Test of Essential Academic Skills TEAS

What skills are tested on TEAS?

The Test of Essential Academic Skills TEAS is administered by the ATI to identify potential candidates for nursing programs in the U.S. The academic skills of students in the areas of Math, Science, Reading and Language are tested and one can take up the test in either the computerized version or the paper and pencil version. Also, the test can be taken up in any U.S. state as centers are available all across the country.

Skills Tested in the TEAS

Students need to have certain academic skills that are essential for studying in a nursing program. As mentioned earlier, four domain areas are tested in this test.

  1. Math

    The Math section is administered to identify the skills of precision and accuracy in the candidates. These two skills are essential for a nurse both during study and during work. The exam does not have questions on difficult concepts but it tests basic mathematical skills and your mental activity. Therefore, calculators are not allowed. The questions in this section fall under any one of these categories:

    • Numbers and Operations
    • Algebraic Applications
    • Data Interpretation
    • Measurement

    The Math section of the Test of Essential Academic Skills TEAS contains 45 problems that need to be answered within 56 minutes.

  2. Science

    Knowledge in science is critical for nursing students as they would be working with human beings. The skills in the field of science are tested in this section. The sub-areas tested are:

    • Human Body Science
    • Life Science
    • Earth and Physical Science
    • Scientific Reasoning

    There are 30 questions that need to be answered within 38 minutes in this section.

  3. Language

    The nursing profession involves talking to many people and therefore, communication is a very important skill that nurses should possess. This skill is primarily tested in this section. The sub-sections in this domain are:

    • Grammar and Word Meaning in Context
    • Spelling and Punctuations
    • Structure

    The time duration for this section is 65 minutes within which you would have to answer 55 questions.

  4. Reading

    The nursing profession requires a lot of reading and understanding the different documents and therefore, reading skills are essential for every nurse. In this section, essays are provided and the candidate has to read them and answer the questions that follow. The reading ability is checked using two sub-sections and these are:

    • Passage Comprehension
    • Paragraph Comprehension

    There are 40 test items for which you are allotted 50 minutes to answer.

Question Types and Duration.

All the 170 questions in the Test of Essential Academic Skills TEAS are multiple-choice questions. The total duration of the test is 209 minutes and the fee for the test is fixed by the testing center. Hence, the test fee varies from center to center.

Importance of the Test

The Test of Essential Academic Skills TEAS is a very important test if you would like to join a nursing program. This is like an entrance test to the various nursing programs offered by the different schools in the United States.

  • The test helps the school or college know if you have the necessary academic skills to take up a nursing program.
  • Moreover, the selection list is based on the comparative scores of all the candidates who have applied for a nursing course. Therefore, you would have to attain a good competitive score if you aim at joining a nursing program.
  • The tool that is used for arriving at the selection list is an academic formula devised by the ATI psychometricians. The academic formula is based on what the nursing program offers and what academic skills are more relevant for that particular course.


The Test of Essential Academic Skills TEAS is essential because most nursing programs require the TEAS scores. Apart from good recommendations, good ACT or SAT scores and a good school record, a high TEAS score is required for admission into a nursing program. With a good preparation, you could certainly attain high scores which would reflect your academic skills potential to succeed in a nursing program.

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