After you take a diagnostic test, you may feel confident that you can tackle most TEAS questions and only need to review a few areas or practice some skills a little more. Alternatively, you may want to study and practice much more in order to approach the test with confidence.
No matter what your performance is on the diagnostic test, you can and will improve if you set aside time to study for the TEAS. Block out study time on your calendar, just as you would write down any other appointment. These blocks of time are appointments with yourself, so keep them!
A great deal of research shows that we learn better in shorter, more frequent study sessions. Therefore, plan to study at least three days a week for one to three hours, rather than one or two days a week for four or more hours.
Also, consider how much time you have between now and when you will take the TEAS. Estimate how many hours you need to study to master the material. Divide the number of hours of study by the number of weeks. This is the number of hours you need to study each week. Then divide that number by the number of days you will study each week. This is the number of hours per day you need to study. Here’s an example:
Taking the TEAS in 4 Weeks
- need to study about 40 hours, and can study 4 days a week
- 40 hours ÷ 4 weeks = 10 hours/week
- 10 hours/week ÷ 4 days/week = 2.5 hours/day
- this person will block out 2.5 hours on 4 days each week for the next 4 weeks to prepare for the TEAS
- [RELATED: 8 Tips for Managing TEAS Studying Stress]
Finally, every time you sit down to study, set a goal for that session. Examples of goals are “Complete two Reading lessons and understand the explanation of every practice question,” or “Memorize the path of blood through the body and be able to diagram it.” Setting a goal at the beginning of your study session sets you up to feel great when you have achieved it at the end of the session.
TEAS Study Plans
The one-month plan, for a light brush-up . . .
Devote one week to each of the four content areas. Read the appropriate lessons and do the practice questions at the end of each. Depending on the results of your diagnostic test, you may want to spend just a few days on one content area and more than a week on another.
At the end of the month, take a practice test. Are there still areas where you would like to do better? If so, revisit those lessons to make sure you have mastered them by Test Day.
The two- or three-month plan, for an in-depth review . . .
Use the results of your diagnostic test to identify several areas you need to study most. Spend two weeks on each of those areas, reading the appropriate lessons and doing the practice questions. Make flashcards of the key terms that appear in bold in these lessons, using the definitions in the glossary. Then go back to the diagnostic test and review the questions that address those areas: Could you get all the questions right now?
Once you feel you’ve made significant improvement in your areas of greatest need, move on to a comprehensive review of all the lessons in the book.
Once you’ve completed your comprehensive review, take the online practice test. Are there still areas where you would like to do better? If so, revisit those lessons to make sure you have mastered them by Test Day.
If you need to (re)learn much of the material from scratch . . .
Give yourself plenty of time to work through this book, lesson by lesson. Make flashcards of the key terms that appear in bold in the lessons, using the definitions in the glossary. Periodically review earlier lessons to refresh your memory of them.
After you have spent several months studying, go back to review the questions on the diagnostic test. Could you get most of them right now? If there are areas where you still need more work, return
to those lessons and study them until you feel confident with the material.
Once you feel you have made significant improvement in each of the four content areas, take the online practice test. Are there still areas where you would like to do better? If so, revisit those lessons to make sure you have mastered them by Test Day.
Understanding Your TEAS Score
You will receive a composite score reflecting your overall performance and a sub-score for each content area. If you take the test online, you will see your scores immediately upon completion of the test. If you take the paper-and-pencil version, your scores will show up in your ATI online account within 48 hours of ATI’s receiving the test from the testing site. In addition to your scores, the report will identify topics on which you missed questions. You can access your score report at the testmaker’s website at any time by logging in.
Some schools require a certain composite score for admission, while others require you to meet a minimum score in each content area. Some schools do not have any specific cutoff scores for admission. Be sure to check with the program(s) to which you are applying to find out the requirements.
Be aware that some schools with a cutoff score require applicants to achieve the minimum score within a certain number of test administrations. For example, a school may require applicants to obtain the minimum score by taking the TEAS no more than twice. In this case, if you did not achieve the cutoff score after taking the test twice but did get a score above the threshold the third time you took the test, your application would still not meet that school’s criteria for admission.
Finally, just because a school gives a minimum score or scores for admission, that does not mean that every applicant who meets or exceeds that score(s) is accepted. Other aspects of your application are generally considered as well. In the same way, a school that does not have a minimum TEAS score may nonetheless mostly accept students with high scores. Again, research the schools to which you are applying to find out what they seek in a successful candidate.
[NEXT: 10 Tips to Ace the TEAS]