TEAS Test Breakdown

For entering an educational field that is promising one needs to prove one’s preparedness from the start. This is because specific fields require specific qualities that help in furthering the studies as well as the subsequent career path. For a career in nursing, nursing colleges are also looking for progressive and competitive candidates.

The nursing career requires candidates with an understanding of basic academic skills as well as general skills. TEAS or Test of Essential Academic Skills is an aptitude test, which is used by nursing schools for admission purposes. This makes it fundamental for entrance into a nursing course. Moreover, this is the age of competition and a test like TEAS helps to screen students according to their skills and preparedness.

TEAS Test Structure


The first and foremost step to take the TEAS is to gain information about the test and its structure. This knowledge is helpful to understand the requirements and nature of the test, which helps to score well in it.

The TEAS is designed according to the admission needs of nursing schools. It tests students at the entry level for their skills required to complete the nursing course as well as for a successful nursing career. For this TEAS is divided into four basic sections, which are:

  • Reading
  • Math
  • Science
  • English and Language Usage.

There are a total of 170 questions in all and it takes about 3 ½ hours to complete the test.
TEAS is administered in two formats:

  • On the computer
  • As a paper and pencil test


Types of Questions Asked in TEAS

All the sections of TEAS contain multiple-choice questions. There are about 4 to 5 options from which the student is supposed to select the best answer option. Amongst the options, at least one option is clearly incorrect. However, other options might confuse you and put you in doubt about the correct answer. Hence, the best strategy to answer these questions is to prepare the content well.

In case of doubt, one can resort to the reverse method of arriving at the answer by eliminating the answer options that are obviously incorrect. However, one should not let such a situation arise and prepare for the test in a way that the correct answer strikes as soon as all the answer options are read.



The Reading section of TEAS is of 50 minutes. It contains a total of 40 testing items. This section is a typical Reading test where students are asked questions on passage comprehension, paragraph comprehension, and inference and conclusions. It requires students to understand the given text and answer the questions that are followed by it.

The questions require students to draw inferences and form conclusions using their logical reasoning abilities. There can be direct questions as well as indirect questions based on the passage. However, students should bear in mind that they have to answer the questions only according to the information given in the passage and not by something that is not mentioned.

The Reading section is fundamental in TEAS since it tests the basic skills required by nursing students. The coursework and a career in nursing involve frequently going through difficult texts and documentation. Hence, it requires students to have the basic skill to form conclusions based on their comprehension of written text.



This section of TEAS has 45 testing items that need to be answered in 56 minutes. It is obvious that you will get a little more than a minute to answer each question.

The content asked in this test deals with topics of whole numbers, metric conversion, fractions, decimals, algebraic equations, percentages and ratio/proportions.

These questions test the basic mathematical skills possessed by students. It is essential to judge these skills for a nursing course since the profession and study involves skills of precision and accuracy. The math problems do not involve difficult concepts; instead only basic knowledge is required. The use of calculators is prohibited in this section since the emphasis is on mental activity. Moreover, the questions are such that can be solved with simple mental calculations or with some scratch work.



This section is of 38 minutes. There are 30 science testing items asked in it which are essential to judge the aptitude of students for a career in nursing.

The questions cover a wide range of topics from biology, chemistry, basic physical principles, science reasoning and knowledge, anatomy, physiology etc. It is required that the students have basic knowledge about science subjects since they are headed towards advancement in the same. The profession in nursing involves study of such subjects as well as keeping in touch with the latest developments in the field. Undergoing this becomes impossible unless the student possesses a scientific bend of mind. Hence, TEAS tests this ability of students through the Science section.

English and Language Usage


This section is of 65 minutes. It has a total of 55 testing items. The questions in the English and Language Usage section are based on punctuation, grammar, sentence structure, contextual words and spelling.

It is imperative to test the language skills of students since it is the most common medium of exchange of ideas not only in education but also in your profession. In order to succeed in the coursework it is most essential to understand the language in which the instruction is carried out. Moreover, the study and the profession involve a great amount of interaction among many people. Good understanding of grammar and usage of language makes the journey smoother since it becomes easy to understand concepts as well as express yourself effectively. Hence, this section is essential to judge these basic abilities of candidates aspiring to undertake nursing studies.

Scoring TEAS Performance


A specific system of scoring is adopted by ATI in order to measure and judge your performance in TEAS.  On the basis of this scoring a student gets his entry ticket to a nursing college.

You do not pass or fail the TEAS. However, the colleges set their own required cut offs for the purpose of admission. Therefore, it is best to check with the colleges for their cutoff scores and aim at obtaining more than that if you wish to join them.

The score report is a detailed report of your performance. It includes the marks obtained in the section along with the marks obtained in each content area of a particular section. The total marks are also mentioned. This gives a clear picture of your performance.

Preparation is an essential factor that determines your score in TEAS. Students specially need to prepare for the math and science sections. Preparation is also required so that you gain sufficient mastery over the content to finish the test within the time limit provided. The score you obtain in TEAS depends greatly on how well prepared you are. It is on the basis of this score that your admission status is decided. Hence, a student must study the content for the test and practice the test questions well so that he can give his best and get selected in top nursing colleges.



While the motivation and force to become a nurse comes from within, it can be made a reality only with required preparation. Having firsthand information about the test gives direction to preparation and every candidate appearing for TEAS must begin preparation by collecting information about the test and its features.

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