So you’re planning to go to nursing school, accomplish your dreams, and pursue your goal of becoming a nurse. You probably are already aware of the TEAS Exam, the test you need to sit for to get accepted into nursing school.
However, keep in mind that not all nursing schools require you to take the TEAS exam. While keeping that in mind, multiple ones will ask you to sit for the examination to evaluate whether you’re competent enough to be accepted into their programs. Nevertheless, prospective nursing students should have a solid understanding of the various aspects included in the exam.
Hence, the article below explores the different factors you need to know about, especially the scoring system, what to expect, and what’s considered a good grade on the TEAS exam. Even if you have already taken the TEAS exam, you have the chance to repeat it, so the below information could come in handy.
How Does the TEAS Test Work?
There are generally two well-known examinations you need to sit for to get into a nursing school. The first and most popular examination is the NCLEX one. However, while not always required, the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) is a lengthy examination and quite stressful.
Moreover, the TEAS examination is not used solely for nursing school. Several universities and institutes use it as an evaluation tool to test whether their students can perform well enough in a higher academic setting.
Hence, it’s the first stepping stone to evaluating whether you’re well-suited for a nursing program. That includes an Associate Degree of Nursing (ADN) and a Bachelor Degree of Nursing (BSN).
Moreover, consider that numerous general skills will be tested, and the exam is not nursing-specific. It covers the following subsections: Reading, Mathematics, Science, and English Language Usage.
There is a total of 170 multiple-choice questions on the TEAS, broken down in the following manner:
- Reading: 39 questions on topics including ideas and integration of knowledge
- Mathematics: 34 questions on topics including algebra, numbers, and calculations
- Science: 44 questions on topics including scientific reasoning, scientific methods, life sciences, and anatomy
- English: 33 questions on topics including vocabulary, grammar, and knowledge of the language
Out of those 170 questions, only 150 questions contribute to your final score. The remaining 20 questions are often “test” questions by the company to evaluate how easy it would be to introduce new topics and questions.
What is Considered a Good Score on the TEAS?
One of the first questions we get is what is a passing TEAS score? There isn’t a set number that you’re expected to reach. The passing score for the TEAS test varies according to the institute you’re applying to. Still, none of them would accept a score lower than 60%.
Consider the TEAS as a standardized test, like any other, e.g., the SAT. You wouldn’t expect to get accepted into great programs with a score of lower than 1000, which is almost the equivalent of 60% on the TEAS exam.
Moreover, let’s hypothesize that a specific institute has a minimum passing score of 75%. That doesn’t necessarily mean you should aim for that, as nursing school can often be very competitive. Aim to perform tremendously and achieve incredible results.
However, according to IUPUI university, you don’t need to get a 4.0 GPA and incredible TEAS scores. They usually accept a 3.5 GPA with a TEAS score of 58.7%. However, keep in mind that the prerequisite assumes you have a good enough GPA to enable you to qualify.
So, in general, what is a good TEAS score? Below is our breakdown of the percentage range along with your academic preparedness level:
- 0% – 40.7%: Developmental
- 3% – 58.0%: Basic
- 7% – 77.3%: Proficient
- 0% – 90.0%: Advanced
- 7% – 100.0%: Exemplary
Remember that those percentages are a mix of all four subsections. Moreover, the mean national composite score falls between 65%-75%, so achieving a score in that range means you’ll be on the safe side.
How is the TEAS Test Score Calculated?
In a gist, the score for the TEAS test is calculated using the equating system, meaning some questions on the examination have more of a weight on your final score. However, there is absolutely no way you can identify which questions are the more important ones, so you’ll have to treat the whole exam similarly.
Moreover, the score is divided into three main components:
- Total Score: the final score you receive, taking in all the different sections of the exam
- Content Score: the score on different sections of the exam
- Sub-Content Score: the scores achieved including the subsections (for instance, in the reading section, you have Key Ideas, Craft, Structure…etc.)
As only 150 out of the 170 questions contribute to your final grade, it is often tempting to skip some questions. However, w strongly advise against that as the ATI (test administrator) will only score the questions answered correctly. Hence, never miss a question throughout the test.
How to Read the TEAS Score Report?
Sample TEAS Score Report
Another absolutely essential aspect is the analysis of your official TEAS score report. As you can see above, it’s a sample test score report that is a handy tool for evaluating your performance on the test. While it might be confusing due to the various numbers and statistics, here is how you can read your TEAS scores:
- Total Score: the overall score you have received on the entire collective test. This is the number used to assess your preparedness level. Remember that it’s not calculated as an average of the four sections, as each branch has a different weight.
- National Mean Score: how you’ve performed compared to other competitors from the same country, state, or area.
- All ADN/BSN Program Mean: this portrays the average test score of all candidates in the specified program.
- National Percentile Rank: this number is calculated based on a sample of students from numerous health science disciplines. It’s between 1 to 99, representing the percentage of students who earned a similar score to yours or below. (National Percentile is available for total score and the four content sections)
- Program Percentile Rank: similar to the National Percentile Rank, the Program Percentile Rank uses a sample of students. Still, this sample falls under the same health science discipline as you do.
How to Improve Your TEAS Score: 5 Study Tips
Numerous TEAS candidates seem to struggle through the examination due to three factors. The first one is the competition, as you need a high enough score to compete with other students. The second one is the length of the exam, as it goes on for four hours. The last reason is a general lack of preparedness for the exam.
Keeping in mind that different institutes have different policies about repeating the TEAS, we provide you with 5 tips on how to improve your TEAS score.
Invest in a Study Guide
There isn’t ever a better way of preparing for a test than properly studying for it. That’s where the aid of a study guide comes in handy. They contain extensive, detailed explanations on all topics, but they often have tips, tricks, and practice tests.
We have two favorite ATI TEAS Study Guides. One of them is from specifically designed for you to target your weak points and increase your overall grade.
Read the Questions Carefully
We all make the mistake of becoming overly confident while practicing questions and skimping through the details. The TEAS exam tends to have some tricky questions, so aim to address every one of them with intricate detail.
Answer All Questions
Another issue with the TEAS exam is that you’re automatically discarding one of the questions as wrong when skipping a question. Evaluators will regard an open question as a wrong answer, so eliminate the answers you’re 100% sure are false and take your chance if you’re not sure about the answer.
Sign Up for a Course
Boost Prep offers a preparatory course and multiple practice tests to ease your way into the exam. Hence, we advise you to get this alongside a study guide. However, some students invest in one course instead of buying a guide. You can also find beautiful packages on ATI’s official page.
Practice, Practice, and More Practice
We cannot stress this enough; keep practicing to familiarize yourself with all types of questions. While it sounds logical, students often get tired or feel too confident about themselves, so they are slacking on the practice tests.
Wrapping Things Up: What is a Good TEAS Score?
All in all, the TEAS exam is quite a challenging one. Hence, we simply advise you to prepare effectively for it using external resources, practice exams, and guides. However, don’t stress too much about it, as the most challenging part is that the exam is a four-hour-long test.