How to Study for the TEAS Test

How to Study for the TEAS Test

Did you know 93%-98% of nurses report satisfaction with their career choice? That’s an exceptionally high number compared to other career fields like food service, retail, and construction.

If you want to join a nursing program you may have to pass an entrance exam first. This exam can include the Test of Essential Academic Skills, or TEAS test.

Nursing requires precise skills in communication, reading comprehension, scientific knowledge, and math reasoning. Even small mistakes can have outsized consequences for patients. The TEAS exam helps determine if you’re ready for the responsibilities, or if you need more academic instruction first.

Do you want to score high on the TEAS exam? We have all the TEAS test tips you need to succeed! Read on for the essential guide to mastering this key nursing school entrance exam.

What Is the TEAS Test?

Some exams measure aptitude, while others are diagnostic assessments to gauge both your aptitude and knowledge. The TEAS is an academic exam, so it focuses on measuring your academic knowledge.

Academic tests are also referred to as achievement tests. They measure educational benchmarks like the math skills, reading levels, and science facts you learned in school.


The TEAS exam is administered by the Assessment Technologies Institute (ATI). It’s been in use for over 20 years, although it’s undergone regular revisions. The current version is TEAS 7, which became effective in June 2022.


The TEAS test is used by many colleges and universities as part of their nursing program entrance requirements. Similar entrance tests include the HESI exam and the NLN PAX.

Every college has different nursing program criteria. These criteria can even differ between campuses of the same college.

Some colleges use TEAS exams exclusively, or along with other exams, or not at all. The minimum score requirements can also be different. To prepare for the TEAS exam, check with your college’s specific requirements for testing format and scoring.


Nursing programs require certain levels of academic knowledge for success. These programs are also competitive, so colleges want to make sure qualified applicants who can complete the program are selected.

The TEAS test can be taken online or using the traditional pen-and-paper format. It has four main sections:

  • English and Language Usage

  • Reading

  • Math

  • Science

The newest TEAS 7 revision kept much of the same academic core knowledge the same, with a few slight shifts. It also made important revisions to question formats.

The written test remains in the standard multiple-choice question format. However, the online version has additional question types:

  • Multiple-select

  • Supply answer

  • Ordering

  • Hot spot

Your TEAS exam preparedness depends on the test format you take. Your college should let you know which format (online or traditional) and version you’ll be taking.


The TEAS exam scores each section, and also every section together as a composite score. Each college has its own minimum score thresholds, although the average baseline is usually around 60%-80%.

Some questions are not scored. You won’t know the scored questions from non-scored as you take the exam, however. There’s also no partial credit given for partially correct answers, so make sure you answer each question to the best of your knowledge.

How to Study for the TEAS Test

Prospective nursing students routinely ask, “Is the TEAS test hard?” before going into it. If you aren’t properly prepared for the TEAS, it can be a struggle to meet score thresholds.

It’s no exaggeration to say if your academic skills and knowledge aren’t where they should be, you could jeopardize your patients’ health and safety. Over 7 million Americans are adversely affected by medication errors alone each year.

When someone scores high on the TEAS test, they prove they can intellectually hack it as a nursing student and a nurse. With the proper study strategy, those high scores can be yours.

1. Review

What you actually know and don’t know may surprise you. While you still need to go over everything, you don’t want to waste too much valuable study time focusing on skills and knowledge you’ve already mastered.

Dynamic TEAS test lesson plans can help figure out your academic strengths and weaknesses. It’s also a good tool throughout your study strategy, as new lesson plans are created based on your previous performance.

2. Plan

The best study sessions are:

  • Short (1-2 hours)

  • Spaced throughout the week

  • Started weeks or months before the exam

Study sessions should also have a plan to cover all the material, including extra time for concepts that are more difficult. There are many courses, study planners, organizers, and calendar apps out there, so take advantage!

3. Study

Effective studying is more than just reading and re-reading the same material over and over. Studies show you learn best when your brain uses a variety of study methods. TEAS flashcards, for example, force your brain to pull the correct information straight from your memory. This helps you actively learn, instead of passively trying to absorb knowledge.

4. Practice

Research shows practice tests can boost student performance, especially when compared to students who didn’t utilize this method. It can also reduce performance variances due to different academic backgrounds.

TEAS practice tests can also help by normalizing taking the actual exam, which reduces test anxiety. And like lesson plans, they also help you keep track of areas you’ve mastered versus areas that need more study.

TEAS Test Prep

Each subject covers a wide range of materials. It’s critical for your TEAS test success to cover all the material over an appropriate amount of study sessions. Studies show last-minute cramming can paradoxically hurt your score more than it helps.

1. English and Language Usage (37 Questions in 37 Minutes)

The English and Language Usage section tests your mastery of English and how you use it to communicate. It has three main knowledge areas

  • Conventions of Standard English

  • Knowledge of Language

  • Vocabulary Acquisition

Conventions of Standard English will go over proper sentence structure. This includes everything from tenses to parts of speech.

Knowledge of Language goes over proper grammar. This means using the correct sentence structure and grammar to form grammatically correct paragraphs. It also includes questions about the writing process, such as drafting and proofreading.

Vocabulary of Acquisition tests your vocabulary skills. This includes knowing a word and using it effectively in writing and communication. It’s not enough for the TEAS test to just memorize a word’s meaning.

2. Reading (45 Questions in 55 Minutes)

The Reading section tests your reading comprehension and analysis skills. This section also has three main areas:

  • Key Ideas and Details

  • Craft and Structure

  • Integration of Knowledge and Ideas

Key Ideas and Details test your knowledge of using key details to find an answer. This includes information explicitly stated or inferred through context cues.

Craft and Structure will go over different writing purposes and their structure. For example, you may be asked analysis questions about a problem-solution essay structure.

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas evaluates the rhetorical devices used by authors in their writing. This includes sources, assumptions, and elements that strengthen or weaken an argument.

3. Math (38 Questions in 57 Minutes)

The Math section tests your general math knowledge and skills. This includes:

  • Arithmetic

  • Algebra

  • Measurements

  • Data

Arithmetic goes over number concepts such as fractions and order of operations. You’ll be asked to apply these concepts to solve word problems.

Algebra requires high school level algebra knowledge. This includes problem-solving with algebraic concepts like ratio and rate of change.

Measurement will include working with the metric system. It goes over measurement concepts like perimeter and volume. It also goes over the Cartesian Coordinate System.

Data will encompass visual data presentations such as graphs, plots, and histograms. You’ll be tested on statistical terms and data concepts like median and causality.

4. Science (50 Questions in 60 Minutes)

The Science section tests your knowledge of science facts. The areas covered are:

  • Human Anatomy and Physiology

  • Life and Physical Science or Biology and Chemistry (TEAS 7)

  • Scientific Reasoning

The Science section will be very different depending on which version you take. The older TEAS exam version placed more exam weight on Human Anatomy and Physiology, and its areas covered included Life and Physical Science.

The newer TEAS 7 changed those areas to Biology and Chemistry. The focus questions are also more evenly spread across all the areas.

It’s important to know which version you’re taking before you begin studying for the Science section. Although TEAS 6 should be phased out, there’s always an off chance some campuses might be slower to transition between one version and the next.

TEAS Study Tips

Study strategies and study guides are essential to exam success. There are also other ways to boost your TEAS test performance.

1. Don’t Procrastinate

Everyone is guilty of putting things off until the last minute. This makes it more difficult to have effective study sessions, however. ATI’s formal recommendation is to start 6 weeks out at a minimum.

2. Get Plenty of Sleep

College students aren’t known for their good sleep habits. Proper sleep is crucial for learning, memory, and concentration, however.

3. Eat Right

Food is another form of fuel for your brain. A proper diet is not just necessary for your physical health, but your mental health as well. There are also foods that can boost your brain performance just before the TEAS test.

4. Limit Distractions

If you can’t focus during your study sessions, you won’t retain much information. Make sure you can study someplace quiet, with little to no distractions.

5. Increase Your Confidence

It may sound a little corny, but confidence is a cornerstone of success. Students who feel prepared and confident to take an exam have much less test anxiety, which can negatively affect test performance.

Your Journey to a Brighter Future Begins Today!

The TEAS test measures your academic foundation in math, language, reading, and science. Once you know how to study for the TEAS test, you should master it in no time!

Union Test Prep has all the essential TEAS study tips and tools you need for the best price you can find: free! No trials, catches, or credit card information is required. Start your free account today to get started!

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