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9 Insider TEAS Test-Taking Strategies From Nursing Experts


The TEAS, or Test of Essential Academic Skills, is a crucial step for aspiring nursing students. Passing this exam can significantly improve your chances of acceptance into your dream nursing program. But simply memorizing information isn’t enough. To truly conquer the TEAS, you need a solid arsenal of test-taking strategies.

What You’ll Learn

This comprehensive guide will equip you with a variety of test-taking strategies applicable to all sections of the TEAS:

  • Reading: Techniques to dissect passages efficiently and identify key information.
  • Mathematics: Proven methods to tackle math problems with accuracy and speed.
  • Science: Strategies to approach science-based questions effectively.
  • English Language Usage: Tactics to master grammar and identify the best answer choices.
A photo with TEAS Test-Taking Strategies written on it
TEAS Test-Taking Tips from Our Experts

In addition to subject-specific strategies, we’ll also cover:

  • Time management: Effective time allocation for each section of the TEAS.
  • Exam day tips: Actionable steps to optimize your performance on test day.

Incorporating these strategies into your TEAS preparation will give you a significant advantage and put you on your way to nursing school success.

Here’s your arsenal of strategies:

1. Use These Techniques To Master Multiple-Choice Questions

Technique Description
Effective Approach Read the question stem carefully, identifying key information and what’s being asked. Preview the passage or problem to activate relevant knowledge before looking at the answer choices.
Eliminating Incorrect Answers Look for answer choices that contain factual errors or contradict the passage. Eliminate options that are overly broad or lack specifics.
Strategic Guessing If honestly unsure, choose the most plausible answer based on your understanding of the topic. Avoid patterns like always picking ‘C’ or the middle option.
Process of Elimination Apply the above strategies to eliminate demonstrably incorrect choices systematically. This will increase your odds of selecting the correct answer from the remaining options.
Identifying Keywords Underline keywords in the question stem and look for matching terms or concepts in the answer choices. This can help narrow down your selection and identify the most relevant answer.

2. How To Stay Calm During The Test

Test anxiety is a common hurdle, but it doesn’t have to hold you back. Here are strategies to manage anxiety and perform at your best:

Calming Techniques for a Clear Mind

  • Breathing Exercises: Before and during the test, practice deep breathing exercises. Inhale slowly through your nose for a count of four, hold for four seconds, and exhale slowly through your mouth for a count of eight. Repeat this exercise to calm your nerves and regain focus.
  • Relaxation Techniques: Progressive muscle relaxation can ease tension. Tense and relax different muscle groups throughout your body, starting with your toes and working your way up. This can help release physical stress associated with anxiety.

3. Manage Your Time Well

  • Strategic Planning: Before the test day, familiarize yourself with each section’s TEAS format and time allocation. Develop a time management plan to ensure you dedicate sufficient time to each section.
  • Practice Makes Perfect: Take timed practice tests under simulated TEAS conditions. This will help you develop a sense of pace and manage your time effectively during the actual exam.

4. Think Positively

  • Positive Self-Talk: Replace negative self-doubt with positive affirmations. Remind yourself of your preparation and ability to succeed. Phrases like “I am calm and focused” or “I am prepared for this test” can boost your confidence.
  • Visualization: Imagine yourself performing well on the test. Visualize yourself answering questions calmly and accurately. This mental rehearsal can reduce anxiety and enhance your performance.

5. Maintain Focus and Control

  • Chunking the Test: Break down the TEAS into smaller, manageable sections. Focus on completing one section at a time rather than feeling overwhelmed by the test.
  • Mindfulness Techniques: Practice mindfulness exercises to stay present in the moment. Focus on the question at hand and avoid dwelling on past questions or future uncertainties.

Remember, effective test-taking strategies are a combination of knowledge and mental resilience.

6. Understand the TEAS Format

  • Knowledge is Power: Familiarize yourself with the TEAS structure, including the number of questions in each section and the time allotted. This will help you develop a time management plan and confidently approach the test.
  • Practice Makes Perfect: During practice sessions, simulate test day conditions. Use timed practice tests and create a study environment that mimics the actual testing center. This will help you adjust to the pressure and pace of the TEAS.
  • Learn from Past Experiences: If you’ve taken standardized tests before, reflect on your experiences. Identify areas where you struggled and tailor your TEAS preparation accordingly.

7. Use TEAS Prep Practice Tests and Resources

  • TEAS-Specific Resources: Utilize TEAS-specific practice tests, study guides, and online resources. These materials are designed to mirror the content and format of the actual TEAS, ensuring you’re practicing with the most relevant information.
  • Targeted Improvement: Analyze your practice test results to pinpoint your weaknesses. Devote dedicated study sessions to those areas to ensure you’ve mastered the necessary concepts before test day.
  • Realistic Test Simulation: During practice sessions, mimic test day conditions as closely as possible. Set timers, avoid distractions, and use only permitted materials. This will prepare you for the actual testing environment and minimize surprises.

8. Fuel Your Focus

  • Mind and Body Balance: Ensure you get enough sleep before the TEAS. Adequate rest is crucial for optimal cognitive function and memory recall during the exam.
  • Brainpower on a Plate: Focus on a balanced diet rich in brain-boosting foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Stay hydrated throughout the day to maintain peak performance.

9. Stay Calm and Be Composed

  • Minimize Distractions: Develop strategies to stay focused and avoid distractions during the test. Minimize noise and find a quiet testing location during practice sessions.
  • Mindfulness Matters: Practice mindfulness exercises or meditation techniques to enhance concentration and reduce test anxiety. Techniques like deep breathing can significantly improve your focus and calm your nerves.
  • Strategic Breaks: Schedule short breaks during the TEAS, especially during longer sections. Take a few deep breaths, stretch, or close your eyes to refocus and recharge before diving back in.

By incorporating these additional tips alongside your test-taking strategies and TEAS study techniques, you’ll be well on your way to TEAS victory.


Effective test-taking strategies are a game-changer for the TEAS. Throughout this guide, we explored a range of techniques to maximize your score, including:

  • Mastering multiple-choice question formats
  • Implementing strategies to manage test anxiety
  • Utilizing powerful study techniques to solidify your knowledge

In addition to test-taking prowess, we emphasized the importance of familiarizing yourself with the TEAS format, practicing with TEAS 7-specific materials, and maintaining a healthy balance of rest, focus, and brain-boosting nutrition.

By implementing these strategies and tailoring them to your learning style, you’ll be well-equipped to conquer the TEAS. Remember, consistent preparation and strategic test-taking skills are a recipe for TEAS success.

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