with individual time limits for each specific section). 

The TEAS can be taken online or in person, depending on who administers the exam.

What’s covered on the TEAS exam?

The TEAS covers four main content areas across 170 multiple-choice questions. However, 20 questions will be unscored. With the sixth edition of the TEAS, here’s what you can expect from each section: 

TEAS Reading

This section includes 45 questions with a time limit of 55 minutes.

  • Unscored questions (6 questions)
  • Key ideas and details (15 questions)
  • Craft and structure (9 questions)
  • Integration of knowledge and ideas (15 questions)

TEAS Mathematics

This section includes 38 questions with a time limit of 57 minutes.

  • Unscored questions (4 questions)
  • Numbers and algebra (18 questions)
  • Measurement and data (16 questions)

TEAS Science 

This section includes 50 questions with a time limit of 60 minutes.

  • Unscored questions (6 questions)
  • Human anatomy and physiology (18 questions)
  • Biology (9 questions)
  • Chemistry (8 questions)
  • Scientific reasoning (9 questions)

TEAS English and Language Usage

This section includes 37 questions with a time limit of 37 minutes.

  • Unscored questions (4 questions)
  • Conventions of standard English (12 questions)
  • Knowledge of language (11 questions)
  • Using language and vocabulary to express ideas in writing (10 questions)

5 Tips to Prepare for the TEAS Exam

Since the exam can cover a wide range of materials, taking the time to prepare can make a big difference in your score and ability to qualify and attend your desired school.

We’ll walk you through some important tips to help you succeed in the TEAS.

1. Start studying at least six weeks in advance. 

The exam will cover a wide range of topics, which means you’ll want to give yourself plenty of time to prepare. Make sure to start studying at least six weeks in advance. If you have even more time, great! 

The best TEAS prep materials will give you a thorough understanding of the different subject areas, and you want to be able to dedicate time to focus on each one.

With six weeks of preparation time, you can establish a baseline score and identify the areas you need to improve most. You’ll also have an opportunity to give yourself a refresher on the rest of the topics covered on the exam through study manuals or study guides.

2. Create a study plan.

It’s also a good idea to establish a study plan that allows you to track your progress. Your study plan should outline the specific times and days you’ll study. Since preparing for this test will need to take place over several weeks, scheduling specific days and times for your review sessions can help you stay on track.

Your study plan should also outline how you plan to review the material. For example, start with a practice exam so you know the areas where you are weakest. You might use these practice questions to outline how you plan to strengthen your different academic areas and gauge your progress. 

Depending on your preferred study methods, you might want to use flashcards, video lessons or tutorials, and similar online resources to help you master the material.

3. Have a study group or other outside accountability.

If you just aren’t having any luck studying on your own (there are a lot of distractions out there), you might benefit from having a study group when preparing for the TEAS. Working with other students preparing for the same test can help you stay focused and prevent you from putting your studies off until later. 

Group members can also help each other. For example, if you find certain materials confusing, a study buddy might have a better way of explaining them. You can also quiz each other in troublesome areas, share study tips, and otherwise work together to keep morale high heading into test day.

4. Take practice exams.

Taking TEAS practice tests can help you in two main ways: 

  1. You can familiarize yourself with the test format so you don’t feel caught off-guard when sitting down for the test. 
  2. It can help you see the types of questions to expect and identify the topics where you might need to focus your studies. 

You can read through the answer explanations and make sure you understand the solutions and rationales. You can then get the study materials that will benefit you the most.

5. Get a good night’s rest before test day.

The night before the exam, make sure to take care of yourself. Eating a good meal and getting a good night’s rest can help you feel alert and prepared when you start the test. It’s important to relax the night before, especially after you’ve spent weeks preparing.

TEAS Test FAQs

Here are answers to common questions about taking the TEAS and completing ATI TEAS prep.

Who needs to take a TEAS test?

  • The TEAS is required for admission to a number of different nursing schools and allied health programs. The exam is designed to make sure those who are admitted can succeed and obtain a degree in nursing or a related health field. Your desired school will likely let you know if they require a TEAS score before admission.

Is the TEAS test difficult?

  • The TEAS exam can be challenging for students. The test will require you to answer 170 questions on a wide range of subjects. The breadth and length of the exam can be challenging for students, particularly those who may struggle with standardized tests. That is why you’ll want to consider leaning on a prep partner like SimpleNursing.

How do I register for the TEAS exam?

  • You can register for the ATI TEAS using this registration page. Your options include an online test proctored by ATI, an online test proctored by an institution, an in-person test proctored by an institution, or an in-person test proctored by PSI.

Where do I find my TEAS exam results?

  • If you take your test online, you’ll know your score immediately after finishing the exam. If you take the test in person at an institution or PSI, your test score will be ready within 24 to 72 hours. Once the test has been scored, you can view your score in your online ATI account.

What is a passing score for the TEAS exam?

  • The score needed to pass the TEAS will vary depending on the school you’re applying to. However, ATI ranks scores above 90.7% as “exemplary,” those between 78% and 90% as “advanced,” and scores between 58.7% and 77.3% as ”proficient.”

Find Out How We Can Help You Pass the TEAS

As you begin your test preparation, SimpleNursing offers practice exams to help you get comfortable with the testing experience. We’ve combed through 5,000 TEAS questions from industry-leading textbooks and quiz banks to focus on the most highly tested topics. This means you’ll enter your exam more confident and prepared. 

SimpleNursing offers TEAS test prep that can help you prepare and pass the TEAS the first time around. Our TEAS prep course comes with an extensive video library, study guides, and a quiz bank, so you have the information you need to feel prepared on test day. 

Sign up for free and get started toward making your dream of nursing.