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What is the TEAS?

The TEAS is a standardized exam that measures student’s preparedness to enter various health science fields. Here is everything you need to know about the test and tips to prepare!

If you’re looking to get a job in the healthcare industry, you have probably heard of the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS). You will likely have to take the test before you can start an academic program in your chosen field, particularly nursing. 

Here is everything you need to know about the test and tips to prepare:

What is the TEAS? 

The TEAS is a standardized exam from Assessment Technologies Institute (ATI) that measures student’s preparedness to enter various health science fields. It is offered in two formats – electronic and paper. The total length of the test is 209 minutes.

Similar to the ACT and SAT from high school, many healthcare programs and nursing schools use this exam as a prerequisite before admitting students into their programs. It is a basic way to test students on their general abilities before admitting them into the program.

Publishers Note: All this information is current as of August 2021. For any updates about test details, please refer directly to the ATI TEAS website.

What is on the TEAS? 

The TEAS tests you on core subjects you have already learned up to this point in your education. There are 170 multiple-choice questions, broken into four categories: 

  • Reading: You’ll have 64 minutes to answer 53 questions that will measure your ability to identify key ideas and details and how you understand the integration of knowledge and ideas. 
  • Mathematics: There are 36 questions in this section, and you’ll have 54 minutes to answer them. Questions cover algebra, measurement skills and data. A calculator will be provided. 
  • Science: In the 63-minute science portion, 53 questions cover human anatomy and physiology, life and physical sciences, and scientific reasoning. 
  • English and language usage: Students will have 28 minutes to answer 28 questions. You can expect questions about Standard English conventions, your knowledge of language and vocabulary.

Who has to take the TEAS? 

For many students pursuing a career in healthcare, the TEAS may be required to be accepted into their program. Allied health, ADNDiploma and BSN programs may request a TEAS score since this will help predict how successful students will be in their education.

What is a passing score for the TEAS? 

After completing the TEAS, you’ll receive your results quickly. If you take the online version, your results are available immediately. Results from paper format can take up to 72 business hours.

When you receive your results, you will see a main composite score and four scores for each subject. The composite score is what schools will focus on when considering you for admission.

Generally, schools would like your composite score to be at least 60% to 70%. However, they may have different criteria for what they consider a passing score, so be sure to check with each. 

Your test results are valid for up to 24 months after you take the test. 

How many times can you take the TEAS?

Don’t worry if you don’t get the score you hoped for on your first try. At Herzing, you can take the TEAS up to two times a year with a minimum of 14 days in between attempts. But remember, the exam is not free – you’ll need to pay a registration fee every time you take the test.

What are some tips to pass your TEAS?

When preparing for the TEAS, it’s best to start early. The ATI recommends that students allow at least six weeks of preparation and study before taking the TEAS. 

A few other tips to prepare for the exam include:

  • Take a TEAS practice exam: This can relieve some of the day-of nerves and help identify areas you may need to review. 
  • Use your resources: Your local libraries may have TEAS practice books, resources for online practice tests, or additional tips for studying and passing the exam.
  • Take care of yourself: Get a full night’s rest leading up to your exam and try not to get too stressed out.

As you prepare to take the TEAS and for your health care career, Herzing University is here for you. We support you throughout your education to help you reach your career aspirations.

Now it’s time to study hard and go ace that test!

Learn More About Our Nursing Programs


* Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics 2023 / Occupational Outlook Handbook 2022. BLS estimates do not represent entry-level wages and/or salaries. Multiple factors, including prior experience, age, geography market in which you want to work and degree field, will affect career outcomes and earnings. Herzing neither represents that its graduates will earn the average salaries calculated by BLS for a particular job nor guarantees that graduation from its program will result in a job, promotion, salary increase or other career growth.

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