Schools often require specific tests as part of the application process for certain academic programs. Admission committees will consider the scores from these tests, using them to help determine whether an applicant meets the requirements for the program. Examples of these tests include the GRE, or graduate record examination, and TEAS, the test of essential academic skills. Although these tests have a few similarities, they differ significantly. Knowing about the tests will help you compare and understand their uses.


As part of your application materials for a graduate program, most schools will require you to include your GRE scores. Some fellowship and grant opportunities will also require GRE scores to help them make their decision. The intent of the test scores is to institute a standard method of comparing the knowledge of applicants, but, depending on the school, these scores may not carry as much weight as other application materials, such as grade point average and the personal essay. The TEAS also provides a way to measure and compare applicants’ general knowledge, but only students applying for nursing school take this particular test. This means the student may not have an undergraduate degree and may only have prerequisite credits prior to taking the test.


The GRE and TEAS tests each have test sections, and they both cover similar subjects. However, the TEAS has a science section, and the GRE does not. The GRE requires the test taker to write an essay, but the TEAS does not have this requirement. The TEAS has four separate test sections, and these include reading, math, science and English and language usage. The GRE has three sections: verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning and analytical writing.

Time and Questions

Both tests have time limits for each section. The TEAS allows 58 minutes to answer 48 questions on the reading portion of the test. In comparison, the GRE allows 30 minutes for 20 questions in the verbal reasoning section. For math, the TEAS allots 51 minutes for 34 questions, and the GRE gives 35 minutes for 20 questions. Testers have 34 minutes to complete 34 questions in the English language and usage section of the TEAS, and, for the science section, the test allows 66 minutes for 54 questions. In the analytical writing section of the GRE, a student has 60 minutes to write two essays on a given topic.


Test takers will need to register and pay a fee prior to taking either of these tests. As of 2013, TEAS test takers pay $110, and people taking the GRE pay $185. Although neither of these tests have a pass or fail score, if a tester believes she can do better on the test, she can retake the test, but she will need to pay the testing fee again.