GUIDE
September 23, 2021
What is the TEAS Exam and How Do You Prepare For it?

If you are thinking about going to nursing school, there is a good chance you will have to take a standardized exam called the Test of Essential Academic Skills, or TEAS exam.

Not all nursing programs will have applicants take the TEAS exam. However, most will and prospective nursing students need to understand what it is.

This article will explore everything you need to know about the TEAS exam, what subjects are on it, how to study for it, what a passing score is, and a range of other TEAS questions.

Part One What is the TEAS Exam?

The TEAS is an exam that nursing students take when applying for nursing school in the United States. It tests what a nursing student’s academic potential may be in nursing school. Universities use this test because studies have shown that those who perform well also perform well academically in higher education.

The TEAS is often part of the whole application process that nursing students must take to get into nursing school, including transcripts, an application, an essay, letters of recommendation, and fees. The TEAS exam is similar to the Health Education Systems Incorporated Admissions (HESI A2) exam, which some institutions use as part of a student’s application.

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What Does TEAS Stand For?

TEAS stands for Test of Essential Academic Skills. The exam ensures that the student has the essential academic skills to perform well in nursing school. A good score on the TEAS will help you get into a nursing program.

Part Two Why Do You Need to Take the TEAS Exam?

Many universities use the TEAS exam to determine how well a student will perform in a higher academic setting. Studies have shown that students who do well on the TEAS also do well in nursing school.

Most schools that include the TEAS are a part of their application process, application, transcripts, an essay, letters of recommendation, and other fees.

Part Three What is on the TEAS Exam? 

The TEAS will test students on various subjects to see if they are academically proficient enough to succeed in an Associate Degree of Nursing (ADN) or Bachelor Degree of Nursing (BSN) program. 

There are four general subjects on the test: reading, math, science, and English and language usage.

Sections of the TEAs exam

According to the ATI TEAS website, the test has the following sections:

  • Reading: 53 questions 
    • Including questions on the integration of knowledge and ideas
  • Math: 36 questions
    • Questions include measurements, numbers, and algebra
  • Science: 53 questions
    • Human anatomy and physiology, life sciences, and scientific reasoning
  • English and language usage: 28 questions
    • Knowledge of language and vocabulary

How Many Questions Are on the TEAS?

There are 170 questions on the TEAS, but only 150 of them count in your score. The remaining 20 questions are for internal company purposes only.

Students have 209 minutes in total to complete the exam.

Part Four What You Need to Know About the TEAS Exam

How Much Does the TEAS Exam Cost?

The exam can cost anywhere between $65 and $140, depending on where you take your exam.

How Many Times Can You Take the TEAS exam?

Every institution has its own rules and requirements for how many times a student can take the TEAS exam and how long you must wait between exams. Some universities allow students to take the test one or two times, but others may allow for more.

Speak with the institution you plan to attend to find out what their program allows. 

Can You Use a Calculator for the TEAS Exam?

You cannot bring a calculator with you to take the exam. There will be a calculator for you to use on your computer. If you are taking a paper exam, there will be a desk calculator provided to you.

What is a Passing Score for the TEAS Exam?

There is no standard passing score on the TEAS. Each university has its own passing requirements, and some may require a higher score in certain areas than others. You must speak with the institution you plan to attend to ensure you know their requirements. 

Universities vary in what they consider a passing score, but most are above 60%.

You should know that questions on the TEAS exam don’t have equal weight. Some questions will hold more points than others, and you will not know which ones they are while taking the test. 

How to Register for the TEAS Exam

You can register to take the TEAS exam online or in person at the ATI testing website. When you register, there are also study materials that you can purchase to help you prepare for the exam. 

Part Five How to Prepare for the TEAS Exam

Allow yourself a minimum of 6 weeks to prepare for the exam. There are also many study resources available for purchase and for free on the website. ATI has a recommended study plan for students taking the TEAS:

  • Week 1: English and Language usage
  • Week 2: Reading
  • Week 3: Reading
  • Week 4: Science
  • Week 5: Science 
  • Week 6: Math

Each subject can be studied using a manual, lessons, pre-tests, post-tests, quizzes, and practice assessments. Depending on your comfort level in a particular subject, you may want to spend more time on some subjects and less on others. However, the ATI recommended study plan includes recommended hours of study as well.

TEAS Prep Courses

ATI offers six unique study packages depending on your level of knowledge and how much you want to study for the TEAS exam. Each varies in price from $25 to $249 depending on how much study material you need.

It is a great idea to invest in a plan that helps you study and increases your chances of obtaining a higher score. According to the ATI website, about 40% of students end up taking the TEAS at least twice. In many cases, students were not prepared enough to take it the first time.

Part Six After the TEAS Exam

How Long Does it Take to Get TEAS Results?

If you take the TEAs exam at an on-campus location, you may receive your score immediately, along with your report. Keep in mind that your university may choose not to show students their scores following the exam. In that case, you may need to check with your school to see when you will get your score. 

For candidates taking a paper version of the ATI TEAS exam, ATI will provide you with your score within 24 hours.

How Will You Receive Your TEAS Results?

If you do not receive your results immediately on your computer upon finishing the exam, you can find them in your ATI account under “My Results.”

What Happens if You Fail the TEAS Exam? 

Failing scores can vary between schools. You must check with your school to determine what their failing score is. However, you can always retake the exam if you want to try and achieve a higher score.

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