What Is the TEAS Math Test for Nursing?
If you’re working to become a nurse or entering into the allied health field, you’ll have to take the Test of Essential Academic Skills, or the TEAS. This is often required to enter into a nursing program at many universities across the country.
Performing well on the TEAS often means performing successfully in your program, but with all the competition out there, how can you prepare? In this guide, we’ll explain more about the TEAS Math test, what you can expect it will cover, and how you can best prepare for it.
Table of Contents
What is the TEAS Math Test?
The TEAS is an aptitude test that evaluates how well students understand all the key concepts and practical skills involved in nursing. Many educational institutions require this exam before you’re able to enter into your program, but check to be sure that you understand your school’s requirements.
Basically, the whole point is to prepare you for your field—a field which involves a solid amount of math, hence the math exam. This math test has four different sections. You have multiple choice options in each section, but you have to move quickly since the test will only last for 54 minutes. In total, you have 54 minutes for 38 questions.
That being said, there are 4 extra questions included here that will not count towards your final score. You won’t know which questions, but just keep that in mind.
You need to make sure that you prepare for every question and that you have some practice with your math skills. Being adequately prepared will enable you to answer each question in the 1 minute, 35 seconds that you have.
Registering for the Test
Don’t forget to register for the exam first, which you can do right from the ATI Testing website. Your application will need to be approved before you’re able to enter the date you want to take the test and pick your testing site.
Do I Have to Pay?
Expect to choose between PSI testing centers and registered school testing locations in the area. Also, expect to pay anything between $60 and $140 depending on your location.
What Happens at the Test Center?
When you arrive at your testing site, make sure you have your photo ID that includes your signature and a permanent address. You cannot use a student ID or a credit card photo; it has to be a government-issued ID. Arrive 15 minutes early. You can arrive as much as 15 minutes late to the exam, although this is risky as you may risk forfeiting your test and exam fee.
As you enter, your proctor will give you a four-function calculator and some scratch paper. Bring two sharpened No. 2 pencils and erasers, and make sure to take that 10-minute break provided after the exam to rest your mind.
How Do I Prepare for the TEAS Math Test?
The fact is, you don’t have a lot of time to answer each question. A lot of students feel a lot of pressure when they’re undergoing the test, and without preparation, you might find yourself worrying.
You can do a lot to prepare, starting with preparation courses and questions that you can find online. When you prepare, you will have an easier time answering questions because you’ll have some legitimate experience simulating an actual exam.
Don’t be over-reliant on your calculator to save you either. While you can have it there with you, the best preparation is to know what types of questions you might experience.
This is especially true since the questions are made to be a little different since you do have that calculator, and you are still expected to know basic math functions like arithmetic and algebra.
Remember that on test day, you won’t be allowed to use your own calculator. That means you won’t be allowed computers, phones, or actual calculators you bring from home. You’ll be provided one at the testing center that you’ll have to give back when you’re done.
The best preparation you can do is to practice with sample questions on Test Prep Online. Practice tests are graded online so that you can see how you did right away.
Working on a practice exam will help you:
– Get used to the time crunch
– Learn the types of questions you might see
– Remember some of the basic math functions you’ve forgotten
– Hone your skills for the test
– See your scores immediately
– Measure your progress from one practice test to the next
Before you take the practice test, take some time to review all the important concepts you need to know. If there’s something you aren’t well-versed in, you’ll want to make sure you get a grasp on it through practice courses or questions. Of course, you could also take a practice exam first to see what you do well with and what you need more help on.
If you want to take a practice math exam, you can look around online to find any number of practice options. Test Prep Online features some solid options for paid exam preparatory courses online, all of which are made to simulate the actual test as closely as possible: with a timer, answers and explanations for when you finish, and even options that let you see your strengths and weaknesses.
If you work better on paper, you can always buy a physical TEAS textbook as well. Some of these books even pair with online courses to show you video tutorials and study lessons as you work.
What is Included in the TEAS Assessments?
The TEAS tests specific topics in your math section. Basically, these are determined by ATI, the creators of the exam. The most current exams test you on two things: Numbers and Algebra, and Measurement and Data Interpretation.
You’ll notice a general division of the questions between these two broad topics, with maybe one or two more questions having to do with Numbers and Algebra that you will use the calculator for.
You should expect around 23 Numbers and Algebra questions, and 9 questions for Measurement and Data. There should be four more questions that go ungraded, but you won’t know which questions those are.
The more you know your Numbers and Algebra, the better you’ll be able to move through those items quickly, leaving you more time to address Measurement and Data questions.
In general, these are some of the operations you’ll be required to perform: converting non-negative fractions, decimals, and percentages, performing arithmetic operations with rational numbers, comparing and ordering rational numbers, solving equations with one variable, and solving real-world problems.
Those real-world problems can get a little complex. This includes problems with one variable, real numbers, percentages, estimation, proportions, ratios, and rates of change, and expressions or graphs too. In a nutshell, you have a lot of different question types that you might encounter.
TEAS Math Sample Questions
Practice questions are a significant part of preparing for your exam, especially when it comes to math. Sometimes you might think that you understand the concepts, but you have trouble actually applying them to the exam itself.
Working on some of the questions will help you avoid this by seeing how it feels to test under a time crunch, as well as how you actually perform on some of the questions that you thought you knew well.
Here are some sample questions of what you might encounter on the TEAS:
- 0.44 is the closest decimal approximation for which of the following fractions? Your answers are a) 1/9 b) 2/9 c) 3/9 and d) 4/9
- The ratio of motorcyclists involved in an accident to motorcyclists involved in more than one accident in the past year is 4:15. What fraction of drivers involved in at least one car accident this past year were involved in more than one accident? Your answers are a) 4/15 b) 4/10 c) 15/4 and d) 15/17
While both may seem like relatively simple questions that deal with simple concepts, when you’re under pressure, you might struggle to piece out what the ratio is or how you figure out fractions.
Let’s try a sample question and answer. You might see a question like this one:
- Solve for x: 3x + 7 = x – 7
To solve something like this, with variables on both sides of the equal sign, you first need to rearrange the problem to get the variables on the same side.
1. Start by moving the x from the right to the left by subtracting x from both sides.
2. Now you have x + 4 = -6
3. Subtract 4 from both sides too
4. X = -10
It’s possible to solve a problem like this and notice that none of your answers fit the multiple-choice options. This will take more time, but if you want to check your answers, all you need to do is plug in the number you got for the answer. If you input your answer for the variable, you should be able to solve the problem. If you can’t, your answer is wrong.
You could also try to solve it by inputting each multiple-choice answer to see which one works. The only problem with this is that you probably won’t have the time to solve the equation potentially four times since this is a timed test. Try only using this method to check your work then, and only if you have some time at the end of the test.
Let’s try another one:
- If you have an aquarium that has a height of 19 inches, a width of 11 inches, and a length of 30 inches. How much water can you fit in it?
The formula to solve this type of problem would be V = l x w x h. All you have to do is input the numbers for the equation and multiply it.
Finally, let’s look at a word problem that you might encounter:
- 360 ml of blood was drawn from the patient. 1/7 of that was used for further testing, so how many ml of blood were used for further testing? Round your answer off to the nearest hundredth.
In these types of word problems, there are usually keywords that transfer directly to different things in a math equation. So, you need to determine how much blood of 360 ml is that 1/7. “Of” in this case means multiplication.
1. To solve this, multiply 360 by 1/7. So, 360 x 1 / 7, which is 360/7, which you can just use your calculator to solve.
2. Your answer should be 51.4285714 ml
3. Since you’re rounding to the nearest hundredth, your answer should be that 57.43 ml of blood was used for further testing.
The point here is that you need to really pay attention to the words in the problem. If you have trouble doing that, take a second to work through the problem. Underline or circle words like “of” that might impact what operations you use in your problem. Write them down to help you figure them out before you panic at all the words there.
How Do I Pass It?
The idea of “passing” your exam depends on some level of the school you want to get into. The nursing program itself will determine what score you need to pass. Most of the time, this means that you need to earn a total score between all five sections of at least 60-70%.
You also need to pass the TEAS Science, Reading, English, and Language Usage. Make sure you practice as much as possible since a higher score will increase your chances of admission.
After you take your exam, you’ll receive that total score so you can see it right away. Additionally, you’ll also receive separate scores for each section.
To get the scores you want, the best thing you can do is to study hard using some practice tests from Test Prep Online. Not only will this help you relieve some of your test stress and anxiety, but good practice tests will also provide you with in-depth explanations of each important concept on the exam.
Understanding these key concepts is only half of your battle because you need to know how to apply them too. This is why, to pass, you should take a few minutes to plan out how you might want to study and what methods work the best for you. You need to learn your concepts before you jump into a practice exam, or even after you take one, after all.
Try a few tried and true study methods then, like portable flashcards. You can use flashcards to cover all four sections of the TEAS. For the math section, this might mean writing out a few sample concepts that you struggle to remember, or quizzing yourself with random questions whenever you pull them out.
Don’t skip some of the online lessons you can take either. Sign yourself up for a TEAS online course, which should contain a sizable number of lessons to teach you the concepts, along with a huge number of practice questions.
These types of courses also include electronic flashcards, so you can continue to quiz yourself even during your bus commute, or when you have a few minutes throughout the day.
You should take the time to understand what you need to learn too. Go through each of the four tests, and when you know the problems that usually trip you up, focus on those. As nice as it might feel to go through some of the problems you can solve with ease, you only have a limited amount of time to study for this test, so look through what you struggle with.
Plan to study those concepts to improve them.
It always helps to study in a good environment and to develop a study schedule too. You might think that you know math well, but even the simplest of problems can trip you up if you blank on what you’re doing. This is why you shouldn’t cram all the topics to study in a short amount of time either.
Create that study schedule and stick to it, because learning all this math over time will better help you keep it in mind when it comes to the exam.
Take all the exams possible while simulating testing conditions. Put yourself under that pressure of a time crunch so that you can really get a sense of what the real test will feel like. If you have a friend who’s willing, maybe have them proctor the practice exams for you to help you get the best sense of how you’ll feel in that testing room.
There’s a lot that goes into qualifying for your allied health program. You need to make sure you score well on the TEAS exam to increase your chances of getting into your chosen school, and to do that, make sure you practice. Even a few practice exams will go a long way when it comes to improving your score.
Sarah is an accomplished educator, researcher and author in the field of testing and assessment. She has worked with various educational institutions and organisations to develop innovative evaluation methods and enhance student learning. Sarah has published numerous articles and books on assessment and learning. Her passion for promoting equity and fairness in the education system fuels her commitment to sharing insights and best practices with educators and policymakers around the world.