How do I prepare for the TEAS VI?

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Answered by: Kathryn, An Expert in the Tests and Other Assessments Category
The Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) VI intimidates many pre-nursing students. You have likely invested at least two years of your time and a great deal of money to take the prerequisites for nursing school. Now, you must pass a four-hour exam covering math, science, English, and grammar. Adding to the pressure, most students are only allowed to take the exam twice in one calendar year. If you don’t pass, then many (but not all) choices for a nursing career are no longer an option.

How long do I need to prepare for the TEAS VI?

Although some students start to study a year in advance, most students can prepare for the TEAS VI in four to six months. Studying 20 minutes a day for several months is more effective than studying several hours the week before the test.

What skills should I prepare to pass the TEAS VI?

The TEAS VI has four sections: reading, math, science, and English usage. All questions are multiple choice. There is not an essay or free-answer component. The reading section focuses on paragraph and passage logic and comprehension. The math section tests basic math skills ranging from arithmetic to two-part equations. Unlike previous versions, the TEAS VI allows students to use a calculator. The science section covers anatomy, biology, chemistry, physiology, and physical sciences. The English usage section tests your skills on grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, spelling, word placement.

When should I take the TEAS VI?

The optimal time to take the TEAS is after you finish your Anatomy and Physiology (A&P) course. Most A&P courses require students to memorize 1200-1800 terms. If you prepare for the TEAS while these are still fresh in your memory, the process will be easier.

Where do I start?

Take a practice test to identify your strengths and weaknesses. You can take the online practice test on the ATI website, but I recommend taking a test on paper first. The ATI only offers two versions of the exam, so take it closer to your exam date. There are several practice sets available on Amazon or Barnes and Noble, but be careful to buy one for the current version (TEAS VI). Several vendors are still selling test sets for the last version (TEAS V).

Now what?

Now the hard part begins. Match every question that you missed to the academic skill it was testing. Make a master list of what you need to learn and start to study. This can get boring or overwhelming, so test yourself every two to three weeks so that you can see your progress. Celebrate your achievements! You may find that you need a tutor for some of the material. Give the tutor a list of the skills you need to learn before your fist lesson. This will let the tutor focus on what is most important to you.

How do I know when I am ready to take the TEAS VI?

Unless you are running up against a headline, I recommend waiting to take the exam until you are consistently scoring ten points above the score your school requires. Take the ATI online practice test a week before your test date so that you can see what the test will be like at the testing center.

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