How to Prepare for the TEAS Test in 2024

If you are a student looking at how to become a registered nurse then you have probably heard of the (dreaded) TEAS (Test of Essential Academic Skills) exam that is required by most nursing schools today.

The exam is known to be difficult and requires careful preparation. This guide will help you with tips and provide insight into what to expect if you are looking to take the TEAS test in 2024. Thankfully, with so many prospective nursing students needing to take the exam, there are excellent resources available to help you prepare. Let’s get started.

Taking the TEAS Test

The TEAS Test version 7 is being used in 2024 to measure entry-level abilities of nursing school applicants in the areas of science, math, reading, and language. The TEAS score is used as part of the comprehensive consideration process when selecting applicants for entry into nursing schools. There are still a handful of nursing programs that do not require the TEAS entrance exam but that number is becoming more and more limited.

If you are wanting to go to nursing school, it is a wise idea to begin preparing yourself on how to pass the TEAS test. Not only will this allow you to apply to more programs, but it can be a helpful indicator for yourself on your level of nursing school academic readiness.

When to Begin Studying

The 2024 TEAS Test is offered by ATI testing services. According to ATI, to be best prepared, students should allot at least 6 weeks to studying before taking the TEAS test. It can be helpful to look at the program requirements of the nursing school you wish to apply to for a better understanding of when to schedule your TEAS exam in relation to application deadlines. Most students will wait until they have finished nursing prerequisite courses, or have nearly finished them, before registering for the TEAS test, but this is not necessarily required.

Of course, you know yourself and your study habits best. Some students need less time than others, and some need more, to adequately prepare. Allowing yourself at least 6 weeks will help give you time to review all the different subject areas tested on the TEAS exam.

Study Tips for the 2024 TEAS Test

Whichever study regimen you choose, consider utilizing some of these TEAS test preparation ideas:

  • Check with your current school institution for TEAS test prep and utilize their services
  • Take online practice tests, there are even some available for free
  • Take an online TEAS Test preparation course
  • Use a study guide book
  • Review beginner nursing guides
  • Create and adhere to a study schedule
  • Alternate types of study materials to stay engaged
  • Spend extra time on areas that were difficult for you during your prerequisites
  • Join a social media study group: Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube have TEAS study prep groups, and videos of students sharing tips that helped them succeed on the test

No matter how you choose to prepare for the TEAS test, don’t forget to practice self care. Don’t force yourself to cram study. Take advantage of emotional support offered by friends and family. Get rest, hydrate, and eat well-balanced meals. It can be hard to practice self care when you are feeling the pressure to study for an upcoming exam; but this is exactly when self care is most important because it plays a significant role in your academic success.

How to Interpret the TEAS Test Score

Interpreting your TEAS score in 2024 requires an understanding of the five scoring levels.

These levels are:

  • Developmental: score of 0% to 40.7% indicating a low level of academic preparedness for a health science program
  • Basic: score of 41.3% to 58% indicating lower than average academic preparedness for a health science program, students should consider additional preparation
  • Proficient: score of 58.7% to 77.3% indicating a moderate level of academic preparedness for a health science program and an average score
  • Advanced: score of 78% to 90% indicating a high level of academic preparedness for a health science program
  • Exemplary: score of 90.7% to 100% indicating a very high level of academic preparedness for a health science program

In 2024, the TEAS Test 7 contains a total of 170 questions with 150 of those questions being scored and 20 unscored. Students will have a total of 209 minutes to complete the test once they begin. If the test is taken online, either at home or at an institution, scores should be immediately available at the end of the test. For tests taken using a paper and pencil, scores will be available within 48 hours of ATI receiving the students’ test.

What is considered a “good” TEAS test score is determined by the nursing program you’re looking to apply to. It is critical to check with prospective programs to determine what score is recommended to be a competitive applicant. Generally, a score that lands in the advanced or exemplary range is considered a good, competitive TEAS test score by most nursing programs.

Next Steps

If you are looking to take the TEAS test, you should consider registering for it after talking with prospective nursing schools. It’s commonly recommended to register at least 30 days prior to the school’s application deadline. Again, it is important to check with the nursing school you are wanting to apply to for requirements on TEAS testing, retesting, and scoring.

What if I am not happy with my score? If you are unhappy with your score and choose to retest, do not fret, many students choose to do this! Most schools will allow a student to take the TEAS test no more than three times in a 12-month period. It is not uncommon for nursing programs to require at least 30 days between retaking the TEAS. If your TEAS test score falls in the developmental, basic, or sometimes even proficient range you may consider retesting for a better score. Even students who score in the proficient or advanced range will sometimes choose to retest to try and earn an even higher, more competitive score. Choosing to retest is no reason to worry, as you will likely have a better understanding of what to expect and increase the likelihood of achieving a higher score next time.

Taking the TEAS test is a common requirement for getting into nursing school today. It’s important to remember that the exam is just one component of your application. Giving yourself plenty of time to prepare for the TEAS exam and sticking to a study plan can help you pass the TEAS test with confidence.