The Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) is an exam given to prospective students wishing to enter nursing school and other health-care-related fields of study. The test gauges skills in reading, mathematics, science, and English and language usage. TEAS is published by Assessment Technologies Institute and is usually taken online at a prospective school or a Pearson VUE testing site.

The Test of Essential Academic Skills

Anyone taking the Test of Essential Academic Skills is required to register with the Assessment Technologies Institute (atitesting.com). When you register, you will be issued an ATI number. This number is required to register at a test site. The test has several different versions, but most students entering a pre-nursing program are required to take TEAS V. The four-section test has 170 questions with a maximum test-taking time limit of 209 minutes. Calculators are not allowed. There are two versions of the exam, called Assessment A and Assessment B. Each school decides which version its students will take.

Internet Practice

The Test of Essential Academic Skills is one of the few standardized tests where the publisher does not offer free sample online test questions. You can purchase both online sample materials and a guideline book to help prepare for the exam at atitesting.com The sample versions only contain 150 questions but, according to the publisher, the sample test also gives rationale for the answers.

A website called Test Prep Review (testprepreview.com) offers free sample math and English usage questions for the TEAS, with the hope that you will purchase the entire review package available from them.

Help from Your Prospective School

Contact the school that you plan to attend. Many schools offer free skills-review opportunities. For example, the Community College of Baltimore (cccbcmd.edu) offers perspective students taking the TEAS an opportunity to take a math review at three different campus sites in preparation for the exam.

Scoring and Retesting

Each sub-test is scored individually and a composite score is created from those scores. The complete annotated scores, which show both correct and incorrect answers, are generally available within 48 hours of taking the exam. Some schools can show a score immediately after you test, but that is only if it has worked with ATI to develop a different reporting technique. If you take the test at a Pearson VUE center, the results may not be available for 96 hours. The test scores are available through ATI for two years. You can only take the Test of Essential Academic Skills twice in one school year.