Everything You’ll Want to Know before Taking the TEAS Exam

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For many nursing school applicants, the ATI TEAS exam is a must. But what is the TEAS, when should you take the exam, and what are the best ways to prepare? The creator of the TEAS exam, ATI Nursing Education, wants to fill you in by answering questions to everything you will need to know before taking the exam.

What is the TEAS exam?

The Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) is a multiple-choice assessment of basic academic knowledge in reading, mathematics, science, and English/Language Usage. The objectives assessed on the TEAS exam are those which nurse educators deemed most appropriate and relevant to measure entry-level academic readiness of nursing program applicants. It is used as part of the admissions process by Nursing and Allied Health schools nationwide.

Helpful Tip for Nursing School Applicants: If you want to know what the entire admissions process looks like, we recommend that you check with the schools you are applying to. Every nursing program has their own set of required criteria. 

Related Read: How to Get into Nursing School

How long is the exam?

The TEAS exam is comprised of 170 four-option, multiple-choice questions. Twenty of these questions are non-scored, pre-test questions. Each subject category has a separate time limit:

  • Reading – 58 minutes, 42 questions
  • Mathematics – 51 minutes, 30 questions
  • Science – 66 minutes, 48 questions
  • English and Language Usage – 34 minutes, 30 questions

How do I register?

  1. Contact the school in which you are applying. Some schools handle administering the test at the school, while others will go through a testing center, like PSI.
  2. Visit the ATI TEAS registration website and create a user account.
  3. Login to atitesting.com using your ATI username and password and select either “Register for the TEAS” (through a school) or “Register for the TEAS with PSI” (a testing center). Once you register and pay for the testing feeds, a confirmation email will be sent to you from ATI.
  4. If you registered for the TEAS exam through a PSI testing center, you will receive an email from PSI within 24 hours of your registration with ATI. You will be given a link to PSI that will allow you to schedule your test date and location. You will need the candidate ID# from your ATI confirmation email when scheduling your test at PSI.

We recommend that you register at least two weeks ahead of time, however, many students are registered and studying at least four weeks in advance.

What do I need to bring to the exam?

  • Valid photo ID
  • No. 2 pencils
  • Registration receipt with the ATI testing ID
  • We ask that you do not bring a cell phone to the exam

How should I study for the exam?

Practice makes perfect, right? As the developers of the TEAS exam, we know the ins and outs of the test very well. To help you prepare, we recommend using one of the following products:

    • TEAS SmartPrep Package: A personalized experience designed to help you conquer the areas of the TEAS exam where you are weak. ATI TEAS SmartPrep offers 65 unique lessons covering the subjects and concepts that TEAS-takers need to know to do their best. The number of lessons in each module align with the TEAS blueprint, so you can spend time focused on what matters most.
    • ATI TEAS Basic Package: Streamline your TEAS preparation with the ATI TEAS study manual and online practice assessments (specific to the ATI TEAS version). 
    • ATI TEAS Study Manual: Designed to give a sense of what to expect both in content and in format, these practice tests each include 150 questions patterned after the actual ATI TEAS exam.

See all of the ATI TEAS prep products here!

Does my score get automatically sent to my school?

ATI will automatically send your scores to the institution that you selected when registering for the TEAS exam. If you would like to send a copy to another school, visit ATI’s online store. You can immediately send the score via email for a TEAS Transcript fee of $27.

Why is it important to do well on the TEAS?

As you know, many nursing schools require the TEAS exam as a component to their admissions process. A good score may help you get into the school of your choice and allow you to start your nursing school journey. Be sure to confirm cut off scores with the schools that you are applying to and ask how they weigh the exam as part of their admissions process.

A poor TEAS score, on the other hand, could delay your acceptance into nursing school. How? Let’s talk numbers. According to a TIME Money article, the median annual salary for a registered nurse in the United States in 2016 was $58,371. Delaying nursing school for a semester or even a year will set you back from starting your career, making money, and living out your passion.

Do you have a question regarding the TEAS exam that you would like to have answered? Let us know! Email your question to aticommunications@atitesting.com and we will get back to you.


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