Everything You Need to Know about Your Upcoming TEAS Exam

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by Katie Meir

In 2016, the TEAS exam’s 6th edition was published. This version is known as the ATI TEAS. If you have begun applying to various nursing schools and programs, you should start preparing for the exam. While there are some differences between the old TEAS V and the new ATI TEAS, the structure and most of the content hasn’t been changed. In addition, as few preparation materials have been updated by now (even though some companies falsely claim to have updated their resources), knowing the differences between the two versions should be sufficient enough for you to outperform your competition, even if you do use older TEAS preparation materials. Therefore, we’ve gathered for you everything you should know about the exam.

Let’s first understand what the TEAS exam is and whether you’ll be required to take it. The TEAS exam is the Test of Essential Academic Skills. If you’re applying for nursing school, you will most likely be required to take it. To find out if your nursing school is using the exam, go to the admissions section of the school’s website and read about the process. Please note that if you have already taken the TEAS V exam, some schools may still allow you to submit these scores without you having to take the most recent version of the test. Again, to find out if this is the case, contact the admissions office of your prospective school or search for the answer on its website.

The new TEAS exam still includes its four main sections—Reading, Math, Science, and English & Language Usage. To pass the exam, you need to reach the pass grade set by the program that you wish to apply to. However, you should aim higher than the pass grade set by your prospective school. This is because many programs have too many applicants, so schools use TEAS scores to help them choose the best candidates.

So, what exactly should you expect from each section? Here’s a short explanation:


In the Reading section, you must demonstrate a strong ability to identify arguments and key themes in a text. You must read passages, some several paragraphs long, and then answer questions on the author’s objective or whether sentences in the passage are subjective or objective.


In the Mathematics section, you must answer questions on data and demonstrate your understanding of ratios, converting percentages, and units of measurement. You must be familiar with algebra at least up to 12th grade. You are now permitted to use a calculator on this section, but be sure that you can quickly and accurately perform mental math, as this will both boost your performance and help ease your nerves during the test.


Two-thirds of the Science section ask questions about the human anatomy and human physiology. The remaining third of the section asks you questions that test your scientific reasoning abilities and your knowledge of life sciences, particularly processes in chemistry, physics, and the natural world.

English & Language Usage

In the English & Language Usage section, you must answer questions concerning grammar, spelling, and comprehension. Questions may also require you to demonstrate your knowledge of punctuation, passage tone, and sentence structure. 

Now that you have a clearer picture of what to expect on each section, it’s time to practice. Use online preparation materials and start with reviewing the material for each section. Once you are comfortable with most of the material, start practicing full-length exams. It is important that for each practice question you answer, you also read a complete explanation of the question and its answer. Thus, make sure you leave ample time for reading instructions and explanations—in addition to solving questions and taking practice exams—as this will help to improve your performance.

When you use online resources, it’s important to use sites that are reliable and transparent. Free resources are common and can appear useful. However, to make sure you’re fully prepared and have gained all the insights to help you outperform your competition, sometimes the best resources are those that cost a little more and provide a little extra value. Good preparation can help secure you a place in your desired nursing program, so investing in quality online resources may have a real impact on your future. Good luck!

If you want to practice you can use our coupon code for TestPrepOnline PrepPack™ and get 20% discount – teas20off


Katie Meir is a product manager at TestPrep-Online and a TEAS specialist. TestPrep-Online offers exclusive PrepPacks™ for a wide variety of tests for students from kindergarten through graduate school and has helped thousands of test takers reach their academic goals through using online PrepPacks™.

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