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Finally Took the TEAS: My Thoughts and What I'd Wish I knew

TEAS   (803 Views 14 Comments)
by Etak Etak (Member) Member

554 Profile Views; 80 Posts

Hello all,

I'm writing this to hopefully help anyone out that needs it. I took the TEAS 6 yesterday after studying all summer. I studied on average 3-4 hours per day for the 4 weeks leading up to the test. Prior to those four weeks, I put in about 1-2 hours per day the month prior to that. While my score (88.7 overall) is considered advanced, it falls short of my goal, and unfortunately, is also too low to be competitive in one of my top choice programs. Needless to say, I was disappointed.

I spent a small fortune on resources, manuals, and practice exams. I also asked anyone and everyone how the test went, what they did to study, and what they wished they did differently. I watched countless videos on YouTube of people summing up their experiences. I made lists of every single topic they mentioned and learned ALL of them like the back of my hand.

Because science is the monster to be defeated on this test, I'm going to start there. This was my worst subject on the test, and I was NOT prepared for how it really was.

Every single video I watched, every single book, manual, and resource focused on body systems. I studied, and studied, and studied body systems. I had been advised that the science would cover a lot of A&P with particular focus on testing you heavily and with detail on one system, so be prepared because you don't know what you were going to get. I was ready for that, and that is not what happened at all. For example, I got one extremely simple question on endocrine. That was it for that system. I could have answered it without having ever memorized a single hormone, where it originates, where it targets, or its effect. I got one tiny question on digestion. Again, extremely basic. No questions on enzymes, the macromolecules they digest, nothing on the anatomy of the GI tract. I was not asked about the blood flow through the heart. I got a couple, maybe 2, on nervous and some integumentary and immune, one on renal, one on male reproductive. None of them in great detail, at least not anywhere near the detail I was prepared to give. Overall, I got 78.7% in science. I realize this is not a terrible score, but when you are in the position I am in, trying to compete for a spot where the nursing schools are SO impacted, it's disappointing. Especially when all the knowledge you acquired after so many hours of studying wasn't put to use.

All this goes to say, knowing the body systems is not enough. (There are other versions of the test that this may not be the case with. Just know there are versions, like mine, that are.)

Here are a few things that were on the test that I was not prepared for, but had I known about, could have been:

Determining atomic radius WITHOUT a periodic table to consult. We all the learned to follow the arrows across a period and down a column to compare atomic radius. But if you didn't have a table to look at, are you prepared to answer that? I wasn't! And for what it's worth, the ones I was asked on were not any of the common ions you could determine their column by knowing their fixed ionic charge.

pH. I got several questions on determining pH but the calculator you have will not have log functions and if you are like me, only ever solved these with a calculator and did not review this topic.

I got several where they explained an experiment, the outcomes, and you had to determine what the hypothesis most likely was.

There was a lot of micro. I haven't yet taken micro, so I can't sum this up well. I was prepared with knowing prokartyote vs eukaryote, but there was more than that. I wish I could explain this better, but I don't know what I don't know, if that makes sense. What I do know is out of the dozens of practice exams I had taken while studying, very very few questions were micro and any that did come up, I studied those topics.

I took both of the ATI practice exams A and B. I took them under test like conditions, only taking bathroom breaks between subjects. Otherwise, with a timer, not using notes, etc. I got 100% on the science section of practice test B the first time I took it. My highest scores on A and B were 94% and 94.7%. All I can say is that the science was not like the practice tests. It was just so much more random and much broader than the A&P I was prepared for. None of the manuals I bought cover the science like this, IMO.

Moving on. Math. I actually got 100 on math! The ATI practice exams are a good practice for this. Nothing on the real test was harder than the practice exams, in fact, it might have been a bit easier. I really was just basic algebra. I also recommend BrandonCraftMath .com or his youtube channels. If you can do his practice exam he built, you are prepared.

Reading, I got 91.5. I had heard from many people that time was an issue for reading. I did not find this to be a problem. I mentioned above, I took a lot of practice exams under test like conditions. If speed is your issue, keep doing this, time yourself, and repeat.  It was very, very similar to the ATI practice exams in both similarity of questions and length of passages.

Lastly, English and language usage. I got 83.3. I know I could have done better than this but... I was so flustered after the science. At the testing facility I was at, we were not allowed any breaks. This was terrible. I withheld water before the test because I was afraid of needing to go the bathroom and not being allowed back in the room. I was feeling dizzy and dehydrated. I really, really, would have benefited from a break before beginning ELU. Each facility sets its own rules, so be aware of them and if you can, take the test somewhere you can have water and stretch your legs!

That being said, my favorite resource for ELU was Khan academy. I took all the quizzes and watched all the videos on grammar. The real teas was also quite similar to the practice exams. What everyone before me has said is true: subject verb agreement, punctuation, caplitalization, commonly mispelled words, etc. You should study these even if you think you know it. It's very particular even if english is your first language and the questions are never simple examples. For example, the subject verb agreement will not be, "She likes cookies" vs "She like cookies" It'll be choosing the right verb agreement for subjects that are difficult to determine if they are plural or not (ex: half of the team, part of the city, etc) or plural and singular subjects connected with a conjuntion. Something along the lines of, "The girls or the boy like the cookies" vs  "The girls or the boy likes the cookies." 

Anyways, good luck to you all! If you have any questions, I'd like to help if I can.

 

 

Edited by Etak
grammar

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80 Posts; 554 Profile Views

4 minutes ago, Jiangjane said:

Thank you so for much for sharing your tips and experience. By the way, Are you applying for Sacramento State BSN program?

Yes, but I'll only have 62 points. Last semester the lowest admitted was 67, so I am not holding my breath without a better teas score! How about you?

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4 minutes ago, Jiangjane said:

I am also applying Sac State, and I will take my teas in September. I need to get 90 or above to be competitive.

Good luck to you! I know I need to retake the teas to even be on the top end of the alternate list. 😞

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5 Posts; 26 Profile Views

You can do it. There is one girl, and she got 89 for her first try; however, it was not competitive for her program. She retook it and got 97% on her second attempt and made her way to the program. 

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49 minutes ago, Jiangjane said:

You can do it. There is one girl, and she got 89 for her first try; however, it was not competitive for her program. She retook it and got 97% on her second attempt and made her way to the program. 

Thank you for the encouragement! I rebooked to take it again. I’m going to get back at it and work on the topics I didn’t know. I have to take it in Tulare because that’s the closest one available before the application deadline for spring. Hopefully they’ll allow bathroom breaks; that alone would be worth the drive!

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Hi! I'm also applying to Sac State's BSN program this semester for Spring 2020 cohort. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts regarding the TEAS. I also took it just over a week ago, and got the same score first try, but unfortunately still falls short of what I need to be competitive.

I agree with nearly everything you said in regards to the exam; some questions definitely caught me off guard as well, even after I spent a month of rigorous studying. You're not alone!

I've rescheduled to take it again in a couple of weeks prior to the application deadline.  I'd love to hear your thoughts and about any reinvented methods of studying if you plan to retake it as well! Best of luck to you and everyone else!

Edited by kacm

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@kacmHi! I have actually already retaken the teas. I can not find anywhere on sac state's site anything about a mandatory wait between takes, so I went ahead and booked the first available exam. (Hopefully I don't find some small print somewhere that invalidates my second score)

 My reasons were: 1) I had already spent the entire summer studying. What was fresh in my mind, was not going to stay fresh without constant, rigorous review. 2) The fall semsester was fast approaching and I'm taking Micro. There is no way I could continue to do 3-4 hours per day on TEAS and do micro at the same time. I needed to take the test before this semester, or after. Waiting would risk forgetting teas material I worked so hard to learn. 3) I really felt that I just had a bad showing. Maybe my test was harder than some versions, maybe not. I knew though, I could do better. The night before my test, my 3 year old was up through the night with a fever, I got terrible sleep despite going to bed earlier, I felt dizzy and dehydrated, etc etc. 

So, I had to drive to Turlock on the next Saturday morning for the nearest and soonest date to retake before Micro began. The only studying I did in the four days between my two tests was to look up topics I was taken by complete surprise by (all science) and learned about them. I would have done more if I could, but I was quite busy and it simply was a "now or never" or "now or start all over studying in December and postpone my application by a full semester" sort of thing.

Anyways, take 2: I got 92.7. Still lower than my personal goal, and funny enough, my reading, math, and ELU scores were EXACTLY the same as take one, but I bumped my science section from 78.7 to 91.5. Altogether, this bumped my Sac State points from 62 to 67. Maybe I have a chance at least on the waitlist with that. Maybe not, but at least I improved and I can switch focus to my last prerequiste and know that I'm in a good spot for any of the ADNs I am looking at as well.

I wish you luck! I'm sorry I don't have much better advice. For me, just going for it asap was what made the most sense. If I wasn't crunched for time, I would have gone more into depth with the mometrix ELU section and for science, aside from looking into things I had no idea about on my first try, I would just take as many practice questions from all sources as possible, and look up anything I'm not comfortable with. My number one impression about the TEAS is that its science is so much more random and obscure than what we're expecting, especially after using any of the main study guides and tests. IMO, there isn't a book or manual that covers science in a way that represents the real test and exposing yourself to the biggest variety of questions is the best way to approach it.

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Congratulations for your score. You improved  4 percent. You should be proud of yourself. Sac state program is just so competitive, but you are doing great. Sometimes we just need to do our best and hope for the best. Maybe the cut point for spring 2020 lower than 2019, you just never know. I am still preparing for the Teas. Reading was my weak area. Do you think the reading part in real test is similar to Practice B or A? Thanks in advance. 

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