Reading 93.6% (44/47)
Math 93.8% (30/32)
Science 97.9% (46/47)
English 100% (24/24)
Total time: 1 hour, 25 minutes
Practice Test Scores
Mometrix Review Book: 90, 92, 92
ATI: A version- 92 / B version- 92.7
Mometrix TEAS Book with 3 practice exams ($40 amazon - cheaper on Mometrix site)
ATI study guide ($25 ATI site)
ATI Practice Tests ($78 - cheaper to buy tests & book separately when they are on sale)
TEAS Pocket Prep - 1400 questions completed. Correct 82% of total /75% question of the day ($15)
Hoe's Human A&P Tests - 24 subject tests (
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Various TEAS reviews on Quizlet (especially endocrinology)
Crash Course A&P / Biology (DNA, Krebs Cycle, etc) / Chemistry (periodic table, bonds, balancing equations)
Khan Academy (endocrine, mitosis, meiosis, Krebs cycle, chemistry)
Mometrix videos (search TEAS & HESI Mometrix review videos)
I completed the standard prerequisites for a nursing program eleven years ago. I then took a different career path, and had few occasions to use the knowledge in my work. When I decided to pursue a career change (or another career change, rather) and go after my old goal to become an RN, I was in serious need of refreshing.
Like many others, I'm a non-traditional student. While studying, I had to manage a demanding job, relationships, and all the usual daily tasks that compete for time. What worked for me in this aspect was to carve out a schedule with dedicated time to study, and to stick to it. I had a review book and a review app with me at all times, and would take advantage of scattered downtime to study. I think it's important for us who are coming back to formal education after a long break to figure out how we learn now, and not get stuck on how we learned in the past. For me, I found I learn and retain more now by doing something interactive, like taking quizzes and looking up things that I missed, as opposed to just reading and note-taking. The internet offers so many resources for this now as opposed to eleven years ago.
My school puts a lot of emphasis on the TEAS for nursing admissions. Also, the program weighs Reading and Science sections more heavily (30% each) than Math and English (20% each). The particularities of your school are good to keep in mind when reviewing. I felt had a huge deficit to overcome due to the time it had been since I had last studied this material. In total, I spent about two months learning, updating my knowledge, and doing targeted reviewing. I devoted some time to it six out of every seven days. After two months, I was reaching a point of diminishing returns as well as a desire to focus on something different. I took my last ATI practice test. Since my score didn't significantly change, I scheduled my test for one week out.
My goal was to get at least a 90% composite score. This was partially done as a way to make myself get back into the habit of regular focused studying. I also wanted to be as competitive as possible, as well as rebuild the knowledge base for the future.
I'll break down my thoughts on each section below, with what I did to prepare. I want to give a slightly different perspective on how to prepare for the test. There are many great articles and posts on allnurses.com that can provide you with more information on preparing for the TEAS.
General Prep/The Test
Under resources is a list of what I found it was necessary to purchase, and what I found helpful for free. Understand that the ATI review book does not have enough information in the science section to be a sole review source. For example, under the digestive system, it says something to the effect of, "understand the process of digestion." That is pretty vague... However, definitely know all the particular information the book does provide, and fill in with the Mometrix guide.
I feel like the ATI practice tests are ESSENTIAL. They look just like the test, and are of comparable difficulty in my opinion. Most people seem to score within +/- 2-3 percent of their practice test scores, though there is a group that seems to do much better on the real thing after taking both practice tests. My sense of this is those people are nervous test-takers, and this helped to familiarize themselves with the process and feel of the test. If you find yourself in that category, spend the money to become familiar with the look and format of ATI's testing.
The Mometrix tests are great to disperse through your study time to gauge where you are, and to pinpoint weaknesses. I feel the science sections were easier than the TEAS, but the other three sections were very comparable.
I had plenty of time to complete the TEAS and review each section. I finished the test in about 85 minutes. This is going to vary with each person. Don't get bogged down in the Reading section. The entire test could take almost four hours if you use all the available time, so schedule it for a part of the day when you are at your best mentally. For example, I'm not a morning person, so I scheduled mine for 2pm.
Lastly, get a study app for your phone! I bought TEAS Pocket Prep. Another one is TEAS Mastery. They're well worth $10-$15. I finished Pocket Prep's entire 1400 question bank, and made an effort to learn from the questions I missed. This helped a lot for reviewing cell reproduction, chemistry, English and math. I found the reading questions to be repetitious, and definitely the weak spot for the app. You will be better served by doing practice tests for that section, as they are more reflective of the exam.
This testable material seems to be focused on algebra, metric unit conversions, and a few geometry problems. Make sure to know formulas for area and circumference of circles, as this seems to be a commonly tested topic. You should be able to quickly convert fraction/decimal/percentage, and be comfortable with determining percent changes and differences. A calculator is built into the test, so you don't have to worry about doing problems by hand. Go back and check your answers for this section if you have time, and use the calculator to check your solutions.
Generally, I have used only basic math in daily life, though I have done things like payroll, business taxes, etc., in the past. Research online indicated that getting a 100% in the math section was totally doable. I focused on Math first since to me it seemed like a more discrete subject, and I could use a new required math prerequisite to review.
I began studying by going over the math sections in the review books, and doing all the practice problems. You should be able to easily focus in on the areas you are deficient. I worked ahead in my math prerequisite homework and projects, and this definitely helped me get extra practice. If you are in a similar situation to me, and struggle with math, I would recommend finding a structured way to relearn the basic math skills needed for the test.
This was the longest section for me in terms of the time required. Many people say they run out of time, or nearly so. I feel like this may be due to spending too much time reading prior to looking at the question. My only strategy suggestion is to read the question before reading the passage so that you have an idea of what to look for in the passage itself. Practice tests are very reflective of what you will find on the TEAS.
Reading is probably the hardest section for which to prepare. I found the only thing to help was PRACTICE. Do all the practice problems in all the books, and make an effort to understand the rationale behind the WHY of what you get wrong by referring to the study guides. In this section, often you have to consciously put yourself in the mental framework of ATI, as there is a rubric of how passages are analyzed. It is easy to overthink it.
I found that since I had been in a career requiring me to regularly read and digest a lot of information quickly, this experience was an asset. Remember that though you may be the most non-traditional of students, the skills and experiences you bring can be utilized as a solid foundation for not only this test, but your entire career in nursing.
This section has the fewest questions but the shortest time. Spelling, subject-verb agreement, noun-pronoun agreement, parts of speech, punctuation, and "what type of sentence is this" are essential to understand. The good thing is all of this is very study-able, though perhaps not the most engaging material.
I thought English would be easy. Then I started doing practice questions... I made a point to work on English for a short time everyday, since for me it felt tedious. The Pocket Prep app was a huge help for this material. I also read over the list of commonly misspelled words every week or so, as the study guides virtually guaranteed to see at least a few on the test. I have had an extremely writing-intensive job for years, but felt like my spelling skills have actually decreased over time due to spellcheck and texting. My ability to define the rules of grammar was lacking as well. I would say the test covers material roughly equivalent to 8th grade English. However, I'm very far removed from 8th grade! The short but daily preparations for this section paid off for me.
This is what everyone always wants to know about! My research indicated a strong trend towards more endocrinology-related questions, and I feel that was true in my experience. I would strive to be comfortable with knowing the neuro-endocrine pathways. Be familiar with Mendelian genetics/Punnett squares, the cardiac cycle, respiration and gas exchange, cell biology, cell reproduction (including the form/function of DNA & RNA), macromolecules and the process of digestion. Also, be able to balance simple chemical equations, understand bonds (especially hydrogen bonds) and when you are likely to see the bonds in macromolecules, and know the basics of the periodic table. The focus seems to be more on physiology over anatomy, and pure anatomy was very basic. However, I think this section has a particularly deep question bank, and individual experiences will vary widely. The science section is effectively A&P trivia, and it is possible for almost anything to show up.
Ideally, one would finish their A&P courses and then take the TEAS soon after. Notes would be great to keep to review. If you are in that situation, I think a read-through of the review books and taking the practice tests should suffice.
Since I had finished these classes so long ago, I had none of these things. I found a fairly recent textbook, and then proceeded to read or skim the physiology-focused sections to try and make the information fresh in my mind. This helped for things like cell biology and basic systems. The Hoe's A&P quizzes are a hugely beneficial study aide if you look up the answers that you get wrong. Be aware they are at a higher level than the TEAS, but by using these as a guide, you will fill in a lot of gaps in your understanding.
I have not taken a chemistry class since high school. I devoted a lot of time to familiarizing myself with the subject. In the end, I likely spent too much time on it. It would have been better to focus on the relatively narrow chemistry information in the review books.
Under resources, I included a list of YouTube channels that are frequently mentioned as great resources. I cannot recommend Crash Course enough. They are short in length but dense with information. Once you target your weak areas in A&P, search out videos for those topics. Try to avoid information overload, or over-saturation! Instead of watching ten videos in one sitting, spread them out over several days, and watch each one more than once. For additional endocrinology study, you can search for worksheets to fill out to help learn the pathways from hypothalamus to target organ.
I think the nursing prerequisites from my program did a great job of preparing me for this test. The education I received in those classes was better than most of what I had at university. If you have completed those recently, you will do great. If you're like me and there's a long gap since you initially learned the material, prepare to spend some time studying. The TEAS is an important test, so whatever time you spend working on it is worthwhile. Let me know if you have any questions that I can help with!