How To Study For The TEAS Test

How To Study For The TEAS Test?

If you want to enroll in nursing school, you might have noticed that a common criteria is taking the Test of Essential Academic Skills, or the TEAS Test. While not every school requires it, most do, which is why you want to score as high as possible to stand out amongst the crowd.

In this guide, we will tell you all you need to know about the TEAS Test, what is covered in the assessment and how you can best prepare and study for it.

What Is The TEAS Test?

Essentially, TEAS is an exam most nursing students need to take to enter their program in the USA. In general, the main focus is on seeing what a candidate’s academic potential might be when they go through nursing school.

In fact, studies have been conducted which reflected that test candidates who excelled in their TEAS test ended up achieving better results in their higher education.

Basically, the TEAS exam evaluates your knowledge for entering school, focusing on the usual standardized sections: Reading, Math, Science, and English and Language Usage. It requires you to prepare across all four of these subjects, and to do well, you should also become familiar with the test style.

It is important to see your application for nursing school as a process. Besides taking the TEAS test, you often have to prepare your essay, transcripts, and recommendation letters.

Many candidates have found the TEAS test rather challenging, so you will need to make adequate preparations and put in the hard work to study for it. The amount of time given for the test is also challenging, while each question left blank will cause you to lose a point.

What Is Included in the Assessments?

Doctor typing information on Laptop in Hospital office focus on Stethoscope

As mentioned, you can expect four sections in your TEAS exam. That would be Reading, Math, Science, and English and Language usage, all of which have different types of questions and a different number of questions.


Reading totals 53 questions, each one on how well you can understand knowledge and ideas. This is the classic reading section, where you might have some text to read and need to identify your themes, main ideas, and details while drawing conclusions and following your directions to understand the text.


Math has 36 questions, which are composed of your usual math questions: measurements, numbers, and algebra. Those questions will be further divided into sections like Numbers and Algebra, Measurement and Data, and even some questions that are unscored.

So, you will need to do things like solving equations without a variable, adding and dividing fractions, converting decimals, fractions, and percentages, and interpreting data from graphs and charts.


Science also has 53 questions, like the Reading section, and considering that you are entering the medical field, this is an important one.

You need to be prepared to answer questions on human anatomy and physiology, life sciences, and scientific reasoning, so you’ll see questions about general anatomy, the parts of the cell, DNA and RNA, genetics, and other biological, anatomical, or atomic questions.

English And Language Usage

Finally, the English and Language Usage portion has 28 questions that test your knowledge of language and vocabulary. You will not have any reading questions here, but you will have to interpret the meaning of certain words in a sentence, identify parts of speech, and make sure you use things like verb tenses accurately.

This is where your grammar and punctuation knowledge will come into play too.

In total, you have 170 questions, but only 150 of them will count. Those extra 20 questions are just for internal company purposes, although you will not know which questions do not count when you are undergoing the test.

You also do have a time limit again for each section: 57 minutes for math, 60 for science, 55 minutes for reading, and 37 minutes for English.

How Is The TEAS Test Graded?

The TEAS Test Grades

Like some other standardized tests that you may have taken, the TEAS penalizes you for not answering. You cannot leave anything unanswered since every unanswered question is a lost point, but you also do have a time limit. That time limit is 209 minutes.

The actual exam is graded using a system called equating. Basically, this means that some questions will be worth more than others, but you have no idea which questions are worth more when you are doing the test.

Those scores will be available immediately for electronic tests, and if you test with paper and pencil, within 48 hours. Your actual transcript will show you the adjusted composite score, which is the number of correct questions divided by the total number of questions. This will be adjusted for the difficulty of your specific questions.

This is your adjusted composite score, which you can compare to the national mean and the program mean. The national mean is the average of all composite scores for all the candidates who took the same version as you.

The mean is the average of all those composite scores. Basically, you can see how you did compared to the national population of test takers.

A good score will be a composite score that is at least 10 percent higher than the advised score from your nursing school. The actual passing grade will be determined by your individual school.

This could even be something between 60 to 70 percent, but for higher-ranking programs, you’ll need to score something like 85 to 95 percent.

How To Prepare For It?

One of the best things you can do to prepare for the TEAS test is to take online practice tests from Test Prep Online.

Before you start taking your practice exams, first know that you are now allowed a four-function calculator and should have one with you while you practice.

You will also have various types of questions, ranging from multiple choice questions where you fill in the blank, questions where you need to click on the right spot in an image, and then questions asking you to order responses.

You should practice with each type of question to make yourself familiar with how they work and what types of answers tend to be correct.

Practice exams will help you learn more about your strengths and weaknesses, so you will know what to focus more on. Test Prep Online’s Practice Tests will give you a good sense of what you need to study more.

It is also crucial to set up a scheduled study plan for yourself. Figure out what you need to work on each day to organize what you will be studying. Use study guides to highlight everything you need to know, and if it’s helpful to you, some study guides will even provide you with some strategies and tips for question types.

Differences Between TEAS VI and TEAS VII

A happy lady Doctor discussing with a Patient

You might have heard of two different types of TEAS tests: version 6 and version 7. Prior to June 2022, there was just TEAS 6, but this test has now been updated to TEAS 7. This means that you will automatically be taking the 7th version at this point because you can no longer take the 6th.

At this point, if you have already taken TEAS 6, you will need to contact your school to check if that version is still acceptable. Those scores will no longer be accepted by the end of the current year, 2022.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Many Times Can I Take It?

Yes, you can take the TEAS test more than once, but how many times depends on the school or the program giving the exam. On average, though, you have about an average of 3 times per year, but make sure to check your school’s policy on retakes.

When Can I Retake It Again?

Different schools have different policies concerning retakes, so how often you can retake the test and how much time in between tests will vary depending on your school. Check with your school to know how much time you have.

How Do I Register for the Exam?

You will need to register for the TEAS test on the ATI testing website. You should see a list of test dates—just pick the date that will work for you and be prepared to pay that $50 to $100 fee for your registration. If you have to reschedule, you will need to rebook and repay; that fee is not refundable.

Can I Use a Calculator?

Yes, you can use a calculator for your exam, but this will only be a four-function calculator and not a graphing or scientific calculator. This calculator will also be provided to you in the physical exam and will be built into your online exam if you test on the computer.


Ultimately, adequate practice is a crucial factor in helping you excel in your TEAS test. Be sure to take advantage of Test Prep Online’s practice tests which will go a long way in helping you familiarize yourself with the test format and know exactly what to expect.