Date Published: July 13, 2022
When it comes to taking the TEAS exam, ATI’s remote (at-home) online test-taking method is a great option for students who prefer to test from the comfort of their own home. Being in a space that you are familiar with can help you tune out distractions and focus on your exam, and in addition to skipping the commute to a testing center, you could even take the TEAS in your pajamas!
However, one of the downsides to taking the TEAS at home instead of at a testing center or institution is that your room may not meet all of the guidelines for a secure remote testing environment. Taking the TEAS in an environment that does not meet the guidelines increases the chances that your exam will get flagged for review, so it’s important to adjust your space before you begin the test to set yourself up for success.
Here are some helpful tips for setting up your exam environment to take the at-home version of the ATI TEAS exam.
Find some peace and quiet
Your home has a lot of potential distractions that you wouldn’t find at a testing center, including family members, pets, televisions, and other things that could pull your focus away from your exam. When selecting a location in your home to take the test, it’s important to find a spot that blocks out these distractions as best as possible. If possible, try to look for a room with a door that closes tight to block out any disruptive noises. If you can’t find a closed room, make sure the other people in your home are aware of when you are testing and all pets are taken care of before you begin.
Bonus tip: put a sign on the door or in the doorway politely asking your family members to keep out until you are done with your exam.
Good lighting is for more than just selfies
When taking the TEAS at home, it’s important that your webcam is able to pick up your image clearly throughout the duration of the exam. Avoid testing somewhere super dark or super bright, as too much or too little light can wash out your facial features.
Try to find a space with good natural or artificial light that you can face. You should avoid being backlit (meaning there’s a lot of light coming from behind you) by closing the curtains of any windows that appear behind you in the camera shot.
Bonus tip: if you’re struggling to find the right lighting in a well-lit room, try adjusting the height or angle of your webcam, or doing a 360˚ turn to see which angle highlights your face the best.
Keep the background simple
In addition to poor lighting, your webcam might also have trouble focusing on you if the background is too busy. Things like colorful posters or complicated wallpaper designs make it hard for the camera to tell the difference between you and your background.
Try to find a solid-colored or blank wall to sit in front of when you take your TEAS exam. If you must be in front of a busy wall, sit further away from it so that the camera can focus on you based on depth, instead.
Clear off your workspace
Before you start your test, you’ll be required to give the camera a full 360˚ look of your surroundings. Any non-testing accessories (like a box of tissues, drinks, etc.) or objects other than the approved scratch paper should not be present in the testing area unless absolutely necessary. If any accessories or unapproved objects appear in your surroundings, it may be reported as an irregularity and flagged for review.
Related read: What’s the deal with the scratch paper?
Don’t forget that headphones are not allowed to be used during an at-home TEAS exam, unless you have an approved testing accommodation. You can learn more about the accommodation approval process here.
Do a dry run
Once you finally have your secure testing environment set up and ready to go, we recommend doing a dry run in the space. Doing a dry run in your decided testing environment will ensure all of your technology, such as internet connection, is working as it should in that location. Make sure to use the same device that you will use on exam day.
ATI Advice: Not completing a dry run is one of the biggest mistakes TEAS test takers make when preparing for exam day. Check out our ATI TEAS Exam Dry Run Quickstart Guide to get started on the right foot.
Remember that when it comes time to take your exam, you must remain on-camera and be in total view of the webcam for the entirety of the test outside of scheduled breaks. Leaving the view of the camera is the number one reason why TEAS testers may get flagged for review and have their attempts considered invalid. You must have your camera on with a view of your testing area at all times, even during a break.
Bonus tip: You do get an official break following the math portion of the TEAS. You can take 10 minutes to use the bathroom, get a drink of water, or just refocus and mentally prepare yourself for the second half of the test! You must leave your camera on during the break and return to your seat within 10 minutes.
Setting up a quiet, secure testing environment for the at-home TEAS exam is one of the best things you can do to set yourself up for success on test day. What else should you do to set yourself up for success? Study!
ATI wrote the exam and then created a variety of study materials for every level of prep. Visit https://www.atitesting.com/teas-prep to access the most comprehensive TEAS prep materials on the market, all based on the content and format of the actual ATI TEAS, Version 7 exam.