Nursing Student
New Grad


Common questions with answers for pre-nursing students preparing to take the TEAS entrance exam for nursing school.

The ATI website has a book to prep for the TEAS test as well as a smart prep course.

Book: $55 (Although I also found this on amazon for $20)

Smart Prep: $209
Other prep sites are available but I am not certain about the validity of these sites or their material.

You will need to check the website for locations. Testing centers are certified and thus very specific to where you can take your test.

I used the McGraw-Hill study book and found it very helpful. While I was in nursing school, my nursing school used ATI (the company that writes the TEAS) for our coursework and testing. I recommend both of them. ATI wrote the test thus will be styled the same as well as having the information be relevant to the actual test.

ATI nursing education, a company that was started by a nurse and now ran by many nurses who contribute. Learn more about ATI here:

The national average is about 65-75% overall, however, you need to be more concerned about your school’s requirement rather than national averages. Each school requires different scores not just for the overall test, but for each individual section. Either find out what your school requires, or if you are not sure which school you want to go to, study hard and get at least above an 85%. Most higher end schools require you to have an 85% so if you set that as your personal goal you can apply to most schools with that score.

There are 4 sections of the TEAS test. You get 209 minutes to complete 170 total questions. The breakdown of each section is as follows:

  • Science: 48 questions with 66 minutes to complete it.
  • Math: 30 questions with 51 minutes to complete it.
  • English/Language: 30 questions with 34 minutes to complete it.  
  • Reading: 42 questions with 58 minutes to complete it.

It is recommended to take the TEAS test early, like in your freshman year of college. The results are good for four years after you take the test. Get it out of the way so you can focus on your prerequisites because it is important to do well in those classes to help you do well in nursing school.

Make a plan. There are four sections of the test. Reading, math, science and english language usage. Pick your testing date out and get a study book or buy their ATI online package to help you study. What you don’t want to do is go in unprepared, it’s a waste of your money and time. Study a section at a time or follow the ATI study plan.


Set times to study. For example 2 hours everyday or 4 hours 3 days a week. Pick what time frame you have available and get in as much as you can. Make sure you stick to it though! It helps if you have a study buddy.
If you need help learning how to study check out our blog, where we talk about study hacks.

If you registered to take the TEAS through your school, you may be able to get the test cancelled or re-scheduled through the school. If you registered through the ATI website, you cannot cancel, you will just have to not show up and still pay for the test. If you want to re-schedule and you have registered online previously, you will have to pay again to take the test during a new testing time.

This cost $27 and you go to the transcript website to request it to be sent to another school. When you register you get to choose 3 schools to send it to so make sure you have picked 3, even if you are positive you are going to a certain school, just give yourself options.

It isn’t hard, it just requires that you know the material on the test. It isn’t a tricky type of test. Most of the information is like a recap of what you should have learned in school up to that point. The information is from pulled from what you learned in grades 7-12.
If you study, the test is easy. So what I am telling you is to study.

The total number of questions are 170. The overall time allotted to take the exam is 209 minutes which is approximately 3 hours and 30 minutes. Each section has its own allotted time though. So keep your eye on the time!

  • Science: 48 questions with 66 minutes to complete it.
  • Math: 30 questions with 51 minutes to complete it.
  • English/Language: 30 questions with 34 minutes to complete it.  

Reading: 42 questions with 58 minutes to complete it.

The preliminary results are available immediately, but the testing center needs to review the test and confirm that there wasn’t any cheating before it is considered official results. You will be able to view your results after the test online in your profile for ATI.

Calculators are provided. If taking the online version the calculator will be digital on the computer. If you are taking a paper and pencil version, the calculator will be provided for you by the facility administering the test. Do not bring a calculator to the testing facility, you will not be allowed to use it.

Four years from the date you took the test. So if you took the test 1/1/2020 it will be good until 1/1/2024.

This is not recommended unless you were the valedictorian of your high school, just graduated this past year, are a great test taker, and of course remember everything you learned from grades 7 through 12… Oh and you don’t mind having to pay again to take the test again if you don’t do so well. But, to each their own.

In some ways TEAS is similar to HESI. They both are used as entrance exams to nursing school, they both have categories of knowledge that is tested separately, and both are used to predict how well you will do in nursing school as well as on the NCLEX examination. Both tests are taken at certified centers with very specific rules (like no cell phones) and they have a time limit for each category. Each nursing school will have their own set of goals for the test so make sure to check what your nursing school requires.
The TEAS exam tests you on four categories and you take all four categories no matter what. The HESI exam has eight categories that each school can pick and choose which they would like to have their students be tested on. This matters because if you only test on 4 of the categories for one school but then decide to go to another school that requires 5 categories you will have to retake the whole exam again. Which brings me to the next difference. HESI can be taken ONCE in a 12 month period, TEAS can be taken as often as it is offered. Also, the TEAS exam allows you to go back and check your answers before submitting if you have time for that section, whereas the HESI exam does not allow you to back.

This depends on the state and city you are taking it in. Ranges between approximately $90-$100 You can check out your locations of testing then select the learn more button to find out the price at this website:
*This does not include the cost for any prep or travel expenses.

You can retake the TEAS. It is recommended that you wait and do additional studying to better your scores. You cannot take only one part either, you must retake the whole test.

prenursing logo

Pass Your TEAS® And Get Into Nursing School

Join Pre-Nursing Academy