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The Test of Essential Academic Skills, or TEAS, is a basic aptitude test. It replaced the TEAS V on August 31, 2016[1]. With the updated test, test-takers are now permitted calculator use on the Mathematics section and are given an overall composite score as a number[2]. The test has been designed to evaluate academic readiness for prospective health science students and is administered through Assessment Technologies Institute (ATI) Nursing Education. ATI Nursing Education’s corporate headquarters is based out of Leawood, Kansas, where it has been located since mid-2012 [3].


TEAS Study Guide

Prospective health science students are often required to take the TEAS as part of their application requirements to demonstrate their capability to succeed in college programs of study, such as nursing, prior to their acceptance into the program. The test assesses applicants’ readiness to begin a program by giving them the opportunity to demonstrate they have acquired relevant knowledge and skills in four categories: Reading, Mathematics, Science and English and Language Usage. The test is strictly an evaluative tool intended for applicants to display their aptitude for a program; therefore, applicants will not “pass” or “fail.” Instead, they are given a composite score for overall performance and subsequent sub-scores for each section of the test.


TEAS Flashcards

The TEAS is administered by Assessment Technologies Institute, or ATI. Testing centers are available nationwide and can be found on the ATI website. Upon registration, applicants are given the option of choosing a pencil-and-paper or computerized test to take the test in a format most comfortable to them. Both versions will be identical, containing the same number of questions and rendering the same information. On test day, applicants should arrive to their designated testing location at least 15 minutes prior to their scheduled testing time for their identification to be verified by a proctor at check in. Applicants should bring a valid form of identification to the testing location. Only government-issued identification with a current photograph and the applicant’s signature and permanent address, such as a driver’s license or US passport, are considered acceptable forms of identification. The applicant should also bring two sharpened No. 2 pencils, their ATI assessment ID and ATI login information. No personal belongings, food, beverages, electronic or internet-enabled devices or accessories such as hats will be permitted in the testing area.


Test Environment

After the applicant’s identification has been verified, they will be admitted to the testing room and directed to a seat. The proctor will provide the applicant with a four-function calculator, if they are taking the paper-and-pencil version of the test, and scratch paper to be returned to the proctor at the end of the test. The proctor will also remain physically present in the testing room to monitor all applicants for odd or disruptive behavior as they take the TEAS. Misconduct or disruption will result in expulsion from the testing location without a score. If an applicant needs assistance or needs to leave at any time during the test, they should notify the proctor by raising their hand. If the test setting is inadequate, the applicant should notify the proctor before leaving the testing area. Scratch paper must be returned at the end of the testing session and cannot be used before the test or while the applicant is taking a break. There will be one permitted 10-minute break after completion of the Mathematics session. The test timer will not stop for any additional breaks and lost time cannot be made up. During any breaks, the applicant may not access their personal belongings. If the applicant does not receive the score required for their health science program of choice, they should check with the school to determine whether they are able to retake the test. Some schools may permit applicants to retake the test one or two times, but there will be a waiting period between testing sessions as determined by the institution.

Test Format

Health science institutions of higher education have identified specific knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in a college program of study. Most material is typically taught in classrooms between grades 7 and 12, and is presented in four content areas: Reading, Mathematics, Science and English and Language Usage. Each section will present the applicant with multiple choice questions and four potential answers to select from.

Sample Questions

More free TEAS practice test questions.

Test Structure and Content

The ATI TEAS test is comprised of 170 questions distributed within the four content areas with 150 scored questions and 20 experimental questions designed to test their validity[4] . These experimental questions are unscored and do not influence the applicant’s final score. The applicant will be given a total of 209 minutes, including a 10-minute break, to respond to all 170 questions . The time and questions are broken into the four content areas as follows:

TEAS - Subjetcs Covered
Subject Total # of Questions Time Limit Sub Areas (Number of scored questions)
Reading 53 64 minutes • Key ideas and details (22)

• Craft and structure (14)

• Integration of knowledge and ideas (11)

Mathematics 36 54 minutes • Numbers and algebra (23)

• Measurement and data (9)

Science 53 63 minutes • Human anatomy and physiology (32)

• Life and physical sciences (8)

• Scientific reasoning (7)

English and Language Use 28 28 minutes • Conventions of standard English (9)

• Knowledge of language (9)

• Vocabulary acquisitions (6)

Totals: 170 Questions 209 minutes 150 Scored Questions


Upon successful completion of the test, applicants will be given an overall composite score that reflects their performance on the test in its entirety and sub-scores of each of the four content areas. The test itself is intended only as an evaluative tool; individual programs are given the authority to establish their own standards of passing or failing for the TEAS. Each program will have its own requirements and applicants should review these requirements prior to registering to take the TEAS test.

Scores are reported in percentages and will be accessible in the applicant’s ATI online account within 48 hours of their testing date[5], unless the applicant has taken the computerized version of the test. If the applicant took the test on a computer, their score will be available immediately. The scores will be split into sections, with each question category and test section receiving its own score, and compiled into one composite score. The scores are typically used in tandem with other components of the applicant’s application for the program to determine their eligibility for enrollment.

Some schools will ask the applicant for their composite score, while others will require their scores for each sub-section. In either case, if the applicant finds their score does not meet the minimum requirements established by their school, they can review their score report to identify topics in which they missed questions on the TEAS test.

Recent and Future Developments

Prospective health science students prior to the ATI TEAS took the TEAS V. As of August 31, 2016, the TEAS V retired and was replaced with the ATI TEAS. This newest edition involved three significant changes: 1. Calculators are now permitted on the Mathematics section. Applicants are not permitted to bring their own calculator. They will be provided a four-function calculator for the paper-and-pencil version of the test, or one will be embedded on-screen for the computerized version. 2. The sub-areas of the four content areas were revised to more accurately reflect the skills entry-level health science students need to succeed in college programs. 3. TEAS test scores are now reported with an overall composite score as a number in addition to percentages for each of the four content areas.


  1. ^ What's tested on the ATI TEAS 7 March 2018
  2. ^ What's tested on the ATI TEAS 7 March 2018
  3. ^ About ATI Nursing Education 7 March 2018
  4. ^ Number of questions on TEAS Test 7 March 2018
  5. ^ Dates for scores 7 March 2018

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