What Is The TEAS Exam? How To Begin Your Nursing Career

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Santiago Mallea

Content Writer At Gradehacker

What you need to know about the TEAS Exam

If you are here, that means you are a prospective nursing student looking for the best nursing program where you’ll begin your professional career.

But chances are that when doing your research, you’ve found that some nursing schools include the TEAS Exam in their admission requirements. So, now you need to learn what this test is, how it works, how much it will cost you, and why it’s so important you pass it.

Well, you’ve come to the right place.

Here at Gradehacker, we are the non-traditional adult student’s most trusted resource, and we want to help you understand everything you need to know about it.

That’s why in this article, we’ll be answering what is the TEAS Exam so you can kick off your nursing career on the right foot.

So, What Is The TEAS Exam?

The Test of Essential Academic Skills is a test that some nursing schools in the US require their students to have before applying. It’s an exam offered by the company ATI that ensures that the candidate has the necessary college-level skills to perform well academically in higher education.

In short, it’s a test that verifies that you have the potential to succeed in a nursing career

And because the admission process in the healthcare field is one of the most competitive, some nursing schools include the TEAS as one of their admissions requirements to determine that they are only accepting the best candidates.

That’s why you need to pass the TEAS Exam. If you do, you’ll have more chances of entering your chosen school of nursing.


Now that we have a clear understanding of what the TEAS Exam is, let’s take a look at what study materials they test.

In total, they have four different sections with question types that include multiple choice, hot spots, fill-in-the-blank, multiple select, and ordered responses.

There are 170 questions in total, but the answers don’t hold equal weight. This means that some types of questions will be worth more points than others, but you won’t know that while taking the test.

These are the four sections in which the exam is divided:


  • Integration of knowledge and ideas
  • Craft and structure
  • Key ideas and details

English and Language Usage

  • Conventions of standard English
  • Knowledge of language
  • Using Language and Vocabulary to Express Ideas in Writing


  • Physiology
  • Human Anatomy
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Scientific reasoning


  • Numbers and algebra
  • Measurement and data

How Can You Take The TEAS?

There are many ways you can take the exam.

However, most schools require you to take the exam in a specific way to apply for them. While the majority accepts candidates who took the TEAS at ATI (online from their home), there some institutions that only take students that take the exam at their institution or at a PSI testing location.

That’s why it’s critical that you first check with the school where you plan to apply how they ask you to take the exam before you register for it.

How Does The TEAS Online Exam Work?

If you choose to take the test from your home, you’ll have to download Respondus Lockdown Browser.

This web browser ensures you are not cheating by displaying your full-screen, removing the option to minimize, preventing access to other applications, and disabling actions such as copy, paste, and other keyboard shortcuts.

Once you have installed this software, you’ll have to run the system pre-checks and allow the browser to access your camera and microphone, as you will be recorded.


How Can You Prepare For The TEAS Exam?

If you plan on taking the exam, you must know which basic study materials you’ll have to learn. And well, there are many study guides you can follow.

ATI, the company that offers the exam, has a study plan that they recommend needs six weeks of preparation. This includes all the required TEAS reading material, practice exams, and additional practice questions.

Their study plan costs anywhere from $80 to $260, depending on your chosen package.

However, you can find many more study manuals online at lower prices

For example, Mometrix charges $70 per month and includes practice questions, study guide videos, and flashcards.

And if you want to get your study resources for free, you can find multiple guides and tutorials on Google and YouTube.

The TEAS application fee varies by where you take it.

There may be additional fees, such as proctor fees, scheduling fees, and security monitoring fees, that are included in the exam registration fee but vary from school to school.

What You Need To Know About The TEAS Exam

Here are a few common questions that any future exam participant must know:

What is the passing score for the TEAS?

Well, the TEAS exam doesn’t have a standardized score. 

It depends on the Nursing school you are planning to enroll in how much you’ll have to score to meet their admission requirements.

But on average, you’ll have to at least score between 60% and 75% to pass this test.

No, you don’t need to bring your own calculator.

If you take the exam online, a drop-down calculator will be built into the test.

And if you are taking it in person, the proctor will provide a calculator for you.

You can only reschedule with a documented emergency, such as a death in the family, medical issue, or other urgent matter.

If you are taking the exam online or at your educational institution, you’ll have to send proof of your emergency, a brief description of what happened, and two alternate dates and times when you could take the exam.

However, if you are taking the exam via PSI, you can reschedule as long as it’s 48 hours prior to your test start date/time.

If you take the test and fail, you’ll have to wait to retake it.

How much you’ll have to wait will depend on the college you are applying to. Schools usually have a mandatory 30-day wait period before you can take the TEAS again.

It’s important you check this information with your school and if there is a limit on how many times you can take it.

When will you receive your TEAS results?

If you take the exam online, your transcripts will be sent electronically to your chosen institution or testing center within two hours of your submission. But if you take it in person, you might receive your score immediately.

You will later be able to check your results in your ATI account by going to “My Results.”

Take The TEAS Exam And Begin Your Nursing Career!

Now you know everything about the TEAS Exam.

If you want to kick off your nursing path on the right foot, passing the test will put you ahead of other candidates who want to apply to the college you have in mind. So, find a study guide, prepare for the exam, and take the TEAS from home.

If you want more information on how you can pass the exam, contact us! 

And if you want more college tips for nursing students, check out our related posts:

Picture of Santiago Mallea

Santiago Mallea

Santiago Mallea is a curious and creative journalist who first helped many college students as a Gradehacker consultant in subjects like literature, communications, ethics, and business. Now, as a Content Creator in our blog, YouTube channel, and TikTok, he assists non-traditional students improve their college experience by sharing the best tips. You can find him on LinkedIn.