What is the ATI TEAS Test?

By Jeremy R. Verhines MSN, RN, PMHNP-BC
Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

What is the ATI TEAS Test?

TEAS, better known as the “Test of Essential Academic Skills,” is an entry-level exam which measures the current aptitude level of an individual seeking entry into the field of Nursing and Health Sciences. This exam provides academic institutions with the screening necessary to identify candidates who will likely succeed in their programs. Furthermore, the TEAS test seeks to reveal those individuals who have basic critical thinking skill sets that are necessary to possess as a nurse. Prospective TEAS test takers can expect to be tested on English and Language usage, solving mathematical equations, understanding basic scientific theory, and reading comprehension. Each section is subdivided and has a certain number of questions to answer within a given time period. The English and Language Usage portion of the exam consists of 28 questions which must be completed within 28 minutes. The Math portion consists of 36 questions that must be completed within 54 minutes. The Science portion of the exam consists of 53 questions which must be completed within 63 minutes and finally, the Reading Comprehension section consists of 53 questions that must be completed within 64 minutes.

How is the TEAS exam scored?

Although there is no passing score per say, the ATI TEAS does provide a total score for the test in its entirety and a composite score for each content section. These scores help identify a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses. Most academic programs require minimum passing scores of tested content areas in order to be considered for entry. Other institutions may only use a consideration approach when using the TEAS results which means they will consider the test results when weighing out the candidate as a whole. The final test score is based upon an adjusted percentage of the total correct ranging from 0% to 100%. The total score is calculated when taking the entire 150 questions into consideration, not the individual areas. However, individual subjects are given their own cumulative scores and academic programs do look at these individual areas tested to better understand where the candidate lies with regards to academic competency. This is important to understand and it is strongly recommended that the prospective candidate contact their school to find out what the minimum requirements for entry are. It is also important to understand how the TEAS is considered when applying to a nursing program as this will help you better prepare for entry.

What are some examples of questions on the ATI TEAS exam?

Pocket Prep offers a plethora of opportunity for the TEAS test taker and is considered one of the most thorough and sought out testing resources for those taking the TEAS. Here are some test questions from Pocket Prep’s ATI TEAS prep app. Pocket Prep offers extremely thorough and in-depth in-depth explanations for each of its answers. Ultimately, Pocket Prep prepares the TEAS test taker to get the results they need in order to be successful.

Every 5 minutes, someone is diagnosed with lung cancer. How many people are diagnosed with lung cancer in 1,440 minutes?

A. 720 people
B. 1,440 people
C. 288 people
D. 100 people

Correct answer: (C) 288 people

In order to find out how many people are diagnosed with lung cancer in a 1,440-minute period, divide 1,440 by 5:

1,440 ÷ 5 = 288 people

Which of the following is not true of mitosis?
A. Daughter cells are different than parent cells
B. Daughter cells are identical to parent cells
C. It produces daughter cells
D. It occurs only in eukaryotic cells

Correct answer: (A) Daughter cells are different than parent cells

Mitosis is a cell cycle during which a parent cell produces an identical daughter cell. It has four main phases: prophase, metaphase, anaphase, and telophase. Since the parent and daughter cells are identical, both diploids and haploids can undergo mitosis.

Mitosis is a four-stage process that creates two identical cells from one original cell.

1. Prophase is the first and longest stage of mitosis. In this stage, the chromosomes become visible and the centrioles separate and move to opposite poles of the cell.
2. Metaphase is the second stage of mitosis. In this stage, the chromosomes line up across the center of the cell and become connected to the spindle fiber at their centromere.
3. Anaphase is the third stage of mitosis. In this stage, the sister chromatids separate into individual chromosomes and are pulled apart.
4. Telophase is the fourth and last stage of mitosis. During this stage, the chromosomes gather at opposite ends of the cell and lose their distinct rod-like shapes. Two new nuclear membranes then form around each of the two regions of DNA and the spindle fibers disappear.

English Language Usage
In the following sentence, which verb tense should be used in the blank?

Sherri _______ to Montreal only two times before.

A. has driven
B. drove
C. had drove
D. has drive

Correct answer: (A) has driven

Sherri has driven to Montreal only two times before.

Has driven is the present perfect tense. Drove is the simple past tense and does not fit in the sentence correctly. Had drove and has drove are incorrect as past perfect and present perfect due to the use of the word drove in place of driven.

Reading Comprehension
Read the supporting details below to answer the following question.

When an ex-employee files for unemployment compensation in The State of Illinois, they will list their last or most recent employer on the forms. Only the last employer who has employed this person for over 30 “working” days is responsible for this person’s unemployment compensation. If a company employs someone that works for only 29 “working” days, then they are not responsible.

A working day is considered an eight-hour day. So if you have a part-time employee, the total hours worked must add up to thirty days at eight hours apiece or a total of more than 240 hours. If they have not worked for you for that amount of time, then you are not the last chargeable employer. But you have to be able to prove this assertion. Time cards and payroll records are essential.

An employer is automatically given a percentage rate for unemployment compensation upon the start-up of their business. Once a former employee begins to collect unemployment, the department will re-adjust the tax rate based upon the unemployment payments. For example, if your company does not have any unemployment claims paid, then the percentage rate will very possibly go down and you will pay less in tax. But, if you have former employees being paid unemployment, then your percentage rate for this tax will probably increase. Think of unemployment as insurance. If you have substantial claims on an insurance policy, your rates will probably increase.

Which of the following correctly identifies the passage’s main idea?
A. When employers are responsible for unemployment compensation
B. How unemployment affects an employer’s tax rates
C. The percentage rates used to figure unemployment claims
D. How unemployment claims affect an employer

Correct answer: (D) How unemployment claims affect an employer

In order to identify the main idea of a passage, the reader must understand what the passage is about and what point the author is making about the passage’s topic. In this passage, the author is discussing unemployment claims and when an employer is responsible for them. Therefore, the option that best identifies the passage’s main idea is: “How unemployment claims affect an employer.”

The main idea of a passage can be identified by answering the following two questions:
1. What is the passage about?
2. What point is the author trying to make?

The last paragraph talks about the employer’s tax rates, but it is not the passage’s main idea. When employers are responsible for unemployment compensation is an option that closely resembles the passage’s main idea, but the passage discusses more than just when the employer is responsible for paying unemployment claims. The percentage rates used to figure unemployment claims is incorrect because the passage does not discuss the actual percentage rates used.

Why is it important to do well on the ATI TEAS exam?

It is important to take the TEAS exam seriously. First of all, scoring well on this exam is essential in establishing your value as a candidate and securing a seat in a Nursing program. Secondly, any credible nursing program will require that a minimum standard of competence exists before considering applicants for their program. State licensure bodies have certain criteria academic programs must maintain in order for that program to become approved. One of the criteria is that the academic program be accredited by either The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). Obtaining and maintaining these accreditations is essential in the academic facility’s success and profitability. Implementing requirements such as the TEAS test provides a mechanism of accountability and sustainability for their program. Successful TEAS test takers are at the foundation and the future of the nursing profession.

ATI TEAS Takeaway

Registered Nurses are considered to be among the most trusted and respected when compared to other professions. In a 2017, Gallup Poll, nurses were ranked as the #1 most ethical profession in America. This ranking has been held consecutively for 16 years. Out of 22 occupations, nursing continues to rank at the top with medical doctors trailing in 4th place. Eighty-Two percent of Americans describe the ethics of nursing to be very high (Brenan, 2017). This is substantial when it comes to statistics, job outlook, viability, and longevity of the nursing profession. There is a reason for these rankings and it starts at the foundation. The TEAS exam is just one of the components that help support such a strong track record. As you embark on your journey in becoming a nurse, a part of that journey requires effective planning and preparation. Preparation requires that you hone in and focus your studying effectively. Streamline your processes, utilize the materials provided by the Assessment Technologies Institute (ATI) and be sure to have a solid test prep app such as Pocket Prep. Many test takers make the cardinal mistake of spreading themselves out too thin by purchasing unnecessary books and tools that promise success. The saying “less is more” is monumental when it comes to structuring your study efforts. In almost every case, the material offered by the professional organization and a solid test bank app is sufficient enough when preparing for any exam. Trust me, I have been in your shoes. I am a Board Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner and have taken many a test in my day. I remember all too well the importance of studying smart. Unfortunately, many of my colleagues found themselves overwhelmed by the amount of test prep material they had acquired. It was painful to watch. I have always taken the simple approach with more centralized plan and focus. The core content book offered by my particular accrediting body along with the Pocket Prep app were the tools I utilized to be successful. You too will be successful when you prepare for your test, maintain simplicity and focus in your efforts. For more information about the TEAS exam, you can visit the ATI website.

By Jeremy R. Verhines MSN, RN, PMHNP-BC
Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner