Tips to Help you Pass your TEAS Exam

Written by Brandon L.
January 30, 202411 min read

The Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) is a special exam that every student intending to take a nursing or health program must sit for. The test evaluates your readiness to join a nursing school, so if this is your dream, you must ensure you prepare well for it. This preparation involves knowing what the test entails, studying properly, and reviewing past and practice papers. It also includes developing a study plan and creating a good study environment to help you focus.

The TEAS test is part of what is included in the admissions criteria, so passing is the first step to getting into your dream program.

With that said, the following article will define the TEAS test and everything you need to do to pass it.

What is a TEAS Test?

Also known as, the Test of Essential Academic Skills is a multiple-choice standardized exam used to assess students wanting to take a nursing program. It tests whether a prospective student is ready to undertake health science programs.

The TEAS test gauges students' understanding of all essential subjects they have learned in high school or the first half of college. Exam scores evaluate whether the students have the basic knowledge needed in a nursing program. Therefore, getting a good score will help you enter your dream nursing school.

The TEAS test is part of students' major application process to enter an institution. It is administered by the Assessment Technological Institute (ATI). The test covers reading, math, science, and English/language topics. Each section consists of a different number of questions with a time limit.

Tips to Ace the TEAS Exam

Like any exam, you must prepare well to pass TEAS on your first attempt. The exam covers a wide range of information, so taking time to prepare will increase your chances of passing.

The following tips can help you prepare and ace the exam.

Know what is expected.

TEAS is a computerized exam consisting of 170 questions, which should be completed within 209 minutes. Twenty questions from the 170 are not graded but are used for internal purposes. The different sections are broken down as follows:

1). Mathematic section consisting of 36 questions completed within 54 minutes

  1. Science consisting of 53 questions completed withing 63 minutes
  1. English and language usage slc28 questions completed within 28 minutes


  1. Reading consisting of 53 questions completed within 64 minutes

You will be given a 10-minute break during the test. However, it will be deducted from the overall test time if you need more time.

Keeping all this information in mind will ensure you don’t encounter any surprises during the test.

Come Up with a Plan

Before preparing for the test, you need to devise a plan to do it right. To get started, ask yourself the following questions:

Answering these questions will help you anticipate any challenges that may come up before or during the test and then better prepare for them. You can also plan your time well so that you get everything done before sitting for the test.

Organize Your Study Space

Your study environment has a direct impact on how well you absorb information. Outer clutter results in inner chaos, and focusing will be a big issue if a mess surrounds you. A good study space must contain the following: a desk, chair, good internet connectivity, and good lighting. It should also be warm enough for comfort.

Limiting distractions will help you stay on the task. So look for a quiet place to set your study space. If you must have any noise, choose soft music or ambient sounds, which are good for your productivity. Invest in quality noise-canceling headphones if you cannot move to a quiet place.

Form a Study Group

If it is weeks before the test, plan for each week in advance so you do not get surprises. The best thing to do is create a study group with other students who will be sitting for the same exam.  According to Florida National University, studying in groups has several benefits. For instance, each group member has strengths that they can use to help those struggling in certain areas. An ideal study group should contain 3-5 members committed to studying.

Study Instead of Cramming

ATI Institute recommends that all prospective students take at least six weeks to prepare for the test. During this time, you need to study well, especially in the areas that might seem challenging. If you do not have six weeks to prepare, manage your time well so you are not forced to cram for tests. Due to improper time management, cramming is simply trying to stuff a whole load of information in your short-term memory. While this can seem like a good way to focus on the test, it does not help you perform better. Cramming comes with several disadvantages that you need.

Make sure you have access to detailed lessons for the study plan. These lessons might include online lessons, class notes, and college textbooks. These lessons are detailed so you can spend at least 30 minutes on each.

Take Advantage of the TEAS Practice Exam

Even though you can study all the different subjects independently, taking a TEAS practice test won't hurt. These tests have many benefits, including highlighting areas you must focus on. Besides testing your problem-solving skills, they also test your ability to memorize information.

Many practice tests are broken down into sections like the real test. Some of the questions you can expect to find in the practice exam include the following:

When taking the test, it's important that you:

Properly managing time is one of the most challenging parts of the test. You need to pay attention to the time specified for each section to ensure you are on track.

Utilize Online Resources

Since ATI is responsible for the TEAS exam, its website has a lot of helpful guides you can use to prepare for the exam. ATI has an official study guide that includes an expanded list of all subsections and exam questions similar to the main test. Besides the ATI website, you can try Pre-Nursing Smarter, which offers study guides on all subjects.

If Possible, Take an In-Person Prep Test

If you have more success in a personal test, then do so. Interactive methods of learning are helpful because it helps learners retain information and play with concepts much better. Some colleges offer this option, so it is your responsibility to do proper research to find out which colleges offer this. Make sure you check the school's rating from students who sat for the exams to ensure you get quality classes.

Organize Your Time

One of the biggest mistakes most students make is not allocating enough time for study. Since ATI recommends at least six weeks of study, you must organize this time well and plan for your studies. Remember that six weeks is the average recommended time; everyone is different. You know your learning style much better.

A good way to stay organized is by setting a time each day to study. For instance, you can study for 2 hours every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. Setting time aside creates accountability, as you will follow through with your study plans. It will also help you break down your reading assignments into manageable chunks.

If you only have four weeks to prepare for the exam, you can organize your time like this:

Study for about 40 hours for four days each week. This will be 40 ÷ 4 = 10 hours per week.

10 hours per week ÷ 4 days per week = 2.5 hours each day. This is enough time to study daily and absorb as much information as possible.

Set a goal for the session every time you sit down to study. For instance, a goal for the session could be understanding the interpretation of graphs or basic algebra.

Make sure you devote at least one week to covering the content areas. Read all the materials and take a practice test for each. You may want to allocate more time to certain areas depending on your results.

Use YouTube

YouTube can be an amazing study resource because it contains information on different subjects. It is an educational tool that connects learners with educationalists and researchers worldwide. The information provided here is interesting and engaging. A single video can provide you with a wealth of resources on the subject you are struggling with. Smart Edition Academy has some amazing TEAS resources.

Try Facebook Prep Group

Even though Facebook is an entertaining social app, it can also be used for educational purposes. Connect with peers who share the same goals by forming a group. You can collaborate, discuss and receive extra help in all the areas you struggle with. Every person can post a question or topic and ask questions to receive member feedback.

There are many TEAS Facebook groups you can join, with up to 100,000 members preparing for the same test. Those who have taken the test share resources that helped them.

Take Study Breaks

Even though assigning study time and studying diligently is good, taking breaks is equally important. It is necessary to strategize your studying approach to maintain your focus and retain as much information as possible over a long period. Research shows that taking periodic breaks after hours of studying will help absorb information effectively. You can take a 10-15-minute break every 50-90 minutes to increase your productivity and motivation.

Ensure you follow the break schedule even when you feel highly motivated to keep studying. You can do something fun or relaxing, like walking, dancing, or even napping.

Don't Neglect Yourself

Just because you will be sitting for what could be the most important test of your life doesn't mean you should kill yourself trying to prepare for it. You need to take care of your health, both physical and mental. Don't spend every waking hour studying for the test. Studies show that healthy individuals are better learners. Try to avoid stress by eating healthy and exercising. Exercise releases endorphins, which are feel-good hormones. These hormones will enhance your mood, help you focus, and give you the confidence to tackle the exam.

Eat a diet consisting of highly nutritious foods. Also, include brain foods, such as fatty fish, pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate, nuts, etc. Research shows that these foods will increase your brainpower and help with comprehension and retaining information.

Find a Tutor

Our learning needs are different, so don't hesitate to ask for help. Hiring a private tutor to take you through a one-on-one interaction can help you accomplish much more than studying alone. They can notice your weaker areas and help you improve on them.

A tutor can help you with specific examination techniques to increase your chances of succeeding. They can also help you work through practice papers and give you tips on how to ace the test.

Sleep Well Before the Test

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), sleep is essential for students. Getting a good night's sleep replenishes your energy levels and strengthens your immune system. Sleep has also been shown to be important in improving a student's academic performance. Skipping sleep affects your ability to adequately prepare for a test or even pass the test because it impacts your mood and concentration.

If you have spent six weeks adequately preparing for a test, burning the midnight oil the night before is unnecessary.

Handle Your Stress

TEAS is an important exam, so you will likely be pressured to succeed. Therefore, it's perfectly normal to feel some degree of anxiety and stress before or during exams because it shows you have invested enough in studying. However, it's essential to ensure your stress levels are manageable. You do not want to fail because the stress negatively impacts your abilities.

Dealing with stress is challenging but not impossible. You can do certain things to ensure you are not under too much pressure. For instance, you could try mindful techniques such as breathing deeply to help you calm down. You could also limit the coffee intake and take light meals to help with concentration.

Things to Do on Examination Day

Now that you have prepared adequately for six weeks, it's time to sit for the exam. Put a plan in place to ensure you do it right. Consider doing the following:


The TEAS test is part of the admissions process for nursing school. It is meant to assess your abilities to succeed in nursing school. Passing this test will increase your chances of admission, so you must prepare well. You can do several things to improve your chances of passing, such as studying effectively, taking a practice test, hiring a tutor, etc.

Related Articles/Guides:

During exams, read instructions and questions carefully to understand what is expected. You should also check the allocated time to avoid wasting time. Finally, make sure you review all your answers before submitting them.

Frequently Asked Questions on TEAS Exam

What is the TEAS Test?

TEAS is a test that is used to evaluate whether a student is ready to be admitted to a nursing or any health-related program.

In a nutshell, what should I do to pass the TEAS Test?

You must prepare well by first understanding what is expected, studying in groups or with a tutor, reviewing TEAS practice papers, and using study guides. You also need to take care of your mental and physical health so that you sit for the paper when your mind and body are in a good state.

Can I pass the TEAS test without reading?

No. Unless you are a genius who is already aware of everything, then it's unlikely that you will pass the exam without going through the reading materials.

How many questions are on the TEAS test?

170 multiple-choice questions on Reading, Mathematics, Science, English, and Language Usage subjects.

Where can you get the best TEAS Test study guide for free?

ATI Institute, the creator of the TEAS test, has a free mobile app that can help you study and prepare for the exam.

Which websites offer free TEAS practice tests?

The best TEAS websites with prep courses are:

Is the TEAS test Quizlet useful?

Yes. It has everything you need to do well in the exam, from flashcards, practice tests, and answers written and verified by experts.

What should I focus on for the TEAS Exam?

Since the TEAS exam is about health-related programs, including nursing, most questions will be about human anatomy and physiology. Therefore, even though every question is important, your attention should be on these topics to improve your scores.

How long should I study for the TEAS exam?

ATI recommends preparing for the test for at least six weeks.

How is the TEAS test graded? What is the passing score for the exam?

Each section of the TEAS test is assigned a specific weight, which is then tallied to determine the final mark. So to pass the test, you must get between 55%-70%.

Can I retake the TEAS test if I fail my first attempt?

Yes. However, there is a limit to how many times you can retake the test. So you must try to pass the test on your first attempt.

Can I hire a professional to help with the TEAS Exam?

Yes, you can. Many professionals can help take the test and pass it. Our website has professionals who can help you take the TEAS exam. Engage us via chat. 

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