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11 Common Mistakes in TEAS Test and How to Avoid Them


Many test-takers fall victim to test mistakes that can significantly impact their performance. The good news is that by understanding these mistakes and implementing effective strategies, you can dramatically increase your chances of TEAS test success.

This article dives deep into the most common mistakes in teas test takers make, equipping you with the knowledge to avoid them and conquer the exam. Let’s explore these mistakes in the teas test and discover how to avoid them on your journey to nursing school!

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1. Not Preparing Adequately

  • Insufficient Study Time: Cramming the night before is a recipe for disaster. Develop a study schedule 6-8 weeks before your test date. Aim for consistent, focused study sessions for several hours each week, reviewing core TEAS subjects like reading comprehension, math (introductory algebra, percentages, etc.), science (biology, chemistry, anatomy & physiology), and English language usage.
  • Ignoring Study Guides and Practice Tests: Don’t underestimate the value of TEAS study materials  They provide a clear picture of the test format, question types, and content covered. Regularly utilize practice tests to identify your weak areas and track your progress as you study.

2. Misunderstanding the Test Format

    • Not Familiarizing with Question Types: The TEAS exam uses various question formats, including multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank, ordering lists, and image interpretation (hot spot) questions. For instance, the science section might present a passage about the human heart followed by multiple-choice questions regarding its function and structure. Understanding these formats and how to approach them is crucial.
a summary of common mistakes in teas test
A summary of common mistakes in tests
  • Overlooking Time Management: Each TEAS section is timed, and effective time management is key to completing all questions. The reading section typically allows 64 minutes for 53 questions, while science provides 63 minutes for 53 questions. Practice pacing yourself during study sessions using a timer to develop a sense of timing for each section.

3. Neglecting Specific Content Areas

  • Focusing Only on Strong Subjects: It’s tempting to focus solely on subjects you excel in, but a balanced approach is crucial. Allocate more study time to weaker areas. Identify your weaknesses through practice tests and dedicate extra sessions to those specific topics.
  • Underestimating the Science Section:  It covers a broad range of topics and requires a solid foundation in human anatomy, physiology, chemistry, and biology. Utilize resources like textbooks, online courses, and practice questions specifically focused on these areas to strengthen your knowledge base.

4. Poor Test-Taking Strategies

  • Skipping Questions: Leaving questions blank is a mistake. Even if you’re unsure of the answer, make an educated guess. Use the process of elimination in multiple-choice sections to narrow down your options. Remember, unanswered questions are automatically marked wrong.
  • Misreading Questions: Rushing through the exam can lead to misreading questions and incorrect answers, even if you know the material. Pay close attention to keywords and instructions. Underline or highlight critical parts of the question, especially in sections like English language usage where punctuation and grammar are key.

5. Not Practicing Under Test Conditions

  • Studying in a Comfortable Environment: While a comfortable study environment is important, it’s equally crucial to simulate test conditions during practice. Find a quiet room, set a timer, and eliminate distractions like phones or televisions. This helps you get accustomed to the actual test environment and reduces anxiety on exam day.
  • Ignoring Timing During Practice Tests: Timed practice sessions are vital. They help you get used to the pace of the actual test and improve your time management skills. Look for tools and apps that provide timed practice tests specifically designed for the TEAS exam. Setting timers for each section during practice sessions allows you to mimic the real test experience and build your ability to complete sections within the allotted time.

6. Poor Time Management

Each section is timed, and rushing through questions can lead to careless mistakes. Here’s how to avoid this:

  • Practice Pacing: Incorporate timed practice sessions into your study routine. Aim to complete each section within the allotted timeframe (e.g., 64 minutes for reading, 38 minutes for math). This helps you develop a sense of pacing and identify areas where you might need to speed up or slow down.
  • Develop a “Flag and Review” Strategy: Don’t get stuck on a difficult question. If you’re unsure, use the “flag for review” option and come back to it later if time permits. This helps you avoid dwelling on one question and keeps you moving forward.

7. Forgetting Essential Items

A missing ID or calculator can throw you off balance on test day. Here’s how to stay organized and avoid unnecessary stress:

Let nursingprepexams do the TEAS for you
Let nursingprepexams do the TEAS for you
  • Prepare a Test Day Kit: Pack your essentials in advance, including a valid photo ID (check the TEAS website for accepted forms of ID), your TEAS registration confirmation, sharpened pencils, an eraser, and a non-programmable calculator (if permitted by your testing center). Consider packing a light sweater or jacket in case the testing center feels cool.
  • Double-check the Night Before: Before going to bed, re-check your test day kit to ensure you have everything you need. This small step can save you a morning scramble and alleviate test day anxiety.

8. Lack of Sleep

Feeling tired and groggy can significantly hinder your ability to focus and recall information. Here’s how to prioritize a good night’s sleep:

  • Establish a Regular Sleep Schedule: Aim to go to bed and wake up at consistent times throughout the week, even on weekends. This helps regulate your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle.
  • Relaxing Bedtime Routine: Avoid screen time (phones, laptops) for at least an hour before bed. Engage in calming activities like reading, taking a warm bath or light stretching to wind down and prepare for sleep.
  • Aim for 7-8 Hours: Most adults require 7-8 hours of sleep for optimal cognitive function. Aim for a good night’s sleep the night before your TEAS test to feel refreshed and focused.

9. Poor Nutrition

The wrong food choices can leave you feeling sluggish and unable to concentrate. Here’s how to fuel your body for peak performance:

  • Balanced Breakfast: Eat a healthy breakfast on test day that includes protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats. This provides sustained energy throughout the exam. Examples include eggs whole-wheat toast with avocado, or Greek yogurt with berries and granola.
  • Avoid Sugary Foods: Skip sugary cereals, pastries, or donuts. These foods cause a quick spike in blood sugar followed by a crash, leaving you feeling tired and lacking focus.
  • Stay Hydrated: Bring a water bottle to the testing center and sip on water throughout the exam. Dehydration can lead to headaches and difficulty concentrating.

10. Not Reading Test Instructions Carefully

The TEAS test instructions provide crucial information about the exam format, question types, and how to navigate the test booklet. Don’t skip this important step!

  • Take Time to Read: Before starting the exam, take a few minutes to read all test instructions carefully. Pay attention to details like how many questions are in each section, what types of questions to expect, and how to mark your answers.
  • Clarify Doubts: If anything in the instructions is unclear, don’t hesitate to ask the proctor for clarification before you begin the exam.

11. Failing to Follow Proctor Guidelines

The testing center proctor ensures a fair and standardized testing environment for all test-takers. Here’s how to ensure a smooth testing experience:

  • Arrive Early: Plan to arrive at least 15-30 minutes before your scheduled test time. This allows you to go through any check-in procedures, settle in, and review the test instructions without feeling rushed.
  • Respectful Conduct: Maintain a professional and respectful demeanor throughout the exam. Avoid talking or looking around during the test.


Avoiding common mistakes in the TEAS test is just one piece of the puzzle. By following the strategies outlined in this article, you’ll be well on your way to achieving a high score and taking the next step towards your nursing career. However, remember, success on the TEAS exam goes beyond simply avoiding pitfalls. Here are some additional tips to ensure you approach the exam with confidence:

  • Develop a Positive Mindset: Believe in your ability to succeed. Positive self-talk and visualization exercises can help boost your confidence and reduce test anxiety.
  • Focus on Your Strengths: While it’s important to address weaknesses, don’t neglect your strengths. Utilize your strong areas in each section to your advantage, building momentum and confidence as you answer questions you know well.
  • Take Breaks During Studying: Long study sessions can lead to burnout. Schedule breaks throughout your study sessions to refresh your mind and improve focus. Take a short walk, do some stretches, or grab a healthy snack to maintain optimal cognitive function.
  • Seek Support: Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Utilize resources like tutoring services offered by your school or community college. Study groups can be a great way to share knowledge, ask questions, and test each other.

Remember, the TEAS exam is just one step in your nursing journey. By approaching it with a positive attitude, a well-rounded study plan, and the strategies outlined in this article, you’ll be well-equipped to conquer the test and showcase your potential to succeed in nursing school.

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