The Test of Essential Academic Skills, or the TEAS, is given to students entering the nursing program of a school as an indicator of their potential for success in the program. This standardized test comes with a set of rules that dictate the questions, topics and procedures to be used when completing the assessment.
The TEAS test is broken up into four sections covering reading, math, science and English. You are given 50 minutes to complete the 40 questions in the reading section, 56 minutes to complete the 45 math questions, 38 minutes to complete the 30 science questions and 65 minutes to finish the 55 English questions. All questions are multiple choice and each test features different questions to prevent cheating.
No outside materials are allowed during the TEAS test. Test takers cannot use any books for research or calculators for the math section of the test. Scratch paper can be used to work out any equations during the test. Bring a photo ID to the test to verify your identity to the moderator.
Taking the Test
The TEAS test is given electronically. Read through the question and click the circle next to the appropriate answer. There are around five questions per page. When you have finished every question on the page you can click “Next” to proceed to the following test page. Click “Back” to review previous questions in the section you are currently completing. You cannot revisit past sections on the test. After the first two sections, you are allowed a 10-minute break.
If you run out of time while taking any section of the test you will not be able to move forward with the remaining questions in that particular section. When this occurs, click “Next” to skip ahead to the next section of the test.
Points are awarded for correct answers only, while wrong answers do not result in deducted points. If you guess on a question and answer incorrectly you will not lose points. Scoring is given as a percentage of correct answers per section as well as an overall percentage. Each school has a different requirement for TEAS scores.
The TEAS test can be taken once per semester at the school you are currently attending. Scores from the test are valid for up to two years before a retest is required. This means that if you took the TEAS three years before applying to nursing school, you will need to take the test again for a valid score.
Dan Chruscinski has written pieces for both business and entertainment venues. His work has appeared in "Screen Magazine" as well as websites such as Starpulse.com. Chruscinski graduated in 2006 with a degree in English literature from Illinois State University.