The TEAS exam is the entrance exam into nursing school. Most universities require you take it prior to applying. Some require an entrance HESI, and some schools don’t require an exam at all! The TEAS exam is a Test of Essential Academic Skills. This being said, it isn’t anything nursing related. Rather, well rounded general knowledge. Can you read and dissect information from a paragraph? Do you understand photosynthesis? Can you solve basic arithmetic? Most people expect the TEAS to be a general nursing knowledge exam. It is not this.


My TEAS exam was on paper with a pencil. We bubbled in our boxes and handed in our exam and booklet at the end. Taking the exam this way meant it would be longer to find out our results. I encourage you to take a computer version of the exam if you can…and for many reasons. All large nursing school exams like the HESI are done on a computer. Secondly, your NCLEX is also done in front of a computer screen. Starting early with computer testing can only help you. It also helps you better keep track of your time. Lastly, you get immediate scores! I wasn’t so fortunate and had to wait nearly a week for my results to come through.


The first and most important step for TEAS exam studying is to figure out what type of a studier you are. If you are a strong self-studier, then you drill the ATI TEAS book alone. If you feel like you can’t grasp knowledge in that manner, I suggest investing money into a TEAS crash course. They usually last one week and cover all the topics you need to know to be successful on the exam. They are costly on both your finances and time. I had a friend take the crash course and I self-studied. We ended up with the same score. Find what will make you most confident for the exam and stick to it!


Most universities look not at your specific score, but what overall percentile you scored in! You could have averaged an 88% on the exam, yet scored in the 95th percentile! This is important for you when applying to schools and checking your exam score. Make sure you are overly content with the score you submit to them. Another very important point to mention is that some universities only accept your first TEAS exam scores. This means that you can’t retake the exam if you are unhappy with your score. Therefore, you must be successful your first try! In California, most nursing schools want the TEAS scores in the 98th percentile or above. Do your research on the institution of your choice and go above and beyond what they want!


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