What is TEAS?

Understanding TEAS test

If you are planning on taking the TEAS, the first thing you want to understand is the test content After reading this article, you would have a complete knowledge about this test.

What is TEAS?

TEAS is the abbreviation for the Test of Essential Academic Skills and it is administered by the Assessment Technologies Institute (ATI). This test has been statistically proven as a predictor for potential nursing students and their success.

What is tested in it?

The academic skills in the domains of Math, Science, Reading and Language are tested here and each domain has sub-areas of testing. These subject areas are tested in the test as the academic skills in these areas are essential for a prospective nursing student.


The skills of precision and accuracy are tested in the Math domain of the TEAS since a nurse requires both these skills. This section measures your basic mathematical skills and your mental ability under the following sub-segments:

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


Everyday, the nursing profession deals with the human body and its associated sciences more than any other domain. Therefore, due to its indispensible nature, science is an important aspect of the test. The sub-areas tested under this sphere are:

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


Reading skills are essential for a nurse as the job requires one to read and understand a lot of documents. The two sub-areas that are tested are:

  • Passage Comprehension
  • Paragraph Comprehension

For both these sub-areas, passages are given and questions that follow need to be answered.


Communication is very important for nurses as their job requires regular interaction with a lot of people. Communication skills are tested this sub-section of test under the following areas:

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

What are the Question Types in TEAS?

All the questions in this test are multiple-choice questions. For every question, four answer options would be given and one has to choose the appropriate answer. There are 170 questions in the TEAS test and of this 150 are scored and the rest 20 questions are un-scored pre-test items.

What is the Duration of the Test?

The total time duration of the test is 209 minutes. There are two versions of the test; the computerized version and the paper and pencil version. For the computerized version, the results are released immediately while for the paper and pencil version, the results are released after 48 hours of the completion of the test.

Subject Area Number of Questions Time Duration (min)
Reading 42 50
Mathematics 30 56
Science 48 38
English and Language Usage 30 65
Total 150 209

What is the Importance of the Test?

The test is important to anyone who wants to take up nursing as a career because this test is required as part of the admission process in most nursing colleges.

Why do Nursing Schools Prefer the TEAS?

  • Abilities and Skills- This test identifies if you have the abilities and skills that are required for completing a nursing program successfully.
  • Early Intervention- The test results also identify those candidates who need extra attention and those who would not be suitable for a nursing program. This early identification eliminates the possibility of failure since the students are selected on a parameter of surety of passing the courses.
  • Custom-made selection formula- The ATI psychometricians have developed an admission formula that is best for a nursing program. Based on this, the candidates are selected and therefore, only the candidates with an appropriate fit, are offered a seat in the program.
  • Comparative Selection The selection list is based on comparative scoring of all the candidates who have taken up the test. Therefore, only the best are selected for a program.

To sum up...

It is important to understand that you have to take up the test as it is mandatory if you want to join a nursing program in the United States. This highly competitive test identifies your ability in different areas, and based on comparative scoring, your selection is made.