The TEAS (Test of Essential Academic Skills) is administered by the educational company ATI testing. It is an entrance exam required by certain schools to gain admission into their nursing or dental hygiene programs. Although you cannot technically pass or fail the test, you must demonstrate proficiency by achieving a minimum score determined by your individual school program.
The TEAS exam score is broken down several ways, from general to more specific. Your Adjusted Individual Score (sometimes also referred to as your composite score) is your “main score.” It is the combination of how well you did on all four sections of the TEAS, which are Reading, Math, Science, and English. You will also receive a “mean” score for each specific subsection of the test and scores for each of the specific tested concepts within each subsection. For example, you may see you scored a 75% on Paragraph Comprehension and an 85% on the Informational Source Comprehension portion of the Reading subsection, but that you received an overall Reading score of 80%. When you receive your results from API, you will see not only your own composite, subsection, and specific-concept scores, but also a comparison to the average scores of other individuals both at your school and nationally.
Although there is a lot of data to take in on your TEAS exam results, typically five scores will be set apart at the top: your Adjusted Individual (Composite) Score, the National Mean Composite Score, your Program’s Mean Composite score, a National Percentile Rank, and a Program Percentile Rank. Although every school has slightly different criteria for admission, most require a Composite Score of at least 60% to 70%. If your score is considered “proficient” according to your school’s standards, you should be eligible to apply to the nursing or dental hygiene program. However, if the program you wish to enter is very competitive, your school may only select students with top scores, so aiming for only a “proficient” score is strongly discouraged. In addition to your Composite Score, many schools also give special consideration to how you scored in the Reading subsection, often requiring an overall score between 70% and 80%.
Because every school has different admissions requirements, it is always best to check with your individual school to determine how they use their TEAS test for program placement. Make sure you understand their requirements and which areas they place the most emphasis on. Taking or retaking the TEAS test? Practice by section here.