How Hard is the TEAS Test

How Hard is the TEAS Test

According to the ATI, 40% of prospective nursing students repeat the TEAS test annually. The high number of retakes has led many prospective nursing students to wonder just how hard is the TEAS test. From our expert experience, different subjects in the TEAS test prove difficult to various students, depending on their academic aptitude. This TEAS exam guide explores the TEAS sections that prove most challenging to prospective nursing students. It also explains the simplest ways to approach them for the best results in the exam.

The TEAS Exam Structure

Knowing the TEAS test structure can help students understand just how hard is the TEAS test. It has four sections that test students’ high school and college entry-level knowledge. The subjects covered in the TEAS are math, science, reading, and English and language use. The following is a comprehensive analysis of each TEAS section:


In the math TEAS section, students find 36 questions, accounting for about 22% of the exam. They test basic knowledge of algebra, data interpretation, numbers, and measurements. The exam also has unscored pretest questions distributed across the various topics. During the exam, students get the four-function calculator with four or six arithmetic functions, including addition, subtraction, division, multiplication, percentage, and square root.

English and Language Use

The English and language use makes up 17% of the entire paper, making it the shortest section. It has 28 multiple-choice questions covering three sub-content areas, such as conventions of standard English (9 questions), knowledge of language (9 questions), and vocabulary (6 questions). The exam also has four unscored pretest questions.


The science section is 31% of the TEAS test. Here, students answer 53 multiple-choice questions across three sub-content areas. They include scientific reasoning (7 questions), life and physical sciences (8 questions) and human anatomy and physiology (32 questions). The exam also has six pretest questions spread out in the different sections.


In the reading section, there are 53 questions with each four answer options. It makes up 31% of the exam, making it among the significant parts of the paper. This section tests students’ ability to identify key details and ideas in paragraphs (22 questions), craft and structure well-thought-out points of view (14 questions), and gain knowledge of ideas (11 questions). 

TEAS Test Scoring System

Understanding the TEAS scoring system is vital to answering the question, how hard is the TEAS test? However, students must know there is no universal scoring method for the TEAS. Individual schools administer the TEAS and set a passing score for science-related programs, such as nursing. 

Knowing a school’s TEAS scoring method can help students understand the requirements before taking the exam. That said, many schools award total and individual content scores for the reading, math, English, and science sections. The total and content sections are added to form a final score from 0% to 100%. 

Each sub-content (the tested concepts on math, science, English, and reading) is also scored separately based on the correct answers. The sub-content scores aren’t aggregated, but they only help monitor the areas to work on more.

Finally, the total TEAS score is adjusted based on overall TEAS performance in an institution. Overall, TEAS scores may be grouped into the following sections depending on ability level:

  • Exemplary 90.7% to 100%
  • Advanced 78% to 90%
  • Proficient 58.7% to 77.3%
  • Basic 41.3% to 58%, and
  • Developmental 0% to 40.7%

TEAS Test Timing

The different TEAS sections have various time limits, depending on the number of questions and their difficulty. Students get 209 minutes to complete the 170 questions across different exam sections. Here’s a breakdown of the time allocated to each section

  1. Math – The math section has 36 sections and 54 minutes to complete these questions, meaning each question takes one and a half minutes.
  2. English and Language Use – The English and language use section has 28 questions, and students get 28 minutes to answer them, meaning each question takes a minute or less. 
  3. Science – This section has 53 questions and 63 minutes to answer, giving each question slightly over a minute.
  4. Reading – The reading TEAS section has 53 questions that students should answer in 64 minutes, making the total time per question a minute and two seconds.

Students who wonder how hard is the TEAS test should time themselves when doing the exam to ensure they answer all questions within the timeframes.

How Hard is the TEAS test? The Final Word

Prospective nursing students asking how hard is the TEAS test should know the content covered in the exam and the time limit for answering the questions. The best TEAS preparation strategies include TEAS prep courses and practice tests, as they help familiarize with the tested content. Our TEAS exam help experts can guide students through the exam materials and take the TEAS for unprepared students.

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