fbpx
nursingprepexams.com logo

Easy TEAS Test Math Problem-Solving Strategies You Must Follow

Introduction

Mastering TEAS math isn’t just about scoring well; it demonstrates the quantitative reasoning skills essential for nursing success. Nurses routinely encounter medication dosages, fluid intake, output calculations, and interpret data from various sources. Proficiency in math signifies your preparedness to handle these critical tasks confidently. Here are TEAS test math problem-solving strategies to use;

1. How To Solve Algebraic Equations:

The math section heavily relies on your ability to solve algebraic equations. Here, we’ll break down effective strategies for tackling linear equations with one variable, a core concept you’ll encounter on the test.

How to Solve Linear Equations:

Linear equations involve variables (represented by letters like x or y) and constants (fixed numbers). Your mission is to find the variable’s value that makes the equation true. Here’s a step-by-step approach to conquer these equations:

An example of a TEAS Math question that TEAS Test Math Problem-Solving Strategies can help you with
An example of a TEAS Math question
  1. Identify Like Terms: Look for terms with the same variable raised to the same power. For example, in 3x + 5x = 12, 3x and 5x are like terms.

  2. Combine Like Terms: Add or subtract like terms on one side of the equation to simplify. In our example, 3x + 5x becomes 8x.

  3. Isolate the Variable: Get the variable by itself using addition or subtraction. If the variable is multiplied by a number, divide both sides by that number. In our case, with 8x = 12, divide both sides by 8 to get x = 1.5.

  4. Check Your Answer: Plug your answer back into the original equation. If both sides evaluate to the same value, you’ve got the correct solution!

Example in Action:

Let’s solve the equation: 2x + 7 = 15

  1. Identify like terms: 2x is the only term with the variable x.

  2. Combine like terms: We can’t combine any terms here.

  3. Isolate the variable: Subtract 7 from both sides: 2x = 8. Then, divide both sides by 2 to get x = 4.

  4. Check the answer: Substitute x = 4 back into the equation. We get 2(4) + 7 = 8 + 7 = 15. Since both sides equal 15, our answer (x = 4) is correct.

Bonus Tip: Inequalities might appear on some TEAS versions. These equations use symbols like < (less than) or > (greater than) instead of an equal sign. The solving process is similar, but you’ll have a range of values that satisfy the inequality.

2. How To Solve Geometry Problems:

Brush up on these fundamental shapes and strategies to ace those geometry questions:

Essential Geometric Shapes

The TEAS primarily focuses on common two-dimensional shapes:

  • Lines: These have infinite length and zero width. They can be straight or diagonal.
  • Triangles: Three-sided shapes with interior angles that add up to 180 degrees. Common types include equilateral (all sides equal), isosceles (two sides equal), and scalene (no equal sides).
  • Rectangles: Four-sided shapes with opposite sides equal in length and all four interior angles at 90 degrees (right angles). Squares are a particular type of rectangle with all sides equal.
  • Circles: A perfectly round shape with all points at a constant distance from a central point (center).

Area and Perimeter

Area refers to the space a flat shape fills, while the perimeter is the total length of all its sides. These concepts are crucial for nurses to calculate medication dosages based on body surface area or measure wound sizes.

Area Formulas:

  • Rectangles: Area (length x width)
  • Squares: Area (side x side)
  • Triangles: Area (base x height) / 2

Example: A nurse must apply a medicated dressing to a square wound measuring 5 cm on each side. What’s the area of the wound to be covered?

Solution: Area = side x side = 5 cm x 5 cm = 25 cm²

Perimeter Problems:

  • Rectangles: Perimeter (2 x length) + (2 x width)
  • Squares: Perimeter (4 x side)
  • Triangles: Add up the lengths of all three sides

Example: An IV bag must be hung on a stand with a 10 cm long and 5 cm wide rectangular base. Will the base be big enough to hold the bag?

Solution: Perimeter = (2 x 10 cm) + (2 x 5 cm) = 20 cm + 10 cm = 30 cm

Since most IV bags have a base smaller than 30 cm, the stand should be sufficient.

By solidifying your understanding of these shapes and formulas, you’ll confidently tackle geometry problems on the TEAS.

3. How To Solve Data Analysis Questions

The math section extends beyond calculations; it tests your ability to interpret information visually. You’ll likely encounter charts and graphs depicting data relevant to healthcare scenarios. Here’s how to analyze data effectively.

How To Interpret Charts and Graphs

Nurses rely on data visualization tools like bar graphs, line graphs, and pie charts to understand trends and make informed decisions. The TEAS might present patient vitals, medication administration, or healthcare outcomes data. Here’s a breakdown of key elements to focus on:

  • Axes: Identify the labels on the horizontal (x-axis) and vertical (y-axis) to understand what data each represents (e.g., time on the x-axis, blood pressure readings on the y-axis).
  • Legends: Pay attention to the legend, which explains what symbols or colors represent different data sets within the chart or graph.
  • Trends: Look for patterns in the data. Are there increases, decreases, or correlations between variables?
  • Scales: Be mindful of the scale on each axis to interpret the magnitude of changes accurately.

Example: A bar graph shows the average wait times in different emergency room departments. By analyzing the y-axis labels (wait time in minutes) and the bar heights for each department, you can identify which department typically has the most extended wait times.

Optional: Brush Up on Basic Statistics

While not constantly tested on the TEAS, understanding basic statistics can further enhance your data analysis skills. Here are three standard terms you might encounter:

  • Mean is the average of a set of numbers. Add all the values and divide by the total number of values.
  • Median: The “middle” number when a data set is ordered from least to the greatest.
  • Mode: The most frequent number in a data set.

How To Answer Math Questions Effectively

Here are some powerful techniques to add to your TEAS math toolkit:

  1. Think Before You Calculate: Don’t rush into calculations! Take a moment to understand the question. Identify what it’s asking for and what information is provided. Is it a word problem requiring an equation or a data analysis question involving a chart?
  2. Eliminate the Obvious Outliers: Some answer choices will often be blatantly wrong based on basic estimations. For example, if the answer choices for a dosage calculation range from 0.1 ml to 100 ml, and you know the typical dosage is around 5 ml, you can eliminate very high or very low options.
  3. Work with Units: Throughout the problem, pay close attention to units of measurement (mg, ml, cm, etc.) and ensure your calculations result in the correct unit for the answer.
  4. Use Estimation to Your Advantage: Don’t underestimate the power of estimation! If you’re stuck between two answers, try plugging in rounded numbers for the variables and see which answer choice yields a closer result.
  5. Double-Check Your Work: Before submitting the test, take a few minutes to review your answers, especially for calculations. Reread the question and ensure your solution aligns with its requirements.

By employing these strategies, you’ll transform yourself from a passive test-taker into a strategic problem-solver in the TEAS math section.

Time Management Tips for the Math Section

Here’s how to master the art of time management for the TEAS test and ensure you answer as many questions as possible:

  1. Become a Timekeeper: The TEAS math section has a set time limit, so understanding how many questions you must answer per minute is crucial. Divide the total number of questions by the allocated time to determine your target pace.
  2. Prioritize the Easy Wins: Don’t get bogged down on the first challenging question. Skim through the entire section to identify problems that seem familiar or straightforward. Answer these first to establish a good rhythm and avoid wasting time.
  3. Mark and Return: If you encounter a tricky question, don’t spend too long dwelling on it. Use a designated mark (like an asterisk) to flag it for later review. Come back to these questions after tackling the easier ones to maximize your points earned.
  4. Leave No Stone Unturned: Even if you’re running short on time, try to answer every question, even if it’s just an educated guess. The TEAS doesn’t penalize wrong answers, so a random guess could still land you a point.

Sample TEAS Math Problems

1. Algebraic Equation (One Variable):

A nurse needs to administer a medication dosage (dosage) based on a patient’s weight (weight) in kilograms (kg). The formula for calculating the dosage is dosage = 0.5 x weight. If a patient weighs 60 kg, what dosage should the nurse administer?

Solution:

  1. Identify the variable: Dosage (represented by “dosage”)
  2. Plug in the known value: weight = 60 kg
  3. Substitute and solve: dosage = 0.5 x (60 kg) = 30

Answer: The nurse should administer a dosage of 30.

2. Geometry (Area):

A sterile dressing needs to cover a rectangular wound that measures 8 cm long and 5 cm wide. What area of the wound needs to be covered (area)?

Solution:

  1. Identify the formula for the area of a rectangle: Area = length x width
  2. Substitute the values: Area = 8 cm x 5 cm = 40 cm²

Answer: The area of the wound to be covered is 40 cm².

3. Data Analysis (Interpreting a Graph):

A line graph shows a patient’s average blood pressure readings over 4 hours. The x-axis represents time (hours), and the y-axis represents blood pressure (mmHg). At the 2-hour mark, the blood pressure reading is 130 mmHg. What can you determine from this information?

Solution:

By analyzing the graph, you can identify the blood pressure reading at the 2-hour mark (130 mmHg) and observe trends over time, such as whether it increased, decreased, or remained stable.

Note: This is a non-numerical example, but it highlights the importance of interpreting data trends visually.

Conclusion

The TEAS math section may seem complicated, but you can conquer it with focused preparation and strategic thinking! Here’s a quick recap of the key takeaways to ensure success:

  • Master the Fundamentals: Brush up on your algebra, geometry, and data analysis skills.
  • Practice Makes Perfect: Utilize practice tests and sample problems to identify your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Become a Problem-Solving Pro: Develop strategies for approaching different question types, including identifying relevant formulas and interpreting data visualizations.
  • Time Management is Key: Learn to pace yourself effectively to answer as many questions as possible.
  • Don’t Fear the Unknown: If you get stuck, don’t dwell on a single problem. Move on and come back later.

Remember, the math section assesses your basic mathematical skills, not your ability to solve calculus equations. By staying focused, practicing consistently, and implementing the strategies outlined in this guide, you’ll confidently approach the math section and be well on your way to achieving your nursing goals. Best of luck!

Scroll to Top