The beginning to most nursing careers begin with the TEAS test. This test can be the make it or break it for entry into a nursing program. I was required to take it as part of my actual nursing program application. Some nursing programs require you to take it prior to applying, but some do not require it at all. The test is supposed to encapsulate what you should have learned from grades 7-12. To be clear about this blog post, I will be discussing my personal experience with the TEAS test and what I did to prepare. What I have found regarding study strategies is that what works for one person does not necessarily work for another, so keep your learning style in mind when contemplating adding study strategies to your individualized study plan.
When I received the notice to be able to take the TEAS test, I had not studied. In fact, I did not study at all until about a week prior to the TEAS, which is NOT something I recommend doing. Although I performed well on the test, having scored 88.7% with a national average of 98th percentile, that is just a recipe for an extraordinary amount of stress, worry and self-doubt. I was a wreck up until I received my grade! In fact, I would recommend beginning to study approximately six months prior to when you plan on taking the test. This allows for the sheer volume of information to be covered in your studies for the test, as well as being able to review that material several times.
The test itself is a proctored test. For those who don’t know what that means, basically you have someone closely watching every student taking the test to ensure that there is no cheating. The test allows nearly three and a half hours overall to take the test, but it is actually divided up into categorical segments that are timed as well (Science, Math, et cetera). When I went into the test I was worried about needing to use the restroom, but it turned out that I was able to use the restroom at any time with notification to the proctor on site. There was no food or drink allowed as it is a computer test, but there was a water fountain by the restroom we were to use. All in all, in wasn’t bad for a three-and-a-half-hour test that determines the outcome of whether or not you will be able to pursue your dream career. No stress, no big deal (only a slight hint of sarcasm) …
I have been asked by a subscriber what I did in order to prepare for the TEAS. What was the most instrumental was having a few sources of study material, so I would have things explained to me in multiple ways. I will be adding links to books that helped me for those who are interested. If you are reading this and they are not there yet, come back later I am still learning how to do it. I also used the ATI website, ATI is who writes the TEAS tests, which has online tests that you can take that are exactly like the TEAS test. Mind you, this does not mean that the questions you get on these tests are what you will receive on the test, but it will time you and have questions very similar to what you will receive on the test.
Beyond these materials, try doing something specific to your learning style. I am a tactile learner, so I often include creating art as a part of my learning process. The picture attached to this blog post is one example of my study art. If you are a visual learner, using something like YouTube is a great tool. Listening to lectures are a great way to study for those with auditory learning styles. Flashcards work for some people, but not everybody. This is a great time to find the best combination of study strategies that you can take into your nursing program. I would also recommend reading study strategy blogs to get more ideas.
SO, to recap, don’t be a dunce and procrastinate until last second like I did. Study your ass off. Tell yourself every day that you have already passed! Don’t get lost in the stress of the situation, instead see yourself as already in the nursing program you are applying to. Study using multiple methods, and study to your learning style. Read more on study strategies. Lastly, breathe and just get the job done. You got this. For those nurses who have already taken the TEAS test, leave a comment with your tips and experiences with the TEAS for our future RNs! Register to comment and subscribe! Until next time…