If you’re following my blog you would have read my last entry on the steps and events I went through that got me into nursing school! Here is part II, I’ll explain how I passed the TEAS.
At National University, after you take the classes that are required you are then able to apply for the nursing program! After my application (which you could read in my last entry and what the application entails) I was informed that I would receive an e-mail that would include the date I would be assigned to take both the TEAS test as well as an essay. The essay would be a reflective essay, that would be graded by two professors on a scale of 1- 5. 5 being the best possible points your able to receive on the essay.
For the essay portion, you are given a reflective question at random. An example of a question would be “Nursing has been seen as both a science and art explain it”. Good luck trying to answer this question, I thought I understood it the first time around, luckily National offers help through the writing center. They have tutors that are familiar with the same test questions and can help you break down the essay. questions. This is exactly what I did! After I received my test date I logged online and set up a few appointments with the writing center. Notice how I said a few, now let me tell you I normally wasn’t one to struggle with essays but after speaking with my advisor he informed me that “Charles was the best person and would get you in the program”! I was sold! At the same time, my friend was also testing so we booked back to back appointments with Charles. We didn’t mind being in each other study session since we study well together, it worked out that instead of the one-hour tutor sessions that National allows, we were able to have two hours with the tutor.
Charles would give us sample essays of those used in the past. Each session we would prepare an essay with a topic that could possibly show up on our test date. Charles would review our drafts and point out our strengths and weaknesses. Now, at this point, I had already tested with National and I knew how the test/essay was like. It was a timed one-hour session where they would hand you a prompt and you were to type out your little soul! Proofread it and make sure you hit the page mark, which I believe was 2-3 pages no more than 3 pages. Now don’t freak out like I did, when I went searching the internet after my test that I realized I wrote almost 5 pages! I read somewhere that if you went over the pages you were not going to get in the program and you would score low on your essay!
Let’s just say the night I read that, I didn’t get much sleep! So don’t believe everything you read on the internet, because I clearly wrote more than what they asked for and not only did I get in the program but I also scored a 4.5/5! As long as you answer the prompt and get your point across you will be fine. Now for the TEAS, what can I say about this test, I grew to dislike it as well as get to know it so well that I was able to improve my grade. I went from testing at 52% and finishing with an 86%! Were rounding ok! 😛 Wait, what! That’s right! Now at National, you have 3 chances to test- ever this includes the TEAS as well as the essay portion. Now, don’t worry they also allow you to test as many times as you like for the TEAS, as long as you test outside of National. If you test at a different location and score well you are to bring that score with you the day of your test date and submit that score. (Or you could retest on your testing day, to see if by chance you get one percent higher! I know it doesn’t seem worth it but that’s what got me in the program that extra bump.)
That’s great! Right? Test as much as you want until you get the highest score possible! Well just remember that each time you test you are paying between $90 – $120! This test is not cheap, however, the way I saw it was, invest in this test until I got the score I wanted. Or chance it, by only testing at National and risk not getting in the nursing program, the competition is real! Now let me tell you National does not require a certain score however they tell you to try and score in the 80th percentile. However, the way the test goes is if someone scores a 92%, that being the best score of all the applicants that tested, they will then start picking those closest to the highest score. Each cohort the percentage would change when I first applied it was in the low 80th percentage when I applied again and got in the program, it was on the scale of 92%. As you can see its better to score as high as possible.
The first thing I did was purchase the ATI TEAS package that ATI offers. This will cost you about $130, this includes the ATI Teas Review Manual as well as a few sample test that is to help you see what your weakness are and what areas you should concentrate more on. Now let me save you some money by telling you this did not help me at all! I would take the test and go through all the sections and compared to the test in the ATI package, I felt that they were not that similar to the actual TEAS test. But who knows maybe it will help you. Another book I purchased and feel it helped was the ATI Secrets. After I reviewed, I schedule to take the test, now I had just skimmed both these books, I wanted to test first and see how the test was. Yes, this was $100 that I would chance, test day came, I showed up to the testing location in Palm Springs, at the mall, of all places. Ther they have a testing center. I showed up early enough to be able to find parking as well as the location, Once I checked in they had me lock up your stuff as well any hats, purses, watches or water bottles so its best to leave your stuff in the car.
Ready for the good stuff! The TEAS contains 170 multiple choice questions in reading, math, science and the use of the English language.
Reading: You are given passages to read, the first thing you need to do is read the questions then read the prompts/stories. This will save you a lot of time, you will be given questions such as King Henry’s autobiography and some information regarding his life. You will then have to answer about 4 to 5 questions on what you read. One question I do recall is “What does the word infamous mean in this story?” If you go back and reread the story it will say something in the sort of “The infamous King Henry was known as…” Then they give you a few definitions. Another prompt I recall is about a UFO, you read a story about someone spotting a UFO and possibly being taken by aliens. It will then ask you who saw what. Remember this is a timed test so constantly check on your time. You will have a timer on the upper right-hand corner. This was not my best score as you can tell.
Math: This section is about 25 questions which include addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. They also throw in this question “How tall is a flagpole? 8 meters, Remember that! It will be on the test, as long as you know your division, and decimals this section is pretty easy. I feel that the ATI book had too many things to memorize that were not on the test, so don’t stress yourself on learning everything! In this section, I scored a 93%!
Science: This part I knew like the back of my hand, and not because of the books I used, well A&P helped me understand this section but because I got the help from a facebook page, I don’t recall exactly which one I joined but there are a few FB pages I followed. Here I found other students like me trying to pass the TEAS. Not to mention everyone seems to recall a few questions here or there. Not going to say anything but hey when you have 300 plus students on that page and each one recalls a question. Well, there you have it! However something you should know is that TEAS comes in 3 or 4 varieties of a test, how do I know this? I’m telling you I would be taking. u I was really invested $$$ in passing this test with a high score no matter the cost! I was lucky enough to take all versions of the test, one I version, I will say, was way easier than the other. The one that was more difficult had questions in regards to outer space and the central park. This is how I was able to tell right away which version
English: This one I believe had about 20 questions this one didn’t seem to difficult however since there aren’t that many questions that mean you are limited in how many you can miss. Again, I felt that both ATI books helped me refresh my nouns, pronoun antecedents. Also, review your HOMONYMS there were a few of these in the test!
Now some questions I had along that way was how long to I study before taking the test? And the answer is… that depends on how you learn. I spent about one-month straight studying from 8-12 hours a day and then tested and failed. (This was my second attempt, my first one was just to get an idea of the test) I am not one to study for an entire month or a week at that, and perform well on a test! Give me 2 days and I can cram all this information and pass the test, which is exactly what I did. I wrote out all the questions on flashcards and as I wrote a new flash card, I would review that card and then write up a new flash card and go back and retest myself after each flash card I wrote. This felt like I wasn’t going quick enough! But I learned that this way was the best way I was able to memorize 300 random science questions, 60 reading questions, 30 math problems, and 50 English questions. Why so many? Well, I was able to recall questions from all versions of the test that I would rather be over prepared than under prepared!
Another thing about the test, you get a total of 4 hours to take this test. At first, it took me a little over 3 hours to complete the test, in the end, I was able to take this test in under 2 hours! They also allow you to take a break, however, the last time I tested I was able to finish before the break! I hope these tips were helpful, I know I had tons of questions when I was preparing for the TEAS! I also am not the best test taker when it comes to my future career depending on one sole test! But hey you might not need to study as much as I did! As long as you get the score you need that’s all that matters! And remember you can do this, don’t fight this test and dread it! Turn it around like I did! I looked forward to passing so I would never have to look at another TEAS question again! Best of luck to those testing! IT’S ALL WORTH IT IN THE END!!