Essential TEAS Tips for International Students: Ace Your Nursing Exam Abroad


The TEAS, or Test of Essential Academic Skills, is a standardized exam widely used by nursing schools in the United States and Canada to assess an applicant’s academic preparedness for their nursing program. For international students, excelling on the TEAS exam is crucial to securing a coveted spot in their chosen nursing program abroad. Let’s explore challenges and equip you with the knowledge and strategies to conquer the TEAS and embark on your incredible nursing journey abroad.

TEAS Exam Format

The TEAS exam is a multiple-choice assessment designed to evaluate your foundational knowledge and academic skills in four key areas:

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  • Reading: This section measures your ability to comprehend written nursing-related passages, analyze information, and draw sound inferences.
  • Mathematics: You’ll be assessed on your proficiency in applying basic math concepts commonly used in nursing practice, such as percentages, medication dosage calculations, and metric conversions.
  • Science: The TEAS science section gauges your understanding of scientific principles relevant to healthcare, including biology, chemistry, and anatomy & physiology.
  • English Language Usage: This section evaluates your written communication skills, grammar proficiency, and ability to clearly express yourself in an academic setting – essential qualities for success in nursing school.

While the TEAS score isn’t the sole factor in admissions decisions, performing well demonstrates your academic preparedness for the rigorous coursework and challenges you’ll encounter in a nursing program abroad. Acing the TEAS showcases your commitment to nursing aspirations and increases your competitiveness for a coveted spot in your chosen program.

Essential TEAS Prep Tips for International Students

As an international student, you bring a unique perspective and valuable skills. However, preparing for the TEAS exam might involve some additional considerations. Here are some essential tips to ensure your TEAS prep journey is smooth and successful:

Let nursingprepexams do the TEAS for you
Let nursingprepexams do the TEAS for you
TEAS tips for international students
TEAS tips for international students

1. Focus on Building a Strong Foundation

  • English Language Skills: While your academic background may be solid, excelling on the TEAS requires strong foundational skills in English, the language of instruction in most nursing programs abroad. Review core academic skills like reading comprehension and basic math, focusing on clear and concise English explanations.
  • Targeted Vocabulary Development: Nursing terminology can be specific and challenging. Create a study plan incorporating vocabulary particular to the TEAS exam content areas (reading, math, science, and English language usage). Flashcards with English terms and definitions on one side and their translations in your native language on the other can be a valuable tool.
  • Practice Reading English in a Nursing Context: Expose yourself to reading materials that mirror the passages you might encounter on the TEAS exam. Look for resources like TEAS prep books with practice reading passages about healthcare topics or online articles geared towards nurses.

2. Utilize Official TEAS Resources

The official TEAS website, developed by ATI Testing, is a treasure trove of valuable information for all TEAS test-takers. Explore the website for comprehensive test information, including:

  • Content outlines: These detailed outlines break down the topics covered in each TEAS exam section. Use them to identify areas that might require more focus in your studies.
  • Sample questions: Familiarize yourself with the format and types of questions you’ll encounter on the exam. The ATI website offers a limited number of free sample questions.
  • Official study guides: Consider purchasing the official TEAS study guide published by ATI. This comprehensive resource provides in-depth content review, practice questions with explanations, and test-taking strategies. While some of these resources might be available in multiple languages, checking for updates is always good.

3. Embrace Global TEAS Prep Resources

Don’t limit yourself to resources in your native language. The internet offers many TEAS prep resources designed to cater to international students. These resources might provide:

  • Multilingual Explanations: Look for TEAS prep courses or websites that explain concepts and practice questions in multiple languages. This can be particularly helpful for clarifying complex scientific terminology or nuanced aspects of English grammar.
  • Cultural Nuances in Test-Taking: Some international TEAS prep resources address cultural differences in test-taking approaches. Understanding these nuances can help you avoid misinterpreting questions or falling prey to cultural biases that might be present in some standardized exams.

4. Consider Time Zone Differences

Living in a different time zone can present logistical challenges when scheduling practice tests or enrolling in online TEAS prep courses. Be mindful of these differences and plan accordingly:

  • Flexible Scheduling Options: Look for online resources that offer flexible scheduling options for live lectures or webinars. Many platforms allow recording sessions to access the information at your convenience.
  • Time Management Strategies: Develop a study plan accommodating the time zone difference. If you’re enrolled in a live course abroad, factor in the time difference and schedule dedicated study sessions to review the material covered during the lectures.

By incorporating these essential tips into your study strategy, you’ll be well-equipped to bridge any gaps and confidently conquer the TEAS exam. Remember, your international background and unique perspective can be an asset – leverage these strengths and embrace the exciting journey towards becoming a nurse abroad!

Additional Considerations for International Nursing Students on the TEAS Journey

While the TEAS exam is a common hurdle for international students pursuing nursing programs abroad, it’s important to remember that specific requirements might vary from program to program. Here are some additional considerations to ensure a smooth application process:

  • Research Program-Specific TEAS Requirements: Don’t assume a universal TEAS score applies to all nursing programs. Each program might have its own minimum TEAS score requirement. Carefully research the TEAS expectations of your target schools. Program websites often have a dedicated admissions section outlining these details. Some programs might require additional application materials beyond the TEAS score, such as letters of recommendation or transcripts translated into English.

  • Contact the Program Directly: If you have any questions or uncertainties regarding the TEAS exam or admission requirements, don’t hesitate to contact the program’s admissions office directly. They are the ultimate authority on their requirements and can provide the most up-to-date information. This proactive approach demonstrates your initiative and genuine interest in their program.

By considering these additional considerations, you’ll be well-positioned to navigate the TEAS exam and application process confidently, taking that crucial step closer to achieving your dream of becoming a nurse abroad.

Challenges Faced by International Students and How to Conquer Them

The TEAS exam can be a daunting experience for any student, but international students might face some unique challenges. Here’s a breakdown of these hurdles and strategies to overcome them:

1. Cultural and Educational Differences

  • Educational System Variations: Educational systems can differ significantly between countries. The TEAS exam format and content might not perfectly align with your previous academic experiences.

  • Adapting to the Test: Familiarize yourself with the TEAS exam format, question styles, and content areas. Utilize practice tests and official TEAS resources to get accustomed to the questions you’ll encounter.

2. Language Barriers

English Proficiency: The TEAS exam is administered in English, and strong language skills are crucial for success. If English isn’t your native language, you might face challenges comprehending reading passages, interpreting questions, and formulating clear answers.

Strategies for Language Improvement:

  • Targeted Vocabulary Development: Focus on building vocabulary specific to the TEAS exam content areas (reading, math, science, and English language usage). Flashcards and practice tests can be helpful tools.
  • Immerse Yourself in English: Expose yourself to as much English as possible in healthcare. Read nursing-related articles, watch educational videos with English subtitles, or consider enrolling in an English language course geared towards academic settings.
  • Practice Reading Comprehension: Regularly practice reading passages similar to those you might encounter on the TEAS exam. Focus on understanding the main points, analyzing information, and drawing inferences.

Remember, your international background and unique perspective are valuable assets. You can confidently bridge the gap and approach the TEAS exam by acknowledging these challenges and implementing these strategies.


As an international student aspiring to become a nurse abroad, the TEAS exam might initially seem like a hurdle. However, by starting your TEAS preparation early and adopting effective strategies, you can confidently approach this challenge and achieve success.

The tips and resources outlined in this article will equip you to bridge cultural or language gaps, develop a solid foundation in core academic skills, and conquer the TEAS exam. Remember, your international background and unique perspective bring valuable diversity to the nursing profession.

With dedication, a well-rounded study plan, and the resources available, you can transform TEAS test anxiety into the thrill of receiving that acceptance letter from your dream nursing program abroad. The path to becoming a nurse and positively impacting the world awaits you. So, take a deep breath, embrace the challenge, and embark on your incredible TEAS prep journey today!

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